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Flashback Friday: 8-Track Car Stereos (video)

flashback-fridayThere have been many different ways to entertain yourself in a car over the years, but quite possibly the biggest pain in the behind to ever “grace” a car had to be the 8-track cartridge system.

Whenever I think back to the 1970’s, at least what I can remember of them as I was fairly young, one of the first things that pop to mind is those blasted 8-track cassette tapes.  I’m not sure who ever thought these were a good idea, Wikipedia gives you a pretty detailed history, but you still have to wonder what was going through anyone’s mind when they thought them up.  A music format that you couldn’t rewind?  Yep, you had to listen to it in order, and you had to wait for your favorite song to come back around.  No listening to a song over and over with these bad boys.

The reason this even comes up is I was thinking about our own Noah Kravitz writing an article about the distraction of a car that will read your Facebook updates to you.  And he’s right, it’s a silly distraction, but it got me to thinking about how the actual concept is kind of mind boggling.  Think about it, not only is this car accessing your account, but it’s reading the text to you … IN YOUR CAR!  I can remember when cruise control was still considered an optional luxury.

Today you can get Internet radio station Pandora in your car, DVD players, game consoles, built-in cell phones and the list of things in your car is amazing.  I can remember my family’s first car was a 1967 Malibu, and we were living the high life … we had AM and FM radio.  We were fancy.

Considering how far car entertainment has come in my nearly 40 years here on Earth, I almost fear what we’ll see in the coming years.  Holographic phones?  People will just appear in your passenger seat to talk to you?  Who knows, but I’m sure none of it will be as silly as the 8-track.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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