The invention of the CD player was a breakthrough in the entertainment industry. This was the gateway into new technology for gaming consoles, computer systems and DVD players. The music scene changed dramatically as well. Before the CD player, casette and eight-track tapes had poor sound quality and were prone to damage. The CD player offered digital quality sound without feedback noise, as well as more entertainment options.
In the late 1970s, Sony collaborated with Philips Electronics and Polygram to design a new type of music player. The first CD player was in production for two to three years before it was available to the public. CDP-101 was the first commercialized CD player on the market. Even though other companies began producing CD players. Sony and their partners started the trend and their products were less expensive than their competitors'. The initial player retailed for an astounding $900 and was officially on sale on October 1, 1982. Along with the CD player, Sony released over 50 CDs around the same period. The first CD was "52 Street" by Billy Joel.
The CD player had a front-loading disk tray, which was inexpensive to manufacture. The CD disks were comprised of 1s and 0s. These are binary numbers, which are used in computers as well. The player read the binary code and played the CD accordingly. Even if multiple parties using it scratched the disk, it still played with crisp clarity. The CD player came with a remote control. This was a fairly new invention as well. The remote control was an infrared device.
There were several features on the CDP-101 player that were new to the industry. A large display window was productive to view track numbers and playable options. The buttons were huge for easy viewing. It had play, pause, track forward and back buttons. You could also repeat and shuffle through the songs. It was equipped with a sturdy open and close button. The remote was similar to a TV/VCR device. It enabled the user to push the number of the track he wished to play, and it had all the options that were located on the CD player.
The Sony CDP-101 offered digital sound. The background noise, humming and pitch problems associated with tapes were obsolete. It enabled users to hook up a complete surround-sound system in their living room. The price for the first CD player was so high, that most of the public could not afford it at the release date. If you were able to purchase the machine in the first few days, you owned a piece of history as well as bragging rights as one of the first to own a CD player.