Have you ever heard of “shoulder season?”
Typically, “shoulder season” is that brief window in between two seasons. Y’know, that few weeks of late summer, early fall, or spring leading into summer where weather-wise you are in between the ice cream trucks/swimming pools and the falling leaves and gourds. Home audio formats have enjoyed a few of their own “shoulder seasons” before transitioning into a new dominant medium.
And that brings me to my beloved reel to reel tapes. Not quite as fad-worthy as 8 tracks or minidiscs, but still they had a relatively short commercial run. They began in the “mad men” era and had pretty much died off by the mid-1970s. Essentially, they are giant cassette tapes with no plastic case - some collectors call them “open reels” vs the standard cassette tape.