Sony Walkman – End Of An Era

Who remembers the Sony Walkman? Strangely enough, I purchased probably 4 of these over the early years, but I never owned one. I bought them for other people because I had something already that handled that duty. I don’t remember what the brand name was; my dad was always the cutting edge guy, and I usually had something way before everyone else back in the day, whether or not it was a name brand.

Not being someone who was ever all that obsessed with what was in fashion, I never quite saw the need for my owning one. However, I always knew that other people craved these things, even if they already had something, and they never did cost all that much. They made the perfect gift, and there wasn’t one person I ever gave one of these things to that wasn’t overly impressed with it.

It’s hard for younger people to know just how big a deal portable cassette players were. Back then most of us could create our own tapes, and I was one of those folks who used to make my own dance mix tapes as well. I used to take my player with me when I walked the lake, or when I went many other places. Strangely enough, I never took it with me to the gym when I used to belong back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and these days I couldn’t imagine leaving home for the gym without my MP3 player.

And that was what really started changing things. You could get a bunch more digital files into a player than you ever could cassette tapes, and of course you can access your songs quicker than you could with a cassette. Sound quality initially favored records and cassettes because CDs were pretty sterile sounding, but with the improvement in sound acoustics, it was only a matter of time. After all, even most cars now have removed cassette players, which is going to irritate me the next time I have to buy a car because the library still has so many books on cassette that I’ve yet to listen to.

Man, first 8-tracks, then records, and now cassette players; what’s next?

Lancaster Entertainment Center in Paprika by Crosley Radio

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23 thoughts on “Sony Walkman – End Of An Era”

    1. Anne, I haven’t seen any new albums, but I have heard that playing older albums is still a big deal. I still have my collection, and one of these days I’m going to buy something like what I’m advertising below, only it will also have the capability of allowing me to create MP3’s from those songs.

    1. Goodness DeAnna, I hope not. I have lots of blank tapes, but of course I also have a DVR that I was sure I’d never use, but I use it all the time.

  1. This was a whole era in music and fashion. I remember the time I bought my first walkman and make recording from the radio. All my friends used to envy me. May be somebody from young generation, about 10 year ago will write on his/her blog the same about MP3 players.

    1. That will be pretty funny, Carl. You know, I still have an 8-track player in my parent’s basement that one day I’m going to pull out, as well as the reel-to-reel recorder, just for show.

  2. Move with the times, Mitch! By all means, keep your vinyl and your cassettes, but have them converted to MP3 or CD so that you can enjoy them.

    1. One of these days, Althea, since it seems like I’m going to have to so I can still listen to that stuff later on.

    1. Mia, it might be time for me to unload some of my cassettes, of which I have tons, blank, that are just taking up space.

  3. I’m in the same boat. I have dozens of audiobooks and Teaching Company courses on cassette, but our car (an ’07) doesn’t have a tape player. I got one of those portable tape-CD players that plugs into the cigarette lighter, but it’s such a hassle to set it up and deal with it while I’m driving. You know what else, though? I never did get the hang of that auto-reverse feature. I’d have to rewind or fast-forward through the whole tape at least twice before I could get to the spot I wanted. Talk about road rage.

    1. Charles, I’m lucky that my car does have a cassette player still, but I feel I’m doomed when eventually it’ll be time to trade this bad boy in for something else. I hope they always have some kind of adapter thing that might work in the CD player like a cassette does, because every once in awhile I like to connect my MP3 player to the cassette adapter and listen to that music.

  4. Not sure “what next” is going to be as I too was one of those who started with a “walkman”, and at that time I said to myself, WOW, nothing is going to beat that. Then came, cd playes, portable cd, even Sony’s failed MiniDisk. Now comes mp3 players and … well.. Who knows but I won’t be surprised when someone tells me that they can “upload” terabytes of music directly into my brain, lol

    1. DiTesco, I think I can safely say if they ever come up with a way to pump music directly into my brain I will NOT go along with it! lol

  5. Yup, the end of an era indeed. I always get a little nervous when new technology kills out old technology. But oh well, remember how annoying it was when the ribbon came out of the cassettes, and you’d have to wind it back in? I barely see discmans anymore…can’t remember the last time I saw a walkman! Hopefully some of us out there saved an old walkman so we can annoy our kids and grand kids about the “good old days.”

    Great post, a lot of great comments,

    1. Sure Tim, you had to remind me of that bad part! lol I became an expert at taking cassettes apart, fixing the tape with, well, tape, then splicing it all back together, putting the cassette back together, and running that bad boy for all it was worth. Those were indeed some fun and interesting days.

  6. They seem to be working fine, Dennis; I see all 4 of your replies here. lol And I made my own dance mix tapes, and had a great time doing it as well. I still have them all; used one for my wedding in ’97.

  7. I had a very good use for a Sony Walkman: I used it to help my dad record his memoirs for me and my sister. It was quite a feat, but he enjoyed it and they are quite something to listen to. I got a good one (recording one with rec.levels, etc), really studio quality audio. Sadly the thing is now on its last legs and I don’t think there’s any way I can get it repaired – and who uses cassettes anymore. One day I must try and get the content of those tapes onto some other media – probably not mp3s, maybe CDs – but I haven’t yet. Cassette tapes, video tapes, etc, don’t last.

    I also used to make dance tapes, btw. For parties!

    1. Kindred spirit! I actually have a cassette tape of some of my grandfather’s words as well, and like you, I want to transfer all this stuff into something that will last much longer.

      1. Problem is finding the time and motivation, isn’t it? Glad you’ve also got some family stuff on tape – it’s a good thing to have. Great that you’ve got your grandfather, such a shame when one loses that generation’s memories. I wish I’d put my grandmothers on tape – there were reel to reels then and I could have done but I was just a child and didn’t even think of it. When I come to transfor my tapes, it’s gonna take a while – I’ve got over two dozen tapes of my dad speaking, mostly 90mins each!

      2. You’re lucky; I have less than 30 minutes, maybe about 20 minutes or so. But it’s still fascinating stuff.

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