One forgotten step on the road to streaming

One consistent form of music throughout the ‘70s is the 8-track tape. In a time where people regularly listen to their music through headphones or by connecting their phone to their cars, it is hard to remember the technology that came before.

It took the music industry quite a while to get to a place where our own choice of music could accompany us on our journeys. We were at the mercy of radio stations when we traveled, or expected to listen to vinyl records when we were at home or in clubs.

Enter the 8-track. These tapes gained popularity because of their portability and convenience. People were no longer limited to the random choices of a radio station, but could carry tapes of their favorite recording artists and bring them anywhere they could access an 8-track player. They became part of most stereo systems and having an 8-track player in the car was considered the height of sophistication and, later, almost a necessity.

The 8-track tapes were seen as some new luxurious modern technology when they were first introduced back in 1965, and remained popular until the ‘80s, when their popularity was replaced with cassettes, and later CDs.