Walkman and then what?

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

While the Walkman has become one of the most contagious product of the last few decades, rumors about the next portable player become more and more frequent. According to anonymous sources, leading electronic manufactures, Sony and Panasonic in particular, have been working intensively on the next music portable player.

Nowadays almost every household in Japan, Europe and North America has at least one Walkman. Extremely popular among teenagers and sport people in particular, the Walkman has completely changed the way music is experienced. It has become a more personal phenomenon, nowadays everyone can listen to his or her favourite tunes thanks to this little electronic hardware. Marketing agents have already affirm that the Walkman is one of the most successful and advertised products of the last decades. Everyone wants one, everyone wants to have an impressive personal music tapes collection.

While  health and possible hearing damages have been discussed intensively in the last few months, there is a new aspect of the Walkman debate that has recently emerged. Anonymous sources – like it is often the case in these situations – have claimed that researchers of leading electronic manufacturers, Sony and Panasonic in particular, are working on the next music player. Not much has been added, but it has been said a few times that the outcome of the experiments and researchers is going to be incredible. Though, it appears that the concept of portable player per se it is not going to be completely changed. The focus of the researches, always according to anonymous sources, it is more on the audio support. ‘We are working intensively on new ways to record and play music. Audio cassettes could soon be a thing of the past‘.

Even though all these speculations have not been officially confirmed by neither Sony or Panasonic, they represent a good starting point for the ‘future-of-the-music’ discussion. How will music portable players look like in 10 or 20 years? Would they be so small that they could even be worn as watches, bracelets or armbands? Much has been said, but not much has been confirmed or denied.

What we can do here is use our imagination. After all, who says that all the investments in technology will not actually lead to a completely new way of creating, distributing and listening to music? Who knows, maybe in a few years music will be something abstract, intangible and physical audio supports such as music tapes will only be ‘dusty pieces of junk’.

Maybe one day we will all get to wear a watch that also plays music. Something so small that we could wear it around our wrists or arms. Only time will tell.

[Pictures credits: geek-blog.it; lifewith4boys.com; polkadot.it]

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