Thirteen-Year-Old Brings Back the Walkman

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Thirteen-year-old Scott Campbell recently gave up his iPod for a week, opting instead to use his dad’s clunky old Sony Walkman. He writes about his week with the Walkman for the BBC News Magazine, offering quite a few spot-on (and often very funny) observations from the perspective of a digital-music native.

On the plus side, he notes, the Walkman’s enormous play button “engages with a satisfying clunk, unlike the finger tip tap for the iPod.” For the most part, however, he finds the Walkman inconvenient (who wouldn’t?), though he is surprisingly gentle, and generally very technical, in his discussions of its shortcomings.

Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn’t is “shuffle,” where the player selects random tracks to play. Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down “rewind” and releasing it randomly–effective, if a little laboured.

I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don’t have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, “Walkmans eat tapes.” So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day.

Source: BBC News Magazine

Image by nextartist, licensed under Creative Commons.

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