Q: I’ve heard that magnets erase cassette tapes. Is that right?

Tape inside cassette shells stores information when the recording device arranges tiny magnetic particles on the tape. It plays back when it moves over the electromagnetic head in a tape player and the movement causes a varying magnetic field that is interpreted as sound.

Powerful magnets can distort or erase recorded cassette tapes when they are in close proximity. Even a refrigerator magnet is powerful enough. Cassette tapes should always be stored away from magnets of all types.