Development of Music Technology

One shelf in our Design and Technology Collection cabinet is devoted to the development of music technology. It contains four items which show the changes to recording and listening to music in the twentieth and very early twenty-first century.

The first item is a vinyl 45 (or 7 inch). The names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm, and the standard diameter, 7 inches (18 cm). The 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable replacement for the 78 rpm discs.

The second item is a cassette tape, which is an analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. It was released by Philips in 1963, having been developed in Hasselt, Belgium. Compact cassettes came in two forms, either already containing content as a prerecorded cassette, or as a fully recordable "blank" cassette.

The third item is a compact disc, a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was originally developed to store and play only sound recordings but was later adapted for storage of data.

The final item is an iPod. The iPod is a line of portable media players and multi-purpose pocket computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first version was released on October 23, 2001. Only the iPod Touch remains in production.