There’s this great little website called The Walkman Archive that took me down an electronics walk of fame, when there was simpler time when a pack of Duracell AA batteries and a fat mixed tape would leave you dazed and euphoric for hours. For years, Sony dominated the portable music player market, and now they are stuck in a gaming console war with Microsoft while fending off other flat screen rivals like Samsung and LG to recapture the TV market. Maybe Sony’s issue was that they tried to be the best at everything, but they are kind of like the Disney of electronics with their history of cheese.
But with the 40th Anniversary of the Walkman, the evolution of its design and abilities stand as an editorial of our music listening culture. We went from boom boxes to AM/FM, to Extra Bass, to auto-reverse, to the Sports model, to soft touch buttons to ear buds, to the (CD) Diskman, which marked the pinnacle of perfection in portable sound quality standards that ironically led to its downfall to MP3 downloads, which by the way also crippled the music business. Oh, and an honorable mention to that little engine that could, the MiniDisc. Hey, at least they tried to overthrow the DAT in sound quality and personal recording.
Back in the day, Sony ran shit. Too bad the MP3 market was more short lived than the incredible designs of those little tape machines that spanned about 3 decades. We are always left with that empty feeling when we buy electronics these days that have no moving parts and no wires. Face it, SD cards and flash drives are pretty boring. I don’t know- is it just me?
Enjoy the videos.