Compact disc turns 25

August 19, 2007
The compact disc was first manufactured in August 17 1982. Since its first appearance, it has been a very good run for the compact disc (CD). And last friday August 17, the now ubiquitous CD celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The CDs are engraved with a spiral of tiny pits that are scanned by a laser - the equivalent of a record player's needle. Because the pits are covered with plastic and the laser's light doesn't wear them down, the CD never loses sound quality. And because of this endurable quality of a CD, it became an instant hit with the music lovers around the world. Even to this date, go to any music store and you are sure to find aisles stacked with rows and rows of music CDs.

It is a truism that for all things related to technology, there is always an end in sight. And this is applicable for the CD too. For instance, it is claimed that the CD sales are on the decline. Mainly because nowadays there are portable devices such as iPods and flash memory sticks which have gigabytes of storage and which are smaller than the size of a CD which makes it the preferred medium to store and transport data. Then you have the internet boom which has made data transfer itself a non-issue for those who have access to the internet. Then there are the DVDs and HDVDs which store many times more data than what is possible in a CD. So in all respects the CD is on its way out. Nevertheless it has been a very honorable run for the CD. So here is hoping it will continue to celebrate its birthday for just a few more years ....