Music has been around for so long that no one can even put a date on when it was first played or name the first person to play music. Mostly, this is due to the fact that music was composed long before it was written.

What we do know is that music influences our lives on a daily basis. It would seem that some form of composition is playing at random points throughout the day via many different means. Back when music was first composed; right up to 1979 music was only available via radio, live, or some form of music player. You wasn’t able to walk down the street listening to your favourite tunes, but that all changed in 1979.

The Sony Walkman


Portable music players are so affordable and readily available today that it’s hard to remember when they were luxury items. But when the blue and silver Walkman debuted in 1979, no one had ever seen anything quite like it. The Walkman virtually invented the concept of “personal electronics.”

The first Walkman (also branded as the Stowaway, the Soundabout, and the Freestyle before the current name) featured a cassette player and the world’s first lightweight headphones. Apparently fearful that consumer’s would consider the Walkman too antisocial; Sony built the first units with two headphone jacks so you could share music with a friend. Sony later dropped this feature. Now, more than 25 years later, nobody wonders why you’re walking down the street with headphones on, it is in fact second nature and considered to be a part of modern society.

The Portable CD player



Sony once again was the pioneers in making portable gadgets when in 1982 they released a portable CD player 1 year after CD’s had come onto the market. Unfortunately, the first release of Portable CD players had problems with skipping so the product didn’t fly off the shelves’ as expected. It took 11 years for a solution to be found that would rectify the skipping problem and in 1993 a better version of this portable gadget was released.


The MiniDisk


Yes do you remember the minidisk? For those that don’t it was released in 1992 by no other than Sony. The mini disk was a compact digital disk that played up to 80 mins of music via a compact player. Sony’s idea was for the mini disk to replace the Walkman but MiniDisc was met with limited success. It was relatively popular in Japan during the 1990’s but didn’t have an impact on the rest of the world.


The MP3 Player

Mp3 player


The MP3 player is 15 years old. The first commercially released personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was the MPMan F10, manufactured by Korea’s Saehan Information Systems and launched in March 1998. The first MP3 player could only hold up to 32MB of storage which was enough for a handful  of songs and in 1998 nobody knew just what an impact this digital device would have on the whole music industry. Previously, people had to purchase music from their local music store in CD or Tape form but with the launch of digital music storage on MP3 players it opened the world to a new way of sharing and purchasing music especially once the internet became more available in households across the world.


The iPod



4 years after the first MP3 player was released Apple came along to steal the show with the release of their Apple iPod with bigger storage capabilities and longer battery life. The Apple iPod First Generation took the world by storm and with that, Apple opened the first digital music store iTunes where Artists could upload and sell their music to consumers across the world. These days’ iPods are so advanced you can watch movies on them, facetime friends and connect to all of your online networks whilst you listen to your favourite tunes. The release of the iPod brought an end to portable CD players and lowered the market value of MP3 players.


The Smart phone


These days you don’t need to have more than one device for all of your personal gadget needs! Smart phones are more than capable of storing thousands of songs on them so when you’re not busy on a call you can jam to your favourite tunes. Of course, the battery life even on Apple’s own Smart phone the iPhone doesn’t last as long as an iPod but it is more convenient having just one gadget to carry around with you.









W| By Katie Ryan               





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