Ha, the cassette player is what's going out of production. They will continue to sell a lot of portable AV players with USB a very rich set of content on the net and that people now produce themselves at quality levels higher than the old studios.
Whats interesting to note is the fact that earlier generation products had a long life, and were able to retain the user interest for much longer. Today, we move from one gadget to another in a matter of couple of years. I think of nostalgic association with one's gadgets has ended!
I recently wrote software for Sony's new walkman which includes our SigmaTel/Freescale System On a Chip, integrated USB controller, battery charger, ADC, DAC, headphone amp, ARM core, decoders for wav, mp3, wma, wmv video and many other formats.
I still have a Walkman WM-FX10 that is about 20 yrs old and in good working condition. I use it to listen to tapes I've made from live radio broadcasts that are not offered as podcasts. I don't carry it while listening, but just use it in the office or at home. What surprises me is that I can still find bricks of analog tapes at my local stores, but expect that this won't last too much longer either.
After school we would edit together our own 'radio shows', fake commercials and skits using 1/4in tape recorded from the 'wireless' (now there's a word that's back in fashion!). We tried to compete with the early radio pirates' jingles, stimulated by the zany humour of the Goons, Goodies or pre-Python antics of Cleese, Jason etc. Remember, cassette tape killed amateur audio editing until Cool Edit came along!
The Walkman was the first to make the music personal and who can forget it. We all grew up listening to them at least at some point of them. It is not surprising that they lasted this long because it's replacements the CD and the flash drives still are not so ubiquitous. Moreover these tape recorders and players came as an add-on to the radio which made them spread all over the world.
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