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Answering Machine Tapes

Seventies Style Telephone Answering Machine

Years ago in the late nineties I did some spring cleaning and I hit a jackpot of sorts. I was cleaning out a box of old tapes and found all these mini cassettes. Listening back to them it turned out most of them were old answering machine tapes. To this day I have not gone through them all but, what I have found were excellent and are posted as MP3 files below.

If I can figure out what I did with all the of the tapes I found that day and if they still exist, there is an outside chance that I will go through the rest of the pile. There is an even smaller chance I will post additional little “gems” like the files posted below. Also to all of you that appear on these tapes please, do not get mad this is all in fun. It was a long time ago…

As for the sound quality: This is about fun not audio quality.
All files came off mini cassette that were taped over and over again in a cheap answering machine. They were then encoded as Real Audio files* so I could stream them over the net back in ’97-98. They have bounced around from server to server, zip tape to zip tape, computer to cloud until now (2011). I just converted the original Real .rm files to .mp3 files.

*Sorry that was the thing to do back then. These were posted to the web long before MP3′s and to stream files for free to people on dial-up modems Real http streaming using .ram text files was the answer.

Click the mini cassette tape to hear the messages:


Answering Machine Tape - Mini Cassette

This seems to be the oldest but, I really don’t know. *I did not put in the background sounds, artifacts or alter the tape in any way (except for removing actual phone numbers)Guess my rent was late..That was probably the worst place I ever lived, and that guy was a prick! It’s good to know that I wasn’t paying him on time. Some Rodney King recording at at the end?

 


Answering Machine Tape - Mini Cassette

This should be before the message above because of the photo shoot…

This is my personal favorite. *Again, I did not put in the background sounds, artifacts or alter the tape in any way (except for removing actual phone numbers).Billy’s crazy dream, and more..

 


Answering Machine Tape - Mini Cassette

Not sure if this is right before I moved to NYC or if I was just planning a visit. *Again, I did not put in the background sounds, artifacts or alter the tape in any way (except for removing actual phone numbers).

 


Answering Machine Tape - Mini Cassette

This is a shorty but, a goodie. *Again, I did not put in the background sounds, artifacts or alter the tape in any way (except for removing actual phone numbers).The cosmic birthday twins, and I don’t know what the laugh is from.

 


Answering Machine Tape - Mini Cassette

I think this is older still – living with Jan

This is when my cat learned how to use my answering machine and would record things in the apartment or cut people off. *Again, I did not put in the background sounds, artifacts or alter the tape in any way (except for removing actual phone numbers). Try picturing a small black cat staring at an answering machine and randomly hitting buttons.

 


Answering Machine Tape - Mini Cassette

This is definitely the strangest one of the bunch. *Again, I did not put in the background sounds, artifacts or alter the tape in any way (except for removing actual phone numbers).My phone is picking up sideband, my cat has gotten good at figuring out which buttons to hit and I got creditors on my but, not my favorite, but very weird at the end.

 


Creative Commons License
Answering Machine Tapes – Sound Art by David Thompson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.david23.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.david23.com.

 


If you are interested. While I was looking for a picture of an answering machine I came across a site that has The History of the Answering Machine.