Sony holds 40th anniversary event for iconic Walkman music player – Japan Today

Sony Corp marked Monday the start of a two-month long event in Tokyo celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Walkman, with interactive exhibits showcasing various models of the iconic portable music player.

The highlight of the event, dubbed “#009 Walkman in the Park,” is an exhibit called “My Story, My Walkman,” which chronicles each year of the hit music player’s history with nostalgic stories by 40 creators, artists and other public figures of that generation. Visitors can listen to songs chosen by the celebrity on each of the Walkmans on display.

The event starts from ground level, where a 2.5 meter tall Walkman modeled after the yellow waterproof sports model introduced in 1983 stands, and continues across all four basement floors of Ginza Sony Park in Tokyo’s shopping district. Other exhibits include a “Walkman Wall,” which displays all 237 models of the Walkman over the years and a “Custom Walkman” corner featuring Walkman skins designed by artists.

The Walkman ushered in the biggest change in the way we listen to music. Shortly before the first Walkman was released, I had a Sony Pressman, which was much larger than the first Walkman, because it had stereo microphones – it was designed for reporters to use recording in the field – but also a big battery pack; I think it held four AA batteries. It was about as heavy as a brick, but I used to walk around with that and the ability to have my own personal soundtrack – something we now take for granted – was revolutionary.

I must say, it was hard to find a photo of the device I had. Even Sony doesn’t have a photo of this on their website, where they have an archive of their products, but I found a Time Magazine article with a photo.

Source: Sony holds 40th anniversary event for iconic Walkman music player – Japan Today

Why Play a Music CD? ‘No Ads, No Privacy Terrors, No Algorithms’ – The New York Times

To be honest, my preferred way to listen to music is on CD, as unfashionable as that might be. You push a button, the music plays, and then it’s over — no ads, no privacy terrors, no algorithms!

If you compare the act of playing a CD to that of allowing a streaming service to choose which music you listen to, then what the author says makes sense.

But, with streaming services:

  • You don’t have ads if you pay for music
  • I’m not sure what privacy terrors he’s talking about; at least with Apple Music
  • And there are no algorithms when you select an album, or create your own playlists

The above was an off-the-cuff comment in an interview, and it was promoted to being the headline, but it’s a bit clueless.

Source: Why Play a Music CD? ‘No Ads, No Privacy Terrors, No Algorithms’™ – The New York Times

The Next Track, Episode #151 – The Latest Trends in Hi-Fi

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxWe welcome back Chris Connaker, who tells us about the latest trends in hi-fi at the Munich High End audio show.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #151 – The Latest Trends in Hi-Fi.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Next Track, Episode #150 – Ambient Music

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxThe problem with the genre of ambient music is that most of it is not ambient music. No one really agrees on what exactly ambient music is. We discuss the genre, and the music, and how we feel about this type of music.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #150 – Ambient Music.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Next Track, Episode #149 – In Which We Discuss the Potential Breakup of iTunes Yet Again Because We Really Didn’t Have Anything Else to Talk About This Week

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxWe discuss the potential breakup of iTunes yet again, because there is some new information about what the future of iTunes will be.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #149 – In Which We Discuss the Potential Breakup of iTunes Yet Again Because We Really Didn’t Have Anything Else to Talk About This Week.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Next Track, Episode #148 – Spoilers

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxWe don’t often talk about TV, but this week we discuss some TV series, how people watch TV, and in particular the disappearing experience of appointment TV. And we link this all with iTunes, at least a bit.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #148 – Spoilers.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Next Track, Episode #147 – Kirk’s New Sonos Amp

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxKirk bought some new audio equipment: a Sonos Amp. We talk about how this amp works, and how it has allowed Kirk to minimalize the equipment in his home office.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #147 – Kirk’s New Sonos Amp.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

The Next Track, Episode #146 – Woodstock

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxThe 50th anniversary concert of Woodstock has been planned, and tickets were supposed to go on sale this week, yet have been delayed. We look back at the original Woodstock festival and how much the music influenced us.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #146 – Woodstock.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.

Music in Writing – iA Writer

“We make music when we speak. When we write, the music is in our head, and typing we play the drums. Being fully immersed in writing is like composing and playing music while we drum up our perceptions into letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs. How does it all play together?”

Read this article, and listen to what Oliver Reichenstein has done with music inspired by a paragraph of text. But scroll down and watch the video near the bottom of the article first; that shows the results of his experiment. (I think the video should be at the top of the article, so people check that out before the making-of.)

I find this fascinating, because I have always been interested in the musicality of language. I’ve done may share of analyzing language: I have a Master’s Degree in applied linguistics, and taught English as a foreign language for nearly a decade in another life. I recall doing conversation analysis for my studies and understanding how paying attention to the tiny details in language one shows a musicality in the way people speak. You don’t really hear this much in improvisational speech, but if you hear people who are used to being interviewed, or who are experienced in public speaking, where there isn’t too much hesitation or searching for words, as in the Martin Amis clip used in this example, there is a great deal of music.

Interestingly, I’m editing a podcast episode this morning, and I pay attention to the rhythm and music as I edit, and probably spend too much time editing out the words like “um” and “so.”

I would love to see this experiment taken a bit further, in two ways. First, since I know that Oliver is multilingual, it would be interesting if he did the same thing with some short clips from French and German. This would show how music is influenced by language. The rhythms are different, and the percussive effect of these languages is very different. (For example, French, for the most part, does not have syllable stress within words, and has very little word stress, at least the way English does.)

Second, I would like to see this done with a bit of a Shakespeare speech. Improvised language, like the Amis interview clip, is not as structured as something that is written to be spoken out loud. But the music of a great Shakespearean speech in iambic pentameter is beautiful, and this approach would be instructive to those trying to understand the way Shakespeare worked with words.

Source: Music in Writing – iA Writer: The Focused Writing App

The Next Track, Episode #144 – Cornelius Boots and His Bad-Ass Shakuhachi

The Next Track Blue Flat Button2 400pxCornelius Boots is a bad-ass shakuhachi player, and Kirk’s second shakuhachi teacher. Cornelius is a composer, performer, and teachers, and has just released his third album of original compositions.

Listen to The Next Track: Episode #144 – Cornelius Boots and His Bad-Ass Shakuhachi.

Find out more at The Next Track website, or follow The Next Track on Twitter at @NextTrackCast.