Alright, I was talking with my really good friend this morning at the pool, Mandy Lovett, a fellow Triathlete, about music. She told me that her husband made her a mix tape of songs for her workouts. So I said jokingly to her "what did he put them on a cassette for so you could play it on your "walkman." We both laughed but as I started my next set I was like, man, those things were the bomb and I believe until this past year they were still being made. But anyway, I think the technology for our portable music "boxes" must of been engineered by perhaps, need I say it, a triathlete. Just think about:
It first started with portable transistor radio and I bet Mr. "T"riathlete was like lets hook up some wires to this thing and put mini speakers right next to our ears. We have have to cut down on drag and weight so we can't use the big earmuff type headphones. So Mr. "T" came up with mini speakers covered in an abrasive foam material connected by a thin piece of steel, probably cutting both drag and weight from its predecessor by about 100 percent. The only problem was that when your clothing moved it would sometime change the station from 80's rock, to country, to gospel to static.
Next came the cassette tape so Mr. "T" thought wow that looks pretty aerodynamically sound if I use that I won't have to listen to static, commercials and really bad songs during crucial parts of my workouts. So he came up with the ever popular "Walkman." He also added the bright yellow Sony Walkman probably for night time running so you could be seen more easily. I thought of it all.
There was a small design flaw though, the athletes would have to carry their walkman. "We can't have this on our long workout days, we can't waste any energy on holding the walkman, we need all of our energy going toward our workout," he thought. So the ingenious Mr. "T" came up with the velcro arm band. GENIUS!!!
After years of dominating the market the walkman was shown the exit door but didn't leave without a fight in true triathlete style. The Portable CD Player came on the scene. This was super sleek looking - the CD was reflective like the moon blankets you get after a cold race. This is perfect. Mr. "T"'s plan was to incorporate the velcro arm band or incorporate huge pockets in training gear to help hold this contraption. Mr. "T" then put on the CD player a song time window that could double as a stop watch if one was inclined to do the math in order to pass the monotony of a long run. One glich though - when you bounced the CD skipped. Not to mention the weight of these things were pretty heavy, a major no no for training long distances. It was probably the 6 AA batteries you needed to operate the high piece of technology. One upgrade Mr. "T" did make was the strapless headphones. He took out the steel connector piece attached to the speaker, did away with the abrasive foam covers and made the speakers even smaller to fit into your ears, all weight and aerodynamic upgrades, for sure. They probably were 50/50 with the walkman for use in workouts.
Next came the I-pod and this revolutionized the portable music industry. Mr."T" clever design combined electronic technology and light weight materials to come up with a music box that was smaller than a pack of gum and weighed even less. You could store hundreds of songs and never listen to the same song twice. Awesome. It even passes the aerodynamic test of being paper thin and the weight test (can't be more than a few ounces). Mr. "T" has come up with the perfect music box for working out.
Wait hold the Phone what if Mr."T" could add GPS to it or maybe a Heart Rate Monitor. I think we might be on to something...
So this all started with the cassette mix tape, Mandy and I were talking about and it turned into all this.
Special Thanks to Mr. "T" for making my workouts so much easier with all the innovations to the "Music Box."
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
Click on Icon to view my Blog Endurance Sports Central w/ The Mercury - Town Square
Click on Icon to view TheReporterOnline.com Blog
Click on Icon to view The Times Herald Blog Site