Compact Disc

Dateline- 1982

Compact disc (CD) is a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was originally developed to store and play only sound recordings (CD-DA) but was later adapted for storage of data (CD-ROM). Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage (CD-R), rewritable media (CD-RW), Video Compact Disc (VCD), Super Video Compact Disc (SVCD), Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, and Enhanced Music CD. The first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan.

Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres (4.7 in) and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data. The Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres (2.4 to 3.1 in); they are sometimes used for CD singles, storing up to 24 minutes of audio, or delivering device drivers.

At the time of the technology’s introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would typically hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives commonly offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs. By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide.[1]

From the early 2000s CDs were increasingly being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U.S. had dropped about 50% from their peak; however, they remained one of the primary distribution methods for the music industry.[2] In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time.

Philips established the Polydor Pressing Operations plant in Langenhagen near Hannover, Germany, and quickly passed a series of milestones.

  • The first test pressing was of a recording of Richard Strauss‘s Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) played by the Berlin Philharmonic and conducted by Herbert von Karajan, who had been enlisted as an ambassador for the format in 1979.[26]
  • The first public demonstration was on the BBC television programme Tomorrow’s World in 1981, when the Bee Gees‘ album Living Eyes (1981) was played.[27]
  • The first commercial compact disc was produced on 17 August 1982. It was The Visitors (1981) by ABBA.[28]
  • The first 50 titles were released in Japan on 1 October 1982,[29] the very first of which was a rerelease of the Billy Joel album 52nd Street.[30]
  • The first CD played on BBC Radio was in October 1982 on BBC Radio Scotland (Jimmy Mack programme, Followed by Ken Bruce and Eddie Mair all BBC Scotland), with the first CD played on UK independent radio station shortly after (Radio Forth, Jay Crawford Show). The CD was Dire Straits, Love over Gold.[31]

The Japanese launch was followed in March 1983 by the introduction of CD players and discs to Europe[32] and North America (where CBS Records released sixteen titles).[33] This 1983 event is often seen as the “Big Bang”[by whom?] of the digital audio revolution. The new audio disc was enthusiastically received, especially in the early-adopting classical music and audiophile communities, and its handling quality received particular praise. As the price of players gradually came down, and with the introduction of the portable Discman the CD began to gain popularity in the larger popular and rock music markets. One of the first CD markets was devoted to reissuing popular music whose commercial potential was already proven.

An advantage of the format was the ability to produce and market boxed sets and multi-volume collections.[11] The first artist to sell a million copies on CD was Dire Straits, with their 1985 album Brothers in Arms.

The first major artist to have their entire catalogue converted to CD was David Bowie, whose first fourteen studio albums of (then) sixteen were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four greatest hits albums; his fifteenth and sixteenth albums had already been issued on CD by EMI Records in 1983 and 1984, respectively.

On February 26, 1987, the first four UK albums by The Beatles were released in mono on compact disc.

In 1988, 400 million CDs were manufactured by 50 pressing plants around the world

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