My mp3/music players: Then & Now (Part 1)

By Jun Hao
As a passionate gadget and music lover, i've noticed that (obviously) my gadgets are constantly evolving over the time. Here are my beloved portable music players which are all still in tip top condition (except for one i think) and still functioning till today; 2007.... :)


Ah, my very first ever gadget. (technically it was my sis's before i inherited it frm her) The Walkman brand wasn't a big thing back then unlike today when Sony decided that their mobile phones would make a much bigger impact to current music users. So the majority of Sony Ericsson mobile phones nowadays use the orange Walkman interface in their music players embedded in the phones.

But, who couldnt resist this metallic, hi-tech looking object that can not only play cassettes with excellent audio quality but also act as a radio and an audio recorder. It costs around rm500 when my dad got it for me. Has a tiny monochromatic screen which was hip back then and i loved touching the walkman in air-con rooms as it'll be icy cold thanks to its fully metal finish.

Short & sweet: My first non-living buddy made from metal.

2) IKOMO K6 512MB MP3 PLAYER (2002)

This was the time when mp3 players were a boom in the market. Cassette players were slowly becoming prehistoric. My dad got this my first mp3 player for my birthday without my knowledge (it suppose to b a surprise!). I love surprises but gadgets are like clothes, u'd have to choose and test them personally, rite? Nevertheless, when i opened the very cool box containing the K6, i was stunned with the how elegantly the player looked. U'd definitely guess my next move(s) (jumping, rolling, somersaulting all over the floor till i broke my specs....nah, just pulling ya leg, but seriously i was darn happy)

The K6 was again, like the walkman, fully metal finished but its front is embedded with a highly reflective finish, almost mirror-like. (drools.....). When i first saw the brand, i was abit clueless. Did my research i found out that Ikomo is a korean brand and is also the manufacturer for the world's smallest mobile phone. Back to K6, it is as small as a match box and as thin as a cd cover. Again, monochromatic screen but a tad bigger than the one in my walkman (goodbye buddy, i hav a new metal friend :)). No radio, but has an audio recorder which was quite a feat in such a small player. It can also display lyrics which is cool and doubles as a virtual dictionary (english & chinese) :D

As u can see in d left pic, it shows the back of the k6. I pimped it with a small sticker frm Aus :) The k6 has no doubt excellent audio quality for that 'era' but if compared to players today, its definitely overshadowed.

However, after about 2yrs, on a fine day, i accidentally (aint it always the case?) dropped k6 and the rest was history. It broke apart but it was still functioning decently, fortunately. However the audio quality deteriorated and it died peacefully two days later. (sobs....T_T). But hey im an optimistic person n i was really fascinated with the tiny interesting circuit board that functions the player. Very tempted to venture further but didnt have the heart to. Imagine disecting your best metal buddy when its dead already? Gruesome....

Short & Sweet : K6, u wil remain special to me as u r my very first mp3 player. R.I.P

Aite, thats it for now. 2 more players to go in Part 2. :)