Archive for October 13th, 2010


Millard 10

In modern times it is safe to say that a large percentage of the population in the United States has or has once owned a portable music device. There are tons of different portable music players available, whether it was the boom-box, a cassette player, or CD player. Or the current Ipods, cell phones, laptops, netbooks. As the generations pass, the devices only get smaller and multifunctional.

In the late 1930s to 1940s there was a portable music revolution with the Victrola which was introduced by the Victor company. This “portable” player was pretty big, and in contrast to modern day, the smaller Victrola’s were less expensive than the less portable larger Victrolas. Of course, the larger Victrolas produced better sound quality. They ranged in price from $10-$200 and they played some of the first recorded sound coming out of a ‘talking machine’.

There is an ad that they show in the book which I found really interesting, the headline says “Take a Victrola with you when you go away this summer” and it continues to promote the machine and how it could make like a great companion for the consumers vacation, or even make staying at home a vacation. I find this interesting because of the revolution this machine made, if it wasn’t for these sorts of advances who knows how we would be able to consume our personal tastes in music at a given time.

Another advance that was mentioned in the chapter is that of magnetic recording, which allowed the shrinking of the discs being used to playback the music. The discs went from being old shellac 78-rpm records to 45 and 33-rpm discs which were lighter weight, more durable, played better quality. In the long run the changes into the magnetic recording were also highly effective, which also led to modernization of the disc and compacted long recordings into compact discs. As times progressed more advances broke through such as mp3 files, which were compressed even smaller.