1973 ad for Sony reel-to-reel tape deck
This is a vintage ad from National Geographic, April 1973. It features a Sony TC-377 reel-to-reel tape deck, with the phrase:
“Whatever weird instrument your great-grandson will be playing, the Sony TC-377 will capture it.”
Click on the image for a larger version:
Ironically, as technology progresses, the lifetime of the media media itself actually shortens. A vinyl record is still listenable 100 years after it’s made, but a CD only lasts about 10 years, and CD-Rs even less. Hard drives have an even shorter life span, but luckily we can make lossless backups of our music now, something that was impossible when this ad was created.
Our expectations of recording media have definitely changed over time, and this ad really underlines that.
The ad itself seems quaint, naive or funny now (and not only because the “weird instrument” of today is loop editing and beat mixing software on computers), but at the time it was quite high-tech. Imagine replacing the tape deck with a handheld digital recorder to put it into perspective of today’s technology. I wonder where we’ll be when we look back on that as ‘quaint’…?