One of my hobbies is open reel tape decks. I also still use cassettes. Typically I buy used vinyl, mostly jazz, clean and play the album then decide based on condition and content if I’m going to record it to cassette. For everyday listening, I most often use my restored Nakamichi Dragon to play the cassettes I’ve made.
I make notes on particularly good tracks and when I’ve got a big enough list, I make an open reel mix tape. Excellent quality new tape is actually available so I don’t mess with the used stuff, it can have sticky-shed syndrome. A 3600 ft. tape at 7.5 inches per second gives me an hour and a half on each side using my four track machine. So I have a collection of curated three hour music reels that sound great plus I get to see the reels go round and round.
I’m getting ready to make a new mix tape using my Crown SX-824, one of the best American made tape decks ever. I’m going to mix genres more than usual. Here’s some of the tracks that I’ll be recording: Abdullah’s Delight by Chico Hamilton, Guava Jelly by Johnny Nash, Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, Dear Old Stockholm by Miles Davis, Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Skruggs and Flatt, Good Intentions by Lyle Lovett, Sidewinder by Lee Morgan, One Step Beyond by Madness, Crazy by Patsy Kline, Black Orchid by The 3 Sounds, Over the Rainbow by Chet Baker and a lot more. It will be challenging to sequence such a mix, but it should be a cracking good tape.