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YouTube celebrates VCR anniversary with 'tape mode’ (VIDEO)


A screenshot of a 'tape mode' video of US gymnast Mary Lou Retton on the balance beam in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google Inc., is celebrating the 57th anniversary of the first commercial Video Cassette Recorder by adding a “tape mode” option to their videos today.

The button, located at the bottom of the video player, allows viewers to watch clips as if they had gone back in time in a DeLorean and the video was being played on a VCR, fuzzy lines and all.

In a message on Google Plus, YouTube called this effect “the magic feel of vintage video tapes.” For this viewer, who grew up in Indonesia and Pakistan in the 1980s and so only ever saw episodes of “The Cosby Show” on stretched-out, pirated VHS tapes, the button is merely a reminder to be grateful that we now have HD video.

The VHS cassette button appears on only some videos, so it may take some searching to find it. The button is easiest to find in Google’s Chrome browser. 

Watch the video below on YouTube's site to view it in tape mode: