CD Player Day

Although the sales of CDs increased briefly during 2021, this medium has been in steady decline since the early 2000s. This is partly due to the way people now consume their music. It’s been estimated that up to 85% of people now stream their music, which isn’t a good sign for CDs.

That’s a shame, considering that the CD transformed society only a few short decades ago. Of course, we don’t have to say goodbye to the compact disc quite yet. There’s a holiday that celebrates CD players (and by association, CDs).

This holiday is called CD Player Day, and it’s observed annually on the 1st day of October every year—the day when the first CD players became available in stores in 1982.

The History of CD Player Day

James Russell is credited with coming up with the idea for the compact disc in 1965. He imagined a music recording system that could replace vinyl records and didn’t require physical interaction between the medium and the player.

At first, he couldn’t attract investors, but Sony and other companies saw the promise in it and decided to license the CD-ROM technology. These corporations refined the product even further, and in 1978, Polygram (a division of Philips) chose polycarbonate for use as a CD medium.

It was also decided that the data would begin at the center and then spiral out towards the edge of the disc. Eventually, Sony and Philips would collaborate on the specs of the first compact disc, and it was ready for the market.

On October 1st, 1982, the first CD audio player was brought to the market by Sony. This initial player cost $900, and the discs that were created to be played on them cost as much as $30.

This initially priced the product out of most people’s budgets, but as Sony and Philips built more factories, the price of CD players and CDs began to come down. The price of discs dropped to about $20, and the price of players began to fall with them.

CDs would soon be used for more than listening to music, however. In 1985, the first CD-ROM was created, and the first CD-R was created in 1990. Microsoft shipped the Microsoft Bookshelf in 1987.

Throughout the 1990s, the use of CDs for both music and computing continued to rise. But that trend began to change in 2000. Thanks to portable music devices such as the Apple iPod and streaming, CD sales began to plummet. Now, this technology is in danger of going the way of the cassette tape.

Observing CD Player Day

This is the perfect day to rediscover CDs. This format presents a crisp, clean way to listen to music and offers some of the highest sound quality possible. People can also spread the word about this day using the hashtag #CDPlayerDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 1 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
October 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 1 Sunday
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