Rip Van Winkle wakes up in the 1970s and wants to hear all the music he’s missed. He tells a salesperson at the store what he wants, and he is asked some curious questions: “Would he prefer to hear just a few masterpieces over and over, or would he like to sample everything available at random? Does he expect the music to be portable? How’s his reception?” At the end of this strange interview, he’s given the choice of a console cassette player or a portable radio. Rip Van Winkle’s problem is that he wants to catch up on music; the solution he needs - an MP3 player loaded with thousands of songs - is a three-decade nap away. Sensibly, because of the technological limitations of the day, he compromises on a solution.

 

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