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October 01

cd player

The model name of the first CD player was the CDP-101, a nod to the stream of 1s and 0s that digital technology uses to play back music.

Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

1982: A Shiny New Music Maker
Sony launches the first consumer CD player
At $900, the first home CD player had a pretty steep price tag. Still, the sound quality of music on Compact Disc (CD for short) was far superior to that of the cassettes and LPs that had dominated consumers’ stereo systems for years.

CDs hold more minutes of music than any record ever did, and store music in digital format, which helps create that crystal-clear sound quality. They are also relatively hard to scratch or damage, unlike tapes and records. It wasn’t long before the CD player became a must-have stereo component for any serious music buff. Oh, by the way, the first album to be released on CD was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.
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