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History of Portable Music [Infographic]


Portable music began in the 1950s with handheld devices that simply received and broadcast radio signals. Radio was the first portable musical medium that could be taken with you anywhere. Technically, portable radios were not personal music devices because they only broadcast content that was produced and selected by radio stations. As time and technology evolved, portable musical devices were developed that gave music lovers choice, flexibility, and freedom. 

Music Freedom

With the rise of portable music, people were able to listen to what they wanted when they wanted and where they wanted. Gone were the days of waiting by the radio for a chance to hear daily and weekly radio shows or a favorite song. Technology eliminated chance and time, and enable infinite choice. People began carrying copies of their favorite music with them as cassettes and CDs were introduced.

Fast forward to today’s supreme digital portable musical devices that enable anyone to have access to any piece of music, anytime, anywhere – including video content. So how did this phenomenon occur? Check out this history of portable music devices to learn more.  

Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at


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