Are Old Posts Obsolete, Too?

The Sony cassette Walkman is dead.
I can’t believe it, even though mine passed away many years ago, after long and loyal services.
I still remember the day I purchased my Walkman in Paris. Although it is now considered the first affordable music player offered on the market, I shopped around and asked advice to the boys I knew who were, back then, already much more interested in electronics than I was.
Sony was the brand they recommended, and since I was still a student and had little money, I took good care of my Walkman.
It provided the best company on my long metro commutes. In the early 80s, it was something new and cool to be able to listen privately to music and read at the same time. Also, for a girl traveling alone, it was the perfect tool to avoid annoying people on the subway or on the street.
In the late 80s, my Walkman showed some signs of fatigue, and I found a shop on the Rue de la Roquette, near Bastille where I lived, to repair it for a modest cost. The reparation lasted a few months but, one day, I wasn’t able to remove the cassettes anymore. I had to pry open the Walkman and it vomited meters of black ribbon as if it had a bad case of stomach flu. I didn’t throw my Walkman right away, hoping for a miracle cure. Ironically, it is at the same time that CDs started to replace cassettes.
My new boyfriend, who a few years later would become my husband, was the first person I knew who bought a CD player and replaced his records with CDs. When we moved in together, I got rid of my Sony Walkman.
Old things attract me. So I stuck to my records and even cassettes long after CDs had replaced all.
Today, I still don’t own an iPod, although I listen to music all the time. I carry CDs in my car. My husband offered me a record player for my vinyls that have become collectables. He also stored most of our CDs on a sophisticated Bose system. And oh I forgot, I prefer to walk without music plugged in my ears.
My kids roll their eyes at my obsolete life style. Why would I tell them that once, I owned the best portable music player on the market?
I’m not that old.


  1. I still remember the day (in the 60s) my father came home with a transistor radio for me. It was a little bigger than your Walkman and it only let me listen to over-the-air music but I could listen while riding my bike. It was such a liberating device.

    • What a nice gift! It’s true that these devices brought us the liberating feelings our kids find with the new tools we got.
      My mom was a seamstress who carried a small transistor with her wherever she worked. That’s how I heard my first American bands and singers.

  2. Technology has moved so fast hasn’t it? I still have my vinyl records and a collection of cassettes, though I do rarely listen to them now I still have a chunky hifi that plays both! But I also have an ipod and it is great to have so much music on one device.

    • I love vinyl records for the sound and also for the cover and the fact that we can stack them. All bring back so many memories of parties, of where I got them or who gave them to me.
      I agree that I should get an ipod since I have so many Cds and records and enjoy music so much. My son carries his everywhere and he plugs it in our car when we drive together.

  3. Martha Kennedy says:

    I remember the first time listened to music on a Walkman (because I’d never used earphones before). It was magic. Even though later I owned a portable CD player, it was never as good or reliable; it skipped. However, I have to say, I love my iPod. I have an old-school iPod that I listen to much more often than my fancy newer one given me by a friend. I wish I had a cassette player because I have recordings of China on cassette. I’d love to hear them!

    • You’re right about the magic these first personal music players brought us. After this brief post commemorating the last days of the Sony Walkman, I realize that I HAVE to get an ipod.

  4. Wow tape Walkmans! now that brings back memories, I remember owning mine and yep! tape got caught ugh :S

    • You forgot about them! This is your post that brought back the memory of an old post that fit the topic of obsolete technology. They weren’t perfect but didn’t we love them?

      • Absolutely! are the buttons i totally wore out, next to the radio tuner lol! I remember having to replace the rubber band inside because it would wear out so fast XD

  5. bonjour and un grand merci for this post – loved it! brought back plenty of memories about my first walkman present from my Dad 🙂 well, mine was quite different looking than yours I assume as I was “behind Iron curtain” at the time – here is a rare image of the famous “Duets”: Btw – it was manufactured in Radiotehnika factory in Latvia and we Latvians were quite proud of it 🙂 And yes, me too I still keep couple of my old cassettes – just discovered them the other day after unpacking CD case after our last move 🙂 thank you again – made my day 🙂 meilleures salutations from Brussels, Signe

    • I’m glad this post brought back memories and seeing your smileys, I assume good memories. Thank you for writing in this mix of French and English, which depicts my life so well. Meilleures salutations to you and Brussels, a lovely city, from California.

  6. I loved my walkman and the discman that replaced it. My husband gave me an iPod to replace the discman but I never did warm to the iPod. I gave it to my son eventually. Gadgets are being replaced too fast nowadays. I can’t keep up!

    • I have nothing against the iPods, although I don’t like earphones as much as I did back them. In Paris, my Walkman eased my commute and I missed it a lot when it broke. Thank you for sharing your own experience.

  7. I guess nothing ever replaced the radio I had when I was 12 and felt like every rock group I heard was my family. That radio went everywhere I went. 🙂

    • Right! Rock groups! I have very fond memories of the radio, too. My parents didn’t get a TV set until I was a teen, and I remember of a certain Tuesday night mystery/crime story telling on the radio. I never missed it.

  8. Takes me back…. my wife still has hers, never uses it, but it’s stuffed under the sofa in a box with all her old ‘brick’ mobile phones 🙂

  9. I had a red transistor radio when I was a teenager, and listened to it under the bedclothes when I was supposed to be asleep. I never owned a Walkman, but I can’t go to gym without my iPod.

    • I like the red transistor! I did the same with books, hiding my light wheb I was supposed to sleep.
      Reading you and others, I think I’m due for an iPod. Thank you for stopping by.

  10. No, you’re definitely not that old Evelyne! I had a Sony Walkman that my one-time mother-in-law gave me, it was yellow and I adored it. I used to take it with me every time I went walking right after I dropped the kids off at school and before it got unbearably hot to go outside. When my marriage was in its dying days my Walkman brought me through as I would pop in my CD’s, pound the streets and walk off all my angst. I was so sad when it finally gave up the ghost, but I got so much use out of it for years. It even had an anti-skipping device!!
    My kids got me an iPod for my 50th and I use it now I admit, I love to listen to my music when I walk as it helps me with my writing too. Like you though, I still prefer CD’s for the car. Some things never change!!
    Thanks for another lovely post giving me a trip down memory lane 🙂

    • Thank you, Sherri, for adding your personal story. I think that an iPod is in order for me now. This Sony Walkman provided me hours of music and made my Parisian metro commute so much more pleasant. I even missed my stop at least twice, listening to Bruce Springsteen or David Bowie, my favorite singers, back then. See you!

      • An iPod is really great, I wouldn’t be without mine now, you’ll love it, I know it! Ah, I love the image you conjure up of your Parisian metro commute ‘back in the day’. I loved both but particularly David Bowie. The first vinyl (single) I ever bought with my pocket money when I was about 12 I think was The Gene Genie!! Have a lovely weekend Evelyne 🙂

  11. Nice post – I’m the same. And my kids are starting in on me, too….

  12. Thank goodness!! Thought I was still the only one holding onto my records. I still have a record player that works. When I was younger I had two turntables and a mixer like the guys that played in the clubs. That would be my all day activity on Saturdays-just playing records with the end of the one blending with the beginning of the other. I have still to catalog my records, it’s quite a task because they are so many. But I do have some oldies but goodies in there. Not too long ago we had a ‘record store day’ in New York. There is a resurgence of the vinyl records. Who knew? Nice post.

    • Nice to see you, jazzytower, and thank you for your feedback. I love old objects so I kept my records and moved them to the US. I almost forgor about them until my husband bought me a turnable so I could listen to them. There is something with the sound and even the packaging that I like with vinyl records. My Sony Walkman was very cool, too. Reading the comments above I know that an iPod would be a good idea! See you!


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