iPod Clone Invented In 1979?

Before you roll your eyes, consider the images seen in this recent Gizmodo article. While it is worth mentioning that the idea of a music player was available long before Apple released its first iPod, the fact that a digital music player concept visualized in ’79 to the degree that is appears to have characteristics of older iPods is rather creepy.

Digging deeper into this concept, my jaw about dropped when I read about the idea behind how music would be delivered to its users. It again reminded me of today’s digital online music stores, be it not iTunes specifically. What hit me the hardest was the prediction that the music industry could, indeed, be circumvented using digital music stores. In 1979, I’d consider this quite an amazing prediction.

We laugh at the idea of our music being stored on mainframes somewhere, only to then be accessed over phone lines especially considering the limitations of physical storage at the time for anything remotely portable. But wait a second. Tiny, cassette like chips? Why not simply use cassettes? Seems to me that my old Ti-99-4A rocking BASIC was using cassette tapes to store my self-created programs. So does it not stand to reason that it is quite possible that assuming the nightmare that is transmitting music over a phone line is somehow overcome, one could store lossy music to a cassette tape just like we did when I was a kid?

What do you think? Was this guy ahead of his time or simply making a series of lucky guesses?

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