Compact Disc

We all know how video killed the radio star… but what about how CDs killed the cassette star?

Obviously (looking back on it) you can see why those little plastic reel-to-reel doo-hickeys needed to be sent to out to pasture. But what is this silver mirrored circle? And how on earth does it hold all that music?

We had seen Sony’s marvelous Laserdisc technology, but, man… those things were huge! And we all know the best thing about cassettes was that you could just stick ’em in your Walkman and bust a move!

So inventors Johannes Compact and Pierre Disc went to work, trying to come up with a smaller version that could dazzle the world with its brilliance and simplicity. (Okay… we kid. It was actually Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi. Thank heavens they didn’t name the thing an Immink Doi, are we right?)

Anyway… in 1982, it arrived–– the first commercial CD player, courtesy of Sony. And along with it, a catalog of 50 different CDs (The first ever? Billy Joel’s 52nd Street).

And just like that, we all had a new toy.

These days, the CD is clearly on its way out (seriously… when’s the last time you actually bought a CD?), but it had a great 30-year run, helped revolutionize not only music but society in general, and make cassettes look like the pieces of crap they were.

Not a bad day’s work.

We ♥ the Compact Disc.


~ by weheart80s on January 20, 2012.

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