Evolution of Portable Music Players

Evolution of Music Players

Written By: Roland Casillas
      Web and Blog Editor

With Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival currently taking place, I thought it would be interesting to look into our past and see what portable music devices were used. Here is a brief history of our portable music devices.

First, starting with the Transistor Radios, U.S. Pat. No. 2,892,931, Richard Koch designed a miniature sized transistor radio that could fit inside an ordinary shirt pocket. To make this device commercially acceptable, he had to come up with an acceptable battery life, meaning create circuitry to consume minimal voltage so as to power the device for longer period of time.

Second, the Portable Lightweight Record Player, U.S. Pat. No. 3,218,081, Augusto Gentilini designed a portable record player that would fit inside of a small suitcase. The reason for a reduction in size was because of the altered motor arrangement. This arrangement also limited the vibration caused by the motor due to the connection with a suspended rubber plate and offsetting the weight of the motor by adding an adjustable weight. 

Third, the Compact Cassette Player, U.S. Pat. No. 5,247,293, created by Noboru Nakagawa and Sony. This model is a future generation from the original Walkman, but it still describes the aspects of a compact cassette player.

Fourth, Portable Disc Player, U.S. Pat. No. 5,265,083, again created by Sony, the portable disc player utilized a compact disc that could play audio, video, and other content. This current application additionally has aspects of an LCD display to view audio information according to the current media being played.

Lastly, the MP3 Players, U.S. Pat. No. 7,627,343, Anthony Fadell and Apple came up with a portable media player that can play MP3 audio files that are stored directly on the device itself. This media player allows the user to connect (i.e. wired or wirelessly) the media player to another computing device to download or transfer content.

I know that there are other devices that I have missed or left out, but this was just a peak into the realm of media players.

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