02 Oct The 30th Anniversary of the CD
By Devin Coldewey
The digital music revolution officially hit 30 years ago, on Oct. 1, 1982. While you may be surprised to learn that the heralds of the coming age were, in fact, the Bee Gees, it probably comes as less of a shock to learn that Sony was at the very heart of it. After years of research and an intense period of collaboration with Philips, Sony shipped the world’s first CD player, the CDP-101. Music — and how we listen to it — would never be the same.
Today the CD player might be seen as something of a relic, since our smartphones, iPods and satellite radios provide seamless access to not only our entire music libraries, but to nearly every artist or track available. We can dictate any song or album to an app and have it playing in seconds, or download a new single by visiting an artist’s Facebook page.
In such a world, the idea of carrying around a disc loaded with just 10 or 12 tracks and switching it out every hour sounds positively stone-age. But the MP3 and streaming media are not just the CD’s replacements, but its descendants.