The History of Portable Music Players

Published: 23rd June 2010
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People are now so used to listening to music on their Mp3 players that they cannot of think of any other way of doing so. The portable music has evolved over the years with the change of pace in our lives.

The world of music players witnessed its first revolution when Sony launched its "walkman," in 1979 a product that gained tremendous popularity among the young. The concept created a whole new lifestyle where you could always listen to music no matter what you are doing; whether cooking, cycling or just lying in the park. The headsets then were much heavier than what we are used to today. The player used magnetic cassette tape for recording and playing music. The source of energy was two AA batteries and the sound quality was good but batteries wore out fast.

New ideas were bound to emerge on the whole concept of portability and so the compact disk walkman was the next to enter the market in 1984. The sound quality was definitely better than the cassette tape but it was so bulky even by the standards of that time that it normally required a back pack to carry it. When the compact disk played it used to skip certain parts of the song as it was manufactured with the laser technology which was mechanical. This problem was later solved but the major flaw was the limitation of storage capacity since a CD at that time could store up to a maximum of 20 songs only!

Enter the Mp3 audio format in 1991 which was a sound compressing technique based on a human hearing limitation known as "auditory masking." This increased the storage capacity to 10 times that of a traditional CD. This created new avenues of growth and development for the modern digital technology in the form of flash storage. This was a huge success but took time to be accessible to everybody due to its high price and also the fact that lesser priced mp3 based CDs and MDs were available but with the prices of flash storage coming down these CDs took a back seat. Portable Mp3 players started coming into the market with top storage at 512 MB only.

The world of music players witnessed its most astounding gadget when Apple introduced its iPod that changed everything forever with never before heard capacity of 5GB in a portable gadget. This as we all know is always being improved on with the current model having a capacity of 160 GB.


We live in a world which is constantly evolving so enjoy your music on an iPod docking station. and be thankful for the time you are born in.

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