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The Incredible Shrinking Stereo

It has been more than 20 years since Sony introduced the Walkman cassette player. Since then, an entire category has been created-portable music. Consider that before the late ’70s, people had to jog, bicycle and roller skate in glorious silence. Folks jogging together had to actually have a conversation! Now we can meander in our own worlds listening to whatever catches our fancy that day.

Besides the radio, there are quite a few different media that one can choose as source material for a portable stereo. The cassette is the most ubiquitous, but its popularity has been waning each year due to its poor fidelity and bulky size. The compact disc has become the most popular device, with portable Discman-type devices and CD boom boxes selling at the rate of two or three per home.

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