Friday, May 03, 2019

Timeline of audio devices

As a by-product of my research, I have compiled the following timeline of audio devices from numerous sources. Accreditation here is not meant to deny previous contributions, including those obscured by the historical record. In fact, one of the reasons to put this together is to highlight the variety and proliferation of this idea that sound can be recorded and even played back. We take it for granted today.

1850 Claude Pouillet (1791–1868) publishes Notions générales de physique et de météorologie à l’usage de la jeunesse, a book which contains visual representations that have subsequently been reproduced as sound.

1857 The first sound recording device, the phonautograph, is invented by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville (1817–1879) in Paris.

1877 The phonograph, the first sound reproduction device, is invented by Thomas Edison (1847–1931) at Menlo Park, New Jersey. This used tinfoil on a spinning cylinder.

1881 Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) and Volta Laboratory introduces the graphophone, a wax cylinder recorder. (Later also known as a phonograph.)

1887 Emile Berliner (1851–1929) patents a flat disc gramophone record.

1898 Valdemar Poulsen (1869–1942) invents a wire recorder, the Telegraphone.

1913 Edison demonstrates the Kinetophone, synchronising sound to film.

1914 Eric Tigerstedt (1887–1925) demonstrates optical sound-on-film.

1919 Lee De Forest (1873–1961) patents optical sound-on-film in the USA while the Tri-Ergon partnership do the same in Germany.

1925 Western Electric makes the first electrical recordings, using a microphone with vacuum tube amplifiers.

1925 Victor introduces the Orthophonic Victrola acoustic player.

1927 Coin-operated phonograph jukebox introduced by Automatic Music Instrument (AMI).

1929 Ludwig Blattner (1881–1935) invents a steel tape recorder, the Blattnerphone.

1931 Alan Blumlein (1903–42) invents stereophonic recording system at EMI. They later forget to renew the patent.

1935 AEG demonstrate first tape recorder (Magnetophone Model K-1) at Berlin Radio Fair. First magnetic tape created by BASF.

1942 First stereo tape recordings made by Helmut Krüger at German Radio, Berlin.

1946 Soundmirror BK 401, the first commercial tape recorder, released by Brush Development.

1948 Ampex Model 200 tape recorders (serial numbers 1 and 2) record the Bing Crosby Show.

1948 Columbia introduces 7-inch and 12-inch 33-1/3 rpm microgroove vinylite records. Becomes the standard for long-players (LPs).

1948 Magnecord PT-6, the first tape recorder in a portable case.

1949 RCA Victor introduces 7-inch 45 rpm microgroove vinylite records. Becomes the standard for single-players (SPs or singles).

1950 Les Paul (1915–2009) invents sound-on-sound recording with a modified Ampex 300.

1951 Portable tape recorders introduced by Amplifier Corporation of America, Nagra (Switzerland), and Uher (Germany).

1952 Emory Cook (1913–2002) releases the first in a series of binaural disks.

1954 Ampex Model 600 portable tape recorder introduced.

1954 First stereophonic tapes released by labels including Bel Canto and RCA Victor.

1957 First stereophonic demonstration record made by Sidney Frey (1920–68) of Audio Fidelity. Side A: Dukes of Dixieland; side B: railroad sound effects.

1962 Compact Cassette magnetic tape format introduced (Philips).

1964 8-Track Tape created by consortium of Ampex, RCA, Ford, GM, Motorola.

1965 Dolby Type A noise reduction system.

1967 Mini-Cassette magnetic tape format (Philips).

1969 Microcassette magnetic tape format (Olympus).

1972 First commercial digital release, Something by Steve Marcus and Jiro Inagaki (Denon).

1977 First consumer digital recorder, Sony PCM-1 Audio Unit, a 14-bit PCM encoder using Betamax tapes for storage.

1979 Kane Kramer (1956–) prototypes digital audio player IXI.

1980 EMT Model 450 hard-disk digital recorder.

1980 Sony portable cassette player marketed as Stowaway, Soundabout, and Walkman.

1982 Compact Disc (CD) digital optical disc format (Philips and Sony). First title marketed: Billy Joel’s 52nd Street. First CD player: Sony CDP-101.

1982 Compact Disc (CD) digital optical disc format (Philips and Sony). First title to market is Billy Joel’s 52nd Street. First CD player is the Sony CDP-101.

1984 Sony Discman D-50, first portable CD player.

1987 Digital Audio Tape (DAT) helical-scan digital magnetic tape (Sony).

1991 Alesis Digital Audio Tape (ADAT) helical-scan multi-track magnetic tape.

1992 MiniDisc (MD) magneto-optical disc (Sony).

1992 Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) magnetic tape (Philips and Matsushita).

1994 First software MP3 encoder released by Fraunhofer Society.

1994 Nagra ARES-C, the first solid-state audio recorder, which uses MPEG-2 compression to store data on PCMCIA cards.

1997 MPMan, the first portable MP3 player (Saehan Information Systems).

1999 Samsung SPH-M2100, first mobile phone with MP3 player.

2001 Apple iPod introduced.

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