The Creation Of The Compact Disc

3090 words - 12 pages

The Creation Of The Compact Disc

The creation of the compact disc, better known as the CD, can be traced back to the late 1960s. A Dutch scientist named Klass Compaan of Philips Research conceived the idea for the CD. He teamed with another scientist, Piet Kramer, who together introduced the first color videodisc prototype in 1972. Sony teamed up with Philips on the creation of the compact disc, and together they were able to develop a standard, universal compact disc to hold audio information. The two companies officially announced the Digital-Audio disc in 1980. In 1982, the compact disc was introduced to the public in Europe and Japan. Later, in 1983, it was introduced in the United States (Future).

Compact Discs are flat and circular, with a diameter of 120 millimeters. The actual disc itself is made of hard plastic covered with aluminum or some other reflective metal. Information is stored on the compact disc in numeric form, also called digital form. The primary use for the compact disc is to store and play back music. However, they can also be used to store pictures, files of text, sounds, programs, video games, high quality images, or motion pictures. Many features of the compact disc are standardized, such as its size, minutes of sound, and data format. This allows a compact disc to be played on any compact disc player (Pohlmann, 901).

The audio compact disc replaced earlier sound recording technology, such as the phonograph record and cassette tape, for a variety of reasons. First of all, they are longer lasting. Compact discs are read by a laser, or in other words, they are optically read (Feldman, 160). Therefore, there is no friction needed to play back the information on a CD, as opposed to the use of a needle on a phonograph record. The absence of a mechanical means to play back the information on the compact disc enables it to be used for long periods of time (Feldman, 160). In addition, the sound recorded on a compact disc has superior quality. The CD offers a uniform and accurate frequency response and has no background noise when played back. In addition, the compact disc has a wider dynamic range than that of its predecessors the tape and record. This range means there is a greater difference between the softest and loudest sounds that can be recorded on the CD (Feldman, 160). Users of compact discs can find the information stored on the CD quickly because the information is tracked. A simple push of a button can bring the user to the particular track that contains the information he or she is looking for (Pohlmann, 901).

The manufacture of the audio compact disc has several steps. First, sound is played into a microphone, which translates sound waves into electronic signals. An analog to digital converter then divides the signals into 44,100 segments, called samples, for each second of sound. Each sample then has a digital code, expressed as a string of 16 electric pulses representing 1s...

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