In August of 1963, the world met a new piece of technology that would go on to change the history of music: the audio cassette tape. That means that this month marks the 50th anniversary of the cassette.
As cassette inventor Lou Ottens, now 87, tells TIME, it was “a sensation” from day one.
This week’s issue of TIME takes a look at that illustrious history—and how the cassette is still influencing the world today.Yes: today. Though cassettes may seem like their time has passed, they shaped the music we listen to and their adherents still stand strong, whether they’re working on collections of thousands of rare cassettes or just hoarding their old mix tapes for nostalgia’s sake.