Relics of the Past: Eight Track Players

The Stereo 8 eight track player made its debut in 1965 in Ford automobiles and in 1966 in homes.

The eight track player is one technological advance that completely passed me by. When I joined the Army in 1962 record players were still being used.

By the time I had finished my tour of duty in 1966 I knew of eight track players but never used one or had any idea of how they worked. A few years later after going to work, bought my first cassette deck and the eight track players seemed to disappear from the scene.

The popularity of the eight track player lasted till the end of the 70’s, before giving way to the cassette player. Then about 1982 the compact disc started to do to cassettes what the cassettes had done to eight tracks.

The eight track player had a very short life span compared to record players, cassette players and and compact disc players.

Audio systems today may include a record player, cassette player and compact disc player, but I haven’t heard of one that included an eight track player with an audio system.

Compact disc players for the last 29 years have become the primary source of music for listeners today, but have lost some of their market to MP3 downloads into computers which then download the music into MP3 players.

There are presently 254 eight track players for sale at eBay priced from $1.04 to $500. For someone who owns a lot of eight track music they can buy a player at a very cheap price.

The MP3 players are in vogue right now but who knows what technological advance is in the planning stages that could make them obsolete the way eight track players were made more or less obsolete with a few exceptions.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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