Happy birthday, Walkman! This is how the world of portable music changed 40 years ago

by Kelvin
Happy birthday, Walkman! This is how the world of portable music changed 40 years ago

When it comes to audio, technology has come a long way since the time of the humble Walkman, but that small portable device changed the way we enjoy music, and today turns 40.

It does what seems like a lot, but a long time ago, before iPods, MP3 Players or smartphones, in a world where digital music was just a dream and the possibility of listening to your favorite songs via streaming with the touch of a button on your Phone (or requesting them through your voice from a digital assistant in your smart speaker) were just futuristic movie ideas, one of the devices that marked the beginning of the era of portable music arrived: the Walkman.


It is that, at that time, music lovers were tied to a sound system that required an outlet, and although the Boomboxes made it possible for that music to be portable, its size and weight did not allow easy transport … that without mention that they quickly drained their batteries, leaving everyone frustrated and wanting more music in the middle of a meeting.

Hence the creation of the Walkman has been so revolutionary. It was no longer necessary to be attached to a radio or record player in the living room of the house, or to expose yourself to ridicule by carrying a huge sound box. The Walkman gave the freedom to walk, run, exercise, or just relax to the sound of those personal melodies. All you needed was a cassette and well-charged batteries. Better yet, no one but you could know what you were hearing, unless you decided to share your device and allow some special person to also connect your headphones.

On July 1, 1979, Sony began selling the TPS-L2, a device that was first known as Soundabout, and then re-baptized with the name of Walkman. Interestingly, this original Walkman was not the first portable cassette player, but it was the first one that did not have a recording key. What happens is that portable recorders were mainly used by reporters or law enforcement officers, but this small device, with its lightweight headphones and a new, more modern design for the time, was designed specifically for music and that's why it revolutionized its environment.

But that innovation was not cheap. The first edition of the Walkman weighed about a pound (about half a kilo), and according to The New York Times it cost about $ 200, which at the time represented a heavy investment of money for entertainment. It had two headphone jacks, plus a button with which the two people who listened with their headphones could talk to each other, or even sing together in a microphone.

Although initially there was a stream of opinions that affirmed that people would not like to listen to music alone and isolate themselves using headphones, now we have 40 years of experience and billions of music lovers that day by day prove otherwise . Perhaps the only Walkman that the new generation knows is the one that Star-Lord used in Guardians Of The Galaxy, but likewise the youngest can also join to say: Happy birthday, Walkman!

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