CD: why he will live for a long time

In 1979, Philips was able to offer a new audio format that formally suited everyone. There were disagreements with the innovative development, but when the Dutch were supported by Sony, having developed the Red Book data encoding standard, the voices of the displeased no longer played any role. It was already impossible to stop the world's largest electronic giants, and the issue of worldwide recognition of the CD was only a matter of time.

In fairness, it should be noted that a CD or similar optical media should have appeared much earlier. By the end of the seventies, vinyl records were not suitable for many because of their limited capacity, inconvenience of use and fragility. Even a small scratch could not only lead to clicks and jump of the needle, but also put it out of action, after which the vinyl could only be thrown out.

The CD was devoid of all these shortcomings: it was possible to record up to 74 minutes of music on it, it was several times smaller than vinyl records, packed in a convenient plastic strong box and was not so susceptible to scratches. The CD was a polycarbonate kruglyash with a diameter of 120 mm with the thinnest metal layer, where information protected by a varnish coating was recorded. Initially, the disk was able to accommodate up to 700 MB of information, later versions “stretched” to 900 MB. A variant of the single disc was also proposed with a diameter of 89 mm, containing 21 minutes of music or 210 MB of information. However, the latter was not particularly widespread due to its “cutback”, which nullified its market prospects.

The CD debuted on August 17, 1982, when PolyGram released the first ever CD: the ABBA Swedish band's album “The Visitors”. In the same year, the first CD players appeared, and almost immediately an unpleasant detail emerged, for which the CD is still scolded - digitized music did not sound as good as it was promised.

The playback characteristics for the beginning of the eighties of the last century were remarkable, but many audiophiles took hostilities with compact disks. It quickly became clear that it was too early to send the good old vinyl records to the dustbin of history. It turned out that music is not just a set of bits read by a semiconductor laser, but something more delicate, complex and practically lively, which, according to some audiophiles, was completely killed by a “digit”.

However, the conquest of the world by CD was no longer stopping. Many companies rushed to release CD players, which were registered not only at the stands of music lovers, but also began to be included in the midi and mini-systems. Then came the radio tape recorders with CD players, and then the “discman” appeared - the descendants of the famous cassette Walkman.

Record companies counted the excess profits that fell on them, because the second time they had to re-release their catalogs - now on new media. The electronics manufacturers were doing well. And the audio pirates were in seventh heaven. And only the audiophiles were unhappy, scolding the CD whenever possible. Following the first enthusiasm, it was time to take a sober look at the silver circle. It turned out that it is by no means eternal and becomes worthless due to scratches and scuffs, the operation of the reading laser is not always correct, especially in cheap players, and the laser itself has a limited life. The compact disc was convenient, but obviously did not pull on a role of a super-audio format.

This led to the fact that many companies have taken a number of measures in order to offset the shortcomings of the CD. First, companies like Decca or Chesky Records began releasing audiophile-quality recordings. The discs released by these companies really sounded noticeably better than "consumer goods", but even in this case, connoisseurs of pure sound were still dissatisfied. Secondly, some Japanese firms have developed new mechanisms where the disk and the read laser “interacted” more stably.

So, Pioneer developed the Stable Platter mechanism, very similar to a miniature vinyl player, where the CD was placed face down on a rotating "table". TEAC came up with an even more sophisticated VRDS mechanism, in which a CD was clamped between two “pancakes”, which eliminated spurious vibrations. Sony introduced a mechanism not placed inside the player, but in a drawer tray, where the disk was fixed on top with a massive washer. However, all these measures did not allow the CD to finally defeat vinyl records, and the two formats, as they have existed side by side for many years, still exist. Moreover, a vinyl renaissance has been observed over the past decade, while the CD is losing ground.


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