Evolution of Music Players Timeline
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.

Date Event
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.
1963 Audio Cassette

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.
1979 The Walkman

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.
2007 iPod Touch

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.