From musicians making music on 8 tracks,to photographers rediscovering film, there has undeniably been an interest in returning to analogue technologies in recent years. It seems that hardly anyone I know under the age of 30 does not own at least a few vinyl albums, or a film camera. This might just be my friends, but the fact that you can buy record players and Lomo cameras in shops like Urban Outfitters, suggests its relatively mainstream.
As technology and gadgets become more and more sophisticated there seems to be an increasing desire to hold on to old technologies, if only for nostalgia’s sake. Vinyl in many ways has been the poster boy for this trend back to analogue, demonstrated by the fact that as CD sales fell by the way side, vinyl sales have continued to rise over the last two years.
So undeniably we are still invested in analogue tech. So why did Sony put the final nail in the Walkman coffin this week? They cited low consumer interest in the product for their decision to end production after 30 years, but when was the last time they did anything to even make you aware that the product was still around?
Regardless, I believe that Sony has missed the boat by failing to jump on the analogue trend. Especially as the cassette seems to be following in vinyl’s shoes and is on the verge of making a come back.
In the last year numerous indie bands have started to release music on cassette, including the likes of “Of Montreal,” “Internet Forever,” “Sky Larkin,” “Seams,” and the list goes on. In fact last week it came to my attention that there are tape-only labels starting to emerge, such as new London label “Cool In A Crisis”.
So with cassettes set to be the next big trend in analogue tech, did Sony pull the plug on their Walkman a little to soon?