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Sony Presses Stop on the Walkman

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Everyone take out your Killing Joke tapes and fire up "Requiem," for another one of our best friends from high school has fallen.

The Sony Walkman has joined the likes of Polaroid Cameras, LaserDiscs, and 5¼-inch floppies in the gadget landfill in the sky. Sony announced it has ceased production on its archaic tape player in Japan -- the land of its birth -- as the rise of digital media players and MP3-ready smartphones continue to phase out their older brethren. The final shipment was sent to retailers this April, and once those units are sold, thus marks the end of our tape-eating compatriot.

The name will live on in CD and MiniDisc players, and an outsourced Chinese manufacturer will continue production for some parts of Asia, but let's be honest with ourselves. It's definitely over.

Introduced in 1979, the Sony Walkman quickly revolutionized how we commuted, jogged, and spent our time in detention. It played love letters in the form of mixtapes -- fellow Minyan Diane Bullock details hers in Cassette From My Ex -- and encouraged us to be more assertive in the form of self-help tapes. Over the course of an hour -- two, if you flipped the tape -- the Sony Walkman represented the very best of our musical libraries.

So long, Walkman. In the immortal words of Bauhaus, press the eject and give me the tape.
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