The Evolution of Song Storage

The Evolution of Song Storage

Since the turn of the 20th century, we've seen recorded music stored in different formats and technologies.  Take a look at the timeline!


1896 - Piano Rolls

A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with holes punched into it.  The perforations represent note control data.  The roll moves over a reading system known as a 'tracker bar' and the playing cycle for each musical note is triggered when a perforation crosses the bar and is read.

1950 - Gramophone Record

An analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove.  The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc.  Phonograph records are generally described by their diameter in inches (12-inch, 10-inc, 7-inch, etc).

1964 - Cassette Tape

The mass production of compact audio cassettes began in 1964 in Hanover, Germany.  Prerecorded music cassettes (also known as Musicassettes; M.C. for short) were launched in Europe in late 1965.  The Mercury Record Company, a U.S. affiliate of Phillips, introduced M.C. to the U.S in July 1966.

1988 - Compact Discs

On March 2nd, 1983, CD players and discs were released in the U.S. and other markets.  This event is often seen as the "Big Bang" of the digital audio revolution.  The new audio disc was enthusiastically received, especially in the early-adpoting classical music and audiophile communities.

2001 - MP3 and iPod

The MP3 file format was approved by an audio consortium as a file format in 1993.  The iPod MP3 player was announced by Apple on October 23rd, 2001, and released on November 10th, 2001.

Present - The Cloud

The shift has gone from tangible mediums such as teh compact disc, towards getting full accesss to an entire library of music - litterally millions of sounds, that aren't bound by just 'Gigabytes' of space.  Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and even Grooveshark are taking our music consumption to the cloud! What's your preferred medium?  Vinyl addict or Cloud-or-bust?