On the Media
On the Media
Apr 15, 2022
How Cassettes Changed the World
Play • 51 min

Cassette tapes mostly gather dust these days. But back in their heyday, they fundamentally changed how we communicate, in ways we’re still making sense of today. On this week’s On the Media, hear how the cassette tape fueled the Iranian revolution, helped pierce the Iron Curtain, and put human connection in the palm of our hands.

1. Simon Goodwin on his innovation to broadcast computer software over the radio back in 1983. Listen.

2. Computer programmer Fuxoft explains his role in 'Sneakernet,' which saw pirated material of all types smuggled into 1980s Czechoslovakia via cassette tape. Listen.

3. The role of cassette tapes in the Iranian Revolution. Listen.

This episode was reported, produced, scored and sound designed for Radiolab by Simon Adler with original music throughout by Simon. Top tier reporting and production assistance was provided by Eli Cohen.

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