The Walkman: it's all over now

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The iconic Walkman is now part of the museum of technology. A great design, a great concept.

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WALKMAN it’s all over now

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Its cool design was completely functional: one button = one function. On July 1, 1979, the Walkman became the first portable music player

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30 years after its creation, Sony decided to stop the production of their classic Walkman, as everything became digital.

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For years, people have tried to take their own portable music devices with them everywhere, specially on the beach!

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For reasons which are not clear, the idea did not catch on at all. There were early experiments , as demonstrated here by Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones testing an early prototype . They called it Music Player, Portable & Personal: MP3 in short

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Urban types had ghetto blasters and boom boxes. Impressive maybe. Not very portable !

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Legend has it that the first Walkman was built in 1978 for Sony chairman Akio Morita, who wanted to listen to operas during his frequent plane trips or whilst being driven to the office. URBAN MYTH?

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The Walkman made use of the famous mini cassette, a clever Philips design containing the tape and the mechanism

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Mix tapes and Compils

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Mix tapes were a cultural expressions in the 80s, containing commercial music, DJ choices, underground discoveries or personal compilations. Marker pens were essential

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Mix tapes were a cultural expressions in the 80s, with commercial music, DJ Choices, underground discoveries or personal compilations.

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install the audio components of the hi-fi chain in a rack and connect everything. add external devices like reel to reel tape recorders. select a source (radio, LP, cassette, external) and start recording on the mini-cassette. use pause-record to add more segments from different sources. mini cassettes can de duplicated easily on the dual cassette deck. record a radio show on a cassette and copy only the best parts on a blank cassette. plug in a microphone to record your own lovely commentaries. GOOD LUCK! Making compilation tapes on a home studio A complete audio high fidelity installation

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With a mini hi-fi chain: choose a source : radio, CD or tape and start recording on a blank cassette Very easy to mix sources . With a mini hi-fi mini chain and a 3CD tray , you could record a programme from the 3 CDs: great mixup potential And then your mini-cassette was ready to be played in your Making compilation tapes with mini-chains

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Without a shadow of a doubt, Sony’s portable music box altered the way we think about and enjoy music forever, and such an achievement has got us thinking about all the other innovations in music that should be celebrated and revered with just as much interest. TRIBUTES TO THE SONY WALKMAN : A FEW ACCOLADES

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1.) Sony Walkman The personal cassette player market boomed throughout the 80s. Every tech company produced a rival to Sony's baby, but the general formula remained largely the same. It changed the way we access music, how often we could do so and changed a generation. It also paved the way to future developments in portable audio players and generated the concept of the personal juke-box compilation . The 10 most important musical innovations of the last 50 years TRIBUTES TO THE SONY WALKMAN : A FEW ACCOLADES

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THE FULL LIST 1. GPS Technology 2. The Sony Walkman 3. The Bar code 4. TV Dinners 5. PlayStation 6. Social Networking 7. Text messages 8. Electronic Money 9. Microwaves 10. Trainers Top 10 inventions that changed the world, from the British Science Association . The Sony Walkman came in second place. 2. The Sony Walkman In 1979 Sony spawned the era of wearable technology with its iconic personal stereo. It enabled music fans to listen to their music while on the move without inflicting their choices on those around them. It provided the soundtrack to millions of morning commutes. The Walkman quickly changed listening habits and became hugely popular as jogging culture took the 1980s by storm – here was something that allowed you to listen to your music while you worked out. TRIBUTES TO THE SONY WALKMAN : A FEW ACCOLADES

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Sony Walkman is a design classic, says London Design Museum... The Sony Walkman took off because it allowed people to listen to music on the move for the first time – but now its design has been officially hailed. London’s Design Museum has added 14 new classics to its collection, which includes the Walkman. ‘The Walkman became part of culture and even part of fashion,’ the Design Museum said in a statement. It was first sold in 1979 and within 10 years a staggering 50million people owned one. Although it is now obsolete, the term ‘walkman’ nevertheless became preserved in language – it’s listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as a description for any cassette player. Classic: The first model of Sony's stereo cassette player, the 'Walkman TPS-L2’ – 1 st July 1979 TRIBUTES TO THE SONY WALKMAN : A FEW ACCOLADES

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Modern times: it’s all about iPods and MP3 players You can always try to squeeze an audio cassette inside an iPod. No guarantee that it will work. For nostalgics only!

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Old audio cassettes can be converted to digital with various methods and gadgets. Connect your Walkman to your computer and record racks with the free Audacity software. Or invest in special digitiser gadgets that have all the bells and whistles to help you along the way. Is it worth the trouble?

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Playlists are created on line and shared easily between your contacts. Modern methods are digital and web based.

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WALKMAN it’s all over now

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