Sony To Stop Making Cassette Walkmen (Yes, It Was Still Making Them…)

from the betcha-didn't-know-that dept

Sony’s iconic Walkman cassette playing device was released in 1979, and really revolutionized the idea of personal, portable music (about the same time that it was supposedly killing music). Of course, these days, Apple and its iPod replaced the Walkman as the portable music player of choice, but apparently Sony kept on making cassette Walkmen… until now. It’s finally ending production of the cassette Walkmen. As some have noted, the announcement of the end of Walkman came just a day before the anniversary of the introduction of the iPod.

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Comments on “Sony To Stop Making Cassette Walkmen (Yes, It Was Still Making Them…)”

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MrWilson says:

And somehow, barely, the bruised and battered Music Industry limps on after the beating they took from the plague of home-taping introduced by cassette tapes recorders.

What? You’re saying the Music Industry made a killing off of this format? But they were so emphatic that, “Home Taping [Was] Killing Music,” and they would never lie!

Tom Landry (profile) says:

My dad was a radio operator on a bomber during WW2 operating out of the South Pacific theater. he was always into radio, ham, shortwave, etc.

When the Walkman came out and I heard the level of fidelity that these tiny (tiny for that era) earphones produced I know I had to buy one for my Dad. I couldn’t afford the cassette version so I bought the AM/FM one. He was utterly beside him self when he first listened to it. That little radio never left his side. He passed in ’92 and it was a no-brainer to place it with him in his resting place (with extra batteries of course).

Anyhow, that’s my fond memory of Sony’s amazing little product.

musically_ut (profile) says:

Seasons in the sun

I am not sure what others look at the Walkman as, but I too have very personal memories attached with the one I bought about a decade ago.

Without mincing any words, I think my Walkman, along with the racks full of cassette I have at home, taught me most of what I know about life. It was the best gift ever and I still have it preserved in my little red treasure box.

Hence, with this discontinuation of the Walkman line, it feels as if I am losing a friend, a teacher and a philosopher all at once. Even though its time may have come, I would give it a standing ovation with a sad but grateful heart as the curtains draw to a close.


Mojo says:

laugh if you want at Sony for making cassette Walkmans all this time, but that’s one of the things I admire about Sony – they often keep refining tech that’s long since gone out of style just because.

Same thing happened with Betamax – long after VHS wiped the floor with them, Sony kept releasing new and improved Beta machines (Beta introduced hifi sound first).

This practice probably loses money, but I applaud Sony for supporting dying formats and continuing to innovate long after everyone else has abandoned them. They may be the minority, but you can bet the people that hung onto Beta and cassettes and minidisc were very happy that Sony suppported them for so long.

I’d bet you anything that some of the last cassette walkmen Sony made were full of top notch tech.

And to those of you still snickering at my mention of “minidisc,” that’s the format that gave us buffer memory and shock protection, without which both personal and car CD players would have kept skip-skip-skipping.

So hats off to Sony for not jumping ship on formats just because they fade out of the limelight – the continued innovation makes it worthwhile and you can bet those 50 people who were still using casette walkmen were happy that SOMEONE was still releasing new product.

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