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Happy Birthday America....and The Sony Walkman

Greetings, I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe 4th of July.  As I was browsing through various news/tech sites I came across this interesting piece on The Sony Walkman turning 35 years old!  I find it interesting the first personal stereo listening device was created because back in 1978 a Sony executive wanted to listen to classical music in stereo while traveling via air.  Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka then directed Sony's tape recorder division to create such a device and just a few months later the first Sony Walkman, model TCS 300, hit the shelves.

Sony went on to sell nearly 400 million units of products under The Walkman name (including cassette, compact disc, and mini disc models).  I had at least two of those 400 million units in my younger days before Apple dominated the marked with their digital music iPod devices.

The Walkman Sports Model, To Get Your Fitness On

While reading the Time piece I had no choice to think back to my Walkman memories:

  • Battery life was never that great.....and when it started to get low you knew you were in trouble because of all the songs would s    l    o   w       d   o    w   n........
  • For some reason the headphones and headphone jack would always go bad quickly.  What was once stereo output would quickly shift to mono because output would only work out of one of the headphones.  I was constantly playing with the jack trying to get the device back to stereo.  
  • The best part of the Walkman era....making mix-tapes.  Kids do not realize how easy they have it today.  All they have to do is drag and drop songs and they have a full playlist.  Heck, with Internet radio options music fans just have to type a playlist they like and the computer "knows" what music they want to hear.  I remember spending hours making mix-tapes so I only had to listen to music I enjoyed.  Note...I am currently listening to one of my favorite iTunes playlists right now...and it is so much easier.  I DO NOT miss the mix tape tasks of the past.
  • Finally, having my own music to listen to while on a road trip with the family was a major bonus.  Of course, I wrote about how road trips have changed since I was kid a few years ago and things are much better today.  The Walkman was somewhat of a help back on my road trips as a child....but not much.  

Do any of my older readers remember their fist Walkman?  How many did you go through as a child?  Would your own kids even know what a Walkman is?  Check out this video to see what some kids think when they encounter a Walkman for the first time!

Let me conclude by saying Happy Birthday to the Sony Walkman for many years of music and entertainment.  Also, Happy Birthday to The United States of America and to all the men and women in uniform currently or in the past thank you so much for your service.


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