This magnetic media enthusiast built an 8-track tape "walkman"

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8 track? With its cross channel bleeding and need to cut certain songs in two to switch tracks? Sounds like the solution to nobody’s problem. :yum:


I just need to cram a TV, VCR, stereo, CB radio, computer, NES, encyclopedia set and co-driver w/ road atlas, into an RV and I’ve got a smart phone.


I don’t get it why people don’t use rechargeable batteries for stuff like that. It’s not like we have another spare planet lying around.

“That’s all too true.” he said giving a smirking glance at his Stargate.

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This was a consumer product. The only 8-track player I ever owned had a shoulder strap, ran on batteries and had a little hexagonal speaker.


Had one in say 1978 or so. It was called a GE Loud Mouth


This is a fun build, but in all seriousness 8-Track was an awful format. It had big and bulky cassettes with a limited play time and a pain in the ass track switching mechanism. Compact Cassette was a far superior format.

(And in true 8-Track goodness, this can’t fast forward or rewind.)


Track switching and bleeding? Sounds like it’s yet another variant of the trolley problem.


Ah, yes . . . the good old days of portable media.



It’s like something to play The Most Unwanted Song on. The most unwanted medium.

It needs bluetooth for added hipster cred.

Geez, those early colonoscopy cameras were brutal.


I love it! It’s like someone pulled a prehistoric creature from the tar pits, and is parading it alive around town!

Wait, they guy made a shitty build of something that already existed, with speakers and FM radio?

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Were there ever Grateful Dead and even Bob Dylan albums released on 8 track?

I can’t imagine they weren’t, but neither can I imagine long songs on 8 track.

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Both available on Ebay right now.

And what they did for long songs was to literally stop the song in the middle and then pick up again. How do I know? I had Thick as a Brick on 8 track.


That ain’t saying much, tho… That technology died a relatively quick and deserved death.

Cassettes lasted decades. Not as long as LP records, but long enough.

The Compact Cassette came out in 1963, and lasted into the nineties.

I don’t think it made much impact till Dolby came along in 70 or 71. And of course it was really the Sony Walkman came along after 1980 that really made the cassette big.

The reality is that people always lived with imperfection. LPs were noisy from wear, and you had to turn them over for the other 20 minutes or so. Not very portable either.

Cassettes could be noisy, and the more you put on them the nore likely the tape would stretch or break. And yiu couod record. More portable too.

8 track really sold well, for some reason, but had those interruptions. I don’t think Dolby made much inroads, but I wasn’t paying attention. There has to be a reason 8 track lasted despite compact cassettes rising up.

CDs had fewer issues, but as prices went down, people played them on low end players.


8-track took off in the American car market in the early 70’s. The carts were very user friendly, being durable, simple, and easy to handle without looking, and instead of fast forwarding, the track button jumped you to a different song instantly. And in a noisy car environment, the extremely poor audio quality made little difference to the average extremely tasteless American.

8-tracks were also pushed hard by the record labels, who have long feared illicit copies of their music. Unlike cassette tape decks, equipment for recording on 8-tracks was much more expensive than playback decks, and even then they still sounded awful. Cassette tapes were trivially easy to record on, and easy to duplicate.

They lasted long into the 80s because people had spent a lot of money on the format, and installing a new cassette player in their cars would have invalidated their entire old music library. It was not unlike the vendor lock in that keeps people spending on new iPhones after “buying” thousands of songs from the Apple Music Store