Sony Stops Production of the Walkman
The Sony Walkman was the first portable music device in history. First produced in 1979, over 200 million models were sold until Sony announced that it would stop production of the cassette- based Walkman in 2010. The company is still producing CD and MD players.
The Walkman changed the lifestyles of many people. For the first time people could listen to music anywhere, at any time. It came in many colors and stylish designs. Although the first Walkman cost $1,000 in Japan, its cost was soon reduced to $200 .
The first Walkman worked with cassette tape and analog music. In 1984 Sony introduced digital music players that worked with mini discs and compact discs. During the 90s the popularity of the Walkman diminished as CD players and later on MP3 players became fashionable , especially among the younger generation.
Although the Walkman was state of the art during its time it did have many disadvantages . Users spent hours untangling tape that got chewed up in the cassette player. The temperatures on the back seat of the car bent the plastic and often left it unusable . Compared to today’s devices the Walkman was large and the sound was much worse than the digital sound we experience today.
The idea of creating a portable cassette player came from one of Sony’s founding fathers Akio Morita. He wanted to listen to music on his flights from Japan to Europe and the USA.
Production will be shut down in Japan, but companies in China will still produce the cassette Walkman. It will be sold on the Asian and Middle East markets.
- although = while
- analog = technology that translates audio or video signals into electric impulses
- announce = to say officially
- bend = twist, turn
- cassette-based = it worked with a cassette
- chew up = here: bend, twist, turn
- compared to = to look at two things and see if they are different
- device = machine
- digital = system in which information is recorded in numbers
- diminish = weaken, go down
- disadvantage = bad side of something
- especially = above all
- experience = feel
- fashionable = trendy
- founding = person who created a company
- introduce = to sell for the first time
- MD = mini disc = a very small round disc used to record music
- mini disc = MD
- popularity = when something is liked by a lot of people
- portable = something you can take with you
- reduce = to lower
- shut down = close
- state of the art = using the most modern technology
- stylish = fashionable, trendy
- tape = narrow plastic material that is covered with magnetic material ; you can record images, films or sound on it
- untangle = to straighten out
- unusable = cannot be used