My Sony (de)Pressman
Today I'll be talking about a piece of hardware I use on a constant basis, despite having plenty of other ways to do it better WITHOUT using two double a's and a little piece of plastic and magnetic reel that has encaptured the minds of every audiophile, at least for a short while (A gimmick of sorts).
The Sony Pressman line was a type of mono cassette recorders designed for people, primarily people of the press, to record small sound bites of information, such as small interviews or important things to be noted. The Pressman line, first started in 1977, wasn't sold the public when released, due to the price of these portable cassette recorders being far too high for the general public. Also, these often used microcassetes for convenience of size, which were also pricey at the time. Two years later, in 1979, Sony released the Walkman, a device that was orignally devised from the Pressman, that could play music in stereo sound, while removing the ability to record audio. There's no need to explain the success of the Walkman; The device helped shape the way people listen to music to this very day. Due to the lack of availability to the public and its very existence being shrouded by the Walkman, the device faded into relative obscurity. They were still being made by Sony, however. The model in the picture to the left, the Sony TCM-459V, was released in 1998. The Pressman never really had a chance after the digital age of recording. Various models were still sold in bulk to counties and small private news sectors. They eventually got into the hands of the public, long after the devices became obsolete. Not much is noted about these devices online, to my dismay. They're only really noted in detail on sites like eBay, where people with new old stock sell these units for upwards of fourty dollars.
Unfortunately, this line of Sony product will never see any real recognition, aside from a quick side note mentioning it in an article on the Walkman's long history. With its complete lack of any online resources, the limits of the device, and the driven-up prices, this line will shift into obscurity. Not to me, however. I have the model above, and I find it kind of fun to record everything that happens in my life (instead of doing it here). If anyone does find one of these units, I would tell you to buy one. They play very well, due to the lack of use any one of these things ever got. Although it doesn't have a real use for music (it records at a slower speed to save space on the tape), the form factor and sheer ability to interview whoever you want and play it back dozens of times, is a fool's gold worth finding.