The Discman D-50 was the name given to Sony’s first portable CD player back in 1984. It was the first portable compact disc player and at the time of launch it was the smallest in the world, representing a major technical achievement in the development of music technology.
It had basic features including track-skip, search and pause, but aside from these, the functionality we on the ample range of portable music devices today were sadly (but not understandably) lacking.
The D-50 also didn’t support an external power source, although this was soon rectified and a line out connection was also introduced shortly after for use with hi-fi systems or tape recorders.
In Japan, all Discman products were referred to as CD Walkman, a name which was eventually adopted worldwide in 2000 to coincide with the launch of a redesigned Walkman logo.
Sony blazed a trail in portable music technology, dominating the market for many years, and in 1994 the D-131 model was the latest addition to the range and brought impressive sound quality including bass boost, improved optical pick-up and sleek design. The device sold in great numbers and arguably became the Japanese company’s most successful device, all building on foundations laid by the humble Discman D-50.
The Walkman changed the way the world listened to music offering a personal experience to all of its users, and we’re pretty sure without Sony’s influence things would have been very different indeed.