Throughout the course of history there have been numerous audio and portable audio devices that allowed listeners to take their content with them wherever they went. On July 27, an announcement was made that may have surprised some people – Apple revealed that it was discontinuing the iPod nano and shuffle. These two products should receive some recognition because they made audio history and forever changed how people take audio with them.
However, these two products are not alone. There have been other products that changed how people traveled with their music. In the early 1950’s, the transistor radio was created. It is considered the first portable audio device – small, relatively light and fit into a pocket. In the 70’s there were 8-track tapes. These tapes appealed to music lovers, allowing them to take the music they listened to at home and also listen to it “in-car.”
Shortly thereafter was the creation of the Boombox. This was an interesting game changer – it allowed people to carry (albeit a little heavy) their music with them and also tune into their favorite radio stations. Boomboxes also became a bit of a status symbol, providing the owner with a cool factor. In the late 70’s there was the Walkman – a small cassette player complete with AM/FM radio.
From the 90’s to present, it has been a whirlwind – MiniDisc, MP3 players, the iPod classic and then, of course, the iPod nano and shuffle.
Throughout the course of audio device history, broadcast radio has always remained as a consistent source for audio content. In fact, broadcast radio was a component of each of the devices. The reasons for radio’s resilience and ability to continue as a thriving medium are many:
- It’s easy to use
- It’s free
- There’s never any fatigue or work to get content on it
- It’s available whenever a listener wants it
- It’s a human voice in the listener’s ear
Despite all the audio options that have been available in years prior, and even currently, radio remains an ever-important audio device and medium. If you need additional proof, just ask any one of the 249.6 million people who listen to radio every week. I’m certain they’ll share with you many of the reasons why they tune in.