Good old tape recorder days

This post is a response to the Daily Prompt “Going Obsolete”. We were asked which technology we miss the most, and that definitely has to be the tape recorder for me. This was the first electronic gadget I saw as a kid. And the only gadget we had at that time. Way before we had a mobile phone. Way before we had a refrigerator. Way before we had a washing machine. Way before we had a television. So I guess you get the idea now 😉

Obviously I was thrilled by this device which could play songs from a tape! Talk about cool. But what really interested me was that we could tune in to a radio station and listen to their programmes. These days it’s as easy as flicking a button on the remote but in our basic model that we owned, we had to carefully adjust the antenna just so we could get clear reception. Trust me people, that involved knack! Here is a picture similar to the one we had. But this is a double tape recorder, ours was single.


And if you had noticed, I said “a radio station”. Yes. “a” as in “one”. There was only one radio station we would get when I was a little girl. It was called the “AIR”(All India Radio). And they broadcasted all types of programmes under the sky! Or so it seemed to me!

Every morning they would start with a morning greeting and play religious songs. Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the three most prominent religions in India. So they play a song for each religion back to back. There’s a reason India is a country said to have unity in diversity, now you know why 🙂 I used to wake up to the sound of the songs playing every morning. Now even with the alarm blaring, I wouldn’t care to get up!

The AIR is a Public Service Broadcaster that aims to “inform, educate and entertain” the masses. Since radio was a device that was owned even by people below the poverty line, they would broadcast several social awareness programmes. Especially those related to farming, animal husbandry and the like. My dad being a vet has spoken a couple of times in their broadcasts. We all sat together and listened to it! Even though I had no idea what he was speaking, I was pretty stoked that the entire state was listening to my dad’s voice! 😀 And wished that one day my voice would be aired too!!!

My wish did come true!! You know of all the programmes they aired, the most popular ones were the plays! A play without video, just the audio- can you imagine? Well, please do, because they were awesome!!! Most of them were plays with a message delivered in a comical way.

Now back to how my wish came true. The AIR gives time slots to schools where the students can give programmes of their choice. Our school did a song, a talk and a play! I was part of the play!!! Those were super exciting times! My parents and I missed listening to it, but I remember hearing from my relatives that it was good !

Now tape recorders have evolved into more stylish ones with additional features, a hand remote and loads of radio and fm stations to tune into. But I don’t see many using them these days.They don’t manufacture tapes much, so that explains it. I have a voice recorder app on my phone but that doesn’t give me the thrill of recording my voice on a tape and playing it. I can select from the umpteen stations listed in my phone with no antenna sticking out, but that’s not as exciting as skillfully handling the antenna.Now with buttons I can increase or decrease the volume as I wish, but that’s nowhere near the fun of playing with the circular volume control!

Speaking of tape recorders, there is one beauty I wish to own! Voila!


The vinyl record player! Most preferably vintage.Maybe some day 🙂


6 thoughts on “Good old tape recorder days

  1. Girl!!! You know what, I have the same feeling! We have sophisticated facilities now. But the feeling of using the old tapes, recorders – rewinding and all……..We miss that now. Back then we seemed to have PATIENCE! #Nostalgic
    Its good to hear that your play has been aired!

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