CD Turns 30 – Sony and Philips Co-Create Compact Disc Legacy
The Compact Disc was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings. In 1981 Sony and Philips had created the industry standard for digital audio they called the “Red Book”. They have been commercially available since 1982 and have gone through a number of modifications, usage and market trends in the last 30 years.
Sony and Philips together gave birth to the Compact Disc by setting the standard for the Digital Audio (DA) format. Sony introduced the CD-101, the first CD player of its kind in 1984. Digital Audio was the single most popular format for music releases until 1990. Previously, we covered the history of the CD case. Fun Fact: Bill Joel’s album 52nd Street was the first musical production released on a CD. The CD started getting competition from third-party developers who paved the way for other formats such as CD-ROM, PhotoCD, CDi, etc.
Post 1995, the CD industry witnessed a number of technical shifts which evolved the computer industry as a whole. Blank Recordable CDs and Digital Versatile Discs (DVD) were introduced in 1995 and revolutionized the home computing and home entertainment industry.
In 1998 CD burners became widely available at an affordable price. The introduction of burners rocketed the sales of CDs, with the CD industry reaching its peak in 2000. CD burners brought with them the problem of CD piracy. The music industry took a major blow since copying/ripping songs became very common.
Since 2001, consumer CD sales have declined as the other affordable storage devices such as USB drives increased in the market place. Further, the advent of the MP3 has seen a huge surge in MP3 players that do not require discs, but digital downloads of songs and other media. The CD is not gone and certainly not forgotten, just check the music section of a national big-box store to see that CDs still mean a lot in the commercial market.
The Next 30 Years
As experts in CD duplication at CDROM2GO.com, we see the evidence daily that companies and organizations have invested in digital data storage through CDs and other optical storage devices. This investment on the side of businesses and large organizations is incentive enough for manufactures and research and development teams to continue to make incremental advancements in optical technology. As the optical industry makes advancements, we make sure our customers have the resources and tools at their disposal to get the most digital storage for the best price.
The other motivator that will keep CDs and their cousins around for at least the next 30 years is the low cost. Archiving and storing valuable, proprietary data is necessary for many companies, and something that they want to do at the lowest possible cost. While USB, external hard drives and the like have come down in price, the cost per MB is substantially higher than what can be produced with a CD where the average 560 MB disc is 20 cents. This is why CDs are often solution for the kinds of data storage companies use and why this format will persist through the next 30 years.
Where do you see the industry going in the next 30 years? What will be the next innovations in optical storage?