Lou Ottens Wiki
Lou Ottens Biography
Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer credited with inventing the cassette tape and who played an important role in the development of the first CD, died at the age of 94 at his home in the North Brabant village of Duizel. As director of product development at Philips, Ottens twice revolutionized the world of music, but he remained modest until the end. “We were little kids having fun playing,” he said. “We don’t feel like we’re doing something great. It was a kind of sport. ”
After the war, Ottens earned an engineering degree and began work at the Philips factory in Hasselt, Belgium, in 1952. Eight years later, he was promoted to head of the company’s newly established product development department and, within a year, it unveiled the EL 3585, Philips’ first portable recorder, which would go on to sell more than a million units.
But it was two years later that Ottens made the biggest breakthrough of his life, born out of annoyance with the clunky big reel-to-reel tape systems of the day. “The cassette tape was invented out of irritation with the existing tape recorder, it’s that simple,” he would later say. Ottens’s idea was that the cassette tape should fit in his inside jacket pocket. In 1963, the first tape was presented to the world at an electronics fair in Berlin with the slogan “Smaller than a pack of cigarettes!”
Photographs of the invention made their way to Japan, where inferior quality prints began to emerge. Ottens reached an agreement with Sony to make Philips’ proprietary mechanism the standard. He led to the mixtapes loved by teens around the world and the frustration of unrolled tape, though it can largely be fixed with the insertion and twist of a disposable pen.
In 1972, Ottens became an audio director at Philips NatLab, where he became involved in the next great musical innovation: the CD. He established a collaboration with Sony and by 1980 the Philips-Sony 12cm CD standard was ready for the world.
Lou Ottens age
Lou Ottens was 94 years old.
Cause of death
Lou Ottens, who put music lovers around the world on the path to playlists and mixtapes by leading the invention of the first cassette tape, has died at 94, according to country media reports. . Low. Ottens was a talented and influential engineer at Philips, where he also helped develop compact discs for consumers.
Ottens died last Saturday, according to Dutch news outlet NRC Handelsblad, which lists his age at 94.
“Lou wanted the music to be portable and accessible,” says documentary filmmaker Zack Taylor, who spent days with Ottens for his film Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape.
“Lou was an extraordinary man who loved technology, even when his inventions had a humble beginning,” said Olga Coolen, director of the Philips museum. She noted that Ottens’ original wooden prototype for the cassette “was lost when Lou used it to prop up his jack while he changed a flat tire.”
“The cassettes taught us how to use our voice, even when the message came from someone else’s songs, painstakingly compiled into a mixtape,” Taylor said. Describing how little things have changed, he added, “So next time you make that perfect Spotify playlist or send a link to share a song, you can thank Lou Ottens.”
“As of now, the conventional turntable is obsolete,” Ottens stated when production CD players emerged, as reported by the BBC.
“I wrote ‘Satisfaction’ in my sleep,” Richards wrote in Life, his 2010 autobiography. Adding that he did not recall writing the song, Richards said he woke up one morning to find his Philips tape recorder was at the end of the tape; apparently, he concluded, he had written something overnight.
Ottens’s death follows a banner year for his invention. In 2020, a wide range of musicians had success selling cassette tapes, from Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne to Selena Gomez and Gorillaz.
Coolen said that the great success of Ottens’ ideas surprised him.
“‘We knew it could be great, but we never would have imagined it would be a revolution,'” she said, quoting him.