Hey, wait a minute! I HAD A SONY WALKMAN growing up! Now I feel so old.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Ok.

    A couple weeks ago the Sony Walkman turned 30 years old. Hit the markets in 1979. I got my first Walkman in the mid-'80's.


    At Towers Records -- back when there were Tower Record Stores -- we'd buy these strange things called cassette tapes. Cassette tapes were a spool of magnetic tape encased in a rectangular plastic covering. And the magnetic tape would always seem to get caught up in the Walkman interior ("Hey, this fucking thing is EATING MY TAPE!" -- is what was commonly said). Anyway, you'd pop these cassette tapes into the Walkman and listen to music as you.... you know, walked.

    It could be taken outdoors.

    You could listen to music as you played tennis or walked the dog or lay on the beach. . It was accessible... and transportable - you weren't tethered to your bedroom sound system listening to music anymore.



    The BBC recently asked a thirteen-year-old boy to review the Sony Walkman 30 years after its release. Here's what the british boy reported:




    My friends couldn't imagine their parents using this monstrous box, but there was interest in what the thing was and how it worked. In some classes in school they let me listen to music and one teacher recognised it and got nostalgic.

    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 different types of cassette.

    Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn't is "shuffle", where the player selects random tracks to play. It's a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured.



    BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Giving up my iPod for a Walkman

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    Ok, smartass. I love that

    "It took me three days to figure out that here was another side to the tape" bit.


    I remember buying Madonna's cassette single, "La Isla Bonita" (off the "True Blue" album) and listening to it over and over on my Sony Walkman.
     
    #1 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Jul 13, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  2. D_Jared Padalicki

    D_Jared Padalicki Account Disabled

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    Hahaha, naah not old, technology goes so fast. I also have a walkman and boxes full of cassette tapes.
     
  3. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    I got my first walkman the year they came out. I loved it. It was the rewinding that was tiresome. Yet it was THE thing to have then and everyone surely did. Of course cd's were the death knell for that technology.
     
  4. B_theOtherJJ

    B_theOtherJJ New Member

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  5. SpeedoGuy

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    I first listened to a cassette on a Walkman around 1979 or so. I thought it was an outrageously creative idea and it sounded great. I can even remember the album: It was Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty." I purchased several subsequent models of Walkman over the next 15 years and played them till they fell apart.

    Times change, though. I gave away my last box of old, well-used cassettes several years ago. Its an iPod 120GB for me now.
     
  6. D_Jerry_Atric

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  7. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    I think my first cassette was the Go-Go's. If I remember correctly they had the first cass-single too.
     
  8. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    My first cassette was the soundtrack to The Muppet Movie. Before that I had a few 8-tracks (they should let the kid try to figure out how those worked!) including Bat Out of Hell and Abba: The Album. Before that it was vinyl.

    I had two Walkmans. The first was a first generation model. It cost a fortune, the headset was flimsy, and it ate batteries at an outrageous rate. Still, it was very cool and I loved it. I later got a 3rd gen model. Both disappeared at some point. I've no idea what happened to them.
     
  9. nudeyorker

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    Wow how time flies. I got that as a hanukkah gift in 1979, I remember thinking it was too cool for school... at the time!
     
  10. MarkLondon

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    Hey, you just inspired me to dig out my old 1984 vintage Toshiba player. It was the world's smallest - smaller than a cassette - they clamped onto the bottom 3/4 of a tape. It wont' play tapes any more, but it's got a really good FM tuner module that still works fine.

    Happy memories of roller-skating around Hyde Park in the sunshine to the soundtrack of my own disco-mix tapes. :smile:
     
  11. Joll

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    I've got a Walkman phone now - still feels comfortingly familiar tho, haha.
     
  12. sdbg

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    My first cassette tape was PRINCE - 1999. The Walkman was too heavy to carry when I went running, so I never got into it. It also consumed batteries too often, and it became a bother. I gave it away to a poor Mexican lady who was thrilled to get it. When I inherited the first generation iPOD Shuffle 4 years ago, I finally had portable music that was convenient. Almost every time that I ride my bike, the iPOD comes with me.
     
  13. SpeedoGuy

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    Same here. I often used later Walkmans as FM tuners long after their tape drive mechanisms had crumbled to dust.

    I also spent hours recording my favorite tunes from separate albums into compilation tapes (I even selected my own album cover art).
     
  14. hud01

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    My first tape player was a reel to reel. It wasn't only the portable deck, it was the headphones. The first lightweight versions. They suck compared to now, but what an invention back then.

    Oh yeah Aiwa had a great recording walkman which you could take to concerts and record them.....
     
    #14 hud01, Jul 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  15. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I don't think I had the same model.
    Mine was also a Toshiba, but a larger one.
    (In the pic, it might possibly be the one on the right ... can't remember with certainty.)
    I used to cycle around Toronto while listening to it ... maybe I had a death wish. I wouldn't consider doing that now.

    I haven't heard any of those machines in years, and I wonder how much inferior the quality of sound was to what we now get off iPods.

    But back then, they all seemed to have incredible sound.
     
    #15 D_Gunther Snotpole, Jul 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  16. ZOS23xy

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    Let's see.....I've owned a 78 RPM player, have some of the 78's...then were 45's and 33 1/3 LPs, to Japaense Transistor radios, to reel to reel and then to cassette.

    8 track didn't work very well...

    I found the orignal walkman annoying. Skipping.

    cd's and iPods are what I like best. Might soon find they'll be outdated...
     
  17. MarkLondon

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    Well, pre-recorded cassettes were often crap, but a home recording from a good record deck onto chrome tape probably had better frequency range and sampling rate than MP3. And those "ear bud" phones surely can't be as good as a proper headphones.

    MP3 is supposed to be significantly lower-fi than CD. To digress even further, I do use CDs for convenience but they can't beat vinyl for musical fidelity. If you've still got a decent record deck and amp, you'll be amazed at the quality of modern 12" single recordings.
     
  18. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Yup. And it's said to be one reason why fewer people than before are audiophiles.
    No point in buying a $20,000 system when you're using a source (MP3) that is of lower fidelity itself.


    Very true.
    I have a friend who writes about popular music, and he often gets complimentary vinyl discs from the issuing companies.
    There's an immediacy and presence that most CDs badly miss.
     
  19. MalakingTiti

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    I had a few of them and I am old.
     
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