Moonwalking Through the 20th Century: Eight Classic Music Players

Posted in: Musicouching by meeming on January 19th, 2008 | 6 Comments

In the modern world, music have become such a big part of our lives. We mostly have our own music players at home. Now, let us see if you have owned one of these music devices or should we say, did our grandma’s and grandpa’s had these music players during their time.

Late 1800’s – 1900’s:


The phonograph was developed by Thomas Alva Edison during the late 1800’s. This is the first device to ever record and replay a sound. This device plays cylinder records. Phonographs are also called gramophone since both devices can do similar things about record and sounds.


The gramophone refers to a wind-up machine which reproduces sound using disc records.

The device was popularized by a US company called Gramophone. The word “Grammy” is now used as the title Grammy Awards as seen in its small trophy representation of a gramophone.


Another music playing device is the jukebox wherein it can play selected songs with a few buttons and coin slots. The most famous jukebox of all time is the 1050 Wurlitzer. All we have to do is put coins, select and play. There are already lots of modern jukeboxes having more buttons and newer songs.


Using of disc records became more popular and so the turntable was constructed. There’s the spindle at the side and on top of the disc. Turntables are popularly used today by disc jockeys and mixers. Buying modern turntables are costly nowadays.


Cassette recorders were designed for vocal dictation, recoding and playing. This portable device is battery-powered and is for portable use. Cassette recorder uses cassette tapes in recording audio. The start of cassette recorders happened 100 years after Thomas Edison’s dream (1877) that some day there would be a talking machine in every home. The cassette had begun to challenge the disc as the most popular format and sales of cassettes increased rapidly rather than the discs. My mother’ still has this one at home.


The Soundabout cassette player was introduced by Sony during 1979. It was later renamed the “Walkman” having the model named as TPS-L2. It launched at Japan 1979 and was not considered a mass marketing product having a price of $200 that time. It can permit two people listening simultaneously using its headphone jacks and stereo playback function though it can’t record an audio.


The Walkman II was introduced during the early 1980’s. Officially called “Discman”, it became one of the most successful audio devices considering that Sony dropped its prices to a much affordable one. A compact disc is used in that device. The most successful artist having used these products to help elaborate music and record sales was Michael Jackson and his song Thriller which sold 40 million copies worldwide. Today’s walkman models are thinner, more compact and vivid designs.


1992, Sony competed against Philips’ Digital Compact Cassette and succeeded over them by the discontinued use of the DCC during 1996. The Sony MiniDisc combines the quality of a CD and ease of recording using an audio cassette. The MiniDisc uses a small-sized cd rather than the normal one.

Year 2001 – present:

Digital Audio Players or commonly known as MP3 player’s rise to popularity starting w/.


October of 2001, Apple Inc. launched the first generation iPod with 5 gigabyte memory storage. It is not colored yet and the buttons/controls are bigger than present. Also, it has a mechanical scroll wheel. There are already 15 iPod models launched, including the Apple iTouch.

There are really lots of new and high-tech audio devices made by different companies such as Apple, Sony, Samsung and more. I can’t even make up my mind choosing from all those players. Have any other audio devices you have had either old or new? You can share it here.

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