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The Evolution Of Portable Music Devices And How They Impact Society

2151 words - 9 pages

Between 1877 and 1925, there was an acoustic era. Acoustics is a branch of science introduced by Joseph Sauveur in the early eighteenth century (Chanan 22). Music was acoustically made using pure instruments and raw recordings. In 1925, headphones were introduced, which brought about the electrical era (Taylor 12).
By the 1920s, more than 150 companies were making records and record players, which played discs. The discs were typically seven inches in diameter and played at a speed of 78 revolutions per minute. Each side of the disc held about three minutes of recording, which is the equivalent of a song (Miller 35).
Early radio broadcasting began in the 1920s (Miller 36). The radio helped promote records and provide music for listeners for free. The radio helped the recording industry.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, long playing (LP) records came out. They were developed by Columbia Records in 1948 and allowed music labels to put more music on a disc. It allowed labels to put up to 25 minutes of music on each side of the disc (Miller 37). This allowed musicians to be more creative with their music. Later, singles came out, which were 7 inch vinyl discs that had a large hole in the center and rotated at 45 revolutions per minute (Miller 39). They were good for distributing hit songs. They could hold up to five minutes of music per side.
In 1945, Paul Klipsch released the Klipschorn folded horn speaker, shortly after World War II. It contributed to the birth of a"Hi Fi" era. This era was concerned with creating stereo and transistor radios, as well as cassette tape players (Schoenherr).
In 1954, the transistor radio was released. It was patented by Richard C. Koch. The first radio was the TR-1 model and it was sold for $49.95. Today it would be almost $400. Later, Acoustic Research introduced the small AR-1 bookshelf loudspeaker. It used acoustics to produce sound (Schoenherr).
There were many recording devices developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1958, the world standard for stereo records was established. Koss introduced stereo headphones, which are still being continually improved and used today. In 1959 Seeburg released the “Background Music System” which was a new music system that consisted of 16-2/3 rpm records. In 1962, Henry Kloss introduced the KLH Model 11 portable stereo. It was a record player that had an amplifier and two speakers (Schoenherr).
In the 1970s, the digital era began (Taylor 12). Recordings were so lifelike that listeners could visualize the performers as they were listening to the music. These devices played the roles of entertainment, communication, and surveillance.
In 1978, Nobutoshi Kihara, an audio division engineer, invented the Sony Walkman. It was a portable audio cassette player (“002_portfolio.pdf”). It allowed people to enjoy music on the go.
Top singles sold over 5 million units each. In the 1980s, there was a shift to the compact disc (CD). It cost the same to release a...

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