Is the Walkman better than the iPod?


There's been some poll, which inevitably didn't ask you or me for our opinion on anything, but we'll somehow have to accept it.

The poll concerned the top 50 tech inventions of the past 50 years and, it isn't surprising that the iPhone came out on top.

However, what was interesting is that the Walkman came second, beating Apple's iPod into third place.

Is the Walkman much more important than the iPod? Sure, it was the iPod that got an entire library worth of music into one small unit, but the Walkman was the first device that got everyone listening to music outside of the house AND ignoring each other on public transport.

In terms of being 'better', what it lacked in the number of tracks it housed (a C90 could get around two and a half LPs on it), the Walkman pasted MP3 players on things like twin headphone sockets (to save you from sharing an ear each, thereby making Beatles albums impossible to enjoy) and replaceable batteries. Basically, a Walkman worked 'til you broke it.

“The fact that over 30 years on, the original Sony Walkman is still seen as a greater invention than the iPod is testament to how ground-breaking Sony’s cassette player was,” says Kieran Alger, Editor of, which conducted the poll.

“It was the first device to make music properly portable, to give us a soundtrack to every day. It changed the way we listened to music and saw the world. We’re still in love with that idea today, forgetting how annoying it was having to fast-forward to your favourite song – or when your tape chewed up altogether.”

The top ten tech inventions of the past 50 years according to were the Apple iPhone, Sony Walkman, Apple iPod, Microsoft Windows, Apple iPad, YouTube, Sony Trinitron TV, Sky+, Facebook and the VHS video recorder.

Sadly, no room for any games consoles there, which seems a little off. We would've loved to see Nintendo Game & Watch in there.


  • PokeHerPete
    How many tags do you want? You missed out 'titwank'
  • Mike
    This is the only tag with best on, lets hope we get some more! Best news is under reported.
  • Phil
    So out of the top three gadgets I don't own any of them. Do I win?
  • Jeremy
    You mean that the iPhone is better than Concorde? or better than Linux? or better than virtually anything? or is this "tech inventions" only for gadgets wot you can pay money for? Even so, Sat Nav would be superior to a gadget that continually cries out for your money.
  • corbyboy
    In surveys like this, recent inventions are always going to be rated high. None of those Apple products should be on the list. Surely the DVD player and Microsoft Windows should be on there?
  • fra
    Sky+ is on the list??? Why??? It is a basic PVR still to catch up with TiVo which preceded it by many years.
  • Noghar
    @fra - because the 'poll' is a load of crap made up by a marketing company to pad out a press release or two, with some deliberately engineered 'controversy' to make it more worth printing. Who ran the poll? Who did they ask? Who gives a crap? Don't waste your indignation. I don't mind BW repeating this twaddle, I'm just disappointed they take it so seriously...

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