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The End Of The Walkman

Sob.

If the death of Windows XP wasn't enough, here's another tear-jerker for we tech saddos.

Sony has announced that it's no longer going to manufacture cassette Walkmans. It'll still sell those they've made, but once they're gone, they're gone.

Now, I know what you're thinking - they didn't announce this years ago? (OK, those of you above about 20 will be saying that. Those younger might be saying, 'what's a cassette?') And we guess it is strange they didn't do this years ago. Still, we can't help but feel a bit mournful. Released before most of you were born, the original Walkman turned the world of music on its head, replacing arguments over the record player with everyone having their own personal world of music - not to mention audiobooks, which has become a billion-pound industry since the Walkman took off. But then came CDs, then MiniDisc (remember that?), then MP3s, and cassettes started to look seriously out of date.

Of course, the Walkman name lives on on Sony's MP3 players. But hands up who has one of those? As we all know, the market for digital players has become scarily dominated by one, very non-Japanese company: Apple and its all-conquering iPod. Will the Walkman name ever shine as brightly again? We'll have to see.

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