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8-track tape cartridges
(introduced in 1964)
8-track tapes 8-track tapes

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There are 17 comments for this item.

Posted by kluv42 at 11:30 pm (PDT) on Sat October 22, 2016   
Yup... Hopefully, the jets lasted longer than commercial-grade 8-track tapes :)
Posted by Duff at 2:14 pm (PDT) on Sat October 22, 2016   
Did you know that Bill Lear, the iventor of the 8-track tape system, is the same guy who developed the Lear Jet and the first car radio ("Motorola") ?
Posted by kluv42 at 2:31 pm (PDT) on Fri May 13, 2016   
One of my brothers had an 8-track recorder in his home hi-fi system... I don't remember what brand it was, but a quick Google Image search found a Realistic, a JVC, and an Akai that appear similar to my foggy memory of what it looked like...

He recorded lots of his records to 8-track. FAR better sound quality than the prerecorded tapes, and FAR better resistance to tangling, etc.

Also, when one of his home-recorded tapes switched tracks mid-song, it was a quick fade, fast near-silent track switch, then play on. No more than a couple seconds in total. I think the home tapes played nearly as well in the car deck, too. This was MUCH better than the "fade, five seconds later, CLUNK of the track change, five seconds later, play on" of the commercially-made tapes.

I think there were more-expensive models that had the ability for the user to avoid mid-song track changes altogether.
Posted by freddo30 at 7:29 pm (PDT) on Thu April 7, 2016   
Don't forget a matchbook to shove under the tape as a shim so you didn't get cross-chatter ... and how they changed tracks in the middle of a song
Posted by IOfferMyBentNickel at 5:01 am (PST) on Tue January 19, 2016   
This Canadian recalls buying BLANK 8-track tapes: they were sold as "Super 8s". I recorded my precious vinyl lps on them, and decided my personal challenge was to time the recording of songs to end as close as possible to the point when the recorder would shift or "click" to the next channel. We experience long winters and sometimes present psychological issues. I don't recall the retail price of these large beauties, however, I do remember purchasing them in the summer of 1980.
Posted by GlenEllyn at 8:45 pm (PDT) on Tue September 25, 2012   
When I worked for a music distributor back in the 70s there was a price difference between 8-tracks and cassettes. The cassettes were a couple of dollars less, but at that time the cassette format was less popular.
Posted by dtdavis2012 at 8:19 am (PDT) on Tue September 25, 2012   
One thing I never could justify was the price of pre-recorded 8 Tracks and Cassettes being the same.
Posted by ozarkbob at 11:52 pm (PDT) on Mon July 30, 2012   
I once had a 8 track that would fast forward, you couldn't them because of mechicanal design
Posted by ozarkbob at 11:50 pm (PDT) on Mon July 30, 2012   
I had an 8 track in a couple of my vehicles, and at one time had 8 track recorder, My wife and I still have 8 track players, and cartriges, cassettes came after 8 track, I don't know if I still have the recorder, I was into 8 tracks in the 70's
Posted by Alan at 4:57 pm (PDT) on Mon July 30, 2012   
In 1966 I had a Lear 4 track car tape player, the predecessor to 8 track. There was no way to fast forward or reverse. There was one electronics store in town, St. Louis, that had a 4 track recorder and sold blank 4 track tapes. I went there several times with a stack of LP's that I transferred to 4 track tape. Eventually my unit was stolen and a few months later, so was its replacement. By then I gave up.
Posted by Duff at 4:03 pm (PDT) on Mon July 30, 2012   
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall anyone having an 8-track recorder. You couldn't make your own mix tape, as you could with cassettes. Cassettes definitely preceded 8-tracks, but their quality and that of their players was not good enough for hi-fi music reproduction. Cassettes -- their formulation, mechanical construction, noise reduction, wow/flutter,, etc., all underwent significant improvement until they were eventually overtaken by CDs (which, again, hardly anyone could record themselves for several years).
Posted by GlenEllyn at 4:08 pm (PDT) on Sat June 16, 2012   
I worked for a small music distributor in Arizona in the mid-1970s and oh, how I remember those bright blue GRT 8-tracks and cassettes.
Posted by paktype at 1:48 pm (PDT) on Tue March 13, 2012   
My friend's father had a '77 Ford Granada that came with one of these. Within a few years, cassettes had completely taken over from 8-track tapes.
Posted by Duff at 2:42 pm (PST) on Sat January 21, 2012   
Having worked at my college's radio station, I was familiar with "carts" and their operation, saw no benefit whatsoever in the 8-track variety, and thus never had a player. But a friend recently gave me three "blank" 8-track tape cartridges. I have no idea what's on them; it's a tantalizing mystery. I'm torn between offering them, unplayed, on eBay, and hunting down a player to check 'em out first.
Posted by dtdavis2012 at 4:17 am (PST) on Sat January 21, 2012   
I hated 8 tracks from the get-go. If you had one favorite song, you had to let it play through so you could listen to it again. Thank God for cassettes and, eventually, cds!!
Posted by Katbear at 8:59 pm (PDT) on Sun August 16, 2009   
I have a 1970s Wood stereo- one of those that you could use as a coffee table or knick-knack shelf when it wasn't in use as a record player, 8 track player, or AM-FM radio.
Posted by twozillas at 11:48 pm (PDT) on Thu August 13, 2009   
In 1973 a friend lent me an 8-track player. I rigged it up but we only had one tape to listen to during the whole 250 mile round trip to Ocean City, MD and back. At least it was a good one, Deep Purple "In Rock". I later had a Radio Shack "Realistic" 8-track recorder. Wow, that was state of the art for the time!

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