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Tefifon, A Little-Known Cartridge-Based German Music Player From the 1950s

The Tefifon is a German-developed and manufactured audio playback format that utilizes cartridges loaded with an endlessly looped reel of plastic tape (much like the later 4-track and 8-track magnetic audio tape cartridges) with grooves embossed on it, similar to the ones on a phonograph record. The grooves were embossed in a helical fashion across the width of the tape, much similar to Dictaphone's Dictabelt format, and are read with a stylus and amplified pickup in the player's transport. A Tefifon cartridge can hold up to four hours of music; therefore, most releases for the format are usually compilations of popular hits or dance music, operas and operettas. Tefifon players were not sold by television and radio dealers in Germany, but rather sold directly by special sales outlets affiliated with Tefi (the manufacturer of the format).

YouTube gadget channel Techmoan takes a look at the Tefifon, a short-lived German music player from the 1950s that uses cartridges with plastic tape that have grooves similar to those on a vinyl record. The technology, which was invented in the 1930s, was completely discontinued by 1965, losing the format war to the much more popular phonograph.

via Museum of Obsolete Media, Gizmodo
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