I was a teenager during the 90s and like all youth of my age I enjoyed music, so I spent most of the last half of the 90s using Sony earbuds, my trademark was in fact using just one earbud when I was with my friends, for me it was a normal thing and not anti-social at all.
My friends asked me what was I hearing, and we shared music and sometimes players because we were at the end of the cassette era, the peak of the Discman and by the end of the decade I would join the Mini-Disc club.
Most of my friends were from the middle class or upper middle class, so we had some money and had access to some nice Sony portable music players, from really tiny cassette players to Discmans.
The 90s in my opinion were the golden era of Sony in Portugal, they had the best portable products one could buy, it was a brand to compare other products in terms of quality and style, so it’s normal when I decided to buy a recorder I wanted the best stuff around and went for the MZ-R35 a player that would last me at least 5 years until it died from optical lens failure, this was a portable mechanical product that was robust enough to fall from my jeans pocket to the ground at least 5 or 6 times, and it still worked with some nasty beats to the magnesium chassis, players these days just break apart and die from such falls.
I also had a Sony Discman, no anti-shock memory, so it did skip a lot, but the sound was bliss to my teen hears. It didn’t last long, so later I bought the Mini-Disc player to replace it.
I had at least two Walkmans, one with an analog FM/AM tuner and later a digital one.
Because of those cassette players I made many mix tapes, at the time it was normal to do such a thing, these days people made them as nostalgia trips or just hype digital stuff.
Making a mixtape was a bit hard because we had to use every little space on the tape, and that’s means calculating the time and order of the songs. We also had to write the artist and song by hand on the box cover, some box covers were true works of art.
Kids these days don’t imagine the work we had with tapes, nostalgia sometimes kicks in, sorry!