Feeds

Sony hits stop on Walkman tape players

Japanese consumers no longer wired for (analogue) sound

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Sony is ditching the groundbreaking Walkman cassette player in its home market, 30 years after first launching its assault on the hearing of teens and the patience of the people sat next to them.

The electronics giant said that demand for the serial crinkly recording format had nosedived in Japan.

"There is still demand in certain regions, including emerging markets, but in Japan there has been a shift to other forms of recording media," a Sony spokesman told The Telegraph.

Sony Walkman

That's as may be, but we can't see it hanging around for too long in other markets either. Just getting hold of cassette tapes is hard enough. UK mega electricals retailer Dixons doesn't list either cassette Walkmans or cassette tape on its site.

With most houses drowning in MP3 compatible devices today, it's perhaps hard to imagine the impact of the (then) unimaginably tiny tape player when it launched around the turn of the 80s.

While the youth had previously been able to clamp a tranny to their ear, that still tied them to the playlist of Radio 1 or their local commercial station. Alternatively, a clunky ghetto blaster provided a sort of portability, but was not exactly pocketable, and still sounded crap.

So when Sony boss Akio Morita demanded his engineers knock up a device that could free him from in flight radio on long-haul trips, he set in train a revolution.

Within a couple of years the idea of a common youth culture was blown to smithereens as teenagers stopped talking to one another and bobbed their heads to their own musical selections.

Meanwhile, tabloid hacks began blasting out stories laced with dire warnings about the youth blasting their hearing to smithereens, at least when they weren't walking in front of traffic, a tradition that has lasted longer than any of the intervening recording formats.

Yes, it's difficult to recapture the mood of those heady early 80s days, but Sir Cliff Richard's classic video for Wired for Sound might help.

If Cliff ain't your thing, check out Bow Wow Wow's hymn to the C30, C60 and C90 cassette formats. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.