The Melodious Music Muff
By James Grahame
Here's photographic proof that ungainly muffs were all the rage in the early eighties. The £79.95 Music Muff was marketed as the ultimate personal stereo without troublesome wires. It came equipped with an FM stereo radio and a micro-cassette player that used tiny dictation tapes for playback. Given the subsequent success of personal stereos with "troublesome" wires, it's probably safe to conclude that sane consumers prefer featherweight headsets to hefty spring-loaded head clamps.
Despite the introduction of double-speed mechanisms and high fidelity Type IV metal tape formulations, the micro-cassette format failed to catch on for prerecorded music. Even in high speed mode, the tape ran past the playback head at half the speed of a regular cassette. So, while the Music Muff shipped with three cassettes including ABBA, Simon & Garfunkel and a disco medley, new material simply wasn't widely available.
I love the little note on the order coupon that says "Please allow 28 days for delivery." These days, people get impatient after 28 hours.