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How did the Sony Walkman 40th Anniversary affect the whole world?

via:博客园     time:2019/8/25 9:00:51     readed:74


Original title: How Sony & rsquo;s Walkman Created Headphone Culture As the Sony Walkman turns 40, we scrutinize the iconic tape deck’s impact on popular culture: the way we imbibe our chosen audio, discover music and shut out the world)

NetEase Technology News, August 25th news, according to foreign media reports, since the first Sony Tape Walkman (Walkman), this compact audio player brand has launched more than 300 types of equipment so far. It has fundamentally changed the way people listen to music, and it has had a profound impact on the field of consumer electronics.

The following is the translation:

The first Sony Walkman came out in 1979. Soon this compact cassette device is no longer just a popular audio player. The most important thing is that it opens the door to a new world for every consumer.

The Sony Walkman made the five-hour long-haul flight less unbearable and eliminated the loneliness of strolling somewhere. Since then, it has been easy for people to take this simple and strong musical pleasure for granted. All of us, or most of us, are trapped in headphones, listening to the music or podcasts played in the headphones, distracting us from the morning and evening, and distracting us from the treadmills in the gym.

With the Sony Walkman for 40 years, its impact on the world is obvious. The Walkman not only stimulated the arrival of the Apple iPhone, but also stimulated innovative audio technologies such as mini CDs and MP3 players, as well as the popularity of various “alternative” popular music styles.


“Why is the Walkman important? Content control. It is a personalized way of entertainment. "The Nation" music critic, Columbia University professor David · David Hajdu said. “This is unusual for people at the time. ”

In 1979, when Hajidu attended the Sony Walkman conference, he was not so enthusiastic, and he was still cautiously promoting the sound quality of the Walkman. “I just saw the dumbest product ever,” he remembers talking to his girlfriend. “You should wear headphones to listen to music everywhere?”

But when he wandered around with this new device, he changed his attitude. Soon the public was attracted by this cassette device and immersed in the ocean of various music.

Of course, this habit has also created a barrier to interpersonal relationships. Rejecting people thousands of miles is easier and more convenient than ever. When accepting a personalized experience, we will inevitably reduce the possibility of interaction between people.

“We have never been back,” Hajdu said. “You can thank (or blame) the Walkman for this. ”

Why is it called "Walkman”?

Walkman is included in the Oxford English Dictionary, and its name sounds …… the person who walks, and the name has nothing to do with music.

Translated by Douglas McGowan, the combination is actually an invention of the Sony Japan team, combining the words "Walky" and "man". “ This name is out of necessity and not based on any market research. ”

Sony executives once worried that “Walkman” could not be translated outside of Japan, so they were identified as Soundabout in the US market, the product label on the UK market was Stowaway, and Australia was Freestyle. Sony's US division even proposed another name: Disco Jogger (disco jogger). But Akio Morita, chairman of the board, rejected the proposal, fearing that it would alienate old customers who don't like the famous disco queen Donna Summer.

But when people who traveled to Japan began to buy a Walkman to take home, the name was passed down, and sales also rose sharply. Of course, the Walkman is always remembered.

Facts and data

How does Sony's ubiquitous Walkman leave its mark on the world:

2. 5 hours: Estimated battery life of the original Walkman. A 5th battery can play an album twice in full.

$199: The price of the first-generation Walkman in the US market is equivalent to the current $1,347.

$3,198: The most expensive Walkman price, signed version of the 256GB NW-WM1Z MP3 player, weighs more than a pound (0.45 kg).

300+: Sony uses the "man walk-in" brand to release various models of equipment.

400 million: The number of Sony Walkman devices sold worldwide, including various tape drives and MP3 players.

From the first Sony portable to hear the smartphone



Electronic product brand Philips launched magnetic tapes, the main customer group is journalists and secretaries used to record interviews. In 1977, Sony entered the market with its cumbersome recording device, Pressman. Pressman is also the basis for the Walkman prototype.



Before Sony's first Walkman came out, the company's co-founder Masaru Ibuka suggested designing a small personal audio player that would enhance the user experience of playing tape. Obviously, he was tired of carrying a large tape recorder with him.



Shortly after the advent of the disc, Sony introduced the Discman portable CD player, which took the center stage in the 1990s. Despite the improved sound quality, this fragile device simply does not allow users to listen to music while jogging.



Sony has introduced its unique MD format, with recording, data compression and customization capabilities surpassing CD. Sony sold only about 50,000 Walkmans in its first year.



Apple introduced the iPod, ensuring its leading position in the MP3 market. The success of this device laid the foundation for the 2007 iPhone. Sony is busy catching up with the MP3 audio format of the Walkman after erroneously sticking to its proprietary ATRAC audio format.



Almost everyone is listening to music on their smartphones. Less and more music lovers are still looking for products like iPod Touch, Mighty Vibe and Walkman. (Chen Chen)



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