My first experience with portable music was a small transistor radio that I received for Christmas. Way back when. Best guess would be 1966. It was a gas station promo item, a red radio in the shape of a Sinclair gas pump. AM only. I spent many happy hours listening to KTSA and KONO in San Antonio, getting a new exposure to popular music as opposed to the vinyl collection of country music favored by my parents.
I've long since become disgusted with the Top-40 and with commercial radio in general, and spent several years recording my favorite album cuts to cassette tapes so that I could listen to my favorite tunes as I drove back and forth to work. The transition to CDs was a happy period. I could easily carry two dozen or more entire albums along with me. This was a definite improvement since my musical taste can run from Hank Williams to Beethoven in the course of a day.
Yesterday I entered the newest portable music market. I have a bright, shiny Dell DJ Ditty (Dell's equivalent to the IPod Shuffle). A quick enrollment to MusicMatch and I began downloading songs to my Ditty. I've found songs I haven't heard in years, songs that were on old cassette tapes that have been relegated to a box in the garage. And in CD-quality sound. I'm having more fun with this little gizmo than I've had with any other musical option since I opened that Christmas present so many decades ago.
I really didn't think I would succumb to the temptation to walk around with wires hanging out of my ears. But scratch that. I may look dumb (an old lady with an mp3 player?!?), but I'm enjoying blocking out the traffic sounds and the constant surrounding chatter at the office with the sounds of music I've missed for such a long time. And I can download audiobooks, too. Whee!
Goodbye unwanted noise and distraction! Me and my Ditty are making our own kind of music these days. Geez, I'm even thinking I may need a bigger version...