Music Recordings

From gramophone to Boombox and iPod

The wish of recording sound with the intention to play it over and over again is very old. We cannot imagine a world without recording machines, we even in fact never call it that way any more. But it is a very young process which is evolving quicker and quicker. It started in the nineteenth century and as for many inventions it was first focused on the quality of the sound, and then for mass production. And those two do not always go hand in hand. In this collection first the struggle to record and play music with the best quality possible, and then the attention slowly shifts to user-friendliness and portability. This is illustrated by the fact that the first years, music players only became bigger to include all parts, until a standing machine that is almost the size of a closet. It is clear that from that moment on, the demand of the public became more critical and competition increased. Finally, an interesting remark is that, nowadays old gramophones are seen as collector’s items. As well as with cars, for example, the old becomes popular again. The fact that many old gramophones take time and money to keep them usable but still a popular item, is an illustration of the impact technology has on society.

Acknowledgements: This source collection has been developed by Laura Steenbrink with the support of Bjorn Pels. The source collection makes use of sources provided by The Wellcome Library, The British Library, Museon, Hellenic Aggregator at Veria Public Library, Deventer Musea and Tekniska museet .

Phonautograph (1857)

The phonautograph is the earliest known device that could record a sound. Previously, tracings had been obtained by the sound-producing vibratory motions of tuning forks and other objects by physical contact with them, but not of actual sound waves as they propagated through air or other media. Invented by the Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, it was patented on March 25, 1857. It transcribed sound waves as undulations or other deviations in a line traced on smoke-blackened paper or glass. Originally, it was intended solely as a laboratory instrument for the study of acoustics, where it could be used to study and measure the amplitude envelopes and waveforms of speech and other sounds, or to determine the frequency of a given musical pitch by comparison with a simultaneously recorded reference frequency. This model dates from 1885. (The Wellcome Library CC BY, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Phonautograph (1857)

The phonautograph is the earliest known device that could record a sound. Previously, tracings had been obtained by the sound-producing vibratory motions of tuning forks and other objects by physical contact with them, but not of actual sound waves as they propagated through air or other media. Invented by the Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, it was patented on March 25, 1857. It transcribed sound waves as undulations or other deviations in a line traced on smoke-blackened paper or glass. Originally, it was intended solely as a laboratory instrument for the study of acoustics, where it could be used to study and measure the amplitude envelopes and waveforms of speech and other sounds, or to determine the frequency of a given musical pitch by comparison with a simultaneously recorded reference frequency. This model dates from 1885. (The Wellcome Library CC BY, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The first gramophone (1888)

Only thirty years after phonautograph, Emile Berliner first demonstrated his Gramophone in 1888. The following year, the German toy manufacturers Kammer & Reinhardt agreed to produce Berliner's invention and press the first 5-inch discs. As this machine from the early 1890s shows, Berliner's machine had a simple design. Berliner's discs produced sounds from a laterally moving stylus (as opposed to the vertical motion required to play cylinders). To record sounds, the stylus cut a wavy groove analogous to the sound wave through a layer of wax on a flat disc with a zinc base. The disc was then immersed in an acid that ate away the zinc only where it was exposed by the groove in the wax. The resulting zinc disc was used as a tool to produce the negative mould which could then press countless copies of a recording. The simplicity of the production process of discs gave them a significant commercial advantage over cylinders. (The British Library 15XFROWX1987-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The first gramophone (1888)

Only thirty years after phonautograph, Emile Berliner first demonstrated his Gramophone in 1888. The following year, the German toy manufacturers Kammer & Reinhardt agreed to produce Berliner's invention and press the first 5-inch discs. As this machine from the early 1890s shows, Berliner's machine had a simple design. Berliner's discs produced sounds from a laterally moving stylus (as opposed to the vertical motion required to play cylinders). To record sounds, the stylus cut a wavy groove analogous to the sound wave through a layer of wax on a flat disc with a zinc base. The disc was then immersed in an acid that ate away the zinc only where it was exposed by the groove in the wax. The resulting zinc disc was used as a tool to produce the negative mould which could then press countless copies of a recording. The simplicity of the production process of discs gave them a significant commercial advantage over cylinders. (The British Library 15XFROWX1987-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The clockwork motor (1898)

This is a gramophone with an external motor housing. A clockwork motor can be used while turning the handle that you can see in this picture. When fully wound the machine could play at 78 rpm for three or four minutes. The adjacent small knob is for fine speed adjustment by controlling an internal regulator. This machine has become the standard image of an early record player as a result of the painting, His Master's Voice, by Francis Barraud. The painting portrays a dog, Nipper, listening with curiosity to the voice of his owner being reproduced by a gramophone. Barraud's iconic picture became the trademark of The Gramophone Company, later known as His Master's Voice. The trademark gramophone, more accurately called the 'No.5', represents an important step in the public's acceptance of the flat disc player as opposed to the earlier cylinder system. Its clockwork motor set a new standard in speed consistency, reliability and control. This was an improvement over the earlier, simpler mechanisms, where the speed was less reliable. (The British Library 1XBIRSX1956X-0004, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The clockwork motor (1898)

This is a gramophone with an external motor housing. A clockwork motor can be used while turning the handle that you can see in this picture. When fully wound the machine could play at 78 rpm for three or four minutes. The adjacent small knob is for fine speed adjustment by controlling an internal regulator. This machine has become the standard image of an early record player as a result of the painting, His Master's Voice, by Francis Barraud. The painting portrays a dog, Nipper, listening with curiosity to the voice of his owner being reproduced by a gramophone. Barraud's iconic picture became the trademark of The Gramophone Company, later known as His Master's Voice. The trademark gramophone, more accurately called the 'No.5', represents an important step in the public's acceptance of the flat disc player as opposed to the earlier cylinder system. Its clockwork motor set a new standard in speed consistency, reliability and control. This was an improvement over the earlier, simpler mechanisms, where the speed was less reliable. (The British Library 1XBIRSX1956X-0004, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

A children’s gramophone (1903)

This is an image of a children’s gramophone made by Junghans in Germany in 1903. The metal horn is artificially wood-grained. The motors winding shaft is accessible through the turntable. These instruments were also available with a round metal body and a hollow turntable for disc storage. The small but thick vertical-cut Stollwerck records could only be played on Stollwerck gramophones. (The British Library 7XNSAX1990XX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

A children’s gramophone (1903)

This is an image of a children’s gramophone made by Junghans in Germany in 1903. The metal horn is artificially wood-grained. The motors winding shaft is accessible through the turntable. These instruments were also available with a round metal body and a hollow turntable for disc storage. The small but thick vertical-cut Stollwerck records could only be played on Stollwerck gramophones. (The British Library 7XNSAX1990XX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Pathéphone (1906)

The Modèle F was produced in Chatou, France between 1906 and 1912. Pathé Frères began making cylinder phonographs before the turn of the century, but by 1906 they had been supplemented by Pathéphone disc players. The Pathéphone is not strictly a gramophone as it only plays discs which, like cylinders, had modulations cut vertically, or hill and dale. The blue and gold painted flower horn has 8 panels and is an attractive feature. The jewel-tipped stylus could play many records, unlike the steel needles used for conventional lateral cut records that had to be changed constantly. The groove on the Pathé records ran from the centre outwards, playing at 90rpm and more. (The British Library 22XFROWX1988-0003, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Pathéphone (1906)

The Modèle F was produced in Chatou, France between 1906 and 1912. Pathé Frères began making cylinder phonographs before the turn of the century, but by 1906 they had been supplemented by Pathéphone disc players. The Pathéphone is not strictly a gramophone as it only plays discs which, like cylinders, had modulations cut vertically, or hill and dale. The blue and gold painted flower horn has 8 panels and is an attractive feature. The jewel-tipped stylus could play many records, unlike the steel needles used for conventional lateral cut records that had to be changed constantly. The groove on the Pathé records ran from the centre outwards, playing at 90rpm and more. (The British Library 22XFROWX1988-0003, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The design becomes important (1907)

The Columbia BQ graphophone, also known as the 'Rex', and Crown in Britain, is one of the most attractive cylinder phonographs. The blue morning glory horn on this example is similar to that on many contemporary gramophones. The BQ was launched in 1907, at a price of $30. It has a tapered tonearm, also like a gramophone. This way, the horn does not need to move along the cylinder and can be made larger. The tonearm and reproducer are connected to a feedscrew in front of the mandrel. (The British Library 3XFROWX1989X-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The design becomes important (1907)

The Columbia BQ graphophone, also known as the 'Rex', and Crown in Britain, is one of the most attractive cylinder phonographs. The blue morning glory horn on this example is similar to that on many contemporary gramophones. The BQ was launched in 1907, at a price of $30. It has a tapered tonearm, also like a gramophone. This way, the horn does not need to move along the cylinder and can be made larger. The tonearm and reproducer are connected to a feedscrew in front of the mandrel. (The British Library 3XFROWX1989X-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Primaphone Cabinet Grand (1912-1914)

The Primaphone Cabinet Grand was made in London between 1912 and 1914. The concept of a opening horn was patented by JM Landon of South Norwood. The Primaphone was launched in 1909, by Edison Bell, also based in South London. But this model was made under the Primaphone name. The open part of the horn consists of eight numbered wooden segments. They are concealed by doors when not in use. (The British Library 2XFROWX1988X-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Primaphone Cabinet Grand (1912-1914)

The Primaphone Cabinet Grand was made in London between 1912 and 1914. The concept of a opening horn was patented by JM Landon of South Norwood. The Primaphone was launched in 1909, by Edison Bell, also based in South London. But this model was made under the Primaphone name. The open part of the horn consists of eight numbered wooden segments. They are concealed by doors when not in use. (The British Library 2XFROWX1988X-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Edison Disc Phonograph (1920)

The Edison Disc Phongraph was introduced in 1912, when it was clear that the wax cylinder had lost the popularity battle with the gramophone record. Edisons discs, however, were recorded with vertical modulations, or hill and dale, and thus his machines would not play conventional lateral cut records. The reproducer s diaphragm is horizontal, and there is no stylus bar. Like for all Edison products, the B-19 Chalet aesthetics were important. Behind the cloth backed grille is an internal horn that swivels silently as the reproducer tracks across the disc, assisted by a worm and nut feed. The cabinet on this example is red gum wood. The Chalet was made between 1919 and 1923. This is an early model. (The British Library 48XBIRSXXXXX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Edison Disc Phonograph (1920)

The Edison Disc Phongraph was introduced in 1912, when it was clear that the wax cylinder had lost the popularity battle with the gramophone record. Edisons discs, however, were recorded with vertical modulations, or hill and dale, and thus his machines would not play conventional lateral cut records. The reproducer s diaphragm is horizontal, and there is no stylus bar. Like for all Edison products, the B-19 Chalet aesthetics were important. Behind the cloth backed grille is an internal horn that swivels silently as the reproducer tracks across the disc, assisted by a worm and nut feed. The cabinet on this example is red gum wood. The Chalet was made between 1919 and 1923. This is an early model. (The British Library 48XBIRSXXXXX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The hidden horn (1928)

This is a Columbia Grafonola 133a gramophone. This grand cabinet grand introduced in 1928. By now the Columbia Graphophone Company was well-established in Britain. This machine was their answer to the HMV Model 163. Like the HMV it has a complex bifurcated internal horn behind the front grille. The horn fills the complete cabinet. There is no record storage. Both companies introduced these complex horns to play the new electrically-recorded records. The machine is labelled Viva-Tonal Columbia Grafonola and was made in England. At the time, the Columbia could be bought for around one-third of the price of the comparable HMV machine. There is very little acoustic difference, although the Columbia displays minor economies such as veneer rather than solid wood. (The British Library 35XFROWX1988-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The hidden horn (1928)

This is a Columbia Grafonola 133a gramophone. This grand cabinet grand introduced in 1928. By now the Columbia Graphophone Company was well-established in Britain. This machine was their answer to the HMV Model 163. Like the HMV it has a complex bifurcated internal horn behind the front grille. The horn fills the complete cabinet. There is no record storage. Both companies introduced these complex horns to play the new electrically-recorded records. The machine is labelled Viva-Tonal Columbia Grafonola and was made in England. At the time, the Columbia could be bought for around one-third of the price of the comparable HMV machine. There is very little acoustic difference, although the Columbia displays minor economies such as veneer rather than solid wood. (The British Library 35XFROWX1988-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

High-quality sound (1929)

EMG XA gramophone: 360° rotatable view of the machine. When the EMG Mark X was first demonstrated in 1929, the sound it produced was considered by some gramophone connoisseurs to be of the very highest quality. Its designer, Michael Ginn, was convinced that a very long horn with a large opening could best handle the lowest frequencies; hence the huge question-mark shaped horn. Conspicuous in size and design, the instrument was publicized as a machine for the most discerning of gramophone enthusiasts. The slightly later XA model, shown here, was expensive: in 1931 it costed around £30. (The British Library 49XBIRSXXXXX-0007, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

High-quality sound (1929)

EMG XA gramophone: 360° rotatable view of the machine. When the EMG Mark X was first demonstrated in 1929, the sound it produced was considered by some gramophone connoisseurs to be of the very highest quality. Its designer, Michael Ginn, was convinced that a very long horn with a large opening could best handle the lowest frequencies; hence the huge question-mark shaped horn. Conspicuous in size and design, the instrument was publicized as a machine for the most discerning of gramophone enthusiasts. The slightly later XA model, shown here, was expensive: in 1931 it costed around £30. (The British Library 49XBIRSXXXXX-0007, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Portable gramophone (1932)

Made by the Kolomen Gramophone Factory, this Russian portable is clearly copied from the popular HMV Model 102, produced from 1931 to 1958. Although it was a well-equipped machine, in comparison to the HMV its motor is less strong and its soundbox less sophisticated. Other than this information, little is known about this rare product of the Soviet gramophone industry. (The British Library 4XFROWX1989X-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Portable gramophone (1932)

Made by the Kolomen Gramophone Factory, this Russian portable is clearly copied from the popular HMV Model 102, produced from 1931 to 1958. Although it was a well-equipped machine, in comparison to the HMV its motor is less strong and its soundbox less sophisticated. Other than this information, little is known about this rare product of the Soviet gramophone industry. (The British Library 4XFROWX1989X-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Stereo (1958)

This is a Pye 1005 'Achiphon' stereo record player. Stereophonic records made their first appearance in 1958. Using two separate channels, the effect was designed to give dimensionality to recordings. Initially, it was exploited as a gimmick, and early stereo records contained recordings of moving objects such as trains and racing cars, the sounds that travelled dramatically from one speaker to another. The 'Achoic Box', sometimes called the 'Achiphon', was a compact stereo record player made by the British electronics company, Pye Ltd. It had six speakers facing the side to give what the company claimed to be “six feet of stereo separation” with the power to “exploit a room's acoustic potentialities as they have never been exploited before”. It was advertised in conjunction with Pye's own record label as a highly appreciated machine. It is known for its elegant design and a typical device of the 1960s. (The British Library 20XNSAX1991X-0007, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Stereo (1958)

This is a Pye 1005 'Achiphon' stereo record player. Stereophonic records made their first appearance in 1958. Using two separate channels, the effect was designed to give dimensionality to recordings. Initially, it was exploited as a gimmick, and early stereo records contained recordings of moving objects such as trains and racing cars, the sounds that travelled dramatically from one speaker to another. The 'Achoic Box', sometimes called the 'Achiphon', was a compact stereo record player made by the British electronics company, Pye Ltd. It had six speakers facing the side to give what the company claimed to be “six feet of stereo separation” with the power to “exploit a room's acoustic potentialities as they have never been exploited before”. It was advertised in conjunction with Pye's own record label as a highly appreciated machine. It is known for its elegant design and a typical device of the 1960s. (The British Library 20XNSAX1991X-0007, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Carry-on record player (1965)

Dansette 'Viva' record player. Manufactured by the London firm J & A Margolin Ltd, the Dansette model was often spotted in British households during the 1960s and is representative of the vibrant, popular youth culture that developed during the period. The Dansette was a versatile machine, could play 7, 10 and 12-inch discs of 78, 33 and 45 rpm. The 'Viva' model was designed to be easily transportable, with a handle and studs affixed to either side of the case, latches to secure the protective lid, and a built-in mono speaker at the front. (The British Library 1XNSAX1990XX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Carry-on record player (1965)

Dansette 'Viva' record player. Manufactured by the London firm J & A Margolin Ltd, the Dansette model was often spotted in British households during the 1960s and is representative of the vibrant, popular youth culture that developed during the period. The Dansette was a versatile machine, could play 7, 10 and 12-inch discs of 78, 33 and 45 rpm. The 'Viva' model was designed to be easily transportable, with a handle and studs affixed to either side of the case, latches to secure the protective lid, and a built-in mono speaker at the front. (The British Library 1XNSAX1990XX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Autochanger (1974)

This is an image of an RCA Victor QEY 4 autochange record player called the autochanger with a mechanism that changes automatically. One disc lies on the turntable and further discs are supported above the turntable by the autochange mechanism, ready to fall into place. The discs are supported by two protruding shims on the spindle column. It was the first record player designed to play the 7-inch 45 rpm vinyl record. This single-speed machine represents an important step in the development of domestic audio equipment. RCA presented a new format that preserved the five-minute playing time of the 10-inch 78 rpm record and their new disc proved a considerable and long-standing success as a carrier of short popular music works. Lengthy recordings had to span multiple discs that were bound together and sold as an 'album'. To facilitate playing these longer recordings, the machine was equipped with an autochanger device that was capable of playing up to ten discs in succession automatically. (The British Library 21XFROWX1987-0005, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Autochanger (1974)

This is an image of an RCA Victor QEY 4 autochange record player called the autochanger with a mechanism that changes automatically. One disc lies on the turntable and further discs are supported above the turntable by the autochange mechanism, ready to fall into place. The discs are supported by two protruding shims on the spindle column. It was the first record player designed to play the 7-inch 45 rpm vinyl record. This single-speed machine represents an important step in the development of domestic audio equipment. RCA presented a new format that preserved the five-minute playing time of the 10-inch 78 rpm record and their new disc proved a considerable and long-standing success as a carrier of short popular music works. Lengthy recordings had to span multiple discs that were bound together and sold as an 'album'. To facilitate playing these longer recordings, the machine was equipped with an autochanger device that was capable of playing up to ten discs in succession automatically. (The British Library 21XFROWX1987-0005, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The Compact Disc player (1984)

This is a picture of a Philips CD 104 compact disc player. Philips of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has been manufacturing radios since the 1930s. In 1983 they were among the small group of companies that produced the first CD players. This machine was the first of a second generation of music players, appearing in late 1984. The only part of a CD player that is moving is the revolving disc. When CDs first appeared they cost about £10 each, compared to £4 to £6 for a vinyl disc. CDs, however, are not touched by a needle and so suffer less from wear and tear. The sound they carry is contained in binary units that are read by a laser beam. (The British Library 3XNSAX1988XX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The Compact Disc player (1984)

This is a picture of a Philips CD 104 compact disc player. Philips of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has been manufacturing radios since the 1930s. In 1983 they were among the small group of companies that produced the first CD players. This machine was the first of a second generation of music players, appearing in late 1984. The only part of a CD player that is moving is the revolving disc. When CDs first appeared they cost about £10 each, compared to £4 to £6 for a vinyl disc. CDs, however, are not touched by a needle and so suffer less from wear and tear. The sound they carry is contained in binary units that are read by a laser beam. (The British Library 3XNSAX1988XX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Boombox (1989)

A ghettoblaster or boombox is a common term for a portable transistorized cassette and AM/FM radio (and, beginning in the 1990s, a CD player) with an amplifier, two or more speakers and a carrying handle. A boombox is a device capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music (usually cassettes or CDs, usually at a high volume). Many models are also capable of recording onto cassette tapes from radio and other sources. Designed to be portable, boomboxes can be powered by batteries as well as attached to a socket. The boombox was introduced to the American market during the mid-1970s. The desire for louder and heavier bass led to bigger and heavier boxes; by the 1980s, some boomboxes had reached the size of a suitcase. Most boomboxes worked on batteries, leading to extremely heavy boxes. The boombox quickly became associated with urban society, particularly African American and Hispanic youth. The wide use of boomboxes in urban communities led to the boombox being coined a "ghetto blaster", a pejorative nickname which was soon used as part of a backlash against the boombox and hip hop culture. Municipalities began to ban boomboxes from public places, and they became less acceptable on the streets. The boombox became closely linked to hip hop culture and played a role to the raising popularity of hip hop music. (Museon 209343, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Boombox (1989)

A ghettoblaster or boombox is a common term for a portable transistorized cassette and AM/FM radio (and, beginning in the 1990s, a CD player) with an amplifier, two or more speakers and a carrying handle. A boombox is a device capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music (usually cassettes or CDs, usually at a high volume). Many models are also capable of recording onto cassette tapes from radio and other sources. Designed to be portable, boomboxes can be powered by batteries as well as attached to a socket. The boombox was introduced to the American market during the mid-1970s. The desire for louder and heavier bass led to bigger and heavier boxes; by the 1980s, some boomboxes had reached the size of a suitcase. Most boomboxes worked on batteries, leading to extremely heavy boxes. The boombox quickly became associated with urban society, particularly African American and Hispanic youth. The wide use of boomboxes in urban communities led to the boombox being coined a "ghetto blaster", a pejorative nickname which was soon used as part of a backlash against the boombox and hip hop culture. Municipalities began to ban boomboxes from public places, and they became less acceptable on the streets. The boombox became closely linked to hip hop culture and played a role to the raising popularity of hip hop music. (Museon 209343, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

Compact Disc Interactive (1990s)

The Philips CD-i (Compact Disc Interactive) is an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Philips. This category of device was created to provide more functions than an audio CD player or game console, but at a lower price than a personal computer with a CD-ROM drive at the time. The cost savings were due to the lack of a hard drive, floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor (a standard television is used), and less operating system software. In addition to games, educational and multimedia reference titles were produced, such as interactive encyclopaedias, museum tours, etc., already popular before public Internet access was widespread. Competitors included the Tandy VIS and Commodore CDTV. It was seen as a game console and the CD-i format proved to be a commercial failure. The device was sold until 1998, beside rumours that Philips had planned a discontinuation in 1996. The company lost nearly one billion dollars on the entire project. The failure of the CD-i caused Philips to leave the video game industry after it was discontinued. The CD-i is also one of the earliest consoles to implement internet features, including subscriptions, web browsing, downloading, e-mail, and online games. This was facilitated by the use of an additional hardware modem that Philips released in 1996 for $150. While video game consoles have been made by Japanese companies (and to lesser extent American companies), the CD-i is one of the very few created by a European company. (Hellenic Aggregator at Veria Public Library ttp://hdl.handle.net/11609/001-03262, CC BY-NC-ND http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/gr/deed.el)

Compact Disc Interactive (1990s)

The Philips CD-i (Compact Disc Interactive) is an interactive multimedia CD player developed and marketed by Philips. This category of device was created to provide more functions than an audio CD player or game console, but at a lower price than a personal computer with a CD-ROM drive at the time. The cost savings were due to the lack of a hard drive, floppy drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor (a standard television is used), and less operating system software. In addition to games, educational and multimedia reference titles were produced, such as interactive encyclopaedias, museum tours, etc., already popular before public Internet access was widespread. Competitors included the Tandy VIS and Commodore CDTV. It was seen as a game console and the CD-i format proved to be a commercial failure. The device was sold until 1998, beside rumours that Philips had planned a discontinuation in 1996. The company lost nearly one billion dollars on the entire project. The failure of the CD-i caused Philips to leave the video game industry after it was discontinued. The CD-i is also one of the earliest consoles to implement internet features, including subscriptions, web browsing, downloading, e-mail, and online games. This was facilitated by the use of an additional hardware modem that Philips released in 1996 for $150. While video game consoles have been made by Japanese companies (and to lesser extent American companies), the CD-i is one of the very few created by a European company. (Hellenic Aggregator at Veria Public Library ttp://hdl.handle.net/11609/001-03262, CC BY-NC-ND http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/gr/deed.el)

CD-R player and recorder

This is a Meridian CD-R Compact Disc player/recorder. Meridian, a Cambridge-based supplier of high-end audio equipment, launched this CD-R recorder in 1992, around ten years after the first CD player. It could record both digital and analogue input onto CD discs. As shown here it looks very similar to a conventional CD player, apart from the large rotary recording level knob on the left. Its price was around £4500. Nowadays all the functions of this machine could be performed by a home computer and some cheap (or free) audio recording software. (The British Library UNCAT02XXXXX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

CD-R player and recorder

This is a Meridian CD-R Compact Disc player/recorder. Meridian, a Cambridge-based supplier of high-end audio equipment, launched this CD-R recorder in 1992, around ten years after the first CD player. It could record both digital and analogue input onto CD discs. As shown here it looks very similar to a conventional CD player, apart from the large rotary recording level knob on the left. Its price was around £4500. Nowadays all the functions of this machine could be performed by a home computer and some cheap (or free) audio recording software. (The British Library UNCAT02XXXXX-0001, CC BY http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Karaoke player (1996)

This is a sing-a-song cassette player battery with a microphone. It is like karaoke, a singing device. Music is played in the cassette player, and children can sing through a microphone whereby the sound is amplified. As happened with many other electronical and technological devices, it did not take long for companies to make simplified versions of the device for children to play with. (Deventer Musea S2010-0014, CC BY-SA http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0//)

Karaoke player (1996)

This is a sing-a-song cassette player battery with a microphone. It is like karaoke, a singing device. Music is played in the cassette player, and children can sing through a microphone whereby the sound is amplified. As happened with many other electronical and technological devices, it did not take long for companies to make simplified versions of the device for children to play with. (Deventer Musea S2010-0014, CC BY-SA http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0//)

IPod (2007)

The iPod Nano (stylized and marketed as iPod nano) is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first generation iPod Nano was introduced on September 7, 2005, as a replacement for the iPod Mini. It uses flash memory for storage. The iPod Nano has gone through several differing models, or generations, since its introduction. The IPod represents the fact that since the basic features fit in one machine, the desire of the people is to have as small devices to play their music on as possible. (Tekniska museet TM45259, CC BY-NC-ND http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/)

IPod (2007)

The iPod Nano (stylized and marketed as iPod nano) is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first generation iPod Nano was introduced on September 7, 2005, as a replacement for the iPod Mini. It uses flash memory for storage. The iPod Nano has gone through several differing models, or generations, since its introduction. The IPod represents the fact that since the basic features fit in one machine, the desire of the people is to have as small devices to play their music on as possible. (Tekniska museet TM45259, CC BY-NC-ND http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/)