In Brief

The ELBOW player could be a dream come true for 90s kids nostalgic for the medium

The cassette player: now seemingly forgotten, they shaped the 90s. They allowed a whole cohort of teenagers to express their love, sadness and sense of being misunderstood with self-curated playlists. They offered a tactile musical experience in a way that is unachievable in the digital age, yet they have never gained the luxurious status of vinyl. Andrius Žemaitis and Marius Paulikas, the Lithuanian duo behind BrainMonk, want to bring back the iconic cassette with ELBOW, a portable cassette player.

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The minimal design puts the cassette into the forefront, instead of hiding it inside a bulky casing. Instead of the typical two, ELBOW has one pinch roller that drags the tape along the magnetic head. To ensure that the tape rolls at a constant speed, an optical sensor tracks the movements of tape surface. The biaxial arm rotates in two directions, with sideways motion allowing for switching the playing direction, mimicking a tonearm of a vinyl record player. The device also features an earphone plug and a mini-USB port for charging and transferring music from the cassette to a computer. A small pin lets users attach the device to their clothes, turning it into an intriguing fashion accessory.

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Currently in its prototype phase, it is unclear when ELBOW will hit the market.

BrainMonk | ELBOW

The cassette player: now seemingly forgotten, they shaped the 90s. They allowed a whole cohort of teenagers to express their love, sadness and sense of being misunderstood with self-curated playlists. They offered a tactile musical experience in a way that is unachievable in the digital age, yet they have never gained the luxurious status of vinyl. Andrius Žemaitis and Marius Paulikas, the Lithuanian duo behind BrainMonk, want to bring back the iconic cassette with ELBOW, a portable cassette player.