NY Times by DAVID POGUE NY TimesWhen geeks sit down to tell their children about nature’s great cycles, they don’t talk about birth and death. They talk about the way bulky gadgets get smaller over time, expensive ones become commodities — and how recording tape always gives way to digital storage. Usually, the death of tape is a good thing. Not many people survey their DVD collections and pine for the VCR days, or heft their iPods and mourn for the days of eight-tracks and cassettes. But in camcorders, the demise of tape is a little more complicated. Most consumer camcorders still record onto tape — they’re the last gadget holdout — but that won’t last much longer. According to the NPD Group, sales of MiniDV digital tape camcorders are plummeting, from about half the market last year to only 31 percent this year. Camcorders that record onto miniature DVDs (29 percent) or little hard drives (22 percent) are about to overtake them. read more...

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