Re: Irrelevant Pedantry time!
Oh yeah, I heard that the original C64 floppy drives sucked.
The difference was more pronounced on the Atari 8-bits because, while the floppy drives were reasonably fast, the cassettes were atrociously slow. The bitrate was 600 baud, but- unlike with other 8-bit computers- there were no turbo loaders (#) to improve the situation. Fifteen minutes for a 48K game was not unusual, and I had some that were closer to 20. (##)
I think the problem was partly- although it was state of the art at the time of its launch and able to compete technically with the three-years-younger C64 on most counts- that when the 400 and 800 came out at the end of the 1970s, they only came with 8K as standard (the 400 was originally only going to be 4K), so loading time wouldn't have been such an issue.
By the time the 64K 800XL came out in 1983, its home market (the US) would have been moving rapidly towards disks, so the tape loading speed probably wasn't seen as an issue.
Anyway, I'd heard bad things about tape-to-disk transfer utilities, but when I finally got one I wished I'd bought it years before. I hated tape loading, and still can't get nostalgic about it even with six-inch thick rose-tinted glasses.
(#) I remember reading somewhere that this was for technical reasons (I don't know which) and that without hardware modifications, the most that could be achieved was a frankly underwhelming 900 baud. The fact I never knowingly came across even this modest-but-worthwhile improvement (in the absence of anything better) on any games suggests that even this was pushing it.
(##) FWIW, the multiload "Ace of Aces" took approaching half an hour to get started on tape and was completely unusable; it was obviously a game originally designed purely with the disk-centric US market in mind.