On August 17, 1982 the first audio CD, Visitors by Abba, was pressed at the Philips factory in Langenhagen (Germany). The invention of the CD marked a step for the music industry, but a larger step for the information industry. For the music industry, the introduction of the audio CD was a switch from analogue to digital and a quality step with superior sound quality, scratch-free durability and portability of the product. But the audio CD also meant innovation in the digital entertainment industry, which ultimately led to the launch of the DVD and Blu-ray successor. And along the way, people were taught multimedia skills.
Box cover (© photograph Collection Jak Boumans, CD property of Collection Jak Boumans)
Cover (© photograph Collection Jak Boumans, CD property of Collection Jak Boumans)
But more happened between 1985 and 1997: multimedia was first introduced in 1988. Of course, there were already opportunities to bring graphic work, photographs and music online, but there were no standards and in many cases the capacity of the telephone line was very limited. The CD-ROM appeared to be the new carrier for a combined stream of text, image and sound. The CD-ROM just filled the lack of bandwidth. Thus, the CD-ROM played a key role in the introduction of multimedia and interactivity. Then in 1990, a multimedia standard for PCs (MPC) was adopted, making CD-ROM the carrier for a combined stream of text, image and sound.
This led to a technological format struggle within the data compact disc world. About the CD-ROM format the industry was quick to agree; in an unusually short time for standardization procedures an industry standard was created (High Sierra), followed by ISO standard 9660. But with the potential of multimedia consumer electronic manufacturers saw market opportunities for living room products. Most had little chance of survival.