Part of it in Ohio was finances. We weren’t poor but we weren’t rich. The rich kids in the next school district over had CDs. We existed on tapes, and had a kind of black market for dubbed cassettes amongst our friends. We’d agree on who would buy the legit release of whatever album and then dub it. I was in demand there because my Aiwa cassette deck made great dubs. Nobody wanted Gary’s tapes because he would record on a boombox from the speaker of another boombox. This was late ‘80s so well into CD era but I didn’t own a CD until 1991 when a rich girl I met at a state student council camp mailed me a Pink Floyd CD as we’d bonded over the band. I promptly dubbed it from my parents CD player onto tape.In my small part of the world, my friends and I didn't ditch LPs for cassettes, rather we all installed cassette decks in our cars (late 70s). So we either recorded whole albums on a cassette, or made mix tapes. It was great having something other than FM radio in our cars. And of course the recording required us to get home audio cassette recorders. I don't think I ever bought a prerecorded cassette.
I got into vinyl albums around this time as the flea market had them for $1. My record player sucked but the cheap cost of used vinyl and the coolness of the artwork was a big draw. Nobody else except my flea market record friends had vinyl.
I really miss that time. Discovering all the music, not caring much for sound quality beyond realizing Gary’s tapes sucked.