A Lasting Walkman Memory

The cassette Walkman is 30 years old. I must admit the young me was less than impressed when she first saw the concept (I remember thinking ‘I doubt many people will want one of those’) but got to listen to one in a record store that also sold audio goods and the sound through headphones was, for the time just amazing.tp-s30

Good First Choice

In reality I only ever owned two cassette Walkmans. The first was a veritable  Rolls Royce: The Aiwa TP-S30 (pictured). It was for me a multi function device because it could record as well as play back so I got to record some college lectures (in binaural stereo too), use as a dictation machine and for a brief period even turned its hand to discretely recording a few live rock concerts (bootlegging, moi?).

Preserved In Sound

I also have quite a few recording of now long passed extended family members and friends. Believe me these are a much better long term record that photographs.Through these recordings they all live on.

Cracking Up

It was built to last but eventually the metal casing cracked and the top section where the operation buttons sat disintegrated completely (this section was actually metal effect plastic) and the lid to the battery compartment also cracked to the extent that it could then only be powered from the mains (hardly portable).Despite these failings the cassette play/record mechanism itself could have easily kept working. The Aiwa must easily have put in 10 years of faithful service.

I eventually replaced it with a Toshiba which was cheap, plastic, sounded awful in comparison and soon broke.

So fond memories of what for a generation today would seem an absurdly antiquated technology but they were the mp3 players of their day and part of the evolution of portable audio devices.

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Tape Archive: Portable Audio Thoughts 1980

Portable audio thoughts from 1980(388K AAC+):Portable_audioWalkman

This is a random and incomplete rant by pop music critic and magazine editor David Hepworth on the then emergence of the Sony Walkman and portable audio in which he seems to intimate that this may harm popular music.There is some interference at the start. It ends with Tommy Vance musing on Island records introduction of it’s then new 1+1 chrome cassette system in which side 2 of a chrome cassette tape album was left blank (or had the same album again but enabled to allow you to erase side 2) enabling you to tape your own music. As we are now in the era of the iPod and similar digital portable audio, it’s interesting to ponder if Hepworth’s worries were valid.

(AAC+ music files. Plugin(Win) or compatible player required – Songbird (All) VLC(All)-Winamp(Win)-Quicktime and (bizarrely) i-Tunes will play file at half the audio bandwidth and in mono only)

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