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July 1, 1979 - Walkman was born

30 years ago Sony launched mobile music for the first time with their Stereo Cassette Player called "Walkman" - an Ipod of the 80's :)

The original blue-and-silver Walkman model TPS-L2 went on sale in Japan on July 1, 1979. In the UK, it came with stereo playback and mini headphone jacks, permitting two people to listen at the same time (though it came with only one pair of MDR-3L2 headphones). Where the Pressman had the recording button, the Walkman had a "hotline" button which activated a small built-in microphone (the Pressman), partially overriding the sound from the cassette, and allowing one user to talk to the other over the music. The dual jacks and "hotline" button were phased out in the follow-up Walkman II model.

Some devices were also capable of recording. The highest quality Sony Walkman recording cassette deck was the Walkman Professional WM-D6C. It was introduced in 1984, and was comparable in audio quality with many of the best non-portable cassette decks. Unusual for a portable device, the Walkman Professional had bright LED recording level meters and manual control of recording levels. It was equipped with quartz direct drive capstan, and amorphous head. Powered by local AC mains or by 4 AA batteries (compared with 2 for most Walkman models), it was widely used by journalists and developed a following among hi-fi enthusiasts; unusual for a consumer-electronics product, it was in production, unchanged, for almost 20 years.

Create Digital Music has a nice article about Walkman with some usually creative stuff like video showing how to build Mellotron sampler entirely out of Walkmans :)


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