Walkman more cumbersome than iPod, teen discovers

Walkman-sony_l Ah, youth. A British 13-year-old test drove an old-ass Sony Walkman instead of his iPod this weekend, and lo, the results were comical.

"From a practical point of view, the Walkman is rather cumbersome, and it is certainly not pocket-sized, unless you have large pockets," he writes. Truth! (Though as the years wore on, Walkmen did shrink down a bit.) But it gets better: "It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape," writes the tech-savvy youth. He creates his own version of "shuffle" "simply by holding down 'rewind; and releasing it randomly." Except any one-time Walkman owner knows that's dancing with the devil.

"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."Worse than being musicless for the day, pal, is losing that tape forever. Also, don't store tapes near nickels. Man, the good old days.

As cumbersome as the Walkman was compared to the iPod (or other MP3 players), it was still much better than portable CD players which never, ever stopped sucking.

Aight, PopWatchers, let 'er rip: What are your fond Walkman memories?

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  • Xena

    My dad had a proto-type Sony Walkman months before it was even advertised (he got the inside track from a Sony salesman) and it came with a tape of special sound effects and orchestral music. The sound coming through the headphones was AWESOME!!! To have some idea, think of the scene in Back to the Future where Marty plays a walkman on his unsuspecting teenage father. No one believed the sound of a 747 plane taking off was coming from that little box clipped to my dad’s belt. I was constantly listening to that thing and even got one for my 6th grade graduation (as did my sister before me). Hers was tiny — just big enough to house the tape. My walkman recorded from its built in AM/FM radio and outside voices/sounds like a regular tape recorder. Yeah, MP3s are a thousand times better, but I still get a little nostalgic every once in a while.

  • Xena

    My dad had a proto-type Sony Walkman months before it was even advertised (he got the inside track from a Sony salesman) and it came with a tape of special sound effects and orchestral music. The sound coming through the headphones was AWESOME!!! To have some idea, think of the scene in Back to the Future where Marty plays a walkman on his unsuspecting teenage father. No one believed the sound of a 747 plane taking off was coming from that little box clipped to my dad’s belt. I was constantly listening to that thing and even got one for my 6th grade graduation (as did my sister before me). Hers was tiny — just big enough to house the tape. My walkman recorded from its built in AM/FM radio and outside voices/sounds like a regular tape recorder. Yeah, MP3s are a thousand times better, but I still get a little nostalgic every once in a while.

  • kristie

    I remember my first walkman. I got it for Christmas when I was 7. My mom even made me a mixtape to go with it. And guess what the first song was….The way you make me feel by Michael Jackson. I still remember listening to that tape and running around with my walkman singing MJ…..damn, I miss those days.

  • kristie

    I remember my first walkman. I got it for Christmas when I was 7. My mom even made a mixtape for me. And the first song on the tape was The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson. I remember running around singing that song at the top of my lungs. Thinking I was soooo cool b/c I had that walkman….ah, the memories.

  • pai

    Loved my Walkman. Not the Walkman’s fault technology progressed. ;) I remember the first two cassettes I bought for it — Rick Springfield’s Working Class Dog and The Police’s Ghost in the Machine.

  • John

    Old-Ass? What a way to start this article with such an inappropriate and off-colored phrase. EW has really reached the bottom of the pool for this one.

  • mjryan

    I won my first walkman in a local radio contest. I let my brother take it to college (why, I have no idea). He wrecked his moped and my walkman along with it.

  • susan

    I was in jr. high when the Walman was big. I skipped lunch at school and saved all my lunch money and bought a Walkman. My mom never did find out about it.

  • Mozelle

    When my mother and I drove to Alaska from the Lower 48 in 1987, it was in a car with only an AM radio. I had my Walkman, and exactly one tape (I guess I was optimistic about AM radio stations in Canada): A-Ha’s “Hunting High and Low”. That poor tape was almost completely demolished by the time we reached Anchorage, but my sanity (and my mother’s) was intact.

  • LLM5326

    Ahhhh . . . My walkman and Tiffany! I would bop around my room with my Barbies singing “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been” Then there were hours spent listening to New Kids.

  • LLM5326

    Ahhhh . . . My walkman and Tiffany! I would bop around my room with my Barbies singing “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been” Then there were hours spent listening to New Kids.

  • Lorie

    My fave Walkman memories are from my college days. Without fail, I would have my bright yellow Walkman when I went to school. Monday through Friday, I had to endure 3-4 mile walks on campus and endless waiting for the bus. NO WAY could I survive w/o my Walkman and my tunes. A few of my faves were by Don Henley (The Boys of Summer), Stevie Nicks (Stand Back), B-52’s (Rock Lobster), Billy Idol (Rebel Yell), The Pet Shop Boys (West End Girls). Good times!

  • Patty

    I had a Talk-Boy, yes that’s right, the tape recorder/walkman from Home Alone 2. I would play my favorite movies and record the sound of them and then listen to them on road trips with the fam. Hocus Pocus was my fav.

  • Silv

    I had a bright yellow water-resistant “Sports Walkman” – I loved that thing. I commuted to & from college and work listening to either local radio stations or “mix” tapes, in addition to my favorites. Not sure what happened to it. I just cleaned out a closet and found my last walkman, still in great working order. Looking back, making those “mix” tapes was a lot of work. Gotta say, I played well with my toys, neither ever ate a cassette.

  • Ames

    Why am I just hearing about not storing tapes near nickles?

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