Pat Pilcher: YouTube adds 'tape mode'

The Ampex VRX-1000. Photo / File
The Ampex VRX-1000. Photo / File

It isn't a date most of us are likely to remember, but videotape has turned a sparkling 57 years old. The folks at YouTube hadn't forgotten either.

To celebrate videotape nearing superannuation eligibility, YouTube have added a "tape mode" button to some clips on the site. I guess this was supposed to add some fun for those who chose to watch cat videos in "tape mode," but all that static, fuzz and noise really did was remind me just how crappy a format VHS really was. Not that VHS is that old, the birthday in question is actually for the Ampex VRX-1000, which was supposedly the first commercially viable videotape recorder and was launched way back on April 14th, 1956.

Before then, film was used and it was a pretty clunky experience with film having to be developed before it could be used, and editing literally involving taking scissors to film.

Thinking about it, I wonder if in 2062, when YouTube has its 57th birthday, if they'll add a YouTube button so terabit broadband owners can experience the joys of ultra-low def video, crappy adverts and even better still, streaming video in dial-up.

- NZ Herald

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