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Walkmans and iPods

The Sony Walkman was invented in 1979, its digital successor, the Apple iPod, in 2001. Both are portable music machines permitting users to take and create their own personalized sound worlds wherever they go. The Walkman and Apple iPod are technologies of sonic control; the placing of headphones around the ears permits a dramatic reorganization of the user's sound world, in effect empowering the ears of the user. Technology thus transforms the power of the senses. Historically, the ears had always been considered to be a passive sense in so far as we are unable to close them at will, unlike the eyes; the ears are always open. The use of a Walkman or an Apple iPod changes this—for the first time users can traverse ...

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