The history of the little-known, short-lived "pocket records" format

Originally published at: The history of the little-known, short-lived "pocket records" format | Boing Boing


I imagine that they had to reduce the frequency range of the records to not much more than a telephone line, to get the grooves to behave properly at that small diameter.


And a far superior audio format also arrived in the 1960s.


Flexi discs are kind of ridiculous, no matter what size they are.

The best thing to do with a flexi is to play it ONCE while recording it, then listen to the recording (cassette or digital) and store the flexi away somewhere it won’t accidentally get bent or lost.

People talk about how vinyl gets damaged every time you play it, but with flexi discs you can truly hear them degrading every single time they are played.


Speaking of moaning, I am reminded of these:


I was reminded of that too.

Also, this…


Apparently Sony didn’t know of this or they would have avoided the Minidisc

1 Like

Interesting. I imagine that every singer heard on one of these records sounded like Alvin or other of the chipmunks. Even Barry White.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this. :grin:


Great post. This guy’s videos are always well-done. I used to be a serious vinyl collector and even managed a new-and-used shop for a while but these formats are news to me.

however I’ve seen the players before, I think. their tiny size, battery power, and ability to also play 12" LPs at 33rpm make them highly sought-after by vinyl nerds in order to bring them along to record stores, yard sales, flea-markets and etc in order to preview unknown records to hear if they’re any good or not. no need to haul a large, corded player and hope there’s somewhere to plug in, or even ask permission to plug in.

in the early days of ebay, the hip players and similar products (often for children, Fisher Price made small, battery-powered turntables for years) became hot items. their popularity spawned new versions by DJ equipment makers, the first of which was the Vestax “Handy Trax,” which has spawned imitators to this day.

the cool thing about the modern versions is that the platters have powerful direct-drive motors that can spin at speed while the vinyl is held on-beat by hand over a felt slipmat, allowing beat-accurate DJing, and the size makes using 45rpm singles easier to work with compared to larger, standard turntables.
here’s a video I’ve shared before with 45 King demonstrating the facility of Handy Trax


First thing I thought of. Pretty sure I had one that I cut out from a cereal box too.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.