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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Compact Disc

The Compact Disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology. Prototypes were developed by Philips and Sony independently from the mid-to-late 1970s. Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc for the first time on March 8, 1979 at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

CC BY-SA 2.5, Wikipedia Commons

The first public demonstration of a CD player was on a 1981 episode of the BBC's Tomorrow's World. The CD they used was a special transfer of the Bee Gees' Living Eyes.

The first commercial compact disc was produced at the Polydor Pressing Operations plant in Langenhagen near Hannover, Germany on August 17, 1982. It was a recording from 1979 of Claudio Arrau performing Chopin waltzes. Arrau was invited to the Langenhagen plant to press the start button.

The first CD player available for sale, the Sony CDP-101 was released on October 1, 1982. Launched only in Japan, it cost 168,000 yen ($730 USD).

SONY CDP-101. By Atreyu - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

Philips, Sony's partner in the development of CD technology, launched their Philips CD100 the following month.

Sony was finally able to sell their players worldwide as of March 1, 1983.

The first discs could play 74 minutes, on the insistence of Sony chief Akio Morita, who stipulated one disc could carry Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

The first CDs--nearly 5 inches (13 centimeters) in diameter--stored the same amount of sound on one side as a 12-inch (30.5-centimeter) LP reproduced on two sides.

The first portable CD player was the Sony Discman. It was introduced in 1984.

Mercedes-Benz was the first automobile manufacturer to offer a CD player as a factory option in 1984.

Born in the U.S.A. became the first compact disc manufactured in the United States for commercial release when CBS and Sony opened its CD manufacturing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana in September 1984. Columbia Records' CDs previously had been imported from Japan.

For years after CD players hit the market they remained unpopular and were mostly limited to fans of classical music. Dire Straits then released Brothers in Arms, the first totally digital album. It sold 30 million copies and is credited with launching CD players into the mainstream.

At one point in the 1990s, 50% of all CDs produced worldwide were for AOL.

A compact disc may be less than 5 inches wide, but if the data track were unwound, it would stretch to over 3.5 miles long.

The compact disc can hold around 700MB of info.

The very first compact disc to sell 1 million copies was Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms.

David Bowie was the first major artist to convert his entire catalog to the compact disc format in 1985.

Tony Bennett's 1987 The Art Of Excellence LP was the first album to be initially released on CD instead of the traditional vinyl format.

CDs spin counter-clockwise.

Sources The Independent, Spinner, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

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