The Compact Disc turns 40

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The compact disc gave us our first taste of digital music – and we liked it.

Upon its arrival in the U.S. in March 1983, the sleek 4.7-inch plastic and aluminum disc – about the size of a drink coaster – promised crisp, clean digital music reproduction without the pops heard on vinyl LPs or the hiss from tapes.

The CD did have some drawbacks. Vinyl’s coffee table-sized artwork and text were lost because of the new format’s size.

And, initially, CDs were sold in not-so-eco-friendly cardboard long boxes to prevent theft. The plastic cases also had pesky little metallic tape seals called dog bones, which required a razor-edged tool to slice through.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!