Feeds

Compact Disc: 25 years old today

First commercial disc pressed on 17 August 1982

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The 14-bit codes are cleverly crafted to ensure any two binary ones in the code is separated by 2-10 binary zeros. Three further bits are used to separate the 14-bit codes on the disc. While this approach may be less efficient from a storage space perspective - 17 pits on the disc's data surface are used to encode half that number of bits - it makes it much easier for the optical head to read the data correctly.

CD encoding also employs Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Coding (CIRC), which adds an extra, parity byte for every three bytes of data. The upshot: the player's electronics can easily and efficiently 'guess' what data masked by errors should have been, eliminating clicks and pops.

Sony's CDP-101
Sony's CDP-101: introducing...

More advanced versions of this technique would later be used in DVD and Sony's Super Audio CD (SACD) format.

The SACD has yet to win the broad appeal enjoyed by the CD, which proved a major driver for the music industry as consumers dashed to replace old or scratched vinyl LPs and hissy cassettes with shiny new compact discs. By the late 1990s, however, in part due to the growing popularity of computer games, and first sell-through videotapes and later DVDs, but also the advent of both the MP3 music format and peer-to-peer file sharing networks, CD sales began their inevitable decline.

Sony's CDP-101
...the world's first CD player

CD remains the dominant format for legitimately purchased recorded music - some 200bn have been sold in the past 25 years, Philips reckons - but it's lead is being eaten into by downloads. Fans are finding they'd rather buy individual tracks than albums of songs. This week, the UK recording industry's Annual Survey forecast that Apple's iTunes store will outsell other music suppliers within two years - on other words, downloads will have become more popular than the CD.

Philips CD100
Philips' CD100: VHS styling

The Compact Disc may not strictly speaking be a forgotten technology, but at that rate it soon will be.

More Forgotten Tech...
15 years ago: the first mass-produced GSM phone
From 1981: the World's first UMPC
The IBM ThinkPad: 15 years old today
Apple's first handheld: the Newton MessagePad
Atari's Portfolio: the world's first palmtop
'Timna' - Intel's first system-on-a-chip
BeOS: the Mac OS X might-have-been
Sony's first Mylo

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.