I’m a pretty big Atari fan and I’ve never heard of the Atari Music System and chances are that you haven’t either. Read on…
Nearly everyone remembers at least one of the Atari game consoles. For me, my life was the Atari 2600 when I was a kid. It’s what kept me gaming for hours on end when I could not afford to pound quarters into the games at the local arcade. Of course, I also had various experiences with other Atari products like the Atari 800 computer, Atari Lynx handheld gaming system, and the Atari Jaguar home gaming system. Note the common theme — all are computer-ish gaming-ish systems.
That’s why finding this odd piece of Atari history was so surprising. The Atari Video Music system is a rather boring looking piece of equipment created in 1976 by Bob Brown (the creator of the home Pong system). It connects to your stereo via standard RCA style jacks and uses the music signals to create various psychedelic patterns on your TV screen (this was the 70’s, remember!) There are several different basic modes which control the base pattern created on the screen, and then you can manipulate a series of knobs to further tweak the visual display to suit your mood or desires.
Here’s a video showing it in action:
Currently, there is one of these Atari Video Music systems available on Ebay. At the time of writing this, it’s only at $149.99, so it’s still pretty cheap if you want to own a very unusual piece of Atari history!