|Sony has halted production of the classic-version Walkman. (AFP/Getty Images/File 2009)|
NEW YORK — The Walkman, the Sony cassette device that forever changed music listening before becoming outdated by digital MP3 players and iPods, has died. It was 31 years old.
Sony has ceased production of the classic Walkman in Japan, the company said yesterday.
The Walkman is survived by the Discman (clinging to life) and by listeners who think a Walkman is charmingly out of touch.
It will continue to be produced in China and distributed in the United States, Europe, and some Asian countries. Digital Walkmans are also being made, with models that display lyrics and have improved noise-canceling technology.
Some 220 million Walkmans have been sold since 1979.
It was developed under the stewardship of Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka. Morita insisted the device not be focused on recording but on playback, an odd notion then.