Cassette tapes were invented by Philips in the early 1960s as a portable audio storage medium. They became popular for music playback, revolutionized the music industry, and led to the emergence of mixtapes and Walkmans in the 1980s. Cassette tapes also fostered a vibrant underground music scene and enabled home recordings. However, their popularity declined with the advent of digital formats such as CDs and MP3's in the late 1990s. Despite this, cassette tapes still hold a nostalgic appeal and have seen a recent resurgence among collectors and independent artists.