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10 Gadgets That Really Should Be Obsolete By Now


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Miles of Tape
We’re hoping the people still hoarding VHS tapes just haven’t gotten around to digitizing them yet. © amnachphoto/iStock/Thinkstock
We’re hoping the people still hoarding VHS tapes just haven’t gotten around to digitizing them yet. © amnachphoto/iStock/Thinkstock

"The familiar VHS tape is rapidly going the way of the obsolete 8-track." That dusty snippet is culled directly from a Washington Post article in 2005 [source: Chediak]. And more than a decade later, guess what? The VHS tape? No, it's not quite dead.

Americans continue buying VHS format tapes by the millions. It's difficult to ascertain the exact purpose of these tapes. Perhaps they make good bookends. Maybe the tape is unwound and used for Halloween decorations.

All snarky tones aside, VHS has proved surprisingly resilient in the age of DVD and streaming media, not to mention all sorts of tape formats with superior characteristics. In 2005, nearly 90 percent of Americans owned VHS players. Nowadays, that number is 30 percent lower [source: Garber], but considering the age of VHS, still an impressive sign of this technology's longevity.

You really should let go of VHS. Let streaming media take over the ribbons of tape you're hoarding in your closet. The time has come.