compact disc

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compact disc

(CD), a small plastic disc used for the storage of digital data. As originally developed for audio systems, the sound signal is sampled at a rate of 44,100 times a second, then each sample is measured and digitally encoded on the 4 3-4 in (12 cm) disc as a series of microscopic pits on an otherwise polished surface. The disc is covered with a transparent coating so that it can be read by a laser beam. Since nothing touches the encoded portion, the CD is not worn out by the playing process. Introduced in 1982, the CD offered other advantages over the phonograph record and recording tape—smaller size, greater dynamic range, extremely low distortion—and met with rapid consumer acceptance; the CD became the music carrier of choice by 1991, when sales exceeded those of audiocassettes.

Other CD formats include CD-ROM [Compact Disc–Read Only Memory], a form of CD that is read (but not written to) by computer using a CD-ROM drive and that can contain computer programs and digitized text, sound, photographs, and video; CD-R [Compact Disc–Recordable] and CD-RW [Compact Disc–ReWritable], which can be written to one time and multiple times, respectively. Interactive CDs (CD-I, CDTV, and other formats) can store video, audio, and data. Photo CD is a format that holds digitized photographs and sound. There are also CD-ROMs that require special players with built-in microcomputers.

Other optical diskoptical disk,
any of a variety of information storage disks that are played or read using a laser. Optical disks include compact discs (CDs and CD-ROMs), laser discs (see videodisc), and digital versatile discs (or digital video discs; DVDs and DVD-ROMs).
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 formats include digital versatile (or video) discs and videodiscs. A digital versatile diskdigital versatile disc
or digital video disc
(DVD), a small plastic disc used for the storage of digital data. The successor media to the compact disc (CD), a DVD can have more than 100 times the storage capacity of a CD.
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 (DVD) holds far more information than a CD. DVD players are backward compatible to existing technologies, so they can also play a CD (or CD-ROM), but a CD player cannot be used with a DVD (or DVD-ROM). The videodiscvideodisc
or videodisk,
disk used with a special player and television to reproduce both pictures and sound. A videodisc player cannot record television programs off the air for later playback, unlike a videocassette recorder (VCR) or recordable DVD (see digital
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, or laser disk system, uses 12-in. (30-cm) disks for video recording. Its technology, unlike that of the CD, is an analog system that uses a laser to read a variable-width track, much like a conventional phonograph record.

compact disc

a small digital audio disc on which sound is recorded as a series of metallic pits enclosed in PVC; the disc is spun by the compact disc player and read by an optical laser system

Compact Disc

(storage)
(CD) (Not "disk", this spelling is part of the standard).

A 4.72 inch disc developed by Sony and Philips that can store, on the same disc, still and/or moving images in monochrome and/or color; stereo or two separate sound tracks integrated with and/or separate from the images; and digital program and information files.

The same fabrication process is used to make both audio CDs and CD-ROMs for storing computer data, the only difference is in the device used to read the CD (the player or drive).

CD Information Center.
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