Sony’s 40th anniversary Walkman features this cool party trick

It was 40 years ago–July 1, 1979–that Sony transformed personal music listening with the release of the first iteration of the Walkman. Known as the TPS-L2, it was (relatively) small, lightweight, and came with a set of very good-sounding headphones that were miles better than anything else that size.

The Walkman became a sensation, driving the sales of pre-recorded cassettes (which were briefly for a time in the 80s outsold every other format) and turning us all into headphone-wearing zombies.

With the old machines, the door had a window so you could see how much time was left on the cassette. It was an inexact measure, but you could judge the time remaining by glancing at the amount of tape remained on the left spool.

This new edition doesn’t play cassettes, of course–Sony stopped making those machines about a decade ago–but this digital player does have a very cool retro trick that will remind you of how things used to be. Watch.

The new unit goes on sale in November.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

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One thought on “Sony’s 40th anniversary Walkman features this cool party trick

  • I will never forget the Sony Rep coming into our store to show us the TPSL-2 – The story was the Sony Chairman wanted one to play on his long trips from Japan to the US. When our rep showed us, we just laughed….What idiot will wear headphones walking the street or on a bus…really……..Guess history proved who the idiot was 😉


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