Release / Format

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This field describes which medium a release is distributed on. Normally a release will be distributed on multiple media with different catalog numbers and barcodes; each should be a separate release.

The values may be:

NameDate of creationRarity*Details
Compact Disc1982WidespreadPCM, Available in 120mm and 80mm formats.
Copy Control CD2001Common?Copy Control CDs went out of favor by the end of 2006
Data CD
DTS CD1992Very Rarea.k.a. 5.1 Music Disc — DTS Audio
Enhanced CD1995Common? Rare?a.k.a E-CD, CD-Extra, CD-Plus & CD+ -- combines music and data tracks
HDCD1995Rare?High Definition Compatible Digital. Enhanced sound recording compatible with the standard Audio CD. In 2000 there were over 4000 releases available, in 2008 there were about 4000 releases. [1]
CD-R1995Common?Record-able CD
8cm CD
Blu-spec CD2008CommonPCM
SHM-CD2008Common(English) (Super High Material CD) PCM
CD+G1985RareAudio CD with Graphics, usually used for karaoke
8cm CD+G
Vinyl1948/1957/1971CommonVinyl / Quad Vinyl. A simple evolution of gramophone record: Analog, with pre-emphasis and other equalization techniques (LP, RIAA). Lateral grooves, horizontal stylus motion. Monaural were created in 1948, then stereo vinyl came later in 1957 and Quad in 1971: analog, with pre-emphasis and other equalization techniques. Combination lateral/vertical stylus motion with each channel encoded 45 degrees to the vertical.
7" VinylCommon17 cm
10" Vinyl25 cm
12" VinylCommon30 cm
Flexi-disc1962Common?Phonosheet, Sonosheet, Soundsheet
7" Flexi-discCommon?17 cm
Digital MediaWidespreadAll born-digital releases, in any file format
Cassette1963Common?Analog, with bias, preemphasis, 1/8 inch wide tape, 17/8 inches/sec. 1970: introduced Dolby noise reduction.
DVD-Audio1999Rare? Common?
SACD1999RareSuper Audio CD. Intended as successor to CD; generally regarded as a failure except by audiophiles.
Hybrid SACDRareSACD which also contains audio playable in normal CD players
Hybrid SACD (CD layer)
Hybrid SACD (SACD layer)
SHM-SACDRareSACD manufactured using the SHM manufacturing process
DualDisc2003Common?An audio cd on one side (though not redbook), and a dvd on the other side
DualDisc (CD side)
DualDisc (DVD-Video side)
DualDisc (DVD-Audio side)
VCD1993RareVideo CD. Digital format, precursor to DVD
SVCD2000Rare? Common?Super Video CD. Chinese-developed alternative to DVD-Video; intended as successor to VCD; didn't succeed.
CDV1987RareCD Video. Mixed analog/digital video/audio format; began to disappear by 1991
UMD2004RareUniversal Media Disk. a proprietary format used only by the PlayStation Portable; some movies were released on it
Shellac1921Common?Phonogram record made with shellac instead of vinyl
7" Shellac17 cm
10" Shellac25 cm
12" Shellac30 cm
SD card??
slotMusic2008Common?A type of microSD memory card developed by SanDisk preloaded with music in DRM-free MP3 format and other content. The current selection of songs comes from EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
OtherRareUse for formats not otherwise listed
3.5" Floppy Disk1971Rare?
Betamax1975Common?'Dolby Stereo' cinema surround sound.
Cartridge1962Rare?4 track (in 1962) / 8 track (in 1965) / Quad 8 track (in 1970) -- Analog, 1/4 inch wide tape, 3 3/4 inches/sec, endless loop cartridge. Quad: 4 Channel Stereo.
CED1981Very RareCapacitance Electronic Disc
DCC1992Very RareDigital Compact Cassette
DVDplus (CD side)
DVDplus (DVD-Video side)
DVDplus (DVD-Audio side)
Edison Diamond Disc1912Rare
8" LaserDisc
12" LaserDisc
Music CardCommon?Card with a digital download code printed on it
Pathé disc1905Rare
Piano roll1883Very RareMechanical digital
Reel-to-reel1930sRareAnalog; magnetization; "bias" dramatically increases linearity/fidelity
USB Flash Drive2004Common?2004 was earliest use as a music format
VinylDisc2007Rare?It is made from two fused layers; the silver layer contains the digital information (either in CD or DVD format) and the upper layer has a record groove, meaning it can be played on any record-player.
Wax Cylinder1877Very RareMechanical analog; "hill-and-dale" grooves, vertical stylus motion

(*) Rarity is just a rough indication of availability as consumer products - values are: "Very Rare", "Rare", "Common" and "Widespread".

Other items from the list I'm not sure how to fit in

NameDate of creationRarityDetailsMap to
Wire recording1898RareAnalog; magnetization; no "bias"Other
Microcassette Minicassette1969RareAnalog, 1/8 inch wide tape, mostly mono, some stereo. 2.4 cm/s or 1.2 cm/s.Cassette
4 tracks/8 tracks/multitracks recording?Very Rare?This is not in itself a physical format (may be performed on a variety of equipments, from tape based equipment to digital equipment and hard disks). Likely to be only available in studios, as professional equipments.Other
Elcaset1976RareA short lived cassette format.Cassette
Gramophone record1895CommonMechanical analog; lateral grooves, horizontal stylus motion. The terms LP record (LP, 33, or 33-1/3 rpm record), EP, 16-2/3 rpm record (16), 45 rpm record (45), and 78 rpm record (78) refers to specific types of gramophone recordsVinyl

Partial list of digital audio formats

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