Tapes & tribulation

Can anybody tell me what the latest thinking on tape recorders is? I recently came out of an interview to find the Sony cassette machine I used had made the tape untranscribable.

Fortunately my shorthand had saved me, but what is a boy to do when he's covering highly technical industrial stuff that, most of the time, does require audio? Is minidisc better - or is it about to become obsolete?

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