Radio Cameo On Metal Gear Solid V

Being a fan of video games and radio, I appreciate seeing this in Metal Gear Solid V. I don’t have my own screen capture, but I was surprised to see it when I played the game this fall. I have shared a picture from imgur and radio fans will like this neat little cameo.

If you look towards the middle, you’ll see a large radio. Upon a closer inspection, it looks like a Sony ICF-2001.

I caught this cameo in the opening scenes leading up to Big Boss’s (aka Venom Snake) awakening in the hospital in Cyprus. I know the radio looked familiar then closely looked at it in-game and saw that it appears to be similar to the ICF-2001.

I never had one, but the ICF-2001 was already released (1980) and this game’s story takes place in 1984. Shortwave was also still relevant in this point in history so it makes sense why it’s there.

The Cold War was still happening and many shortwave broadcasters like the BBC and Voice of America had a larger on-air presence too, so this radio definitely fits into MGS V very well. Snake also uses a Sony Walkman so it is no surprise to see another Sony product popular in the 80s featured in a game full of 80s nostalgia.

Retro Review: Sony Walkman D-NF430

Introduction

While throwing away and getting rid of some junk and unnecessary clutter, I found an electronic relic. As a famous archaeologist/adventurer would say, “it belongs in a museum.”

As I dug up some old stuff, I found a CD player that I aggressively used in my freshman and sophomore years in college. It actually might be one of the last ones of its kind.

It is a Sony Walkman D-NF430 CD Player. It was originally purchased in the summer of 2005 for about $60 at Circuit City.

Yeah, it was more than 10 years ago and still in pristine condition. Then again, it has been virtually unused for about 8 years.

It was pretty common piece of tech at the time, but this was a turning point when MP3 players and iPods were becoming more popular. Just by looking at the image, you can clearly see why this device was an attractive alternative and inspired by the times.

Appearance & Build Quality

Like most Sony products, this Walkman is well-built. It is a hard, white plastic enclosure with silver and chrome plating on the face buttons. Also, it was roughly the size of a CD, but not bulky for its size. Aside from a notch (where a single AA battery rests), it was thin enough to slip into a jacket pocket or awkwardly into a jeans front pocket.

Features

The Sony D-NF430 is a very unique CD Player. Not so unusual for the company, but it is not a normal thing you see on many media devices, especially today.

Aside from playing normal CDs, this Walkman reads MP3 files if stored on a disk. Like a MP3 player, you could just drop a bunch of songs on a data disk and the device would recognize them instead of tracks. Of course, the limitation of space relied on how much storage a CD-R would have (which generally would hold up to 700 MB).

In addition, Sony has a proprietary audio compression format called ATRAC. The process was similar to MP4 or AAC audio where a 128 kbps MP3 would be compressed into half the size while retaining the same audio quality.

This would allow you to fit more songs on a disk without sacrificing audio quality, but would only work on Sony devices such as this Walkman, PlayStation consoles, and MP3 players. In addition, you needed to used Sony’s own software (similar to iTunes) to export & import ATRAC files and burn them onto a CD.

Like many Walkmans, the D-NF430 has a built-in radio. Sony managed to fit several bands into this CD player.

It has the standard AM & FM bands, but also included TV audio channels and NOAA Weather radio. That’s not a typo.

Before the mandatory conversion to HDTV in 2008, the Walkman was able to tune the VHF portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and pick up audio from Channels 2-13. This band is pretty much useless, but it was a cool function to have to catch up on television programming like news and sports while away from home and would otherwise not be carried on local AM/FM stations.

Included with the CD player is a remote control that allows you to adjust volume, change songs and stations, pause tracks, and the like.

Display

The screen on this Walkman is pretty small, but contained plenty of details. While reading MP3s and ATRACs, it would display song, artist, and album information.

Users could also navigate between albums as separate tabs or shuffle all songs together.

Otherwise it would also show frequency if you’re using the radio and track number. The screen was also monochrome black and white and nothing to white home about.

Sound Quality

Audio coming from the headphones sounded very good. The player allows you to set bass/treble and several equalizers like pop, rock, jazz, or custom settings. On default, music sounds really nice on the radio or CD.

Radio Performance

Radio has been a staple on many Walkmans past and present. While not the greatest receivers, the radio built into them functioned very well. Since the antenna is essentially your headphones cord, reception will vary.

The AM/FM bands on this particular one can pick up local stations clearly with little or no static.

On the FM side, you can pick up some distant ones but you’ll be overpowered with noise especially if you move around a lot. As for AM, forget about picking up clear channels.

Again, Walkmans are meant to those walking or running about and aren’t meant to be used as a radio you can set down and lounge. For its purpose, it handles local stations well and locks onto the signal effectively. Also, no worries with NOAA weather stations as long as you’re inside its coverage area.

Overall

Before the popularity of media players like the iPod and Zune, Walkmans were the de facto media player. You always get a quality experience when using one.

Smartphones have pretty much taken over now as a primary source of audio content on-the-go, and I don’t use my Walkman CD Player anymore. It sets unused in a drawer inside a CD wallet.

Before my habits changed, I enjoyed using the D-NF430. It was an amazing device with lots of functionality. I would lug it between classes and have a bunch of my favorite albums on a single CD (which I still have).

During my time using it, podcasts were also loaded onto disks. I would use the Walkman to listen to shows from Radio Netherlands, the BBC, and NPR until I cave in and purchased an iPod Nano.

Overall, it was a fantastic player for its time. Today, I really can’t recommend anyone to buy and carry around a CD Player.

Why would you? I guess if you’re in a nostalgic mood and have a bunch of CDs.

It is no longer in production obviously, but you can still find it online. The cost is roughly $500 brand new! It’s funny considering I bought it for $60.

I didn’t realize how much it was really worth. I don’t think I’ll sell mine, but you can also fine them used for about $50 if you’re looking for a good portable CD player.

Meteorologists Got It Right…Sort Of. Now Enjoy Your “Snow Day”

Memphians today have been in a fuss on social media about our recent snowstorm. Or rather the blizzard that never happened.

Through the week, meteorologists on TV and National Weather Service were predicting snowfall for the Mid-South. Yesterday, it seemed things were going to be real serious with high winds (gusts upwards to 45 mph) and upwards to 7 inches of snow.

Since I work at a TV station and do not get days off for inclement weather, I took some precautions on getting to work on time today. Since riding a scooter is no bueno on icy roads, I rented a motel room for the night and would report to work the next day.

Now, the storm has pretty much past West Tennessee and moved towards the East Coast. Here is the wake of the “Great Blizzard of 2016.”

What was supposedly going to between 3-7 inches of snow didn’t amount to much in the city. Yeah, impressive right? In fact, I lament that I wasted about $54 on a motel room and could have easily rode into work.

It is easy to poke fun of this scenario. The bread and milk raids leading up to the weather event were for naught. Schools and most businesses were closed for nothing. Everything is a-okay in the city.

So we’ll blame the weathermen, right? “They got it wrong” or “they’re never right” got thrown around a lot on social media today. Many of these comments coming from people who praised the coming winter end times and got their wish for school and/or work to be shut down.

Well, it turns out the meteorologists were right…for the most part. If you look outside right now Memphis, you’ll see snow on the grass. They nailed it on that detail. It’s not 5 inches but it is snow.

Other areas outside of Memphis (especially Jackson and Dyersburg) got a bit more snow than Memphis. This was accurately predicted and is typically the case when dealing with urban vs. rural climates. It wasn’t as impressive as they were hoping either, but the streets are less clear there than in Memphis.

High winds are also present. Instead of 40-45 mph gusts, the winds are roughly 15-20 mph with 25 mph gusts. Not as windy as predicted, but still pretty breezy and that’s still going to be a big factor in the wind chill.

Also, the timing of the storm came as they said it would. It arrived sometime overnight (about 2-3 a.m.) and pretty much left the area by noon.

For all intents and purposes, they got it right. I don’t get the fear-mongering behind the weather forecasts, but it was mostly on-point. We just didn’t see the big snowfall.

But hey, mostly everyone got their wish for having the day-off or having a clear roadways (for the few that are fortunate to grace their presence in the workplace today). We can stop blaming the weather people for “messing up” because they were mostly correct in their forecast.

If there’s anyone to blame…blame Nashville. They stole it from us.

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