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The Walkman, Forty Years On

newyorker.com

The Walkman Debut

Today when we have unlimited songs in our pocket, we take them for granted, but forty years ago in 1979, when Sony’s first portable music player the “Walkman” debuted, a personal, portable music player was unheard of. From being a shared experience, music suddenly became a deep p...

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The Walkman goes into history as a social distancing device, isolating people who would want to stay immersed in music, blocking out the rest of the world. This was later termed as the Walkman Effect.

The headphones served as both a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and an instant w...

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The 80s saw celebrities like Donna Summer, Paul Simon, Andy Warhol and many others flashing the Walkman, turning it into a status symbol.

Earphones, earlier associated with geekery or hearing problems, suddenly turned cool.

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Steve Jobs, who received a Walkman from the Sony head, Akio Morita, himself, chose to dissect it piece by piece, understanding the machinery behind it. Twenty years later he debuted the iPod, his own version of the portable music player, which had a hard-disk at that time.

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