Compusonics offered computer disc recording, long before MP3 had even been dreamed of.

In 1984 US company Compusonics announced a digital audio recorder which stored 45 minutes of stereo on a 5.25in computer floppy disc. For two years Compusonics booths at electronics shows were always not quite ready for a demonstration that day.

The first working model was shown at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Dallas in 1986. The computer player cost US$3,000 and played four minutes of stereo or eight minutes of mono.

Sound quality was poor and the player stuck and skipped. A video version could only manage a couple of coarse pictures per second.

In June 1984, US company Compusonics announced a digital audio recorder which stored 45 minutes of stereo on a 5.25in computer floppy disc. But for two years Compusonics booths at electronics shows were always not quite ready for demonstration that day. Compusonics also promised a digital video version, capable of displaying a couple of coarse pictures a second.

President David Schwartz  hired investment bankers Blinder, Robinson and Co of Colerado, who provided potential investors with a prospectus complete with some 40 press clippings.

BBC TV’s Tomorrow’s World ran the story, and British company Ferrograph planned to badge a Compusonics professional recorder for ¬£4,000 in September 1986.

Compusonics is now forgotten, but recording sound and pictures on computer discs is commonplace and dirt cheap. Others reaped the rewards from an idea ahead of its time.

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