8 Track

8 Track : The First Mobile App

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An argument between two strong-willed inventors - Bill Lear and Earl "Madman" Muntz - sparked the world's first mobile app. Here, for the first time, is the story behind the development of the 8 Track tape player. In late 1965, consumers had two ready options for listening to recorded music - a radio or a record player. But with baby boomers just coming of age in the 1960s, along with new advances in magnetic tape and an explosion of music, Lear and his team ignored the naysayers and developed the 8 Track tape player and tape cartridges. Through a friendship with Henry Ford II, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., Lear lined up his first customer. Lear also convinced David Sarnoff, chairman of RCA Victor, to dedicate 175 albums to the new medium. But Ford's powerful product planners were not convinced Lear could develop a combined AM radio and 8 Track tape player from scratch (hence the first mobile app). Enter Motorola, which was desperate to keep its share of Ford work by bringing forward a novel music playback system. As Ford, Motorola, RCA, and Lear worked through their separate interests, they launched the 8 Track against stiff resistance. Many of the major record labels were reluctant to support the new medium given the associated costs of design, copyrights, materials, production, distribution, and marketing. But for consumers, artists, musicians, and engineers, the 8 Track represented the Holy Grail of a mobile music experience, and millions of dollars in sales. Here, for the first time, is the inside story.
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 152 x 229 x 10mm | 245g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507712359
  • 9781507712351

About Rj King

I've been writing business stories in Detroit for more than 20 years. Nearly every culture in the world has a presence here, or visits on a regular basis. That's what makes the Motor City tick, along with world-class manufacturing facilities, from hundreds of tool shops, tech centers, R&D Facilities, and stamping and assembly plants. There's a thriving art and music scene, a growing tech community, one of the nation's highest homeowner rates, and on and on. Right now, I am editor of "DBusiness" magazine and "DBusiness Daily News." And from 1990 to 2006, I was a business writer for the "Detroit News." That's a lot of stories. I had my first book published in 2013, "Passport to the Corner Office: The Starter's Guide to Corporate Life." It's geared to high school, college, and graduate students, or anyone looking to successfully navigate the corporate world. Next up is a book about Detroit Aircraft Corp., which was founded in 1922 by Edsel Ford, William Stout, and others. There's also a children's book, along with a detective series, which hopefully are all out this year. Apart from that, I attend 200-plus corporate and charitable events each year, including the North American International Auto Show, industry conferences, cultural ceremonies, charitable fundraisers, speeches, and anniversaries. I also sit on the boards of Detroit Aircraft, Brazen Sports, Beyond Basics, Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, Detroit Athletic Club Executives Club, and the Brother Rice Business Alliance. In addition, I am on the board of trustee of The Parade Co. "8 Track" is dedicated to my Dad, our family, and anyone who appreciates game-changing technology. And so we never forget that a generation can create and launch a product that changes the world. And all within nine month's time. For inquiries: rjking@rjkingpublishing.com
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