"What is a Compact Disc?" - booklet inside early DG CD release*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MC Rag, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident

    You're right they were specifically referring to that layer. My comment was tongue-in-cheek. The reality is that you almost have to try to damage a CD (though I've done it). Most of the time, though, I've been able to buff out the scratches. Definitely more robust than Vinyl!
  2. delmonaco

    delmonaco Forum Resident

    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Actually the Italian and french text simply states that "because there's just one side, the complete work can be listened without interruption"
    Robert C likes this.
  3. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Vancouver, BC, CA
    "invulnerable" was a bit of an exaggeration nonetheless.
  4. Jim Davis

    Jim Davis Member

    Lansdale, PA
    I'm too young to remember that, but I read all about it here, haha --http://www.crapfromthepast.com/compactdiscs/index.htm
  5. Chazro

    Chazro Forum Resident

    West Palm Bch, Fl.
    I remember back in the beginning of the CD craze going to a shop where they obviously bought into the 'indestructible' angle. They had dozens of loose CD's tossed together in a pile, smudged and scratched, and they'd invite you to grab one to demo. I'll admit to being impressed that the little suckas all played flawlessly! Of course, my OCD, grab-everything-by-the-edges self was horrified! 1000's of CD's and 30+ years later, I STILL handle 'em by the edges!;)
    fogalu likes this.
  6. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    This blue face disc (probably from 1984) has a duration of 66 minutes according to the artwork. I haven't checked it though. None of my early DGG discs have durations longer than 55 minutes or so.
  7. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    my Big World by Joe Jackson is from 1986 and it is 60:49 long. At that time, I remember it was an outstanding length.
  8. crispi likes this.
  9. tmwlng

    tmwlng Forum Resident

    MC Rag likes this.
  10. winopener

    winopener Forum Resident


    This 1984 cd runs for 64min but it is an abridged version of a 2lp release

    Various - Festivalbar 84
    MC Rag likes this.
  11. ThmsFrd

    ThmsFrd Forum Resident

    YES to all this. Seriously. "CDs get damaged/scratched/unplayable too easily" GUYS HOW DO YOU HANDLE THEM !?
    Robert C, dalem5467 and Brother_Rael like this.
  12. winopener

    winopener Forum Resident

    From my CD experience and collection, started in late 1982, i can say that it is a known fact that audio cd was designed with 74-min lenght in mind, however this full lenght is very rare on early cd pressing. It is less known that tracking was kinda problematic in the early cd players years, so the real maximum lenght they were allowed was 63 minutes, giving the pit spiral a bit more space (but not too much, 63-min discs were't full at the edge) thus reducing tracking errors and lessen the tracking stress for these early players. This timing reference passed also in the early days of cd-recordable (1993-1997), where blanks were available both in 63 and 74 min. lenght - and guess what, 74 were more expensive than 63. I know, it made no sense, but it was that way (and they were *very* expensive).

    Probably there was a kind of "perceived value" as if a double lp set was placed in a single disc it was less valuable and profitable, but this is a non-technical question. More, since in the 80's there was three format releases (lp, cassette, cd - heck, some 8track too) pushing a single album lenght was causing problem for the LP releases, such as this 1984 cd compilation that run for 58:54

    Various - Let's Dance To The 80's - Special Dance Mix

    As said on another post, this 1984 cd runs for 64min but it is an abridged version of a 2lp release

    Various - Festivalbar 84

    and among the 1984 cd compilation i have it is the longer one (Hits on cd 1-2 / Hear the light 1-2/ Listen to the future 1-2 / Compact sounds /Instrumental compact disc, all Polygram WG, are all shorter).

    In 1985 Polygram WG pushed to the 69 min with this, and the extra lenght was advertised on the cover

    Various - Compact Disco

    then in 1987 advertising some single cd as containing two album

    Donna Summer - Once Upon A Time...

    All is well until 1990...
    when they started to push the lenght after the canonical 74 minutes the limitations of some early players become very clear: in 1990, players based on the Philips CDM-2 mechanic could not track a disc of 79min30sec to the end of the disc and broke (happened three times myself, player was replaced since it was brand new). And the CDM mechanics was used in a lot of players...
    The 79.30 disc:

    Various - Festivalbar '90

    photos of the cdm-2:
    DutchAudioClassics.nl - Information, specifications, photos and service manuals of Philips & Marantz TDA1541 cd players »

    63-min cdr:
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    My recollection from actually being there:

    •Initially, CD max length was 74:xx (typically 74:2x), with a few seconds of wiggle room based on manufacturing differences/tolerances. I recall pretty early on ('84?) that Delos put out a CD that was advertised with a tagline along the lines of "74:10 -- the world's longest CD." I think that Denon had a title that they marketed in a similar fashion. Sorry, I don't recall what the titles were.
    •Not very long into things ('86?), CDs that ran up to about 80 minutes started to appear.
    •Original red book specifications limited playing time to "74 minutes" (not precise) based on the track pitch in use at the time. Tighter pitch was later allowed as technology changed.
    •CD-Rs originally ran 63 min and then a max of 74:2x as well. I remember very well getting a piano recital copied at a dubbing house in Seattle (pre-CD-recorder days, at least in my budget), and my master DAT ran 74:22, and they refused to dub it to CD for me. I told them that I was sure it would fit, and that I would pre-pay and not require my money back if it did not fit. Everything turned out fine.
    Robert C, Grant and MC Rag like this.
  14. skimminstones

    skimminstones Forum Resident

    Bexley, UK
    bought my first cd in 1990 and never once had to clean any of them, never once has any of them failed to play.
  15. winopener

    winopener Forum Resident

    Not all 74-min cdr were created equals... time varied from 74.04 to 74.47, IIRC shorter was TDK, longer Verbatim.
    MLutthans likes this.
  16. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    From the series of CDs that boasted of their length from Delos (as mentioned above), although this is not "the one" that I'm looking for:
    "CONCERT LENGTH 73 minutes"
  17. tmwlng

    tmwlng Forum Resident

    Regarding smudge and dirt etc. The only Target disc I own is Donald Fagen - The Nightfly, and it looks like it's been used on a curling rink by a team drunk off their tits. It still plays perfectly. On the other hand, I do have some neat and clean discs released in the early 1990's pressed by PDO, UK, which have rusted (or bronzed), and some of them cannot be read at all (on certain CD players and computer drives). Same goes for some late 80's "sticky Nimbus" discs. The reading layer has become all sticky-icky and is uncleanable. It's all relative, I guess. I also had a CD once, a Billy Joel Storm Front Columbia disc which had an actual physical crack that ripped maybe 0.5cm of the disc, just avoiding the reading surface. It still played!
    Robert C likes this.
  18. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
    Funny expression; I'm going to borrow that.
    dalem5467 likes this.
  19. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    I remember a contrarian audio writer who repeatedly riffed on the fragility of CDs years ago and I used to think, "Then your LPs must be completely trashed."

    It takes effort to damage a CD. Several times a year I order a dozen or so penny CDs from a used wholesaler and they usually stuff them willy-nilly in a padded envelope, which is then subjected to a cross-country trip from Dallas to DC via the Postal Service's Media Mail. Other than the inevitably wrecked jewel cases, the CDs arrive fine.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    Robert C and Brother_Rael like this.
  20. Bubbamike

    Bubbamike Forum Resident

    Consumers demanded more. Nothing like buying a CD and getting 29 minutes worth of music while paying full price. It might be OK for a reissue but not for a new Release. I used to own this CD, Elvis Presley - Rocker - Amazon.com Music as I recall it wasn't a half hour long. Absolutely no sense to this.
  21. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    There were plenty of them, especially in the classical realm. For instance, as reviewed in 1984 in Stereophile:
    Screen shot 2017-03-16 at 11.46.07 PM.png
    Running time is 71:09.
    crispi and MC Rag like this.
  22. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    I do what Solitare1 does except that I can play CDs in my car with no risk of scuffing or damage. I guess GM supplies their vehicles with good players.
  23. Baby Driver

    Baby Driver Forum Resident

    which was genius. one mans filler, is another's treasure.
    anorak2 likes this.
  24. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    I do wonder sometimes!
  25. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    They are certainly more forgiving than vinyl records.

    I know a guy who gets annoyed when a CD won't play due to the damage it sustained from being "stored" on the floor of his car.... out of its case...
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017

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