life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

songbird loves the 80's: the revolution

In the 21st Century, taking your music with you is extremely easy.  You can download it from iTunes onto you phone, or your iPod, or your iPad.  You can stream it from Amazon or Pandora or Spotify.    Just choose a device, plug in your earbuds, and you are set. 

That wasn't always the case, though.

The Sony Walkman revolutionized how we listen to music. 

In the 60's and 70's, you  basically had one choice -- buy vinyl records and listen at home. Nothing portable about that at all.  Yes, there were car radios, and portable radios, so to some extent you could take you music with you -- if you could get reception. 

Introduced in Japan in 1979, and in the US the following year, the Walkman was a small cassette player that could easily be carried in pocket or purse, and came with headphones for your listening pleasure.  Audio cassettes had been in existence since the 60's, but were not widely used for recoding music until the development of equipment designed to play music from a cassette tape -- this was the era of tape decks, boom boxes and, of course, the Walkman.

The Walkman, that wonderful device that put you into your own musical world.  You could play whatever you purchased, or recorded off the radio. 

I must have bought my first Walkman in 1984 or 1985, when I was commuting on the long Island Railroad.  The Walkman, the headphones and 2-3 cassettes came to work with me every day.  A little bulky, but nevertheless...

That thing ate through batteries to the point where I thought I should buy stock in Duracell.   But I was happy to be able to spend my down time listening to Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and the like.

It's just not the same with an iPod. 

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