Why you shouldn’t fund concepts – Elbow Tape Player

I recently had my attention drawn to the Elbow tape player, a future-retro piece of equipment for playing cassettes. With the recent insurgent of cassette releases by young bands, it’s understandable that there becomes a demand of players. A quick look on ebay will show that unlike 5 years ago, a Sony Walkman is currently worth the same, if not more than what you may have paid for it in 1996.

However, take heed music lovers, because here is where funding and showing interest in something based on a very snazzy looking mock-up image and render of product proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. below I have copied out my post on their Facebook page, due to a lack of anywhere public to communicate with them and the people they had garnered interest from.

There’s a significant design flaw with your concept and that is the tape within the cassette. Anyone who grew up with cassettes remembers the number of times a cassette got mangled up in a cassette players rollers. The base of the tape is entirely exposed regardless of the size of the reader itself being quite minimal in the centre.

Cassette machines have two pins for the associated holes in theĀ cassette which then helps the rollers to provide tension across the tape so it can be read. Your concept does not appear to have any way of reaching those holes – they’re even exposed on your mockup.

The out ends of the tape will always be exposed meaning you’re going to damage the tape without fail.

You need to have contact with both wheels to rewind, this can only pull forward & you also need a locking spindle within the second one so that it doesn’t over wind making the tape slack.

Lovely idea, but appears on first view to lack some significant functional realities. I would really like to see how your prototyped this.

To look for yourself, visitĀ http://elbow.co.nf/


Also published on Medium.

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Andy Parker

User Experience Designer, headbanger, biker, skater, gamer from Brighton UK.