Let’s rewind back to the time when iPods didn’t exist and they invented the craziest thing ever, a portable CD player (used to play compact discs).

Prior to the development of the CD, cassette tapes were the dominant form of audio storage in regards to the then-fledgling portable audio industry.

Sony had revolutionized the way in which music could be enjoyed with the introduction of the first portable music player, the Walkman. With this portable unit, music was able to accompany a person anywhere it went. Gone were the restrictions of a stationary player.

The Walkman became part of culture and even part of fashion. As Sony began to realize the potential of the CD, executives pushed for a means to give the CD player market momentum, moving it from audio enthusiasts to the mainstream.

Discman was the product name given to Sony’s first portable CD player, the D-50.

One of the major problems with the early Discman was something called skipping. Skipping consists of the laser inside the CD player temporarily losing its place on the CD, interrupting playback.

The basic features of a portable CD player are:

  1. Play/Pause
  2. Stop
  3. Rewind
  4. Fast forward
  5. Hold (some models)
  6. Liquid crystal display
  7. Headphones

The play and pause feature allows the user to pause in the middle of the track (song) and resume it at the same place the listener left off at once the play button is hit again.

The stop feature stops the track allowing the user to then switch tracks easily.

The fast forward and rewind feature will either fast forward or rewind the track the amount of time you hold the button down.

The liquid crystal display provides a visual of how much battery is left, what track (number) is currently playing, and the amount of time elapsed on the track.

The headphones solely function to amplify the music so it can be heard.

I can’t begin to imagine how many batteries I’ve went through to keep up with my slow jams and top 40 addiction.

Not only that but how about the manual labour you had to go through just to change CDs and make sure you had your favourites stocked in glove compartment or in your back pack.

Arghh the skipping! No way you could’ve jogged with that bulky thing.

As much as I love and respect 90s technology I still can’t live with my iTunes [hugs PC monitor]. 

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