A Short History of Discman
The Discman known as Sony Discman were portable compact disc players with headphones powered by batteries. It was used for listening music while on the move. There were several evolutions in the product of Discman including the addition of radio, reception and ability to play writable and re-writable discs.
Personal audio equipment like mini radios capable of receiving SW, MW and FM transmission became very popular in the 1960s. Demand of portable cassette players allowing choice of music playing was high in the 1970s.
Sony was the first company to introduce mini radio in the market in late 1950s. A culture of miniaturization developed that resulted in the release first Sony Walkman in the market in 1980. It was a quick success because of being little bigger than a tape cassette. It encouraged executives at Sony to invent a compact disc player to achieve same aims.
The first compact disc player was introduced in the market in 1982, it was called CDP-101 and was marketed by Sony. It was announced by Sony that compact disc technology was jointly developed by Philips, Polygram and CBS/Sony. Billy Joel’s 52nd Street was the first commercial audio compact disc and was released through the label of CBS/Sony.
The head of Engineering Development Department, Katsuaki Tsurushima came up with an idea to create a portable CD player in 1983. He hoped to create a CD player that would be no bigger than three or four CD cases piled together and sold at an affordable price. The idea was known as CD CD project.
By the end of 1984, Sony engineers managed to fit a CD player into a case a little smaller than block of wood. The D-50 nicknamed Discman was Sony’s first portable CD player released for Japanese music lovers and Sony was confident about its profitability. The D-50 was never shipped with Discman branding and is never the forerunner of all Sony Discman portable CD players.
CD players were highly vulnerable to skipping in the early days. As D-50 was not different and Sony’s first portable CD player was only portable, using this first generation Discman while on the move required very careful walking, jogging and other similar activities.
The technology did not significantly improve as the international models of Sony Discman were very same as D-50. The Discman D-100 is particularly slightly slimmer than D-50. The compact displayer technology had improved by 1987 to an extent that D-20 was able to offer a built-in battery compartment. Sony had produced the Discman D-66 by 1992. In the early 2000s, there was a growth of MP3 music and significant design of Sony Discman with Sony’s ‘G Protection’ anti-skipping system.
The nickname of Discman was retired and CD Walkman was the new name given in 2000. During the same time, Sony introduced ‘W’ logo formed with dots joined together. The trademark is still owned by Sony who reserves the right to revive the brand in the future.