Sunday, October 17, 2021

The story I heard about the length of compact discs – and one engineer's version of the story

When the compact disc was introduced, I heard it was 74 minutes long because the President of Sony had insisted it be that long so Beethoven's Ninth Symphony would fit on one disc. I told Andrea this story today, and she was skeptical about it. Some searching confirmed that the story is out there – and that a Philips engineer, Kees Immink, has written about how the technical and physical details were arrived at in meetings between Philips and Sony. The size (120mm) was a compromise so that Philips would not have a manufacturing advantage, as they were already making 115mm discs. The playing time was a side effect of the size. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 17 October 2021)


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