I was quite the audio buff back in the day. It's not that I haven't kept up. I can fumble my way through iTunes and I have an iPod and a huge collection of MP3s. I also have CDs, 45s, LPs, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, DVDs, VHS and Beta videotapes. There was one mystery box sitting in my office for seven years. I really wasn't sure what was in it. When I opened it, I discovered it was my old Technics turntable and my Sanyo Beta VCR. Man, were they heavy! They don't make them like that anymore!
In the back of my mind, I was remembering that both of these pieces of equipment had "issues" the last time I tried them. I first plugged in the turntable. I moved the arm and the light came on, but the platter didn't spin. I looked under the platter and there was what looked like a rubber band. It was the drive belt, totally dry-rotted. There was also the fact that it wouldn't shut off by itself. Onto the trash heap.
Next was the Beta VCR. I found some old Beta tapes and hooked it all up to the TV. I played some Rolling Stones videos and it worked just fine and then it stopped. I took out the tape and popped in another. I had a picture for a split second and then I heard a crunching sound. I hit the eject button. It didn't budge. I had to physically pry the tape out and along came a string of videotape. Onto the trash heap with that too. I also burned (struck a match to, for you youngsters) about 90 Beta tapes. They went up in smoke real fast.
Then out in the garage I found my old 8-track recorder (not just a player). If I remember right, it needed a small black rubber band and it would work again. The last one dry-rotted. I'll work on that later. Notice the 8-track tape of the B-52s. Yeah, I had it goin' on in the '80s.
Also, was my RCA Videodisc Player. These were manufactured in Indiana during the 1980s. Movies were pretty easy to come by then. The movies were about the size of an LP and you slid them in the drawer and pulled out the sleeve. You pulled up the lever and the movie would hit the needle and start to play. Much like an LP, you could get a movie that "skipped". Here I am displaying The Pink Panther movie. I have plenty of other titles like On the Waterfront and The Big Chill. I wonder if there is any market today for these machines. They had such a short-lived popularity.
I also gave a 1986 SONY Discman to a neighbor who didn't have a CD player. It all still worked but the original headphones. I even had a carrying case and accessories. I have a double cassette boom box out in my garage. I'll listen to the radio if I'm out there working. The cassette player eats tapes though.
I found a receipt for my original stereo from 1983. I paid almost $500 for a turntable, speakers, amp, and maybe a cassette player. I have most of the original boxes. I wouldn't pay that kind of money today; no way. And I had no business spending that kind of money back then. I was a stupid young kid.
It's a bit like going through the Smithsonian here.