More On Why (Record) Size Matters : The Record More fascinating facts on the history of record size.
NPR logo More On Why (Record) Size Matters

More On Why (Record) Size Matters

Yesterday we tried to answer the question, why are most records 12 inches across? Why are others seven inches?

Our post prompted an email from the ever-thoughtful Sam Brylawski, who was quoted in the story and who also was interviewed on Talk of the Nation yesterday about the Library of Congress study he co-authored, titled "The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age."

In his email Sam offered these additional facts that did not make it into our story:

"RCA's 45 (1949) was a response to Columbia's LP, which debuted a year earlier. However, RCA Victor launched a 12-inch "long-playing" 33-1/3 disc in 1931 or so. It flopped terribly for many reasons. Edison, too, experimented with a long-playing disc, in 1926."

And a correction to the apparently complicated relationship between phonograph pioneer Emile Berliner and his engineer Eldridge R. Johnson:

"Johnson never really left Berliner. Injunctions put Berliner out of business and Johnson set up business with Berliner as a stockholder. I suspect Johnson resented paying Berliner royalties for old patents that Johnson had improved so significantly..."

Mr. Brylawski concluded his email with a question:

"So, let's see how long it takes for you to be asked, Does a CD really hold 70 minutes because a Sony executive said, 'make it long enough to hold Beethoven's 9th'?"

Your turn to answer. Does it? Did he?