Friday, 10 April 2015

The Tefifon

One of my favourite things about audio technology is the vast amount of strange, obscure formats and machines that exist in the world. For every innovation that changed the way people listened to music, the CD for example, there were a handful of lesser know ones that never quite made it (hands up who still owns a Minidisc player?).

The Tefifon is a little known audio format from 1950's Germany and utilises a thin, flexible vinyl strip to store music. It's coiled up inside a plastic cartridge much like an old 8-track tape would be. Techmoan, a youtube user with a wonderful channel full of interesting and informative tech reviews (I really recommend his HI-FI videos playlist), got hold of a Tefifon and has produced a detailed and pretty fascinating deconstruction of the machine.
 Whilst the machine can hardly be called groundbreaking and the audio quality isn't going to give vinyl a run for it's money, it's beautifully designed and the artwork on the cartridge sleeves is fantastic. It's a wonderful artifact and a clever idea, but I never want to hear that version of "Tutti Frutti" again.

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