80's Sony Boom Box And Walkman Get Together
We all have those issues that put the fire in our bellies. Me? I believe that all portable audio systems should have an "aux in". There, I said it. It's a less difficult feature to find lately since so many people want to connect their iPods to their boom boxes (though it's often via a galling iPod-only dock). It was a somewhat common feature in early boom boxes too, some even came equipped with phono amps for hooking up a turntable! The input feature all but disappeared through most of the 90's, re-emerging in these iPod years.
Let's look at that other epoch-making personal audio advancement; the cassette Walkman. You'd think that its ubiquity in the 80's would mean that every boom box would have a "Walkman In" port, right? Sony continues to be just as fond of fomenting unrest as Apple by spitting in the face of compatibility. Why did they never release a boom box with some sort of customized Walkman input jack? Oh yeah... part of the point of the boom box was to include a tape player, so a Walkman input would be redundant, right?
So imagine my mind reeling when I actually found a Sony boom box with a "Walkman In" hookup. It wasn't a budget boom box with no cassette deck (it would have been weird to bring the component buying mentality to portable electronics). So what is it for? A look at the transport controls reveal the answer. The CFS-230 has a record button. This radio is a battery powered portable piracy machine! Next time your shady buddy has some great tunes on his Walkman that you want to rip (to use the 'leet 21st century vocab for "copy"), you can get together with your Sony jam box and have a little dubbing party.
Recent years make it difficult to think of Sony as a company that created a product feature expressly for copying media. Of course 1985's CFS-230 comes some years before Sony had their fingers in music publishing, movies, video games, and every other kind of thing. Remember how innocent we all were when the CFS-230 came out, and Sony was still bleating that Beta was the superior home video format?
Here's a preview of my next rant: all camcorders should have "mic in" jacks. Yep, the gloves are off!