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When I was a kid, I got a Hitachi tape recorder for my birthday.
It came with a faux leather cover, had a built-in carrying case and ran on electricity or batteries … and I loved it.
It wasn’t just because it let me listen to music, it let me record stuff.
Very few things can come close to the excitement I use to feel pushing down the ‘REC’ and ‘PLAY’ buttons so it would go into ‘record’ mode.
There’d always be a pause before I said or did something because I’d have to stare through the smoked perspex cover to make sure the little wheels of the recorder were going around, but after that, it was a free for all.
Of course, what I recorded tended to be utter pants – but that didn’t matter, because while the content might have been rubbish, the emotion that was played back was sheer youthful energy and optimism.
Laughing … bad jokes … fake interviews … singing … giggling … it was an infectious and addictive, or at least it was after you got over the initial shock that the voice coming out the machine bore no resemblance to the voice you thought came out your mouth.
Of course another pleasure was the fact that while listening back to what you were playing, you could half press the Fast Forward / Rewind buttons and hear yourself speak as if you’d been sucking on nitrogen … which guaranteed hours of fun, at least if you were a single child growing up in West Bridgford, Nottingham.
I’ve talked previously how I think old technology made people feel good because they made us work hard to master them and recently, on a trip to Japan, that belief was confirmed when I saw this …
… yes, it was an olde-worlde tape recorder.
Sure it was in Japanese and had an ultra-modern ‘tape counter’ built in to it, but it was basically the same thing and it immediately took me back to that place as a kid where life was nothing but fun and bright and recording pointlessness was meaningful and enjoyable.
OK, so that could be more about my frame-of-reference rather than this tape recorder being soooooooo amazing, however for a man who is obsessed with technology, the fact I can get so excited about something that is based around decades old tech is quite interesting – which is why I can’t understand brands that just want to talk about their technical features when people are moved by emotions, excitement and possibilities.
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