Two Music Milestones to Remember This Weekend: Birth of the 45, Death of the MiniDisc

As you listen to music this weekend, take a few moments to ponder the birth of one thing and the death of the other.  It was February 1949 that RCA introduced the 7-inch RPM record, their answer to Colombia’s 12-inch LP record which had been introduced the previous June.  Listen to promotional recording for the new format.

Despite RCA’s best intentions to use the new format to promote “proper” music, the 7-inch single eventually became the heart and soul of a new form of music called rock’n’roll.  And it still is, 63 years later.

The other format to think about is Sony’s MiniDisc, their magneto-optical storage medium first introduced in 1992.  Having had a hit with the development of the CD, Sony thought they could duplicate that success with this new recordable digital format.  They didn’t, although MiniDiscs were reasonably successful in Japan and for some professional audio applications.

This week, Sony announced that they will stop production of the MiniDisc next month.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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