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a) Music goes portable

a) Music goes portable

25.03.2019

 

In 1972, Andreas Pavel pushed a button on his newly invented 'Stereobelt' and the song “Push Push” started on an attached headset. Music had become portable. Realizing that his 'Stereobelt' could

"multiply the aesthetic potential of any situation,"

Pavel approached companies such as ITT, Grundig, Yamaha and Philips, but these felt the public would never wear headphones in public. Frustrated, Pavel filed a patent for the 'Stereobelt' in 1977. And then, in 1979, Sony released a similar personal stereo -- built initially for one of Sony’s chairmen, who wanted to listen to operas during his frequent flights. The name ‘Walkman’ was proposed, but the company’s leadership was skeptical and other names were entertained, e.g., ‘Walky’. In the end, ‘Walkman’ prevailed. It would go down in history as the generic way of describing a portable cassette player, as listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. A legal dispute ensued with Pavel, and in 1986 Sony agreed to pay him limited royalties. A second dispute was dismissed in 1996, leaving Pavel with over $3 Million in debt. With Pavel threatening with new lawsuits, in 2003 Sony settled paying over $10 Million plus certain royalties. Pavel was also recognized as the original inventor of the Walkman; this apparently could only be achieved after the death of Akio Morita, founder of Sony. Stereobelt and Walkman were succeeded by the MiniDisc, the DiscMan, and today’s phenomenon: the iPod.

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