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Happy Birthday Compact Disc

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The Compact Disc is 30 years old – at least if you work back to when the platform first went on general sale to end users.

The first commercially released disc and player – respectively, Billy Joel’s 52nd Street and Sony’s CDP-101 – were introduced in Japan on 1 October 1982. The disc was released by Sony’s recorded music subsidiary, CBS.

The development of the CD stretches back to 1979 when Sony and Philips established an engineering team to create a disc capable of storing music in digital form. According to Philips, the original design spec called for a 11.5cm-diameter disc capable of holding an hour’s music, but this was later extended to 12cm and 74m minutes – sufficient to accomodate the whole of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Some writers claim this was driven by Sony co-founder Akio Morita, in order to ensure his favourite symphony could be stored on a single disc.

Worldwide, CD sales slipped by 20 per cent between 2000 and 2008. In 2011, UK CD album sales fell by 13 per cent to 86.2 million discs.

For more technical info on the history of the CD please see The Reg.

Today we see every music release available on digital formats, with the majority still released on CD.

How many more years will the CD live on for?

What was the first music release you purchased on CD?

What was the most recent music release you purchased on CD?

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Blog · Vin

IT Consultant by day. Usually asleep at night. Bhangra Fan for Life.

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