What’s the coolest thing in the music world these days? A cassette tape. A lot of people haven’t bought or listened to one for over a decade. And if you’re 15 or younger, you may have never even seen one up close. That’s because listening to music on iPods has been the norm for the past few years. And before that, everyone listened to CDs. But trendspotters say that cassettes are making a comeback.

In fact, in the last year, music cassette sales shot up 46 percent. And musicians are now scrambling to release new music on cassettes before they release digital versions.

So, why is there suddenly a cassette craze? Number one – making cassettes is cheap. About 90 percent less than a vinyl record. And profit-minded musicians love that it’s an extremely affordable way to make music, especially during the rough economy.

But the biggest reason cassettes are hot again: Because buying and holding onto a cassette tape lets fans feel closer to their favorite musician and music. Experts say that in the last few years, a lot of people simply click from song to song, artist to artist on their iPod.

But when they buy and listen to a cassette, they automatically feel more connected to the musician. And because they have something tangible to hang onto - they have a much more enjoyable music experience.