by Margaret Lyons
Original Post: Entertainment Weekly
Ah, youth. A British 13-year-old test drove an old-ass Sony Walkman instead of his iPod this weekend, and lo, the results were comical.
"From a practical point of view, the Walkman is rather cumbersome, and it is certainly not pocket-sized, unless you have large pockets," he writes. Truth! (Though as the years wore on, Walkmen did shrink down a bit.) But it gets better: "It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape," writes the tech-savvy youth. He creates his own version of "shuffle" "simply by holding down 'rewind; and releasing it randomly." Except any one-time Walkman owner knows that's dancing with the devil.
"I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don't have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, 'Walkmans eat tapes.' So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day." Worse than being musicless for the day, pal, is losing that tape forever. Also, don't store tapes near nickels. Man, the good old days.
As cumbersome as the Walkman was compared to the iPod (or other MP3 players), it was still much better than portable CD players which never, ever stopped sucking.