8-track tapewikipedia
The 8-track tape (formally Stereo 8; commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track) is a magnetic tape sound-recording technology that was popular in the United States from 1964 to 1988, when the Compact Cassette format took over.
8-track8-track tape8-track cartridge8 Trackeight-track8-track cartridges8-tracks8 TRK8T8 track cartridge

Compact Cassette

cassetteCScassette tape
The 8-track tape (formally Stereo 8; commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track) is a magnetic tape sound-recording technology that was popular in the United States from 1964 to 1988, when the Compact Cassette format took over.
The compact cassette technology was originally designed for dictation machines, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications.

Bill Lear

Bill LearWilliam P. LearLear Industries
Stereo 8 was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA Victor Records (RCA - Radio Corporation of America).
He also invented the battery eliminator for the B battery, and developed the 8-track cartridge, an audio tape system.

Madman Muntz

Earl "Madman" MuntzEarl MuntzMuntz Electronics
It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge introduced by Earl "Madman" Muntz (marketing and television set dealer), which was adapted by Muntz from the Fidelipac cartridge developed by George Eash.
Muntz also pioneered car stereos by creating the Muntz Stereo-Pak, better known as the 4-track cartridge, a predecessor to the 8-track cartridge developed by Lear Industries.

Quadraphonic sound

quadraphonicquadraphonic soundquadrophonic
A later quadraphonic (four-channel sound as opposed to earlier more widely used stereo/two channel sound) version of the format was announced by RCA in April 1970 and first known as Quad-8, then later changed to just Q8.
These recordings were released in reel-to-reel and 8-track cartridge formats.

Reel-to-reel audio tape recording

reel-to-reelreel-to-reel tapereel to reel
The original format for magnetic tape sound reproduction was the reel-to-reel tape recorder, first available in the United States in the late 1940s, but too expensive and bulky to be practical for amateur home use until well into the 1950s.
Originally, this format had no name, since all forms of magnetic tape recorders used it. The name arose only with the need to distinguish it from the several kinds of tape cartridges or cassettes such as the endless loop cartridge developed for radio station commercials and spot announcements in 1954, the full size cassette, developed by RCA in 1958 for home use, as well as the compact cassette developed by Philips in 1962, originally for dictation.

Stereo-Pak

4-track cartridge4-Trackfour-track
It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge introduced by Earl "Madman" Muntz (marketing and television set dealer), which was adapted by Muntz from the Fidelipac cartridge developed by George Eash.
The tape ends in a Stereo-Pak are not connected by a splice made of a conductive material — as are the later "automatic" switching 8-track cartridges.

George Eash

It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge introduced by Earl "Madman" Muntz (marketing and television set dealer), which was adapted by Muntz from the Fidelipac cartridge developed by George Eash.
With the Lear 8-Track cartridge Eashs patent plea failed.

RCA Records

RCARCA VictorVictor
Stereo 8 was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA Victor Records (RCA - Radio Corporation of America).
In September 1965, RCA and Lear Jet Corp. teamed up to release the first stereo 8-track tape music Cartridges (Stereo 8) which were first used in the 1966 line of Ford automobiles and were popular throughout the late 1960s and 1970s.

Live 1975–85

Live/1975-85Paradise by the CLive/1975–85
Another is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Live/1975-85, which was one of the very few boxed sets to be released on vinyl, cassette, compact disc, and eight-track tape.
There was also a record club only release which came on three 8-track cartridges.

Greatest Hits (1988 Fleetwood Mac album)

Greatest Hits1988 greatest hits compilation1988 "Greatest Hits" album
There is a debate among collectors about the last commercial eight-track released by a major label, but the fan/enthusiast internet website "8 Track Heaven" cannot find a major label release past Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits in November 1988.
A number of sources state that this album was the last to be commercially released as an 8-track tape by a major label.

Tape recorder

tape recorderaudio tapetape machine
The 8-track tape (formally Stereo 8; commonly known as the eight-track cartridge, eight-track tape, or simply eight-track) is a magnetic tape sound-recording technology that was popular in the United States from 1964 to 1988, when the Compact Cassette format took over.
The 8-track tape standard, promoted by Bill Lear in the early 1960s, popularized consumer audio playback in automobiles.

OMNI Entertainment System

Milton Bradley's (MB) OMNI Entertainment System was an electronic quiz machine game first released in 1980, similar to Jeopardy! or later You Don't Know Jack video game series, using 8-track tapes for playback analog audio for questions, instructions and answers as well as digital signals in magnetic tape data storage on remaining tracks to load the right answer for counting the score.
The system played primarily trivia question games from 8-track tape cartridges.

LP record

LPvinylvinyl LP
The four tracks were divided into two "programs", typically corresponding to the two sides of an LP record, with each program comprising two tracks read simultaneously for stereo (two channel) sound playback.
Cartridge and cassette tapes were more convenient and less expensive than reel-to-reel tapes, and they became popular for use in automobiles beginning in the mid-1960s.

The Latest

Alive
Also, bands sometimes release eight-tracks as special releases; for example, The Melvins released a limited-time, live eight-track album, Cheap Trick issued a limited edition version of their album The Latest on the format on June 23, 2009, and power electronics solo artist Waves Crashing Piano Chords has released multiple eight-track tapes since 2012, as well as starting an eight-track tape label, H8-Track Stereo.
The album was issued on standard CD as well as limited pressings of vinyl and 8-Track tapes.

Endless tape cartridge

endless loop tape cartridgeendless loopendless-loop
The endless loop tape cartridge was first designed in 1952 by Bernard Cousino around a single reel carrying a continuous loop of standard 1/4-inch, plastic, oxide-coated recording tape running at 3.75 in per second.
PlayTape and the 8-track tape are were made on this technique.

RCA tape cartridge

full size cassette
The first tape cartridge designed for general consumer use, including music reproduction, was the Sound Tape or Magazine Loading Cartridge (RCA tape cartridge), introduced in 1958 by RCA.
Equal to 8-track tape and Stereo-Pak, the tape runs at a standard speed of 3.75 inches per second (IPS).

RCA

RCARadio Corporation of AmericaRCA Records
Stereo 8 was created in 1964 by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, along with Ampex, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Motorola, and RCA Victor Records (RCA - Radio Corporation of America). Some titles were still available as eight-track tapes through Columbia House and RCA (BMG) Music Service Record Clubs until late 1988.
RCA became a major proponent of the eight-track tape cartridge, which it launched in 1965.

Birotron

birotron
The Birotron is a keyboard instrument that uses 8-track cartridge tapes to play sounds whenever a key is pressed on the keyboard.

Animals (Pink Floyd album)

AnimalsAnimals'' (Pink Floyd album)Animals/In the Flesh
Some eight-tracks included extra musical content to fill in time such as a piano solo on Lou Reed's Berlin, extra verses on The Rolling Stones' Some Girls and a guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Animals.
Although his performance was omitted from the vinyl release, it was included on the eight-track cartridge version.

Columbia House

Columbia Record ClubBMG Music ClubColumbia House
Some titles were still available as eight-track tapes through Columbia House and RCA (BMG) Music Service Record Clubs until late 1988.
1982 was the approximate year the 8-track tape disappeared from record stores yet Columbia continued to release new titles in the format until 1988 and finally after the major record labels abandoned the vinyl LP format in 1989, Columbia issued select new titles on vinyl until 1992.

Caught Live + 5

Other examples of this rarity are Freeways by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Live - Bursting Out by Jethro Tull, Live Bullet and Nine Tonight by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Caught Live + 5 by The Moody Blues, The Concert in Central Park by Simon & Garfunkel, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and The Dominoes, Octave by The Moody Blues, the US version of Three Sides Live by Genesis, Pictures at Eleven by Robert Plant and Coda by Led Zeppelin (a record club only release).
The 8-track tape version of this album has the distinction of being one of the few 8-tracks that is arranged exactly like the album, with no song breaks.

Berlin (Lou Reed album)

BerlinBerlin'' (Lou Reed album)Berlin" (Lou Reed song)
Some eight-tracks included extra musical content to fill in time such as a piano solo on Lou Reed's Berlin, extra verses on The Rolling Stones' Some Girls and a guitar solo in Pink Floyd's Animals.
On the initial 8-track tape release of Berlin, there was an untitled one-minute instrumental piano solo performed by Allan Macmillan featured between the songs "Berlin" and "Lady Day," which also appeared in initial cassette releases of the album.

Realistic (brand)

RealisticRealist
Radio Shack (Tandy Corporation) continued to sell blank eight-track cartridges for home recording use under its Realistic brand until 1990.
Also notable were their 8-track tape recorders under the TR- model line and their compact cassette decks under the SCT- model line.

Fidelipac

cartsbroadcast cartridgeendless loop cartridge
It was a further development of the similar Stereo-Pak four-track cartridge introduced by Earl "Madman" Muntz (marketing and television set dealer), which was adapted by Muntz from the Fidelipac cartridge developed by George Eash.
Unlike the later consumer-marketed 8-track cartridge developed later in 1964 by Bill Lear which had the pinch roller integrated in the cartridge, the Fidelipac cartridge had a hole in the right-hand bottom front corner of the cartridge, where the pinch roller, built into the player instead, would swing up into place to support the tape up against the capstan.

Movie projector

movie projectorprojectorfilm projector
The endless loop tape concept continues to be used in modern movie projectors, although in that application the spool is actively rotated and not drawn by tension on the film.
The way the film is fed from the platter to the projector is not unlike an eight-track audio cartridge.