The History of Portable Music

The idea of taking our music with us wherever we go is a fairly recent development.  It wasn’t until the 1970s that anyone developed a practical way of making high-fidelity sound portable.

This animated version of an infographic will give you can idea how things developed.

(Via Digital Music News)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “The History of Portable Music

  • May 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm
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    The Thorens Excelda gramophone, 1937-45 was ultra portable, built tough, and needed no power source (wind up motor). It is smaller than the first portable cassette players of the 70’s, and similar size to many of today’s portable bluetooth speakers. The Excelda is smaller than any boombox, 70’s to today.
    The Excelda was a popular war time device because of the small compact size and design. There was no bulky horn, the metal case acted as the speaker, loud enough to entertain a small party.

    There were also ‘suitcase’ style gramophones from the 20’s that were the same size and just as portable as the suitcase record players of the 60’s-70’s, not any bigger then some of the early 70’s boomboxes, and also played without power source (wind up motor).

    Reply
    • May 11, 2014 at 11:07 am
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      This is great info! I’m going to see if I can integrate into the Science of Rock’n’Roll museum exhibit that’s coming to the Ontario Science Centre next month.

      Reply

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