CDs were the the first convenient digital music medium, invented in 1982 as a joint effort by Sony and Phillips. They were the 5th dominant music medium. They are currently the leading physical music medium. Their sound quality is superior to any previous medium.
After its invention in 1982, the CD quickly grew in popularity, eventually out-selling Disc Records. By the 1990s, records were seldom made; this was mainly because CDs were superior in convenience, size, sound quality, length, durability, and re-playability when compared to lps. Most major labels didn't make records after 1990 until a revival of interest in records began to happen around 2003. Despite this, because of the relative inexpensiveness and convenience that advances in digital technology have made possible, it is now much easier and cheaper to make a CD than it is to make a record. For this reason, most small record companies only have their music available on CDs. Starting in 2000, mp3s and other sound file formats began to increase in popularity, but due to the illegal downloading laws established by the RIAA it is now illegal to download music files for free without the artists' permission, this caused a slight drop in mp3 downloads, but not a large one, but it did start a market for mp3s. Regardless the recent popularity of the mp3, CDs are still purchased by many people worldwide.
Significance To The Recording And Documentation Of Folk MusicEdit
Though not many authentic folk albums were originally released on CD, (mainly because a majority of them were dead) many previous folk compilations and second career albums were re-released on CD. A plethora of original compilations were released on CD only after its invention; because they were cheaper to make, they could hold more songs, and last longer than lps or cassettes.