The CD: 16 Bits and 20 Years
Experiments with digital audio recording had been going on for years at, among other places, the BBC, Denon, Sony, and, in this country, Thomas Stockham's enormously influential Soundstream company. A marriage between digital audio recording and Philips's optically based, but basically analog, laserdisc system - with its damage-resistant, wear-free medium - seemed promising. Years of research, development, and wrangling over standards (I attended some of the committee meetings) culminated for me in the December 1982 issue of Stereo Review, our predecessor, which contained an advance look at Sony's first CD player, the CDP-101. I had the privilege of writing that article, the first in-depth review of a CD player in an American publication, which appeared several months before it or any other CD player actually went on sale in this country. That didn't happen until March 1983, which is why we're celebrating the CD's 20th anniversary this year and not in 2002.