The humble Sony Walkman celebrated its 40th birthday this week, making us feel might old and rather nostalgic in the process. We often miss the times when music was the key function of our personal gadgets, rather than the soundtrack to aimlessly scrolling social media feeds.
If you’re looking to revisit the glory days of the cassette tape, minus headphone wires flapping around the place, a Kickstarter campaign is promising you the world’s first Bluetooth 5.0 Cassette Player.
Called “It’s OK”, the player promises the unrestricted enjoyment of music and offers the ability to use with a traditional 3.5mm jack, or wireless headphones. Hey, if you thought the audio quality on cassette players was crap, wait until you send it through wireless headphones!
“As time passes, music has become digitized and everything is convenient. But a cassette tape is still romantic and unforgettable,” the project page, which has attracted 107 backers and around three-quarters of its modest $12,848 funding goal, says. Should it be fully funded, the deck will be delivered in December, Hong Kong-based NIMM Lab says.
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The project arrives as Sony too celebrates the four-decade legacy of the Walkman with an exhibition in Tokyo. All-in-all, there are 230 Walkmans (some of which are Discmans, for the pedants out there), on show, dating back to the first personal, battery-powered tape deck released on July 1 1979.
Visitors to the exhibition in the centre of the city can even play with some of the devices and many, we’re sure, will be using a cassette for the very first time. Those attending the exhibition will also be able to buy-up some retro-themed merch that’s bound to earn hipster points aplenty whenever they sport it.
Today, the Walkman is the refuge of the retro music enthusiast and those who insist on listening to the highest-quality digital music files. However, the impact of Sony’s creation as the architect of the personal music revolution cannot possibly be overstated. Can “It’s OK” bring it back to prominence?