Re: How are analog formats doing?
Analog(ue) is designed to capture a continuous 'analogue' of the waveform, but because it's recorded in a physical object any flaws that the object contains will become part of the sound, hence vinyl's crackles and pops.
Digital makes certain assumptions about the shape of the wave, so you lose the frequency spectrum above (and below) the range of human hearing, which may have more of an effect on the sound than is popularly realised. The biggest advantage over tape is the lack of any particular noise floor, whereas you need to have a very 'hot' signal going to a tape machine in order that the noise on the tape isn't audible. There's a Buddy Rich solo on here that illustrates that point very well, as when he's playing ppp stuff on the snare, the hum threatens to overwhelm what he's playing.
Nobody uses cassettes any more. Cassettes must be the worst format out there to release music on.