music players

Music Players: A Look at How They Were in The Past


Music is one of the things that shape our culture. Music players are therefore one of the most important technological gadgets for many of us.

Whatever genre it may be, we always want to hear our favorite music through our own gadgets. But, have you ever wondered what people used to consider as their iPods?

Today, we want to get our hands on the newest headphones and devices mass-produced by leading companies where we can play our tunes.

In the olden days, people could only use whatever technology was available, which in comparison to us now, we have a vast selection of gadgets available for our perusal whenever and wherever we want to hear our music.

Take a look at the inventions that were considered trendy before and its evolution throughout the years.


1.  Victrola

In 1877, this phonograph was created by the Victor Machine Talking Company, which looked more like furniture than a sound machine. 

The Victrola had the capacity to record and make sounds or music which people could hear throughout the house.

It was a staple for every household to have one of these music players.

Later, it became a best-seller upon its introduction in 1906 with the company creating a variety of designs, including different cabinet sizes.

Its lowest price is at $15 to a whopping $600 for fine wood and gold-trimmed cabinets.


2. Table Radios

There was a need for smaller music players instead of large gramophones that were used at home.

With this, the rise of table radios came in the 1900s as they were used as the primary source of music.


Older designs required the listener to tune in to the different stations available. More updated versions included cassette players and even compact disks.

This became a more suitable option for people because of its size and its use of batteries.


3. Turntables

In the 1960s and 1970s, turntables re-emerged in the scene of music players because of the release of newer designs.

A feature that made it a best-seller once more was the stereo playback of the Hi-fi sounds of the turntable.

Because of its nostalgic feature of the use of physical vinyl records, companies started making automatic turntables. 

This sound system later became more interesting once more and brought back in the modern setting with more advanced features like USB ports, Bluetooth connection to devices, and even a connection to your Spotify playlists. 


4. 8-Track Tape Music Players

In the 1970s, 8-track tape players were one of the must-haves of that period. 

Most of these have a place where you can connect them to speakers while others also include turntables, radio dials for FM/AM channels, and cassette players.

8-track cartridges could also be placed into cars since vehicles then included a radio where you can insert these tapes.

These cartridges had four stereo tracks inside that were on a one-fourth-inch loop on the tape, giving you 8 parallel tracks.


5.  Boom Box

With the emergence of the boom box in the 80s to the 90s, this hippie trend became popular instantly, especially on the streets.

This massive player was a portable radio and cassette player in one while having the capacity to play sounds through two loudspeakers and a sound amplifier. 


The sound of these systems is dependent on its size; thus, the larger they were, the louder the sounds that could be heard.

Media nowadays use boom boxes as references to the hip-hop culture.

Towards the 90s, multiple updates were made to the boom box which included CD players, equalizers, and a second tape deck for recording the radio and other forms of audio.


6.  Walkman

The appearance of the Walkman shaped the generation of the late ‘70s to early ‘80s. This was largely because of its portability to bring wherever you go.

The Walkman is a cassette tape player that could be connected to headphones for listening, which poses the reason why they were labeled as personal stereos to the masses.

Companies who created these devices received backlash because of its ability to prohibit natural conversation and to pose as a distraction, especially the youth.

Despite this, Walkmans instantly became a hit to all ages then.

This served as an inspiration to later devices like iPods and many more to come.


Final Thoughts

The ability of human minds is truly astonishing! From one invention to another, the evolution of technology takes its course because of the continuous emergence of improvements and demands of the market. A journey through our past is a way to appreciate the things then and the things now. At present, listening to music is made easier through portable devices and software and applications throughout them. Try finding one of these nostalgic devices in your home and giving it a listen.

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