Whoa. Have you guys EVER seen/heard/owned a Tefi­fon? Nope?! I didn't think so! The Tefifon was a German-engineered and -manufactured tape deck that used cartridges "loaded with an end­lessly looped reel of plas­tic tape (much like the later 4-track and 8-track mag­netic audio tape car­tridges) with grooves em­bossed on" the tape surface. So, tho' it was a tape, instead of sound stored magnetically, it had grooves like what we see on records.

The grooves were em­bossed in a he­li­cal fash­ion across the width of the tape, much sim­i­lar to Dic­ta­phone's Dictabelt for­mat, and were read with a sty­lus and am­pli­fied pickup in the player's trans­port. A Tefi­fon car­tridge could hold up to four hours of music, there­fore, most re­leased for the for­mat were usu­ally com­pi­la­tions of pop­u­lar hits or dance music, operas and op­erettas.

Gosh, it's a cool-looking machine, sounds good, could run for hours, and the tapes are even smart looking. So, why'd it fail? The machine was on the market from the late '40s through the mid '60s, but was shuttered after struggling, and failing, to compete with the Long Play album and tape formats. Also, there was a problem of major label disinterest—since most Tefifon releases were by little-known artists, there was little demand. Sidebar for audio trainspotters: The Tefifton was almost exclusively sold in Germany, but was marketed in the States in the mid '60s "under the 'Westrex' name."