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Tapes and players are rare finds here
While vinyl records are enjoying a retro revival, two music mediums are struggling to draw users.
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REMEMBER the cassette tape?

Those who now listen to CDs and mp3 music may find it surprising that this relic of the music world can still be found in stores here.

But probably not for long - Sony announced last Friday that it will stop selling its iconic Walkman portable tape player in Japan because of its lacklustre sales, reported The Washington Post.

It will continue to be produced in China and distributed in the US, Europe and some Asian countries.

The owner of a music shop here, which still sells cassettes, told The New Paper he was surprised that the cassette Walkman was still in production.

Mr Paul Lim, owner of Roxy Trading & Records, said: "Sony still sells Walkman? They should've stopped a long time ago. There's no market demand for such cassettes or players, at least not in Singapore."

The shop still has about 3,000 cassettes in its inventory. They are leftovers from the 1980s when these tapes were popular.

Mr Lim said that a minority of his customers who still own cassette players buy these tapes, but these customers are few and far between.

He said: "Nowadays, you can't get such (cassette) players easily. The demand for (cassette tapes) dropped in the early 1990s when CDs started becoming popular."

CDs were introduced in the early 1980s.

Mr Lim said he used to sell about 50 cassettes a day back in the 1980s.

Today, he counts himself lucky if he can sell one a week - even though he's selling them at $1 a piece, compared with $8.90 in the past.

Mr Lim's father started the shop in 1962 in High Street selling vinyl records.

Today, there's still a demand for the vinyl records because it's enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Mr Lim said: "Some prefer the warm, mellow sound from a vinyl record rather than a CD, which is clear, but may lack soul."

IT engineer Mark Tan, 41, said the last time he bought a cassette was some 20 years ago.

He said: "They're so retro... I still have some cassettes at home, but they're more as a keepsake...I still have my Walkman,but I think it's already spoilt. "I'm surprised people still buy cassettes...How can they compare with CDs and mp3s?"

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