Ongoing History Daily: The format was never was

First, there was the wax cylinder.  Then the vinyl record.  Then the eight-track and the cassette.  Then the CD.  And now we’re into the era of the MP3.  But did you know that there was supposed to be something between the CD and the MP3? 

It was called DataPlay.  The music industry was hoping to get us to buy a pre-recorded spinning disc that was about the size of a loonie that played on–naturally–special machines. 

But the DataPlay died because (a) they couldn’t get the technology right; (b) flash memory came along; (c) MP3 players, iTunes and other digital downloads sites; and (d) all the problems suffered by the music industry after about 1999. 

Just as well.  Did we really need another pre-recorded music format?

Monday’s post had to do with the unexpected perversion of a song’s intent.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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