In order to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Sony Walkman, BBC News Magazine convinced 13-year-old Stock Campbell to swap his iPod player for the Walkman for around a week.
As expected, the kid thrashed out the stark predecessor of modern portable music players by condemning its big size, low memory, and several other features that aren’t simply matching the standards of contemporary music player devices.
In his experience with the device, the kid started with highlighting its big size that made him feel embarrassed at the attentions of passersby, shouting insults on the 30-year old device he wore on his belt.
Other reported issues with the music player were lack of a shuffle mode, miserable battery life of around three hours, capacity of the device, and its poor audio quality.
Concluding his experience, Campbell said, “I'm relieved that the majority of technological advancement happened before I was born, as I can't imagine having to use such basic equipment every day”.
The only benefit Campbell observed for the Walkman was the fact that it sported two headphone jacks, enabling listeners to share their favourite tracks with a friend.
However, the comparison doesn’t seem to make any point, as advancement in digital technology has completely transformed the way we listen to music. Nevertheless, the contribution the Walkman made in laying the foundation stone for portable music players can’t be ignored at all.
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The device that was provided to the teenager did not necessarily reflect the top end range of the Sony Walkman range. While it is true that the technology cannot compete with today's miniature, shock proof portable music device, it is useful to remember that without the musical revolution brought about by the Walkman, we would probably still be listening to transistors.
(San Francisco Chronicle)