How Sony's Walkman Changed the World

Before CDs and MP3s, this little machine made music portable

Andreas Pavel was getting tired of being laughed at. It was 1977, and the German-born inventor had made appointments at all of the major electronics companies—Yamaha, Grundig, ITT, etc.—and each had sent him packing. Pavel was trying to interest them in a device he'd invented called the "Stereobelt," a portable cassette player equipped with headphones. It was a novel invention, but the big brands were having none of it.