View Full Version : A short(cough cough) history of storage media

01-26-2008, 11:10 AM
1877 - Edison invents the cylinder "phonograph" used to record and playback sound. Originally thought to be useful as a business machine for dictation (like the dictaphone which would come later.) Other uses: recordings of plays pre-dating Radio Drama nearly 50 years.

1887 - Emile Berliner invents the flat record player ("gramophone") using acoustic horn and licenses technology to record companies who make "70-rpm" disks

1897 - Shellac gramophone disks developed by Emile Berliner - speeds will vary on discs issued by companies in different countries (80 rpm was used on some British recordings)

1906 - RCA Victor's "Victrola" model record player is introduced. It has a variable turntable speed control to accomodate the wide range of phonograph records produced at that time; Victor's speeds ranged from 71 - 76 rpm. Columbia was producing discs as 80rpm.Some British disks even rotated between 66rpm - 90rpm; Although U.S. phonograph manufacturers agreed in 1928 to standardize on the rate of 78.26 rpm, it still took decades for more standard speeds to be used worldwide.

1912 - Disk recordings overtake cylinders in the popular market. Columbia drops cylinders.

1913 - Edison Co. finally introduces a disk player, now that the cylinder market is gone

1926 - Bell Laboratories develops a 33 1/3 rpm disk system to synchronize a music track for the Warner Brothers film "Don Juan" containing music composed by William Axt. This system is similar to the Vitaphone system introduced months earlier. Both competing systems -- the "Vitaphone system" and the "Bell/Warner Bros. system", as well as the use of transcription discs by radio stations/networks, inspire the introduction of 33rpm disks later -- a "long-playing" record intended for home use but eventually with smaller "micro" grooves in the disc and a smaller size (10-inches.)

1932 - RCA laboratories work on a 33 1/3 rpm record system, but the system fails because the material does not stand up to repeated plays. Sixteen more years will pass before a system of "long-playing" records is developed that is good enough for widespread consumer use, delayed in part by World War II materials shortages.

1933-35 - Echophon company, another licensee of the Stille patents, develops the Textophon, a dictation machine using steel wire. Echophon is later purchased by ITT and made part of the subsidiary firm C. Lorenz, a manufacturer of telephone equipment. C. Lorenz, with the help of engineer Semi J. Begun, later markets a steel tape recorder that finds wide use in European telephone authorities for telephone recording purposes and by German radio networks for mobile recording.

1935 - AEG/Telefunken exhibits the first magnetic tape recorder in Germany.

1948 - The commercial 33 1/3 LP (Long Playing) microgroove (1-mil) disc is introduced by Dr.Peter Goldmark of Columbia Records; the first LP disk is released; it is 10" Columbia record #4001 performed by classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

1949-Three former Armour Research Foundations employees start Magnecord Corporation in Chicago to make a high quality wire recorder. Plans for the wire recorder are soon dropped, and the group in 1949 introduces a tape recorder, the PT-6. The corporate life of Magnecord ends in 1957 when it is purchased by Midwestern Instruments, Inc.

1949 - RCA Victor responds to the LP by developing large-hole 45 rpm phonograph records;Although the effort failed to kill LPs, RCA's 45s eventually had the unintended consequence of replacing 78s as the preferred media format for singles.

1952- world's first computer tape shipped to IBM for use with IBM 726 tape drive

1953 - The first pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape (at 7 1/2 ips) is offered for sale.

1955 - Larger 12" LP's overtake 10" LP's as the preferred size for long-playing records.

1956-The first practical professional videotape machines were the Quad machines introduced by Ampex in the United States.

1958-The RCA Victor tape cartridge (also known as the Magazine Loading Cartridge and Sound Tape)was introduced.It was a magnetic tape format designed to offer stereo quarter-inch reel-to-reel tape in a more convenient format for the home market.Despite its convenience, and a design that would later be echoed in that of the much smaller Compact Cassette, the format was not a success. RCA was slow to produce machines and to license recorded music, and the format disappeared from the market by the early 1960s.

1963 - Compact stereo tape cassettes and players are developed by Phillips.

1964 - The 8-track stereo tape cartridge is developed for automobile use by Lear

1965- A 1 inch type A (designated Type A by SMPTE)an open-reel helical scan videotape format is developed by Ampex.

1969-The Microcassette an audio storage medium is introduced by Olympus

1971-The first 1/4" computer cartridge is introduced

1975 - Sony introduces the Betamax home video system. By using a convenient cartridge and offering the product at a low cost, Beta quickly takes off.

1976-Elcaset was a short-lived audio format created by Sony.At that time, it was widely felt that the compact cassette was never likely to be capable of the same levels of performance that was available from reel-to-reel systems, yet clearly the cassette had great advantages in terms of convenience. The Elcaset system was intended to marry the performance of reel to reel with cassette convenience. The name "Elcaset" may simply mean L-cassette, or large cassette.

1976- Panasonic and JVC introduce a competitor to Betamax, the Video Home System ( VHS ) system.

1976-A 1 inch type B VTR (designated Type B by SMPTE)an open-reel videotape format is developed by the Bosch Fernseh devision of Bosch in Germany.

1976-A 1 inch Type C (designated Type C by SMPTE) professional helical scan open-reel videotape format is co-developed and introduced by Ampex and Sony.

1982-The first high density 5.25" computer diskette is made available

1982 - The digital Compact Disc (CD) is introduced by a Japanese conglomerate.

1982- two events happened that eventually led to the home camcorder boom: JVC introduced the VHS-C format, and Sony released the first professional camcorder named Betacam. VHS-C was essentially VHS with a reduced-size cassette that had been designed for portable VCRs. Sony's Betacam was a standard developed for professional camcorders,

1983- Sony releases the Betamax-based Betamovie, the first consumer camcorder.Within a short time JVC released its own camcorder using its pre-existing VHS-C format.

1984- 3.5" computer diskettes are introduced

1984 - Sales of recorded compact cassettes (audio cassettes) exceed LP sales for the first time.

1985-The first commercial re-writeable magneto-optical disc is demonstrated and commercial CD-ROM media is introduced

1985 - Adoption of the CD starts taking a huge bite out of LP sales, causing them to drop 25%.

1985- Sony introduces its new video camcorder, the CCD-V8, on January 8, 1985.

1986 - The Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA) announces on June 19 that CDs have overtaken LP sales in the U.S.

1988 - The CD overtakes LP sales worldwide; CD-ROMs are developed as a computer medium able to store around 750 MegaBytes per disc.

1990 - Phillips introduces a digital audio tape recorder (DAT) using a digital casette.

1996 - The DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) increases capacity of digital storage of audio and video on a CD (Compact Disc) medium; can store on to 4.7 GigaBytes per side; double-sided disks are possible though rare...

1999-Sony introduces the Digital8 (D8) video format camcorder

1999 - Recordable CD-R digital audio disc technology becomes part of personal computer systems.

2000 - Consumer DVD recorders were introduced at the Comdex Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas priced at $1000, but by the 2001 show came down to around $500;these video recorders can hold up to 4.7 gigabytes of video and multimedia content

2001 - DVD video disk players outsell VHS video cassette recorder/players for the first time.

2001 - Music DVD's are introduced which can contain 7 - 10 times the amount of music, or multimedia content to augment the usual sound recordings.

2001 to present-MiniDVDs and UMDs are introduced. DVD-R and DVD-RW---DVD+R and DVD+RW---DVD+R DL---DVD-R DL--- DVD-RAM



On the horizon-Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) is an optical disc technology which would hold up to 3.9 terabytes (TB) of information. It employs a technique known as collinear holography, whereby two lasers, one red and one green, are collimated in a single beam. The green laser reads data encoded as laser interference fringes from a holographic layer near the top of the disc while the red laser is used as the reference beam and to read servo information from a regular CD-style aluminum layer near the bottom. Servo information is used to monitor the position of the read head over the disc, similar to the head, track, and sector information on a conventional hard disk drive. On a CD or DVD this servo information is interspersed amongst the data.

HVD is not the only technology in high-capacity, optical storage media. InPhase Technologies is developing a rival holographic format called Tapestry Media, which they claim will eventually store 1.6 TB with a data transfer rate of 120 MB/s, and several companies are developing TB-level discs based on 3D optical data storage technology. Such large optical storage capacities compete favorably with both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. However, holographic drives are projected to initially cost around US$15,000, and a single disc around US$120180, although prices are expected to fall steadily.[4] The market for this format is not initially the common consumer, but enterprises with very large storage needs.

3D optical data storage is the term given to any form of optical data storage in which information can be recorded and/or read with three dimensional resolution (as opposed to the two dimensional resolution afforded, for example, by CD).[1][2]

This innovation has the potential to provide terabyte-level mass storage on DVD-sized disks. Data recording and readback are achieved by focusing lasers within the medium. However, because of the volumetric nature of the data structure, the laser light must travel through other data points before it reaches the point where reading or recording is desired. Therefore, nonlinear technology is required to ensure that these other data points do not interfere with the addressing of the desired point.

No commercial product based on 3D optical data storage has yet arrived on the mass market, although several companies are actively developing the technology and predict that it will become available by 2010.

3D optical data storage has been in use since June of 1997 in the non consumer sector.

No format lives forever there will always be something new coming up