Down the memory lane as Sony Walkman completes 35 years !!by Abhishek P July 15, 2014 0 comments
There was a time when the most prized possession that everyone carried along during their travel was a Walkman and a bag full of audio cassettes that they loved to hear. Ask any kid of today’s generation about a Walkman and they would exclaim- they only know watchman of their building. Ask about iPods and iPhone’s, they will tell you facts related to them that even you won’t know.
It is rightly said that necessity is the mother of invention because if the co-chairman of Sony would not have felt the need of listening to music while traveling, there would have been no Walkman and if there were no Walkman, there would have been no MP3 players and iPods available for today’s generation.
Sony’s Walkman turned 35 years old on July 1, having made its debut back in 1979. The iconic music player is the product that transformed the Japanese company into a global name, selling more than 220 million units to date.
It was a revolutionary invention then, as the idea that someone could listen to the music of their choice without disturbing anyone else seemed great and new among the people. Discovering own unique genre of music and listening to it by just putting some headphones, was something really special. Many features like the small headphones that the iPod now has and are used by millions on daily basis, originated from the Walkman.
Sony produced 30,000 units at the device’s Japanese launch in 1979. The Walkman — TPS-L2 ran on two AA batteries and required headphones and was priced at $150, but only sold a few thousand by the close of July. Sony representatives walked the streets of Tokyo with test units in hand letting the crowd test the Walkman themselves and by the end of August 1979, all units of Walkman got devoured.
Although the Walkman was most prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, the brand is very much alive today as well. After the cassette tape-based version-era, this product made way for the Sony Discman in the mid-90s as the CD format gained attraction. Other well acclaimed in the Walkman range include the original Walkman TPS-L2, the bestselling Walkman WM-2, the sonically-superior Walkman Professional line, and iPod-rivaling MP3 player the Sony NW-HD5. It was finally in 2008 that Sony last produced its Walkman players and is said to have reported losses of £685 million. This was an era of Sony emerging as a global leader before Apple’s iPods and other MP3 players arrived on the scene.
Indeed, Sony Walkman has affected people’s lives in many ways. In fact, it helped people to stay fitter and healthier as they were able to create and listen to their own music while exercising. Apart from being a portable music player which can be taken during travel trips was the Walkman.
While looking at the Walkmans now, though they seem very old fashioned chunky instruments but in reality, they been the only source of inspiration and lead to the invention of compacts iPods and MP3 players that play our favourite music on a click of a button.