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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kid gives up iPod for Walkman for a week

It was thirty years ago this week that the Sony Walkman - the gadget that gave birth to portable music - made its debut. To commemorate the occasion, BBC Magazine asked 13-year old Scott Campbell (above) to yield his iPod for seven days in favor of a classic Walkman. And young master Scott wrote about the experience...

When I wore it walking down the street or going into shops, I got strange looks, a mixture of surprise and curiosity, that made me a little embarrassed.

As I boarded the school bus, where I live in Aberdeenshire, I was greeted with laughter. One boy said: "No-one uses them any more." Another said: "Groovy." Yet another one quipped: "That would be hard to lose."

My friends couldn't imagine their parents using this monstrous box, but there was interest in what the thing was and how it worked.

In some classes in school they let me listen to music and one teacher recognised it and got nostalgic.

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.

It's quite a fun read! Click here for more from Scott Campbell about his time with the Sony Walkman.


Cassie said...

Wow, I'm 20 and this makes me feel ridiculously old. I used walkmen [yes, the ones with the tapes... but the later discmen as well] fanatically as a child. I got my first one at age 6, and kept on listening til I was about 12 or so. I used to record songs onto blank tapes from the radio. Or I would just listen to the radio. Or I'd put CDs onto tapes.

Eventually I moved on to a discmen... which I didn't like as much, because it didn't have a radio on it.

And finally at the age of 17, I acquired my first iPod. =D

Who knew I'd feel so old at age 20?? O_O


AfterShock said...

Geez...this definitely makes me feel old. I can remember having to take my Walkman apart to fix the headphone jack any number of times just to stop having audio in only one ear. I didn't get my first MP3 player (it was not an iPod) until almost 5 years ago.

I didn't have a Walkman as big as the one in this story though...I always had the smaller ones. :) If they really wanted to make it more interesting, they could've made him use the old style headphones instead of earbuds.

Brian (Nunchux) said...

What strikes me is how well he writes for a 13-year-old. Not to mention that he edits a website that's actually not too shabby.