Who Invented the CD Player

Have you ever wondered who invented the CD player? The question has been asked by legions of music lovers and fact-seekers. It's no secret that the compact disc has globally transformed the process of listening to music, allowing for crisp sound on a small and portable medium, but a CD would be useless without a device to play it. CD players themselves are often found in automobiles, portable devices, computers and even the cheapest sound systems. Who, then, invented the CD player?

Unveiling The Prototype
In 1982, Sony unveiled "Goronta" at the Japanese Audio Fair. "Goronta" was a prototype CD player, incomplete but fully equipped with a vertical loading tray. The prototype was considered impractical by many in the business, and was never put into actual production. However, "Goronta" planted a seed that Sony was about to water.

Sony And The CDP-101
In 1982, Sony put the world's first CD player on the retail market. Although primitive, the CDP-101 contained all the bits and pieces necessary to play a compact disc. At the time of its release, the CDP-101 sold for a hefty $900, which was too steep a price tag for many. Additionally, CDs themselves were fairly rare in 1982, with the vast majority of artists and musicians releasing their work on LP and audio cassette. The price and scarcity of CDs resulted in modest sales. Nonetheless, the first in a long line of retail CD players was born, and Sony deserved the credit.

Over the next decades, CD player technology would improve, and CD players became lighter and smaller with each passing year. The CD disk drives on today's computers employ the CDP-101 technology, but they allow for previously inconceivable flexibility in disc writing, uploading and audio listening.

Understanding CD Player History
To some, digital audio players such as the iPod have rendered CD players obsolete. Digital audio players are tiny, but they can still handle the information from hundreds or thousands of discs. Regardless, the Sony technology that enabled use of the first CD players has paved the way for our current audio habits, eradicating our need to fill entire bookshelves with our record collections.

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