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This chapter considers the evolution of home taping from reel-to-reel tapes to cassettes. Most open-reel recorders marketed for home use sold poorly, yet high-end recorders for home stereo systems became popular among hi-fi enthusiasts. Home taping and trading of copyrighted music on reel-to-reel tapes was conducted openly but limited to wealthy consumers. This changed with the introduction of the cheap and durable compact cassette. Although its sound quality was inferior, record companies understood its popularity among young music fans as a threat to their interests. The music industry's push for royalties on blank cassettes and recorders was intended to legally quash the format as well as publicly delegitimize it and the rituals of music sharing it enabled.

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