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©Copyright 2011-2015 Eric Wrobbel



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The Sony Walkman TPS-L2. Shown here from left to right: the Walkman's 1978 forerunner, the Sony TCM-600 'Pressman.' In the middle, an early 'unbranded' TPS-L2 Walkman. On the right, the Sony Walkman with its familiar logo. From 'Personal Music Players' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/personal-music.htm

As a longtime collector of transistor radios, I thought it would be fun to expand into the other “personal music” devices of our age. After the transistor radio, the next major personal music device was the Sony Walkman from Japan, as you see above, which appeared in 1979. Upper left is the Walkman's 1978 forerunner, the TCM-600. See much more on the Sony Walkman here.

Below are some of the earliest portable digital MP3 players, which first appeared in 1998. Upper left in the photo below is the Diamond Rio PMP300 (1998). Below that the Rave MP2000 Series from Sensory Science (1999). Next is the blue i2Go eGo,” from 2000. Top middle is the Intel (yes Intel) Pocket Concert from 2000 and below that the tiny I-Jam IJ-100 (1999). The Clik! from Sensory Science was made in 2000. The Sony Music Clip MC-P10 from 2000 took a different approach, styling-wise.

Far right is a fourth generation Apple iPod MP 102 (2004). Apple’s first iPod was issued in 2001. Though they weren’t first, Apple did it best and came to dominate the field.


The portable CD player was a while getting off the ground. Early ones (1988) like this Citizen CPM 777 and dangerous-looking but impressively-small Sony Discman D-88 ate power voraciously. That's one reason these models didn't have on-board batteries but only detachable battery packs. Though 'portable,' most people used them plugged into a wall socket. From 'Personal Music Players' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections

The portable CD player was a while getting off the ground. Early ones (1988) like this Citizen and dangerous-looking but impressively-small Sony Discman ate power voraciously. That’s one reason why these early models didn’t even have on-board batteries but rather had larger, detachable battery packs. And that’s why though “portable,” most people used them plugged into a wall socket.

Collectible music players: Apple iPod, Diamond Rio PMP300, Rave MP2000 Sensory Science, i2Go eGo, Intel Pocket Concert, I-Jam IJ-100, Clik! rave:mp MP2300, Sony Music Clip MC-P10, ATRAC3 files. From 'Personal Music Players' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/personal-music.htm

DETAILS / Walkman: Pictured at top in the middle is the TPS-L2, the very first Walkman. So early is this example that it is not even labeled “Walkman,” as is the slightly later model TPS-L2 you see to the right. At left is the pre-Walkman TCM-600 introduced in 1978 as the world's smallest tape recorder for standard cassettes. This forerunner is a mono recorder/player where the Walkman is a stereo play-only device. The Walkman measures 3-1/2" wide by 5-1/2" high. CD Players: Citizen CPM 777 (1988, Japan) measures 5-7/8" by 6-3/4"; Sony Discman D-88 (1988, Japan) measures about 3-3/4" square and 1-1/4" thick. Digital Players: Upper left is the Diamond Rio PMP300 (1998, Taiwan) measuring 2-5/8" by 3-5/8". Below it is the Rave MP2000 Series from Sensory Science (1999, Korea). Next is the blue i2Go "eGo," from 2000 measuring 3" wide by 4-1/2" high. It is rather thicker than the others at 1-3/8 inches, but it could hold two IBM Microdrives for an amazing (at the time) 2-gig capacity. Decked out this way, it cost over $2000! Top middle is the Intel Pocket Concert from 2000 measuring 2-3/8" by 3-7/8". Below that, the tiny I-Jam IJ-100 (1999, Korea) measuring 2" by 3-1/2." The I-Jam had a built-in FM radio and came in a choice of five colors-unfortunately I've only got this black one. The Clik! rave:mp MP2300 from Sensory Science (2000, Korea) measures 2-7/8" by 4-7/8" tall and uses removable Iomega "Clik" disks. The Sony Music Clip "Personal Network Player" MC-P10 is from 2000 and is 4-3/4" long. Made in Japan, this attractive little player didn't actually play MP3s but rather Sony's own ATRAC3 files. This ultimately led to this product's early demise. The fourth-generation Apple iPod MP 102 (2004) is a bit under 2-1/2" by 4-1/16". It's a good deal slimmer than all the others.