I recently moved. When I was going through all my belongings and packing I came across a huge store of old cassettes. What a trip! Had to chuckle at a few of my purchases. I no longer have anything that plays cassettes but was thinking of purchasing a cheap, second-hand player. Does the audio quality degrade over time?
I don't think the flimsy tape material itself will degrade the sound, as Wayne pointed out. But rather the plastic casing and those two wheels could degrade over time compromising the movement of the tape.