The Sony Walkman was the 80s’ iPod

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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More than 30 years ago, long before the iPod or iPhone, there was something every child and teenager wanted – the iconic Sony Walkman.

Back then, it was an amazing piece of modern technology that gave you a stereo cassette player which you could listen to on the go.

It was a revolution at the time, being able to listen to your favourite music on the bus taking you to school or during that long car journey with your parents.

Apparently the name ‘Walkman’ was chosen due to the popularity at the time of Superman and by 1992, 100 million units were sold around the world.

I remember getting one for Christmas and thinking I was the coolest kid around.

As soon as the shops re-opened after Christmas, I hopped on the bus from Copnor to Commercial Road and walked straight in the direction of Woolworths to buy some cassettes to slot into my new Walkman.

Of course another necessary accessory for the music player was a pencil for the times when your favourite compilation had been chewed up and could be dead forever.

Usually the heartbreak wouldn’t last long when a pencil would be used to wind the tape back in and you’d breathe a sigh of relief when you put the cassette back in the Walkman 
and it would play the music as it should.

Back to the modern day and technology has moved on considerably, which is shown by a new video that has been posted on the internet.

I’ll warn you, it will either make you laugh or make you feel incredibly old but you really should watch this video.

If you go onto YouTube and type in ‘Kids react to Walkman’ you’ll watch today’s children, aged between six and 12 years old, handed a cassette Walkman. Their confused reactions are interesting and very funny.

When asked if they know what the device is used for, one boy aged seven thought it was a walkie-talkie and a nine-year-old girl thought on first glance it was a phone, but quickly realised she was wrong.

Just 25 years ago, a child would have been begging their parents to get hold of one of these, so it’s interesting to see the children look at it like it has dropped in from Mars.

Sadly, we no longer have a cassette Walkman in our house, but thanks to Google I found a photo of one 
and showed it to my four-year-old daughter Caitlin and asked her what it was.

‘A box with music in,’ she replied.

I was impressed, but I think the headphones next to it maybe gave her a clue.

I then showed her a photo of a cassette which she told me was an iPad with holes in.