How the Compact Disc Transformed the Computer, Music and Movie Businesses

The CD, or Compact Disc, made it feasible to store more information than the past storage media, the cassette, and the floppy. Originally invented in the early 90s, CDs were designed to replace floppy drives and cassettes, and over a 10-year period, they not only replaced floppies and cassettes but made them completely obsolete. Videos, music, data and even video games were all placed on a CD, which was used as a new, multi-purpose storage item of the future. If it were not for the CD, music, software and even movies would not look the same.
Computers depended on built-in hard drives to keep the information, but before CDs, computers used floppy drives to transfer media from one computer to the next. Before the 90s, many computers depended on floppy drives, but when CDs were introduced in the mid-90s, they became the desired medium for transferring data from one computer to the next. CDs were light, compact, and much more resistant to damage than a floppy disc.
It may have been the computer business that profited the most from the CD’s development, but the music industry came in a close second. CDs made it feasible to keep hundreds of digital songs onto one disc, something that no floppy disc or cassette could ever replicate because of the limited memory. Using a Peer-to-Peer music program, music burner, Internet connection, and CDs, an individual could place dozens of his most loved songs onto a single disc.

Pirating music is illegal, and while the federal government did try to put a stop to many of the popular P2P music programs, it didn’t stop millions of listeners from placing thousands of songs onto CDs. Cassette tapes and vinyl records never allowed shoppers to produce their own music compilations, but CDs made it easy to make these.
Movies and Games
Video games and movies used to be jammed onto cartridges or cassettes, but with CDs, all the memory could be held on an easy to carry item. Now, the DVD makers were able to jam higher resolution pictures onto Blu-ray discs, allowing for better viewing quality than the prior cassette and HD-DVD CDs. With video games, software programmers could draft longer, more graphically dependent games onto single CDs that prior cartridge-based games could not cope with due to the memory constraints.

While cassettes and vinyl records may no longer be used, shoppers still collect these items as personal keepsakes or for the value some vinyl records may contain. To some people, White Stripes vinyl sounds better than its digital alternatives and typically holds more value to the collector.


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