Audio Formats

Music single formats (without packaging)Music and voice recording and playback formats from the 1880s onwards. Some current, most long obsolete. Includes phonograph cylinders and discs, magnetic tapes, optical discs, memory cards, and a few other oddities.

Dates are approximate and refer to availability in the UK or Europe where known, otherwise for US or elsewhere.

Piano roll (1883 – 2008)

Music box disc (1886 – )

Graphophone / Dictaphone cylinder (1887 – early 1950s)

Brown wax cylinder (late 1880s to 1906)

Ediphone (1888 – early 1950s)

Wire recording (1898 – 1960s)

Multiple groove phonograph record (1898 – )

10-inch 78 rpm record (1901 – 1960)

Gold-Moulded Records (1902 – 1912)

12-inch 78 rpm record (1903 – mid 1950s)

Gramophone postcard (1903 – 1970s)

Pathé vertical-cut disc record (1905 – 1932)

Indestructible Record (1907 – 1922)

Amberol Records (1908 – 1912)

Edison Disc Record / Diamond Disc (1912 – 1929)

Blue Amberol Records (1912 – 1929)

The Bell records (1921 – 1926)

Little Marvel (1921 – 1928)

Kiddyphone record (1920s)

Pygmy Gramophone (1923 – 1925)

Picture discs (1920s – )

8-inch 78rpm record (late 1920s – mid 1930s)

Acetate / lacquer disc (late 1920s – )

Electrical Transcription Disc (late 1920s – 1980s)

Victory records (1928 – 1931)

Broadcast Twelve (1928 – 1934)

Professional open reel tape (NAB reel) (1930s – )

Voice-O-Graph (1940 – 1960s)

Cardboard record (1940s – 1980s)

SoundScriber (1945 – 1960s)

Audograph (1946 – 1976)

Dictabelt (1947 – 1980)

Voicewriter (late 1940s – 1960s)

10-inch LP (1948 – 1980s)

12-inch LP (1948 – )

¼-inch open reel tape (1949 – 1980s)

Coloured vinyl record (1949 – )

7-inch single (1949 – )

Tefifon (1950 – 1960s)

SoundScriber tape (1950s – 1980s)

Flexi-disk (1950s – )

Seeburg Background Music Library (1954 – 1960s)

Highway Hi-Fi (1956 – 1959)

RCA Sound Tape Cartridge (1958-1964)

Seeburg Background Music System (1959 – 1986)

Fidelipac (1959 – late 1990s)

Magnabelt (1961 – 1972)

Echo-matic II (1962 – early 1970s)

4-track (Stereo-Pak) (1962 – 1970)

Compact Cassette (1963 – 2000s)

Grundig EN3 (1964 – 1970s)

8-Track (Stereo 8) (1964 – 1988)

Rediffusion Reditune (1960s – 1980s)

3M Cantata 700 (1965 – 1990s)

Music cassette (Musicassette) (1965 – 2003)

PlayTape (1966 – 1970)

Mail Call Letterpack (late 1960s)

Hip Pocket Record (1967 – 1969)

Mini-Cassette (1967 -)

Quadraphonic open reel tape (Q4) (1969 – mid 1970s)

Endless loop Compact Cassette (1969 – 1990s)

Microcassette (1969 -)

Quadraphonic 8-Track (Q8) (1970 – 1978)

Compact Cassette Type II (Chrome / High Bias) (1970 – 2000s)

Steno-Cassette (1971 – )

SQ Quadraphonic (1971 – 1979)

Quadraphonic Sound (QS) (1972 – 1978)

CD-4 (Compatible Discrete 4) / Quadradisc (1972 – 1979)

Audiopak (1972 – 1990s)

10-inch single (1970s – )

12-inch single (1973 – )

Compact Cassette Type III (Ferro-chrome) (mid 1970s – early 1980s)

Elcaset (1976 – 1980)

Compact Cassette Type IV (Metal) (1979 – late 1990s)

Laser-etched vinyl (1980 – )

5-inch picture disc single (1980s)

Shaped 7-inch single (1980s -)

Cassette single (Cassingle) (1980 – early 2000s)

1+1 music cassette (early 1980s)

Compact Disc (1983 -)

Bandai micro cartridge (mid 1980s)

CD single (1985 – )

Picocassette (1985 – late 1980s)

Scotchcart / Scotchcart II (mid 1980s – late 1990s)

CD+G (CD+Graphics) (1986 – )

Digital Audio Tape (DAT)  (1987 – 2005)

Pocket Rockers (1988 – 1991)

Mini CD single (1988 – early 1990s)

CD-BGM (1989 – late 2000s)

9-inch single (1990 – 2007)

Compact Disc Digital Audio Recordable (CD-R Audio) (1990 -)

NT (1992 – late 1990s)

Digital Compact Cassette (1992 – 1996)

MiniDisc (1992 – 2013)

High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD) (1995 – )

HitClips (1999 – 2002)

Super Audio CD (SACD) (1999 – )

DVD-Audio (2000 -)

e-kara Karaoke Cartridge (2001 – 2009)

VJ Starz Video Karaoke Machine (2002 – mid 2000s)

DataPlay (2002 – mid 2000s)

Hi-MD (2004 – 2011)

DualDisc (2005 – 2009)

USB flash drive (2006 – )

microSD card (2007 – late 2000s)

Super High Material CD (2007 – )

VinylDisc (2007 – )

slotMusic (2008 – 2012)

Playbutton (2011 – 2014)

High Fidelity Pure Audio (2013 – )