You’ve probably heard from your misguided hipster friends that the cassette is making a comeback. This old technology is being romanticized by those who long for the era of the mixtape, a labour of love that had to be put together in real time. Some suggest that this is what’s driving the cassette resurrection. But maybe not. Let me explain. There are 2.2 million people in American jails right now. Prisoners aren’t allowed CDs because they can be turned into shanks. MP3 players aren’t very useful because without Internet access, where do you get music? What’s left? Cassettes. There are companies that specialize in inmate music on cassettes made with clear plastic shells (to prevent smuggling) and without screws (that could be used for weapons). The US prison population is so large that even the big record labels manufacture special pre-recorded prison cassettes. Betcha you didn’t see that coming, huh, cassette hipsters?