Retro Tech - The PlayTape

  • Another trip down HiFi memory lane ... but probably more like a magical mystery tour, since very few people remember this one. Please CLICK 'SHOW MORE' to see all info.
    You can often find playtapes - sometimes BNIB on eBay -
    See my other HiFi videos here:
    There are some useful playtape links on my blog:

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Comments • 80

  • notmyrealname
    notmyrealname 3 days ago

    Just fixed up a model 1100 and it really is a great way to listen to the Beatles, lo-fi and mono, just the way it was back then! I have a couple Beatles tapes but not this one...I NEED this one!

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  • David Cross
    David Cross 7 days ago

    The copy right laws need to be change. Just absurd that we can't play music that we don't even get compensation for. I remember Prince would tell his minion internet searchers to pull down any video with a hint of his music. Even a if it was a Birthday party music in the background.... Artist are assholes fascist thieves. We are not stealing your money or art.

  • Captain_Torlek
    Captain_Torlek 14 days ago

    i remember having something that looked similar but it was a record player, radio and casette player. cant remember the manufacturer and i am quite sure i dont have it anymore

  • Steven Triller
    Steven Triller 20 days ago

    Wow. It is like a Portable compact cassette player from the 1980’s or 90‘S. Less music, still! What a novelty for 1960’s people. Portable music in the 1960’s, great!

  • Alvin Marcus
    Alvin Marcus Month ago

    Sure don't remember these. What amazes me is there are things like this in Warehouses to this day.

  • Jim Blackler
    Jim Blackler Month ago +2

    Heaven would be listening to PlayTape with Mat on his boat.

  • Charley Pearson
    Charley Pearson Month ago +1

    Talk about bringing back memories! Hadn't thought about these in so long. I bought a machine that played these and had an AM radio in it to take to Vietnam in 1967. I don't remember what cartridges i had, but I remember listening to Radio Singapore on it. Thank you!

  • fargokid71
    fargokid71 Month ago +2

    I think it was Christmas of 1965 I got one of these from Sears in Pasadena CA. I got it with 2 cartridges, one was Do You Believe In Magic. I was so excited because the knob said Stereo BUT it wasn't stereo. As much as I tried, all I got out of the dual-track was 2 songs being played at the same time. I ended up trying to record my own music on the cartridges. I had to take it apart and re-wire the heads. Never did work. So I had a stereo turntable but needed another amplifier. I converted it to be Channel 2 of my new stereo. It worked OK that way. The whole stereo looked like crap, but it worked.

  • Digital Crow
    Digital Crow Month ago

    I was very very young when some bigger cassettes existed maybe they were these playtapes i don't know . What i know is my awful experience with cassette players they always chew the tape it was a nightmare.

  • -
    - Month ago +1

    I have to say that is one beautiful machine! Even if I wasn't going to listen to it I'd happily just have it there to look at it!

  • Stephen Beyer
    Stephen Beyer 2 months ago +3

    Your stuff always seems to bring a smile to my face

  • jagmarc
    jagmarc 2 months ago +6

    Deserves a video of its own just about the rarity of finding old batteries that haven't leaked

  • effyleven
    effyleven 2 months ago +5

    I was quite pleased it turned out to be working, and working reasonably well.

  • Mary A
    Mary A 3 months ago

    first time i've heard of this, thanks, love learning something new. what a cute gadget

  • OddSockGames
    OddSockGames 3 months ago +6

    how do you, of all people not recognize the RCA Logo on the batteries!

    • Crusader1089
      Crusader1089 2 months ago +3

      He says he doesn't recognise them "as anything current", a recently used design. He obviously knows RCA.

    • Theo Lotz
      Theo Lotz 3 months ago

      i was thinking it was the Pay n Save that he didn't recognize ... maybe not a local chain there or something

  • Highly Polished Turd
    Highly Polished Turd 4 months ago +3

    If that logo is, as you say, the last remnant of mankind, the alien archeologists will be confused!

    SCREAMIN' LORD BYRON 4 months ago +3

    I thought I knew of all the tape formats but I had never heard of this!

  • Mike
    Mike 5 months ago +2

    The beta of audio tapes.

  • dolinick
    dolinick 5 months ago

    i think i found some playtapes in my grandma's house when i was a child. i had no idea what it was.

  • Steven Vlahos
    Steven Vlahos 5 months ago +11

    WOW!...I had this exact machine when I was about 10 years old...many moons ago (1967!) I still remember having a Herman's Hermits tape with four songs on it. I don't remember what other tapes I had, but definitely Herman's Hermits. I just saw this tape on eBay for over $20

  • Chris Horry
    Chris Horry 5 months ago +2

    I don't think I've ever seen one of those working, I remember seeing them in thrift shops in the 1980s. I'm sure they were all broken.

  • bigjonseattle
    bigjonseattle 5 months ago +19

    The battery price tag is from Pay & Save, a drug/variety store founded in Seattle in 1940 that survived into the 1980s. A well-known "secret" is that the price they paid for an item is represented by the letters at the lower right. This battery cost them 15 cents - the letters in the word Charleston represent the digits 1 - 9, with the n equaling 0.

    • Erik Griswold
      Erik Griswold Month ago

      Pay N Save was first bought out by Thrifty/Payless in 1988 (the name stayed alive until 1992) and then they merged with RiteAid.

  • Morgan Smiley
    Morgan Smiley 5 months ago +2

    very cool....never heard of this product.

  • Bored Fartless
    Bored Fartless 5 months ago

    New and all shiny. Shows a rusted capstan

  • TurboDV8
    TurboDV8 6 months ago +14

    Those old batteries didn't leak because they weren't alkaline. When you want a guaranteed leak, install duracell's, just as shown in this video.

    • Charles Clark
      Charles Clark 2 months ago +1

      As someone old enough to remember when most batteries were not alkalines, I can assure you that I had a number of devices, specifically several flashlights (torches for UK peoples) ruined by non-alkaline battery leakage. Leakage is not something that started with alkalines.

    • ladamyre
      ladamyre 5 months ago

      @blipco5 Carbon cathode in manganese-dioxoide inside a zinc can anode, it's called the zinc-carbon battery.

    • blipco5
      blipco5 6 months ago +1

      TurboDV8 ...I believe they were carbon somethingorother.

  • Samuel Gallezzo
    Samuel Gallezzo 6 months ago +7

    Do you have a museum for your collection?

  • trublgrl
    trublgrl 6 months ago +4

    ME: What if I want to play the same song again?
    1968: What makes you think you would want to do that?

  • DTD110865
    DTD110865 6 months ago +5

    The person you bought this from obviously went through a lot to preserve this tape player. Much like what I like to do when I have old electronics. I don't always succeed, but I like to preserve them, box cables and all.

  • Henri Thibodeau
    Henri Thibodeau 6 months ago +5

    50 odd years later, I learn about this thanks to the Internet - thanks, good job.

  • TheOldTeddy
    TheOldTeddy 6 months ago

    Had one, styling less blockey. Was called 4-track. Had all Beetles{cut down} albums...

  • Jack
    Jack 6 months ago +13

    Never felt so old when somebody said they didn't recognize RCA

    • Casey Broughton
      Casey Broughton 6 months ago +11

      He said he didn't "recognize the logo on them *as being anything current*." I'd be very surprised if Techmoan didn't recognize RCA at all given his penchant for old tech.

    • szr8
      szr8 6 months ago +8

      I believe he meant as a battery brand.

  • Calvin Saxon
    Calvin Saxon 6 months ago +5

    If the video is for educational purposes (which it is) and you're not playing the whole song in its entirety, uncommented, then it absolutely falls under the fair use clause and is not a copyright infringement...unless of course you're making money from the advertising on this TheXvid video (oops, we've found the unspoken condition here).

    • Bomb Twenty
      Bomb Twenty 5 months ago

      Copyright law is regional, we don't have Fair Use in the UK

  • creator Space
    creator Space 6 months ago

    It's done well.

  • Dean DuPont
    Dean DuPont 6 months ago +11

    @ 2:15
    I didn't know it was possible for anyone to be that White, you know?
    Although I do recognize the woman's posture. That's the "Whee, the Quaaludes are kicking in!" method of walking.

  • madhat2k
    madhat2k 6 months ago +4

    That PlayTape logo is jogging my memory for some reason but I can't think of where i would have seen it before. Don't recall ever listening to anything in this format.

  • Dan Banks
    Dan Banks 6 months ago +2

    Never saw one of those... ..and i.v been to Morocco.... uncle spent time in south Korea..and japan in the 80s while in the navy.... he had brought the craziest home stereo i ever saw from japan.... it had laser disk video also... but he had the real to real going... he would play that a lot...eagles n doubie bro. Would play for 6 hrs....

  • Ingrid Bernstein
    Ingrid Bernstein 6 months ago +10

    Fucking youtube , cool , we can't check quality of sound , because of copyright .

  • Beth Peterson
    Beth Peterson 6 months ago

    When I was little I did play 8-tracks tapes and records. 8-tracks was easy to used and don’t have to worry about the music. It will repeat the album over again. I did it once when I was 11 years old after battling a flu or some type of illness.

  • chris fuentes
    chris fuentes 6 months ago +2

    lol the commentary.

  • Topher S
    Topher S 6 months ago +9

    I don't see why playing a short excerpt of music isn't covered under fair use. Odd.

    • Bored Fartless
      Bored Fartless 5 months ago

      There is no fair use in the UK, copyright law is much tougher. What you can get away with in America you can't over here. Even then you can get clips insta blocked if they contain copyrighted material. I was selling an old movie boxset on ebay in an asian language I wasn't sure of. I thought I'd upload a short clip so buyers could decide for themselves. I uploaded 10 seconds, immediately blocked.

    • noooddle
      noooddle 6 months ago +1

      What the guy wanted to do was clearly fair use. TheXvid's testicular atrophy is the issue.

    • Jared Maddox
      Jared Maddox 6 months ago +5

      Because TheXvid is a mixture of deformed, bribed, and lazy. There's a lawsuit that I understand is arguing that TheXvid isn't protected by the DMCA because it doesn't implement the consumer-friendly bits.

  • Darrell Larose
    Darrell Larose 6 months ago +2

    I had a Play Tape machine that my Aunt gifted to me, but I could never found any of the tapes. I only had one Ventures tape with covers of a few TV themes...

  • starsiegeplayer
    starsiegeplayer 6 months ago +7

    Never heard of this format. I'm amazed the batteries hadn't leaked!

  • Dolphin Beta
    Dolphin Beta 7 months ago +1

    Video atarts at 5:35

  • Michael Harness
    Michael Harness 7 months ago +1

    Had the radio player but never found the tapes

  • gil wood
    gil wood 7 months ago +3

    Ah, I just found what I have been wondering about since I was a little kid (1970) We had a few of these lying around but no player. Thanks Just subscribed

  • Zappa Wench
    Zappa Wench 7 months ago +11

    What a shame that you got a copyright strike! This should be the very definition of fair use, for review and criticism of an obsolete format. It's not like you had a lot of choice as to which playtape was available. If only it had been classical music, out of copyright and in the public domain, all your viewers have been able to hear it! Never mind, it's not your fault at all and keep up the good work.

  • Professor Pat Pending
    Professor Pat Pending 7 months ago +1

    Appreciate your videos. 👏

  • britcom1
    britcom1 7 months ago +3

    Wow, I never knew these existed.

  • IstvanN1961
    IstvanN1961 7 months ago +18

    TheXvid's copyright infringement people must be a bit daft. Even if Techmoan played an entire song on this device, through that one speaker and then recorded to the video via microphone, it really wouldn't be worth downloading to a computer to be listened to later, or to be copied to a CD or tape. The sound quality would not be worth "stealing" the song in order to avoid paying for it. And then there are "Fair Use" laws that allow you to use a portion of the song for educational or instructional purposes. Just crazy.

    • 月英Yueying
      月英Yueying 7 months ago

      but its the beatles and their only musical legacy is to be played in documentaries

  • gsilva220
    gsilva220 7 months ago +12

    You know the batteries are old when it's not 1.5 volts, but rather 1 1/2 volts...

    • IstvanN1961
      IstvanN1961 6 months ago +2

      @RedRyder Yes, I am a lunatic. Does that make you happy?

    • RedRyder
      RedRyder 6 months ago

      @IstvanN1961 Are you a lunatic? What the hell does reading an analog clock have to do with reading fractions? Furthermore, I seriously doubt that you even know what the decimal version of 1/8th is without googling it, let alone 1/132nd.

    • IstvanN1961
      IstvanN1961 7 months ago +1

      People under 50 don't seem to understand fractions. Very young people don't seem to understand that "half past three" means 3:30!

    • IstvanN1961
      IstvanN1961 7 months ago +1

      People under 50 don't seem to understand fractions it seems. Very young people don't even understand that "half past three" means 3:30!

    • IstvanN1961
      IstvanN1961 7 months ago +2

      Apparently people under 50 do not really understand fractions. Very young people might even understand something as simple as "half-past 3" when telling time (3:30). Very strange.

  • David Brown
    David Brown 7 months ago +6

    I got one of these for Christmas in 68. I also got two tapes to play: "Children of the Future" by the Steve Miller Band, and "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie. Santa was cooler than I was. The playtape didn't survive the decade, alas. (But I still have another gift Santa brought me that year: my first five redline Hot Wheels.)

  • Magnus Wilén
    Magnus Wilén 8 months ago +1

    At first I thought that it said "LOL" on that PlayTape cartridge @ 00:27

  • Matthew Hopkins
    Matthew Hopkins 8 months ago +5

    Love the pointlessly over engineered but very cool battery compartment.

  • Adam Wishneusky
    Adam Wishneusky 8 months ago +1

    I should buy a boat cat dot png

  • Paulo Robalo
    Paulo Robalo 8 months ago +12

    Just two notes:
    1- Batteries from the 60's, and they haven't leaked... that's not hi-tech, that's a miracle!!!
    2- Deleting the video due to copyright infringement? Doesn't make sense, if you watch Techmoan videos, you like music, and if you like music, you already bought a copy of Sgt.Peppers...
    As always, thank you!

    • katho8472
      katho8472 6 months ago +3

      @Korn Fan McGee Then you don't listen to it, and you don't buy it anyway. No harm done. That's the whole pointlessness of the harsh copyright policy. If anything, it will only *help* sales if you can "promote" it by playing excerpts. Deleting will only hinder sales.

    • Korn Fan McGee
      Korn Fan McGee 8 months ago +1

      Paulo Robalo but what if you don’t like the Beatles, because I don’t

  • Howie Howder
    Howie Howder 9 months ago +3

    I bought my 2-Track player in 1964 and still have it and saved some tapes too.

  • Smashed Penguin
    Smashed Penguin 10 months ago +11

    Those batteries were the best part of the find to me

    • Chris Thomas
      Chris Thomas 7 months ago +2

      @John Dye He's probably got a display cabinet for little things like that

    • John Dye
      John Dye 9 months ago +1

      you think he just threw them away?

  • kingkongz88
    kingkongz88 11 months ago +7

    Thank you! I've been trying forever to figure out what those old tape systems were called. After this video I googled for pics and discovered my old model. My sister and I both had a Playtape 2 Track 1110 and spent many nights listening to 60's music on those before I got a record player and a radio with a mono-ear piece I would hide in my pillow side ear, when pretending to be asleep, while listening to rock stations. The Playtape and a stack of cassettes got my music obsession started. Love your channel.

  • HulkHogan
    HulkHogan Year ago +13

    That device is beautifully built, they don't make electronics like that anymore.

  • Koishi
    Koishi Year ago +10

    That is the Radio Corporation of America Logo (RCA) on the batteries

    • JoshiBOI
      JoshiBOI 9 months ago +3

      He said it's a logo that he doesn't recognize "to be current".

  • klyted2
    klyted2 Year ago +5

    It sounds extremely harsh and too trebly. But of course I assume in real life like you said it would be totally listenable.

    • NewHampshireBoy
      NewHampshireBoy Year ago +2

      How would you know? How good is his camera mike? Were you listening on a phone, tablet or computer? Speakers or headphones? What level of quality? Unless you were right in Techmoan's room you couldn't possibly know.

  • Nunya Business
    Nunya Business Year ago +13

    Does anyone else think those batteries are retro awesome.. I hope he saved those even if there dead.. they'd look great in a curio or repurposed.

    • puckcat22679
      puckcat22679 7 months ago +2

      Charles Campuz If that were going to happen, it would have by now. Something unusual happened inside this battery that allowed the can, which serves as the anode, to passivate, causing the reaction which DOES normally consume the anode in a zinc-carbon cell like these, leading to leaks, to stop. In short, if it were going to leak, it already would have.

    • puckcat22679
      puckcat22679 7 months ago +1

      Ian Oliver carbon-zinc batteries are far more leak prone than alkaline. The short version: alkaline batteries leak due to pressure buildup inside the battery, which is normally sealed. This can eventually split the seals, allowing leakage, but it doesn't always happen. In zinc-carbon batteries, the casing of the cell itself is actually consumed by the chemical reaction that makes the battery work, so unless something unusual happens that stops the reaction, the battery WILL eventually leak. The reason being that the zinc can, which is under the cardboard label, oxidizes as part of the chemical reaction that causes current to flow. However, even if not in use, the electrolyte still gradually oxidizes the zinc, eventually corroding though it completely. In the case of these batteries, I'm going to guess that the liquid-tight seal at the top of the battery is compromised, allowing the liquid to evaporate. Once that happens, and the layer of electrolyte (that is no longer in solution) that is in contact with the can has reacted, the zinc is insulated from further reaction. The fact that his battery tester's needle literally did nothing suggests that this is what happened. (yes, the needle moves slightly... Whether it's connected or not. Cheap battery testers have zero damping, so every slight movement of the tester moves the needle)

    • Ian Oliver
      Ian Oliver 8 months ago +2

      @Charles Campuz Those batteries are surely carbon-zinc, not alkaline; do those leak at all? Even if they do, these ones haven't for ~60 years so far.

    • Charles Campuz
      Charles Campuz 11 months ago +1

      No, don’t bother. Batteries are like little time bombs, they’ll eventually leak and destroy their own containers. You’re better off recovering the label than the entire battery.

  • A R
    A R Year ago +9

    Yep, Ken''s correct on that one. I'm damn curios about those batteries. I've never seen a battery even close to that age that did not disintegrate and destroy the product.

  • Ken Hill
    Ken Hill Year ago +13

    No way am I going to read through all the comments, but this must have been a used or returned unit seeing as the batteries had price stickers on them. Those stickers say Pay 'n Save, which was a drug/variety store chain here in the Pacific Northwest (USA).

    • Neon Nights
      Neon Nights 8 months ago +6

      @Ian OliverBack in the 80's and 90's Radio Shack (at least in Canada) sold many different types of loose batteries sans packaging. They would have like these wooden shelves/mini bins with a large selection of different types and odd brands you never knew existed/couldn't get in normal department stores.

    • Ian Oliver
      Ian Oliver 8 months ago

      Interesting that they apparently sold batteries loose, with no packaging whatsoever.

  • notvalidcharacters
    notvalidcharacters Year ago +2

    No explanation of how it works!? Going to have to assume it's a continuous loop like a Fidelipac?

    DEVLAD Year ago +4

    Blown away by the condition of the player after all that time, especially the batteries

  • Barrel Roll
    Barrel Roll Year ago +2

    Anyone here know how i can replace a pressure pad on one of these? I dont even have a player, but i found a pretty hard to find playtape that kinda means a lot to me. If i can figure out what exactly id need to replace it i'll definitley get a player.

    • Ian Oliver
      Ian Oliver 8 months ago +1

      Can you find some of that adhesive-backed sponge tape (weatherstripping maybe?) that he usually uses for that?

    • vgel
      vgel Year ago +1

      Barrel Roll not sure what the material is but you could probably pull the sponges out of a blank cassette and cut them down?

  • Mark Newton-John
    Mark Newton-John Year ago +4

    Great! Never heard of it, but as a kid in 1968, my big sister had a 4-track portable tape deck. Your machine is in fabulous shape.

    • ユーネ / Yuune
      ユーネ / Yuune 6 months ago

      @Tuna Yücer
      anime can be enjoyed by all.

    • Tuna Yücer
      Tuna Yücer Year ago +2

      Mark Newton-John so you are around 60 years old, and watch anime?

  • Brian Cullen
    Brian Cullen Year ago +3

    Brilliant review...hope that boat is still goin well lol

  • Charles Pettit
    Charles Pettit Year ago +3

    The person who reported and took down your play tape video before is just mad they don't have that album

    • Meesguy
      Meesguy Year ago +3

      Charles Pettit it’s the TheXvid auto detect system, it hears copyrighted music and automatically takes it down

  • Stephen Williams
    Stephen Williams Year ago +1

    Found one in a pawn shop,ft Gordon Georgia. And had it for short time. Envy took over, and despite a locked, locker ( pins on hinges were pulled out and replaced) thief never found. Thanks on for memory's de kv4li

  • loli moka
    loli moka Year ago +6

    wish every techmoan video was sarcastic as this, quite brilliant dialogue

  • Mineingmo15
    Mineingmo15 Year ago +4

    "but probably more like a magical mystery tour"
    i see what you did there

  • Shiboline M'Ress
    Shiboline M'Ress Year ago +4

    In 1968 or 69 I got a Playtape Hipster with 2 playtapes of Herman's Hermits songs. The player and tapes are long since lost, and I couldn't remember the player model or tape format. Thank you so much for helping me reconnect with that part of my childhood!

  • Don Brennan
    Don Brennan Year ago

    Love your vids

  • Spottedleaf 2211
    Spottedleaf 2211 Year ago +5

    Kinda look like a retarded floppy disk

  • Pipestud3 CorncobPuffer

    Challenge: can you find any of those playtapes in stereo. Also, what type of outputs come with it. Finally how much does the machine weigh. Looks like a fun novelty to have in ones collection. As always great videos and keep up the good work.

  • Glen Banks
    Glen Banks Year ago +4

    You're pretty brave to try out that machine with Sgt Pepper. That tape is worth some bucks and the machine is NOT.

  • NotSnarl
    NotSnarl Year ago +4

    Those are RCA...give me a break, man.