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Forty-Five Over Eight

2006-05-18 - 12:40 p.m.

Again, lots of things happening, and I just haven't had time to post. By end-of-month, things may settle.

MAY settle. We'll see.


Last night, Brin added a little bit of "old stuff" to the Comments section. Anyone who remembers The Beatles BA (before Apple) will recall the Capitol Records "swirl" label. I actually have a few of these stashed away somewhere. As a fan of The Boys, I liked the idea of the swirl decorating the Comments area.

I liked it better than Brin's original idea...which was a picture of an eight-track tape. For those of you too young to remember, a bit of Technical Explanation: an eight-track tape is a loop of tape in a plastic case. When you plugged it into a player, the tape would be moved in only one direction. On the tape were four channels of two tracks each. You would choose a channel - say, #1 - and it would play the two tracks (left and right - stereo) with whatever songs were on that channel. When the channel ended, a tab on the tape would automatically cause the channel to change to the next one. Then it would play THOSE tracks, and so on. When channel #4 was played, the tab would change it to channel #1. You could plug an eight-track into the player and it would play endlessly.

I hated the idea of eight-tracks. One, because of how the eight-track concept worked - a tape loop that moved in only one direction - you CAN'T REWIND. So if you wanted to hear a song again, you had to WAIT until the tape played through and manually change the channel back to whatever one had the song you wanted...because the tab would make it change anyway, whether you wanted it or not. Some players had a fast-forward button, but if you missed the song start point, too bad - you just had to fast-forward again.

The second thing was the killer for me. The tape was a loop, so it was a fixed length. Let's say, 15 minutes worth of tape. That meant usually three or four songs per channel. BUT...if the songs were too long, often the manufacturers would SPLIT A SONG BETWEEN TWO CHANNELS. It would fade out mid-tune, change the channel, and FADE IN again. I vividly remember looking at an eight-track of Cheap Trick's release HEAVEN TONIGHT, and noticing that "Top Of The World" was split that way! Why would I want to have a ten-second bit of silence in a song, espectially one I really LIKED??

So forget eight-track. I stuck with albums and 45s and made mix tapes.

And that's why the 45 is there.


History lesson over. Be seeing you.


1 comments so far

Brin - 2006-05-18 17:12:07 -
I forgot about the crappy limitations of 8 Tracks! Eww!


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