First phonograph

From Phonograph to MP3

  • Period: to

    From Phonograph to IPod

  • First Phonograph Invented

    First Phonograph Invented
    This is the date given to the completion of the first phonograph by Thomas Edison. Edison was attempting to improve the telegraph transmitter and noticed that the movement of the paper tape through the machine remembled spoken words when played at high speeds. Using a hard pointed instrument and a tinfoil cylinder he spoke into the device saying, "Mary had a little lamb." Then he was able to play it back.
  • The Gramophone

    The Gramophone
    A German immigrant by the name of Emile Berliner, settled in the city of Washington, D.C. and also took an interest in recording technology. Her invention was very simliar except instead of using a cylnder she used a flat recording disc and a stylus which cut a spiral groove while the stylus in the cylinder moved up and down in vertical cut recording format to record the actual audio.
  • The Ediphone

    The Ediphone
    In 1916 Edison renamed his phonograph with a few modifications. The main improvement was the paraffin coated cylinders used for recording. The main advantage of this was its capability of being erased and reused. Early cylinder could only record about 2 minutes and later larger cylinders could hold up to 8 or 9 minutes at a time.
  • The Audograph

    The Audograph
    The Audograph was made by the Gray Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut and performs similar functions to that of the Sounscriber and Dictabelt. The different thing about this device is it records at a constant linear velocity instead of a constant rpm. The audodiscs used for recording were cut from the center to the outer edge of the disc instead of the other way around like previous devices.
  • The Soundscriber

    The Soundscriber
    The Soundscriber was used to engraved felxible vinyl records with a stylus so the could later be played back with the dedicated device. They were loved by many corporations. The device had media in two sizes, the 6 inch disc that could contain 15 minutes and the 4 inch disc that could contain 8 minutes.
  • The Dictabelt

    The Dictabelt
    The Dictabelt is a flexible belt of vinyl .005" thick by 3.5" wide and allowed about 15 minutes of recording. Unlike the wax cylinders that could be shaved and reused several times, the dictabelt was not reuseable.
  • Open Reel to Reel

    Open Reel to Reel
    The beginning of a recording device being "Open Reel to Reel" was the Ampex Model 200 in 1948 and used by ABC for recording delayed broadcasts. By 1954 Ampex began marketing multi-track machines used magnetic tape rather then Dictabelts and Wire Recorders. This led to the invention of cassettes.
  • The Minifon

    The Minifon
    The Minifon appealed to many people because of its size. It was claimed to be able to fit in ones shirt pocket... If they had a huge shirt pocket. The minifon included a microphone that severed as recording and a speaker.
  • Dictaphone Dictet

    Dictaphone Dictet
    This was the portable dictet dictation recorder by the Dictaphone Corporation, it was the very firsy dictaation machine to use magnetic tape cassettes.
  • RCA Sound Tape Cartridge

    RCA Sound Tape Cartridge
    In 1958 RCA created an audio cartridge system known as the Sound Tape Cartridge. It was one of the first attempts at taming unruly reel to reel audio tape and making it transportable in the consumer marketplace. The recorder features a built in speaker, line level inputs and outputs, provision for an external mic and was all vacuum tube technology.
  • Stereo 4 Track Cartridge

    Stereo 4 Track Cartridge
    The stereo 4 track cartridge was the forerunner of the 8 track cartridge system. The format was actually developed in 1954 by George Eash. Aside from the obvious differences in the number of tracks and track spacing, the only difference between the 4 track cartridge and the 8 track in terms of physical dimensions, was that the 4 track cartridge did not house the rubber pinch roller inside the cartridge.
  • Compact Cassette

    Compact Cassette
    The standerd audoi cassette we use today wasn't origanally mant for wide usage, but developed by Philps intended for their new line of dictation machines. It's compact size, reliability, low manufacturing costs and Hi-Fi sterio capability, ultimatly led to wide market acceptance. It allowed about 30 or 45 minutes of sterio music per side.
  • Sanyo Micro Pack 35

    Sanyo Micro Pack 35
    The Sanyo Micro Pack 35 sold under the Channel Master brand name as a Re-badged Sanyo, was an early format portable dictation player/recorder for the busy executive of the 60's. What's unique, is how the tape was stored on two reels residing atop one another, keeping the cartridge compact. An exclusive innovation of the era, was a variable speed control which was possibly one of the first vari-speed portable dictation recorders produced.
  • 8 Track Cartridge

    8 Track Cartridge
    A consortium consisting of Ampex, Lear Jet, Ford, Motorola and RCA Records joined forces to create the "Stereo-8" format tape players. "Stereo-8" is the format's actual correct official name, though later it became far better known as the "8 Track" Cartidge. The format uses 1/4 " tape divided into 8 tracks and recorded at a speed of 3.75 ips. The audio is recorded and played back in 2 channel stereo.
  • Playtape

    The playtape is a neat little machine that played pre-recorded cartridges that was both light and portable. It was billed as a replacement to the transistor radio. It was only a two track stereo system that would play in only one direction, but the cartridges were very small as compared to an 8 track cartridge. It was like the iPod for the 60's.
  • Elcaset

    Sony introduced the Elcaset format. It was intended as a platform to offer open reel to reel quality with the convenience of a compact cassette, but it was marketed as a consumer format. The cassetes were some what larger then todays, but considering it's competition was the much larger open reel to reel machines, it was very compact.
  • Sony PCM-F10

    Sony PCM-F10
    The Sony PCM-F10, though not the first digital stereo recorder, was the first to make it affordable. To achieve a low cost, the PCM encoder/decoder used a standard Betamax Video deck, though any video deck would usually work. The initial system was somewhat bulky and by 1981, Sony released the second generation called the PCM-F1 which reduced the processor size substantially.
  • CD

    Developed by Philips and Sony in Japan, the audio CD in the form we know it today, was released in the UK in September, 1982. The sound quality and portability of CD's was undeniable but it was very costly.
  • DAT- Digital Audio Tape

    DAT- Digital Audio Tape
    Introduced in 1987 for the professional studio market, digital audio tapes quickly claimed the high ground in professional recording industry circles. The DAT system design more closely resembles a helical scan VCR than a traditional reel to reel or cassette based recorder. Digital audio is recorded much like video, using a helical scan FM technique.
  • MP3- Motion Picture Experts Group Audio Level III

    MP3- Motion Picture Experts Group Audio Level III
    MP3 is actually a software compression/de-compression (codec) algorithm rather than a piece of hardware. Prior to MP3, audio wav and wma files were huge, and transferring a wav file over the net was very difficult. It typically compresses these huge files down anywhere's from 1/6 to 1/12th their normal size, making file exchange of great sounding audio across the net, viable. The led to many procust like the iPod and variety of MP3 players