Who Made Compact Disk First, Phillips or Sony?

When we’re at work, school, or in the house, we are sometimes used to seeing a lot of things lying around, such as files, documents, tools, etc., and one convenient way to sort all these items is to use a storage box or container.

Interestingly, our modern world quickly adapted to the idea of storage boxes. The use of storage devices became known not only in physical objects but also in the digital world. Since our world today runs with advanced technology, people take advantage of it to make everyday work more comfortable.

The computer age, as we know it, allows us to store files and documents in a storage device. These storage devices come in different forms and designs, which have been upgraded over the years. The different versions of a storage device range from the old and large electronic equipment, up to the more convenient modern gadget.

Moreover, one of the most popular forms of a storage device is the compact disc, which rocked the early computer era. The compact disc, also known as CD, became widespread all over the globe for its capability to store and play sound recordings. However, over the years, the use of CD broadens and became used in various platforms such as videos, games, as well as a data storage device for saving important documents and files.

As exciting as it seems, the origin of compact discs is one thing that may catch our interests. We might be familiar with the two leading brands when it comes to this storage device, which is Phillips and Sony. That is why in this article, let’s look into the history of the compact disc, and mainly, who invented it?

The History of Compact Disc

As mentioned earlier, the use of compact discs was popularized by its two leading manufacturers – Phillips and Sony. However, some debates and confusion arosewhen it comes to its origins. It is because the history of compact discs is unclear to some people regarding who is the first company that made the CD.

However, the answer is; Neither of them was the inventor of the compact disc. The first compact disc in the world was an invention of the American physicist and inventor, James Russell, in 1965.

During the 1960s, people already had a way to record and play music, and that is with the help of vinyl discs known as gramophone records. However, a music lover, James Russell, had a collection of gramophone records, which eventually made him irritated with its steady low tapping sounds whenever he plays it with the record player. This disturbance led to the idea that there is one way of overcoming the low tapping sound coming from the record player, which is to record the audio without using other substances such as stylus to transmit sound from the record to the reproducing device. This necessity ideally needs the use of disc since it reproduces only pure sounds recorded without the hindrance of any other medium like stylus.

Russell conducted research work in America’s General Electric Company’s laboratory. His work resulted in an unconventional concept of recording sound: First of all, convert the sound waves in binary digits, i.e., 0s and 1s. Then, transfer the data into a light, such as a laser. Finally, record all the data in a disc of photosensitive material. To practically support his idea, he recorded sound in an experimental disc by making pits with a laser. Furthermore, he also made a ‘player’ which could read the data stored in that player. This brilliant concept gave him patent rights to digital recording technology.

However, despite Russell’s success in inventing the world’s first CD, he didn’t gain recognition as the inventor of CD. As we know today, we can give the credits to Japan’s Sony Corporation and Netherlands’ Phillips Company, who purchased the patent for compact disc digital recording technology from Russell. After they bought the patent, they commenced a large scale production of CD in 1979 after including the latest electronic developments.

Russell’s invention became widespread all over the world, mostly used in computers. Millions of compact discs are sold worldwide even after years of its creation. Today, our means of data storage improved drastically, but the classic use of compact discs continues to have a significant impact in our computer age.