Welcome to Hell, here's your 8-Track

Neil Postman once said, 

"Anyone who has studied the history of technology knows that technological change is always a Faustian bargain: Technology giveth and technology taketh away, and not always in equal measure. A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided."

I'm pretty sure that we know that the 8-track was more bad than good.

Question for audiophiles here who might know -- was there anything good about 8-track technology that was lost when it went extinct? And what was that good, audio-wise, specifically?



Ok, here's what I remember about them. They played at 3and 3/4 IPS. Cassette's played at 1 and 7/8. The Radio Shack car cassette player I had was bad for wow. My friends 8-track was better sounding for about a year till I upgraded and got a Pioneer cassette deck. Then the cassette was far superior. After I got a home   cassette recorder my friend switched and didn't look back. I still remember my first listen to Dark Side on 8-track in friends old beat up Corolla. Thanks for the great memories! By the way, I miss my 240Z as well.

Yes, there was something good about 8-tracks. At a moment in time when the standard audio format was the LP, there were no real portable/automotive options beyond FM & AM radio. Good as those were/still are, something was missing.

Much like VHS videotape, 8-track tape players failed in all manner of resolution and usability details, but at least served to get the portability ball rolling. Next came cassette tapes, a huge leap sonically and technologically...then Walkmans and the rest is history.

Such a funny Title on post. They were great in cars and only 1 of 50 spewed tape out all over the place.

In 1983 or so I got a good deal on a 1976 Monte Carlo with a built in 8 track. Whenever I listen to A Remark You Made on the Heavy Weather album it takes me back to a specific wintery late night, driving through the slush along side a steel mill with all its smoke and steam and lights and smells, with Weather Report providing the sound track. It was about 2:00 a.m. It was…perfect.

desktopguy -- The way I remember it, 4 Track cartridges and players existed before 8 Track ones. My sister had one in her Mustang.