Meet The Tefifon, A Combination 8-Track And Record Sort Of Thing

When I try to name all of the old audio formats I can think of, my list is pretty much just various varieties of records and tapes. I had no idea that around the middle of the 20th century, somebody actually combined the two into something he called the Tefifon.

Apparently these things never really caught on outside of Germany, even though for a while near the end of their run they were imported to other countries including the United States. Here’s a bit more from Wikipedia.

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).

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