Timeline Description: Music players have evolved dramatically from the late 19th century to today. Their evolution has changed size, shape, and function, from the phonograph to the IPhone.
|1857||Leon Scott de Martinville's Phonautograph
The phonautograph could record, but could not reproduce sounds. The original design for the phonautograph eventually led to the gramophone.
|1877||Thomas Edison's Phonograph
The phonograph made recorded music possible. The device recorded sound, including human voices.
|1887||Emile Berliner's Gramophone
Emile Berliner created the Gramophone, the first device to play a disk of recorded music, in 1887. The gramophone made recorded music accessible.
|1896||Gramophone on the Market
By 1896, the gramophone was on the market as a Victrola, playing disks of recorded music. This is the first commercially available record player.
|1905||Beginning of 78 RPM Standard
The 78 RPM standard was introduced. This enabled shoppers to be sure that their records would play on their Victrolas, and play correctly. This remained the standard until the introduction of the LP in 1940.
|1954||First Transistor Radio
In 1954, the first transistor radio allowed listeners to take music with them, as the radio was now small and portable.
|1962||First Portable Stereo
The first portable stereo integrated speakers into a record player, allowing people to take their record player with them, moving it wherever they went.
The audio cassette offered music in a smaller and more portable format than ever before. Audio cassettes also enabled the first mix tapes.
|1965||Release of the 8-Track Tape
The 8-Track tape brought recorded music into cars, long before audio cassette players were integrated into car stereos.
In 1979, the first personal music player was released by Sony. The Walkman combined an audio cassette player and headphones.
|1983||The First Compact Disc
The Compact Disc offered higher quality recording, and increased durability compared to an audio cassette. By 1984, portable CD players were available.
|1998||First MP3 Player
The first MP3 player, playing audio files, was released in 1998. The player eliminated the need for another media to hold music.
|2001||Apple's First iPod
Apple released its first iPod, taking the MP3 player mainstream in 2001. The iPod made digital music significantly more popular.
Apple released the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch served as a music player, but also offered access to the Apple App Store, games and other features.