Compact Discs

Written by Dallas Smith
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Compact Discs have taken over. Anyone over thirty remembers a time when there was no such thing as a Compact Disc. You listened to your music on scratchy LPs and hissy cassettes. You stored your computer files on fragile floppy discs. Times have changed.

Compact discs were developed by Phillips in 1980, a miniaturization of their Laserdisc (a video format that was subsequently supplanted by the DVD). With Sony's contribution of error-correction technology, compact discs began their spread during the 1980s, devouring the vinyl record business and marching toward the floppy disc.

Compact Discs, Technological Godzilla

Like Godzilla, compact discs destroyed everything in their path with superior quality and durability. Compact discs are made of polycarbonate plastic coated with a thin layer of aluminum, all protected by a lacquer film. You can toss them, bite them, and scratch them. Error correction guarantees that anything but a major attack on the CD surface will leave its contents unscathed.

At first, compact disc writing was the purview only of major record companies and manufacturers. Then the CD-R and CD-RW came along. Today, people can burn CDs on their home computers that are playable in any compact disc player. To burn a large number of professional-quality CDs, people often employ companies who specialize in CD and DVD production. The Internet is a great resource for information about compact discs and the companies that are expert in handling them.

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