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30 Years Of Recorded Music Mobility

from The NY Times

Stereo for One: A Brief Unaccompanied History

Thirty years ago this month, the Sony Corporation made a huge contribution to human interaction by ensuring there was less of it. No longer would people who did not want to engage the world have to stick fingers in both ears and say, over and over, “La, la, la, I’m not listening!”

Thanks to Sony, they now had a portable stereo device called the Walkman, which allowed them to block the sounds of their surroundings with a very private cassette recording of, say, Supertramp. So what if the headset and the 14-ounce unit strapped to your belt made you look like a drive-thru attendant at some Wendy’s of the future?

Today, of course, the ocean of humankind is cluttered with solitary islands of disengagement, thanks to the iPod, the iPhone, and so many other devices that say I. But before we explore what the Walkman has wrought, it might be instructive to revisit the events leading up to its invention.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on July 20, 2009 by Editor

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