It is with terrible sadness to report that Sony's Japan headquarters announced it has ceased production on the iconic Walkman cassette player, the first device that allowed you to take your music with you. This doesn't mean that you won't be able to obtain a new portable cassette player in the U.S. anymore (even though most major electronics retailers have already discontinued stocking them). China will continue to manufacture and distribute the Walkman worldwide. This news shouldn't be particularly shocking, considering that the iPod has been digging the cassette's grave since it was first introduced nine years ago. What's surprising is that it didn't die sooner.
I had many Walkmans over the years, all of which either went missing or just broke. One that my brother and I shared growing up narrowly missed my head and smashed against the wall behind me while we fought for possession. The one I won at my high school graduation party more than a decade ago, which I'd listen to while digging ditches every summer, finally bit the bullet a couple years ago. I never replaced it with another Walkman. nor did I upgrade to an iPod. People with white earbuds jammed into their ears became a ubiquitous sight while walking and commuting, and I just couldn't conform. Not enough people were listening to the wonderful (and questionable) sounds around us. The day my Walkman died, I gave up on listening to music on-the-go completely, and started listening to the world.
I could keep doing it (you wouldn't believe the kind of shit I've heard), but part of me wants to get one of these little babies before they go away forever. I have many tapes that still have a lot of life in them, Plus, Burger Records is putting a lot of awesome stuff out on cassette. Oh, what to do?!
Cassette and Walkman nostalgia can be shared in the comments.