Gizmodo: Compact discs weren’t always impromptu drink coasters. Once, in the not-so-distant past, they played music, contained pictures, and let people play video games with tacked-on FMV sequences.
And today, the venerable CD turned 30. Happy birthday! 1979-2009.Thirty years. Pretty amazing that it’s been that long since those crazy Dutchmen at Philips spun the technology off of laser discs as part of an optical digital audio disc demo in Eindhoven.
Of course, the CD didn’t immediately take off right then and there. It needed a little help from Sony, which worked with Philips to get the format standardized.
The standard they named Red Book, which included everything from playing time (initially 60 minutes), to the disc diameter to sampling frequency. Put simply, the collaboration worked out, and Red Book was a success.
In the book The Compact Disc Story, Philips reps lauded the task force they established with Sony. The CD that team created was “invented collectively by a large group of people working as a team,” Philips said. If only Apple and Microsoft could say the same, no? Oh, the things they could build.