Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Music on the Go

Being a regular biker and loving music, it was a mighty happy day when I obtained my first Walkman from Kmart in the mid-80's. Rather than be a slave to what the DJ's were spinning, I could ride around town listening to my favorite new cassette (for an extra long trip, I might bring an additional one along). I remember hearing that wearing them while riding was dangerous because one might not be able to hear emergency vehicles and such, but hell if I cared.

I can recall how cool it was when they came out with ear buds (they go directly inside the ears as opposed to just over them). Once I arrived at my destination, I could simply put the buds in my pocket. I didn't switch to CD headphones until the late 90's.

This past week marked the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the Walkman. A 13-year old gave up his iPod for a Walkman for a week to commemorate the occasion.


"It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette."


Randy said...

It's pretty amazing what Sony accomplished. I think today's iPod owes a lot to the Walkman.

Rocketstar said...

I loved my sony walkman, I was a walkmanophile.

Timothy Smith said...

lol, I was reading about that earlier Tom. The kid telling his dad how lame it was. But at least that old Japanese built stuff lasted for a while. As solid state and well built as the Ipods are I wonder what their failure rate is compare to the old walkmans.

In 30 years you will still be able to put fresh batteries in the walkman with ease and use it (if you can find some tapes). The Ipod will be past its expected life and batteries all but impossible to replace, thats IF the Chinese made garbage still functions.

I don't use my little ipod nearly as much as I did my walkman, maybe its an age thing.

Dave said...

I never had a walkman and having read your post I will admit to feeling left out but I just have to say...

OMG just look at the size of it!! It's like a brick compared to the ipod today. You guys must have some muscles.

I have to admit to taking my ipod everywhere with me and I even plug it into the car when im driving. Sad to the point that if the battery dies on it then thats my day ruined!!

Timothy Smith said...

Dave, before the walkman you only had a boombox which would be a real pain to listen to riding your bike or jogging!

Thomas said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. I've yet to purchase an mp3 playa or an iPod. In the early 00's, when taking my Saint Bernard for a walk, I would listen to my CD headphones; not quite as bulky as the Walkman, but close.

It would fit in my jacket in the fall or winter, but during more temperate (jacket-less) weather, I stuffed it under the back side of my pants (better than a bulge in the front).

Dave said...

Tom get an ipod it will take over your life. I have to admit to being a gadget freak and when I first learnt that the ipod not only plays music but lets you spend hours organising it, making playlists, obtaining the artwork for it... well I was hooked.

Before my recent holiday I spent about 4 hours adding some new tunes to mine. Just dumping them on the ipod was not good enough they all had to be in the correct track list order with artwork... etc etc etc

I really need to get a handle on this obsessive compulsive thing I have going on!!!

Thomas said...

Whoa. I didn't know that one could obtain artwork for the pod. In my mind, if I don't have the liner notes to a disc, I don't really have it. Thanks for making me aware of this.

Timothy Smith said...

Tom, Ipods are a great thing, no doubt. I have one of the "nano" ones someone got me for a present.

I use it all the time. If you get a regular ipod you can usually put your entire music collection on it and create play lists etc.

They are pretty cool.