Sony Walkman Turns the Big 3-0 - NBC4 Washington

Sony Walkman Turns the Big 3-0

Thirty, flirty and thriving … not so much

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    Sony Walkman Turns the Big 3-0
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    Remember these? Yeah, um, neither do we. We think they have something to do with Urban Outfitters, though.

    Take a moment from your busy day to wish the Sony Walkman a happy birthday. That's right -- the Walkman (remember those? maybe?) is now 30 years old. Yeah, we weren't actually alive yet when the Walkman debuted, but we hear they played these pretty swell things called cassette tapes. You could download them from a telegraph machine in only five days, we think.

    The original blue and silver Walkman model TPS-L2 weighed about 300 grams (about 2/3 of a pound) and came with lightweight headphones unlike the bulkier headphones of the time. In 30 years, Sony sold 385 million Walkman machines worldwide. Impressive stats until you consider that Apple has sold more than 210 million iPods worldwide in eight years. Fine, fine.

    Nowadays, Apple has clearly dethroned Sony as portable music king. But we have to nod in reverance to the device that came before the iPod, and even before the Discman -- wow. 

    Before closing this window to import new songs onto your iPod, just remember that the Walkman set the stage for the portable music players to come. C'mon people, show some respect.