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Compact Disc Data Storage Technology

The History of Data Storage Technology – Part 5

Data Storage Technology (1979)


Compact Disc data storage technology was developed by Philips and Sony during the mid-1970s, and was based on Laser disc technology invented in 1958 by David Paul Gregg and James Russell.

Compact Discs (CDs) became available commercially in 1982. Originally created for the storage and playback of audio, CDs in the form of the CD-ROM, were able to store a variety of file types.

For decades, the 120-millimetre diameter Compact Disc has been the standard for the distribution of music and by 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. Most likely, you have a CD collection of your own.

However, with new storage formats such as flash drives and file types such as mp3, CD sales have taken a tumble. While music CDs are still distributed in South Africa, in many countries this is becoming increasingly rare as people take to the internet to download mp3 files of their favourite songs using iTunes among other online outlets.

Compact disc data storage technology was also popular with individuals and companies for storing and transferring data from computer to computer. The limited storage capacity of 700MB or 80 minutes of audio soon saw people switch to the higher capacity DVD (4.7 GB) when it came to non-audio use.

  • CDs came in a number of formats including:
  • CD-DA (Audio playback only)
  • CD-ROM (Data storage)
  • CD-R (Write-once data/audio storage)
  • CD-RW (Re-writable)
  • VCD & SVCD (Video and Super Video Compact Disc)
  • PhotoCD
  • PictureCD
  • CDi
  • Enhanced Music CD

Iron Mountain is the largest privately owned Records and Information Management Company, in Southern Africa, and although we do not make use of Compact Disc data storage technology, we do offer the latest storage media to protect our clients’ valuable data.

For more information about our services, contact us today.


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Image Credit: “CDRomPits”. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CDRomPits.jpg#/media/File:CDRomPits.jpg


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