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|What's with Expiration Dates on Indonesian Cassettes?|
|by Farah 'Fairy' Mahdzan (24-Nov-2002) | Readers Say|
Expiration dates are printed on food packaging to subtly remind us to consume the food contained within before the mentioned date. (If you've never had food poisoning and so happened to wonder what that would be like, ideally you'd want to try and eat food that's beyond the expiration date, green molds and all). So expiration dates are rather useful things when it comes to food that comes in cans or plastic wrappings, but what do these expiration dates mean when they start appearing on cassette labels? Listen to the music on the cassette before it turns bad on such-and-such-a-date? Will the cassette self-destruct after the expiration date indicated on its cover? Or worse still, will the tape ribbon turn moldy after that date??
In Indonesia, only the local music kaset are (more often than not) printed along with expiration dates (this rule somehow does not apply to local CDs and international albums both CD and cassette formats). Having not seen this sort of printing system used on cassettes I bought from Malaysia and the US, I initially thought the dates signified the release dates of the album but such was not the case (not entirely, anyways). It turned out that the dates were indeed, "expiration" dates in a sense.
When cassettes are manufactured for a particular artist, there is a contract that states the duration in which new cassettes are to be produced for that album. Let's take this Laluna Dua Musim album for example; the album sleeve has an expiration date of 06/03 (June 2003). It's a safe bet that after June of 2003, this Laluna album will no longer be produced for the market. So the availability of this album will then depend on the whatever stock that is still dwindling in music stores. Once all that stock is finished, nada, you won't find new Laluna Dua Musim albums elsewhere in Indonesia.
So what happens if you absolutely needed to get this Laluna album and all the stock in the stores are finished and it's past June 2003? You're out of luck lah then. The only way you can get this album, if ever, is by buying it second hand from friends or used cassette dealers.
There is an exception to the rule. Sometimes dates are printed on cassette sleeves to indicate the intended launch date of the album. For example when jazz-pop teen Andien officially released her 2nd album Kinanti in April 2002, the cassette cover had "09/02" printed on it. It didn't quite make sense to me that the production of the cassette will only run till September 2002 (a brief 5 months period from official launch date of April) as I noticed most Indonesian albums usually stay in production for about a year plus. A music reporter from Jakarta then pointed out to me that the date might not actually be an expiration date but rather an album launch date. Somehow it was decided that Andien's new album be released earlier than scheduled.
So which one is it, an expiration date or an album launch date? To walk on the safe side always treat those dates you see on Indonesian album covers as expiration dates. If you're a Indonesian cassette collector, this information can be quite valuable to you. It makes the art of collecting cassettes so much more exciting since you're actually racing against time in order to get your hands on these albums, especially if you live outside Indonesia (like yours truly).
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|WHAT READERS SAY ABOUT What's with Expiration Dates on Indonesian Cassettes?:|
#5. AQI, you're welcome.
tasia, the article title kinda sounds that way doesn't it. Well if you don't store your cassettes properly, they sure will.
I would think that if the album sales are underperforming, then it wouldn't make sense to actually issue new albums just so you can display new expiration dates now would it. You would only increase the number of "tak laku" items in the market..! In fact if album sales suck, retailers will send the product back to the manufacturers. If you read the related article to this one, "Artistless Indonesian Cassettes", I stated in there that albums yang tak laku are recycled, particularly the ribbon and casing.
Albums will stay in the market as long as there is demand for it or when the expiration date expires, whichever one preceeds. Notice that not all Indonesian cassettes have expiration dates, like Dewa and such, because albums by these popular artists gerenti sell.
Posted by Fairy on 25-Nov-2002, 21:11 MYT
#4. hmm menarik juga ya.. say the selling of the album plummets drastically.. will they change the expiration date? and selalunya berapa lama the album will be in the market? fairy.. when u said bout expiration date.. i really thought that the casettes will go bad.. berkulat kulat..
#3. So next time you buy your next Indonesian cassette, you'll know what those dates mean on the side. A smart consumer is a learned consumer.
#2. ya boy.. never thought abt that. Thanks for the info fai
#1. wow! never thot of that b4..
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