A tribute to the Walkman

Sony Walkman, the original “Personal Media Player” is probably outdated today and the brand re-targeted and populated with MP3 players and phones, but it was this machine, a small mechanical wonder that was one of the first to allow users to carry their music almost everywhere. And tapes had their advantages too over MP3 files.

  1. First and foremost they needed to be legal, and were easy to acquire.
  2. They were rugged unlike the CD that followed them with great quality but their reliability depended on their usage.
  3. An album on a tape was a sequence of songs intended to follow each other in a predefined sequence, a function that lost it’s meaning with the fast paced Skip and Shuffle world of MP3.

And they had their share of disadvantages as well:

  1. They often got chewed up until better motors and technology came in. Direct Drive from Sony was one such technology that sort of achieved this almost flawlessly.
  2. The quality deteriorated with time and age of the tape and the player. The player also needed regular maintenance to run smoothly.
  3. The battery life was appalling, with so many motors and moving parts the most advanced Direct Drives would just about manage a few hours of playback.

Remembering the walkman, a few images gathered from the web, surprisingly there are very few of them around.


Click on the small thumbnails above to check out other images.

Pity they are no longer there. Somehow they were mode dedicated to music than an iPod or Zune. The clunky physicality of using one is missing from the polished convenience of today.

Note: Images used are not taken by me, neither do they belong to me. They have been copied and uploaded back on the server simply because only few of them are available to view and enjoy these days.

The complete set as available in the 90's

The complete set as available in the 90′s