Three Popular Home Audio Technologies From The Past 150 Years

The fascinating invention that was the medium of vinyl records totally changed the home entertainment industry with its great affordability. Compact discs were yet another groundbreaking disc medium that appeared almost a century later. Tape cassettes were a well-liked non-disc-shaped home audio technology for many years that first co-existed with vinyl and subsequently compact discs before finally losing popularity. All of those media had advantages and disadvantages, but they all allowed listeners all over to play their favorite songs on a dime.

Classic vinyl records were the pre-recorded music technology that worked on the gramophone, the first such machine low-priced enough for the majority of people in industrialized places to afford. This machine was a result of a concept by American innovator Emile Berliner, with Berliner’s design exclusively calling for vinyl discs rather than bulky tinfoil or wax cylinders as Thomas Edison’s older phonograph machine had. The sound that reached a listener’s ears, increased in volume by a device attached to a player, was generated by the movements of a stylus through tiny grooves in a record. Even though records could recreate sounds of a wide range of frequencies, their surfaces could be easily scuffed and they could deform if exposed to too much warmth.

The gramophone was rather large, though, and tape players were designed to represent a smaller option. A length of tape wound over a couple of spools, all encased in plastic, made up an audio cassette, the medium read by these machines. The magnetic info within a tape could be reached by a player’s components through a gap at the bottom of a cassette. Pre-recorded cassettes had the big advantage of mobility over vinyl LPs, and many players that individuals could take any place with them, such as Sony’s Walkman, sold quite well for some time. The tape, unfortunately, could be readily snagged or torn by a player, and pitch throughout playback varied with the factory-set rates of players.

The most popular purchaseable audio format today, apart from mp3s, is the compact disc. A spiral track with infinitesimal pits of varying lengths, which a player’s laser reads and transmits to decoding mechanisms in the machine, is etched on each compact disc. The principal drawback with CDs is their potential to be scratched on either of their surfaces, although this problem has been somewhat mitigated by the creation of re-surfacing technology for the clear side on the bottom.

Without having to rely on radio, we had the option to hear our favorite songs whenever we wanted on Beatles vinyl records, Allman Brothers cassettes, Nirvana CDs, and many others. Thus, our lives were absolutely more enriched by the existence of these three formats.

 About the Author
SoundStage Direct, LLC is an online independent store based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. SSD has the largest selection of Beatles vinyl online. You don’t want to miss amazing closeout deals available at our LP outlet! We have vinyl records for everyone and a variety of genres and formats available and ready to be shipped at your doorstep. Seth Frank SoundStage Direct, LLC

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