Happy Birthday Walkman
The Sony Walkman was released 30 years ago today, apparantly. It not only changed the way we listen to music, it played a key role in the development of that new-fangled cultural studies thingy: Doing Cultural Studies is dated, but still essential reading. Compared to the 120GB iPod with its capacity of 30,000 songs, the Walkman now looks as quaint as its gender-specific name, but in its day it was an engineering miracle.
In the spirit of nostalgia for the incredibly short-lived batteries, the tape that “wowed” every time you took a step (“Standperfectlystillman” might have been a more accurate name), and a portable listening device that held 12 songs, I provide this review courtesy of the BBC by 13 year-old, Scott Campbell, who swapped his iPod for an antique Walkman for a week. Favourite sections include:
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.