Gadgets and More
Gadgets and More

Compact Discs

CDs is what these are called and they have a long history which spans the 1960’s to today. So why is this in the gadgets or technology of the 1970s. That is a good question and we will see what we can find out.


CD’s where actually released in 1982 and it was co-developed by Phillips and Sony. Japan had them first in October and Europe and North America saw them in 1983.

Back story

James T Russell has been credited with inventing the first recording system to record digital audio to a transparent foil, basically the Compact Disk. He was granted a patent application in 1970. This came after the patent was first filled in 1966. Later on, Sony and Phillips were able to license the patent.

LaserDisc’s technology is what the compact disk is based on and Phillips focused on the compact disk when they realized that LaserDisc was not going anywhere. So I guess that is why it is in the 1970’s timeline of technology. Is was developed in the 1970s and they didn’t perfect it until the early 1980s.

Phillips and Sony

They joined forces in 1979, as they set up a joint task force of people or engineers to develop new digital audio disc. Which became the Compact Disc. After they came out in 1982, they cost up to $1,000 despite the price tag these were very popular and they sold about 400,00 CD players in 1983 and 1984. That is a lot of money.

When 1988 came around these outsold Viynl records and in 1992 they outsold cassettes.  The joining of Phillips and Sony made it possible that anyone can buy any CD player and be able to listen to CDs.

CD playing time

When these were finally released in 1982 in Japan the first titles were released and Billy Joel’s album of 52nd street was among them. In 1981, the Bee Gee’s album Tomorrow’s World was demoed

When the Discman, the ability to play CD’s in a portable format, the prices came down and people were able to listen to the CD’s anywhere. Dire Straits in 1985 released Brother in Arms was the first artist to sell a million compact discs. Yes, that is a million CDs. David Bowie was one of the first to have their entire catalog converted to CD. When 1988 rolled around there were 50 pressing plants around the world pressing up to 400 million Compact Discs.

My time with Compact Discs

In 1990, I had the choice to buy a 5 disc player or a TV, I opted for the TV. People were putting a portable CD player in their cars and it was hard to listen to them as you hit a little bump and the CD would skip.

I brought my first CD’s in 1992 and never looked back. Bought a car stereo with a CD player in it in the early 1990s. All my cars right now have CD players in them, 5 disc player in two of them and the rest a single player. But to tell you the truth, I haven’t used the CD player in my current car. I moved all my CD’s to the computer and moved them MP3’s.

But when they the avenue to music in the 1990s, and I got my groove on.

The technology just keeps getting better and better. We have gone from vinyl to cassettes, to compact discs. Wonder what awaits us down the road.

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