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June 29th, 2009

Another Side to the Tape

If you haven’t read it already, be sure to check out a 13-year-old’s review of an original Sony Walkman, a device that debuted 30 years ago. For perspective, this kid was four when the first mp3 players hit the market, so iPods and the ability to carry your whole collection of music with you is just the way life is for him. The idea of only carrying around 90 minutes of music at a time is an absurd thought to him.

Some of my favorite parts from the piece:

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 two different types of cassette.

Did my dad, Alan, really ever think this was a credible piece of technology?

I used a Walkman as recently as 1998 on a trip to Vietnam. I made copies of the tapes I wanted to have with me for the trip, because I didn’t want to bring originals with me. My Walkman was also sorta busted, and I got it fixed for 50 cents in Vietnam. I doubt that one could do that with an iPod today.

I enjoy articles like this and am likewise reminded in my own home sometimes about how I’m now part of a totally different era. Rasine knows all about YouTube (“watch monsters on daddy’s ‘puter!”) and how to operate the CD player and how it’s different than the DVD player, but the other day she pulled out a VHS tape and asked, “Daddy, what’s this?” as she tried to pop open the protective tape shield. (At least she’s also well versed in vinyl.)

Posted in Childhood Memories, Pop Culture, Technology, Television, Movies, and Music

jk June 30, 2009, 2:50 am

I loved this! Ironically, I was cleaning out my basement and found mine in an old yard sale box. I could not bring myself to toss it after reading this review! These kids who are wearing skinny jeans, leggings, and Chucks should also be wearing a Walkman clipped to their belt, maybe I can sell it.

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