On a daly basis while you’re heading to work, college or just plain traveling by any means available, you see so many people with two wires stuck in their ears. The other end of this wire mysteriously disappears into the person’s pocket. You obviously know that it can either be a media player or maybe a multimedia phone but have you ever given any thought as to how exactly music evolved from those Vinyal records, to huge 9-track tapes to a tiny little gadget that could literally have stuck in your ear dishing out your favorite tunes by the hundreds? Well allow me to take you down memory lane and give you quick history lesson on the birth of the ultra portable media solution.

The birth of portable music

Enter the Samurai!

Sony made it big in the portable music scene when they officially came out with the Walkman. The idea of “carrying your music” was born when Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony asked audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara to build a portable cassette player so he could listen to operas during his trans-Pacific plane trips. Great idea!


Sony weren’t the first to invent portable players though; Andreas Pavel invented a personal stereo audio player called the Stereobelt in 1972. He approached companies like Yamaha and Philips with his invention. They turned him down, saying people wouldn’t wear headphones in public for listening to music. Pavel still felt that it was important to patent his idea and filed for one in Italy followed by patent applications in the US, Germany, UK and Japan by the end of 1978.

The very next year, in 1979 Sony launched the Walkman TPS-L2 followed by some legal dealings with Andreas Pavel. Legal battles concerning royalty fees ensued for about twenty years. As per some reports, Sony paid around $10 million and ongoing royalties of the sale of certain Walkman models to Pavel in 2004.

Did you know the Walkman had aliases in different countries?

Publish date: December 16, 2010 5:12 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 7:01 pm

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