CDs tried to bury them before digital downloads hammered a few more nails in the coffin.
But somehow the humble cassette is still alive, and if reports are anything to go by, thriving.
Back in the 1980s, cassettes were king. It may seem ridiculous now, but music lovers didn’t mind holding down the fast forward button for five minutes to try to find their favourite track on an album.
They also didn’t mind when, after repeated listens on a tape, that album started to sound like it had been remixed by a dying cat.
But it seems that spool is cool again, as many listeners are reaching for the tape player instead of Spotify.
In the US, a number of artists, such as Lana Del Rey, Kanye West and Justin Bieber, have started releasing new albums on cassette.
Sales have increased so much recently that the Recording Industry Association of America is trying to find a way to track tape purchases for the first time in 25 years.
It is thought that cassettes could see a similar resurgence to vinyl - annual sales of long player records in the UK have grown from 205,000 in 2007 to 2.1 million.