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
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.