The iconic portable music player which gave face to how people listen to music even today, is no longer crucial, but a legend nonetheless.
Sony's iconic walkman turns 40. On July 1 of 1979, Sony introduced TPS-L2, first known as the Soundabout and soon rechristened the Walkman. Being the first portable audiocassette player, It gave people an opportunity to listen to the music they loved anywhere and at any time (provided if you have charged the batteries of the device) without worrying about annoying others. Technically, Walkman wasn't the first portable tape player, but it was the first that didn't have a record function. Portable cassette recorders had mostly been used by reporters. However, this one, with its newly designed lightweight headphones, was specifically intended for music. Despite being a registered trademark, Walkman quickly became a generic name for all portable cassette players. The Walkman eventually fell out of favor until it disappeared in the beginning of the 21st century, totally outpaced by the arrival MP3 players, especially the iPod. Though Walkman was an output of the then-chairman of the company Akio Morita's belief that young people wanted to be able to listen to their music all day long, the Walkman also provided some early hints at how people would want to listen to music in the future.
To celebrate the Walkman's 40th anniversary, SONY has opened an exhibition in Tokyo's Ginza district. Titled #009 WALKMAN IN THE PARK 40 years since the day the music walked, the exhibition focuses on the people for whom the Walkman has been a part of their everyday life. The show, which is divided into two parts, begins with 'my story, my walkman' - sharing walkman episodes from the lives of 40 celebrities, and continues with the 'walkman wall', featuring around 230 versions of the walkman throughout its 40-year history. From the nostalgic older models, all the way up to the latest models, the exhibit allows visitors to take in the changes in designs, specifications, and media formats over the years.