How to Play a 4 Track Cartridge on an 8 Track Player

One of the main differences between 4-track cartridges and 8-track cartridges is that the pinch roller (the wheel used to help move the tape) is located inside the 8-track cartridge - but, inside the 4-track tape player itself. Therefore, a 4-track cartridge has a hole in the back where the internal pinch roller goes. You can still play a 4-track cartridge in an 8-track player using this method.


  1. 1
    Get out a 4-track cartridge.
  2. 2
    Get out an 8-track cartridge that you no longer care for.
  3. 3
    Open up the 8-track cartridge.
  4. 4
    Open up the 4-track cartridge.
  5. 5
    Remove the tape from the 8-track cartridge. You may dispose of it if you wish.
  6. 6
    Remove the tape from the 4-track cartridge.
  7. 7
    Place the 4-track tape into the 8-track cartridge.
  8. 8
    Close up the 8-track cartridge.
  9. 9
    Insert tape into 8-track player and there you go... You can now play a 4-track tape inside an 8-track player!


  • Some 4-track tapes have a long metal rod draped over the reel of tape to keep it secure. This can easily be pulled out.
  • There are certain ways to open up an 8-track tape depending on the manufacturer. Different record labels have different cartridge designs. The easiest to open are the ones with a pry tab on top and two more on the bottom.
  • Most 4-track tapes can be opened by unscrewing a screw underneath the front label. This will damage the label, though.


  • Handle the 4-track tape carefully. If you are too hasty in transplanting it from the original cartridge to the 8-track cartridge, you risk tangling the tape.

Things You'll Need

  • 8-track cartridge
  • 4-track cartridge
  • Small Phillips head screwdriver (For opening cartridges)
  • Small flat-head screwdriver (For opening cartridges)

Article Info

Categories: Hardware