A BRIEF HISTORY MUSIC FORMATS
1877 Phonograph Cylinder
Innovated by American inventor Thomas Edison, the wax cylinder was the first commercially produced medium for recording and reproducing sound.
1895 Gramophone Record
The first disc-shaped format, Emile Berliner’s gramophone record, made of delicate shellac, became the wax cylinder’s main competitor.
1948 Vinyl Record
The vinyl record was more flexible and durable than its predecessors. and saw the introduction of stereo sound and countless innovative and influential covers.
1954 Transistor Radio
Home radio receivers had been popular for decades but the portable transistor was enormously popular, introducing new music to millions.
1982 Compact Disc
Co-developed by Sony and Philips the CD was the first digital music format, all but replacing both the vinyl record and the cassette tape. Only recently has it been outsold by digital downloads.
1963 Compact Cassette Tape
The compact cassette revolutionized portable music, used in almost every car, and later with the first portable cassette player, Sony's Walkman.
Currently the most popular music format, distribution of MP3 files exploded in the late 1990s. For the first time audio recordings no longer required physical manifestation.