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8tracks vs. 8-tracks

February 18, 2015

What are you listening to?

When I ask my students this question, one of the most common answers I receive is “8tracks.”  I’ve since learned it’s one of them there newfangled apps that makes playlists based on your interests.

I always smile when I hear the website name as it reminds me of one of my main interests: obsolete technology.

With the recent resurgence in vinyl, I’ve decided to hedge my bets and invest in another antiquated music medium that’s poised to make a comeback: the 8-track tape.

So far my 8-track cartridge collection is up to a modest 1 tape: Elvis! Double Dynamite.

The audio quality seems decent, perhaps difficult to hear over the noise of the machine itself and over my audible giddiness at finally becoming an 8-track owner in the year 2015.

Looking forward to finally being on the cutting edge of fashion (by being decades behind the times) when these inevitably come back en vogue!

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26 Comments
  1. jprobichaud permalink

    Alan Cross would definitely not approve, and neither would the folks at Keepsmealive. You may be mistaken for a hipster or something.

    • Or as Kramer was once called on Seinfeld, a hipster doofus!

    • Hipsters!!

      Haha I think he gets a pass on this one because it’s not a trend yet, and it’s in the spirit of experimentation and rediscovery of old technology. Well done!

      • And I hope quoting Sloan will further entrench the pass – “10 years ahead of time, or about 1 year behind” – I’d say I’m a little more than one year behind though!

  2. Psst! Wanna buy some contraband cassettes?

  3. Complete with radio!
    I lol’d at your “them there newfangled apps”!

    • My only regret: not claiming the typewriter when my grandfather was getting rid of it, it could only have added to the vintage technology set here!

  4. My dad was mad at me when as a kid I pulled all the tape out of his John Phillips Sousa 8 tracks saying “look chocolate!”

    • Hahahahaaaaaaa!!

      • Oops! Not 8-tracks (or chocolate) I suppose but I enjoyed a photo making the rounds recently of a cassette & a pencil with the text saying something like, “if you were born after 2000, you have no idea!”

  5. I don’t know if this one will make an “inevitable” comeback. I’ve heard from more than one place that cassettes are apparently making a comeback, but 8-tracks? I wonder.

    Also, damn man, that player’s got some serious noise to it. Is that an internal alignment issue, or in need of a cleaning or something? Still, very cool to hear the King’s voice through that system.

    My inlaws still have the big buffet cabinet-style player, with 8-track and record player built in. I don’t know if they still have any tapes for it, but if they did it’d all be country.

    Also, my eyes are still peeled for you in the local shops. We can get that number up over 1 in your collection!

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if it needed a good cleaning, I think it had been sitting for a while (I wouldn’t call the tape ‘mint’ either!) – that buffet player sounds like a nice item.
      And thanks for keeping an eye out, it would be fun to have a 1001 listed album explored via the 8-track cartridge!

  6. My Aunt had an 8-Track and I loved it as a young girl, spending hours playing all her “ladies of country” tapes – Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, etc. It was my first exposure to an 8-Track and I didn’t run across another until I rode in a friend of my Mom’s car in the late 80’s. It was a Cadilac. One of those cars that would be described as a boat, and it came equipped with an 8-Track player. She mainly had Barry Manilow and Supertramp.

    I have to admit, I’d kinda like to get my hands on one, too.

  7. That’s so awesome. I’ve never seen an 8-track in the flesh.

  8. Jenn permalink

    Is that D’s player? Or did you buy one somewhere? I think there was like 1 Beach Boys and 1 Wagner (or similar diversity of style) 8 track cassettes in the basement at one point.

  9. Oh man our VV had an 8-track player today (with a sign on it that said “WORKS!”) but I left it. I dunno, I wonder how often I’d use it…

    • Oh I think I’ll use mine infrequently at best – a nice novelty as opposed to a perfect substitute for listening on cd or lp!

  10. There’s a couple here in the Dallas, TX, area that reportedly have the largest 8-track collection in the world. Gotta be worth something…

    • That sounds promising – though they don’t seem to keep their resale value, $1/cartridge seems to be the going rate in Ontario!

      • I had a used Mustang a few years back that came with an 8-track player. Stocked up on some, then got rid of the car.

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