Sony can be considered a pioneer in the portable music player business, and if you lived through the cassette tape era, then there's a good chance you owned a Walkman. Believe it or not, Sony continued to manufacture cassette-based Walkmans in several different markets all the way up through near the end of 2010. While nowhere near as popular as they were in the 1980s an 1990s, Sony's Walkman brand is seeing a bit of a resurgence courtesy of its NWZ-ZX1, a high-resolution audio player for consumers with deep pockets.
Recently, a correspondent with more attitude than common sense excoriated me for having no taste. He could be right, but I doubt it.
I had mentioned in passing that I have thousands of CDs in my music collection, enough to fill a 3-terabyte hard drive. This particular adversary’s argument was that because taste is the product of a thousand distastes, obviously I had none because I had failed to winnow my collection. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to realize that this is an inaccurate application of Sturgeon’s Law.
How long has it been since last we talked? A week? 10 days?
It feels like forever.
It's time to remedy that situation, with a brand new episode of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast. This week, the Max PC gang talks about 3 terrabyte hard drives, the Sony Walkman (cut down in its prime), Fallout: New Vegas, and more.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
It's officially the end of an era, folks, one that quite frankly we're surprised lasted as long as it did. In any event, Sony announced it has stopped the Japanese production of its once popular Walkman portable cassette players.
This marks the end of a 31-year run from when the Walkman first went on sale in Japan back on July 1, 1979. At the time, the design was a near-instant hit and served as the forefather to today's spate of portable music players, including Apple's uber popular iPod and Microsoft's me-too Zune.
According to Sony, more than 400 million Walkmans have been sold worldwide until March 2010, a little over half of which were cassette-based models. Going forward, the Walkman brand will live on through CD, MD, and flash memory-based models.
TPS-L2, which would later carry the Walkman branding, was the first commercially sold personal stereo cassette player.
Sony announced their latest in the Walkman line of players, the NW-A840 series. The new Walkman comes in at 7.2mm, a touch thicker than the latest iPod Nano (6.2mm). However, it also sports capacities up to 64GB. You are going to pay for it though. The 64GB A-series Walkman (NW-A847) will set you back almost $450.
What does that hefty price tag get you? A 2.8in OLED display (no touch screen) with TV-Out capability, FM radio, digital noise cancelling and premium MDR-EX300SL ear buds in the box. The device also boasts on-screen lyric display. Further, it offers a smattering of popular format compatibilities as well as battery life lasting for 29 hours of music (at 128kbps) and 9 hours of video (at 384kbps).
It could be a tough sell in the US, especially where iPods dominate the portable-player market. The new line is due to be available on October 31st. Do you think it has enough appeal to edge out some iPod Nano market share?
Sony’s latest addition to the Walkman line is slated for a 2009 debut at CES. The supposed touchscreen Walkman will come in 16GB and 32GB flavors, sport an OLED screen, and even feature some Wi-Fi capabilities! You know, so you can watch YouTube and other completely original tasks for a internet-capable touchscreen MP3 player.
It’s suggested that the software of the Walkman will remain essentially the same, and there won’t be much difference between the menu structure of current Walkman players and the expected arrival. It’ll support MP3, WMA, AAC and PCM audio codecs along with AVC, MPEG-4 and WMV video.
Heck, the player is so advanced that it even features a fully featured music store, a web browser, and to help set it apart from anything else on the market that might bear any resemblance, an FM tuner! Booyah!
It’s rare that in today’s market you’ll see fresh and original pieces of technology like this. It’s always great when a big company like Sony takes it upon themselves to really break the mold. I wonder what Appl--- err, Sony will come up with next?