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November 9, 2010

Back to the future: A record player that needs no records


Another visitation from the Bizarro World, whose wormhole into ours appears to be growing like Topsy.

Wrote Jonathan Poet in a November 8, 2010 post on Retro Thing: "Most of today's kids are unlikely to understand the concept of music being purchased on physical media — let alone the concept of vinyl records."

The device works as follows: "The record head has four pressable buttons which line up with four ridge positions on the discs.... The memory chip identifies which disc is being played by the ridges depressing the buttons. The wind-up still turns the disc manually, but all it does is tell the speaker to play while turning.... You don't really need the disc at all — just wind it up (so the chip knows the music is 'on'), and press the buttons under the head with your fingers to activate different songs."

Poet added: "The phrase 'you don't really need the disc at all' is what really struck me. This new record player is merely an illusion."

Use yours.

But I digress.

Poet concluded: "The original Fisher Price Music Box was artificial, sure, but it at least was a sensible abstraction of a real LP. Its modern namesake isn't an abstraction at all. It's a push-button music toy with a slightly more complicated button scheme. It's a record player in which you don't really need the record at all."


[via Richard Kashdan, whom I'm positioning for a stint as guest editor here. First he's heard about it but then, isn't that so often the case with news? That it doesn't travel via the channel you expect?]

November 9, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink


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