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The History of Portable Music

In July 1979, Sony introduced the first Walkman – a clunky portable cassette player that revolutionised how we experienced music. It took the world by storm, attracting both positive and negative attention. Some people believed that this was the beginning of an antisocial electronic future, with a French report going as far as asking young users “whether they are losing contact with reality”.

Five years after the Walkman was introduced, Sony released their more tastefully designed portable CD player, the D-50 Discman.

These devices were true game-changers in the audio world, allowing users to listen to their music everywhere they go.

It would be another 17 years before Apple would announce their iPod in 2001; of course, the iPod was a giant leap forward through digital storage, allowing for large libraries of songs to travel with you.

With every modern cell phone sporting vast internal storage and audio playback capabilities, it’s worth remembering the humble beginnings and leaps of innovation that brought us here.