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The Discman

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The Discman


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Before the introduction of the CD, cassette tapes were the leading audio storage medium and the walkman the leading portable audio player.

The Sony CDP-101 was the world's first commercially released Compact Disc player; so the company worked on the development of a new player reduced in size, cost as well as the power and number of parts needed. It was the CD CD Project (Compact Disc Cost Down Project). The original idea was to produce a CD player one-tenth the CDP-101 which by the time was converted to a portable device.

The result was the development of the D-50, introduced in November 1984. It had the same capabilities of the regular player CDP-101 but half its cost. The release of this portable player helped by the popularity of the walkman but the better quality provided by the CD, boosted the Compact Disc sales and its popularity. Before long it became a success continuously growing in sales.

Due to its similarity to its predecessor, the Walkman, it was known as the Discman, but Sony named it CD Walkman.

Those early Discmans came with a battery that could last 2 hours on a charge. One problem they had was their read speed, unlike current ones it was only x1, so if you tapped the top of the player, it took about 10 seconds to recover or if you didn't hold the player exactly level, it wouldn't play a thing. At the beginning it was also expensive, by 1985 it could be purchased for $800 in the United States; but with the increasing popularity of the CD the prices started to go down. By 1987 you could buy one for $300- $400. After a few years (by the early 90s) the Discman would replace the Walkman for good.

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