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The Creation Of The Compact Disc

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The Creation Of The Compact Disc


The creation of the compact disc, better known as the CD, can be traced back to the late 1960s. A Dutch scientist named Klass Compaan of Philips Research conceived the idea for the CD. He teamed with another scientist, Piet Kramer, who together introduced the first color videodisc prototype in 1972. Sony teamed up with Philips on the creation of the compact disc, and together they were able to develop a standard, universal compact disc to hold audio information. The two companies officially announced the Digital-Audio disc in 1980. In 1982, the compact disc was introduced to the public in Europe and Japan. Later, in 1983, it was introduced in the United States (Future).

Compact Discs are flat and circular, with a diameter of 120 millimeters. The actual disc itself is made of hard plastic covered with aluminum or some other reflective metal. Information is stored on the compact disc in numeric form, also called digital form. The primary use for the compact disc is to store and play back music. However, they can also be used to store pictures, files of text, sounds, programs, video games, high quality images, or motion pictures. Many features of the compact disc are standardized, such as its size, minutes of sound, and data format. This allows a compact disc to be played on any compact disc player (Pohlmann, 901).

The audio compact disc replaced earlier sound recording technology, such as the phonograph record and cassette tape, for a variety of reasons. First of all, they are longer lasting. Compact discs are read by a laser, or in other words, they are optically read (Feldman, 160). Therefore, there is no friction needed to play back the information on a CD, as opposed to th...


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Feldman, Leonard. “Compact Disc.” American Academic Encyclopedia. Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorporated, 1998.

Fink, John. “Recording Sound and Sight.” New Book of Popular Science. Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorporated, 2002.

“Future of Compact Discs Safe.” BBC News 31 January 2002. 27 March 2002 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/new_media/newsid_1791000/1791819.sm>.

Harris, Tom. “How CD Burners Work.” Howstuffworks. 1 April 2002 <www.howstuffworks.com/cd-burner1.htm>.

Pohlmann, Ken C. “Compact Disc.” World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago, Illinois: Scott Fetzer Company, 2001.

“Sound Recording.” Illustrated Science Encyclopedia. Austin, TX: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 1997.


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