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The History of Recorded Music

1800's | 1900's-1920's | 1930's-1950's | 1960's-1980's | 1990's

1991 Philips began to introduce its Compact Disc Interactive (CD-I) technology to industrial users before marketing it as an entertainment system for all consumers. It is based on a CD-ROM (read only memory) technology which stores and reads information in the same way as a compact disc. CD-I systems can play audio discs and films as well as numerous other publications from computer games to illustrated encyclopedias.

1992 Philips introduced the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) which was compatible with the magnetic audio cassette. The DCC was the same size as the musicassette and the new players were capable of playing both formats. Unable to reach agreement with Philips over the format of digital recording technology, Sony responded to the challenge of DCC by introducing the MiniDisc (MD) which combined the reproduction quality of a CD with the ease of recording of the audio cassette.

1993 In spite of the arrival of DCC and MD, the CD still remained the dominant format.

1996 The first DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) product was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. DVD is essentially a faster CD with a huge capacity capable of holding video as well as audio and computer data.

1997 Elton Johnís tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales, "Candle in the Wind 1997" became the fastest selling single ever and was certified 8 times platinum by the RIAA within 24 hours of release.

1998 Music piracy on the Internet, using the MP3 format, became a cult activity. Watermarks, which cannot be heard, were introduced for music.

1999 SDMI specification published, aiming to provide a legal alternative to pirate music.




Last Update: April 2, 2000