With so many technological advancements in recorded sound, it can seem hard to draw any similarities between modern audio and the early beginnings of the phonograph. The physical forms of audio evolved from cylinders to discs, from records to CDs, but the jump from CDs to mp3s and streaming services seemingly distances modern audio further from its origins.
However, pieces of the past still exist in forms of aspects such as the term “album.” The term album was first coined to mirror that of photo albums, creating record albums as a way to group together separate records. The records at the time were 78 rpms, and thus could not contain more than a few minutes of recording per side, limiting records to about two songs a piece. As technology evolved into the larger LP versions of records, multiple songs could fit on each side, and artists could then release complete “albums” as one disc. The word album remained commonplace as music advanced into CD and tape forms of audio. Today, music remains organized into albums regardless of form, whether it be a CD, a record, or just available for streaming. While the music industry seems far more complex and evolved than it began as, there still remain cultural and technical ties to the origin of recorded audio.