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Dmitri Popov
2,438 followers -
Technical writer and amateur photographer
Technical writer and amateur photographer

2,438 followers
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This is going to hurt a little.

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I still want one.
On this day:
At 25th June of 1980, the Sony Walkman goes on sale in the United States. The Walkman sold a cumulative 200 million units, rocked the recording industry and fundamentally changed how people experienced music.

For many people, the iPod isn't even its own device anymore, it's just an app nestled next to all the other things your smartphone can do. But while the iPod ruled the first decade of the 2000s, the 1980s belonged to the Sony Walkman, the gadget than did more than any other to birth the personal audio revolution.

Sony built the prototype just as the 1970s were coming to a close. By the end of the decade, Walkman had come to be the generic term for portable audiocassette players, and Sony had extended the brand into videocassettes and CDs (the Discman).

First introduced in the US in 1980, the Sony Walkman really did change the way we listen to music. It wasn’t just about it being portable and offering big stereo quality sound; it was so much more. Parents were happy to no longer have to hear bands like Mötley Crüe and Duran Duran booming out of their kids’ bedrooms. And, while that was great news for parents, kids were excited to be able to rock out to the music they loved without wearing headphones that looked like they should be out sweeping for land mines or at the benign volume levels acceptable to adults.

The first Walkman, the TPS-L2, cost ¥33,000 in Japan and US$200 in the U.S., but despite the relatively high price tag the reception was enthusiastic. In 1980 The Wall Street Journal called the Walkman "one of the hottest new status symbols around" and noted that prospective U.S. owners faced a month-long wait because of a backlog in orders.

Before we had the Walkman, which was first called the ‘Sound-About’ in the US, portable music came in the form of either a small radio, with or without a cassette player, or a big chunky eight-track player, which was more common in the dash of a car. Neither option was very personal as anyone within in earshot could hear the music you were playing. Plus, anything with a cassette player really wasn’t that small or portable.

The Walkman was only 14 ounces, and despite having no radio or a recording feature, which was highly criticized at the time, it had the sound of being in a big room, yet in the palm of your hand. Well, if you had a rather large palm. It also had other features that you would never see on today’s iPods and MP3 players. It had an additional earphone jack, which was great if you had siblings, and it had the infamous hotline button.

Now, if you don’t remember what the hotline button was, just think back to that scene in the movie "48 Hours" when Eddie Murphy’s character was signing Roxanne in the prison cell and the detective (played by Nick Nolte) had to get his attention because he couldn’t hear him while wearing headphones. He had to yell his name into the mic using the hotline button. That button sadly disappeared when the TPS-L2, the original Walkman, was replaced with the WM-2, also known as the Walkman II.

You might say that the Walkman unleashed music like letting an animal out of its cage. That trip our family took cross-country would have not been the same without music at the ready. Exercising would never be the same, or travel, or train commutes, or airplane rides, well, you get the picture. And once you let something like that loose, it changes everything.

Over the years the Walkman would get smaller and evolve to get new features like FM tuners, tougher (the thick yellow sports models), mega bass, graphic equalizers and even the ability to record. After a 30 year run, Sony stopped making the Walkman in 2009.

#Walkman #SonyWalkman
#Sony #Oldschool #Onthisday
#Retro #Vintage #TPSL2
#Audio #SonyTPLS2 #CassettePlayer
#AudioPlayer #PortableMediaPlayer
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To practice German, I translate photography-related articles and technical texts. The following is an adapted translation of an article published in the FOTOHITS Special supplement to issue 5/2017 of the magazine. The Japanese optical and photographic…

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If all you want is to geotag photos with coordinates of the city where they were taken, a simple Bash shell script is all your need. The script  obtains geographical coordinates of the specified city via Google Maps API, and then uses the ExifTool to…

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digiKam 5.6.0 is released for your pleasure. Please pass the word...

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“I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle”
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The +GalliumOS Linux distro for Chromebooks uses my photo as the default background. I approve.
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Love the Unless you've been living under an SCO UnixWare server intro.
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