Science has proven most people have already bailed by now to go leave an angry comment. Go laugh at them for not reading the article. You could be making tapes and selling/gifting/trading them right now.
C30s are about $0.90 each for a 25 pack shipped to your door. If you’re crafty though, dead-stock new ones are all over thrift stores, garage sales or your parents attic. Some people put a piece of tape over the copy protection hole on pre-recorded tapes. I recommend against this. First, you could be recording over something cool. Second, you could get residual background noise from what you recorded over. Third, the tape you use might be already worn out and busted.
Finding a good tape deck ain’t easy
Expect the ones you do find that work to break down, so never stop buying spares. Once you figure out how to record with it, you’re golden. Google is good for this. Blow a test-tape getting your levels right before you duplicate a whole run. Be at least aware of noise reduction and how it works. Don’t buy those cheap mono duplicators designed for low quality spoken word, they won’t give you what you want.
Your library, convenience store, or place of employment is a great place to run off a few dozen copies of something to use for your J-Card. I use a rubber stamp with my likeness over old newspaper, and industrial surplus stickers. It’s your tape, do it your way. Cases can be bought or looted from other tapes, but I prefer sandwich bags.
Once you got a big ol’ box of finished product, give a bunch to your friends, if you have any left. Science has also proven that the best records turn out to be the ones nobody knew about. Who knows what your friends have to offer. You don’t have to even be a musician. Record yourself talking about dumb stuff. Go for a walk and see who can guess what you did. Say the word ‘gelatin’ over and over for 30 minutes. Once you’ve made a tape of unique content and sent it out into the world, it becomes database valid. This also means you can sell it and make money too, if you choose.
The world is endless and yours. You don’t need a big fancy label or thousands of dollars to run off a minimum sized batch of records. Take recorded sound back from massive corporations. Do it. Live it. Own it. You can bypass the whole industry right now.