The CD format was first introduced to the market in 1982 following a standardization agreement that was accepted by virtually the entire audio industry. The system specifications are laid down in the so-called ‘red book’, which forms the basis for the universal playback compatibility of all CD players and discs.
The worldwide acceptance of the CD medium and its unprecedented penetration in many countries underline the benefits of the system. The non-contact, wear-free disc
reading ensures enduring high quality, while the medium itself offers outstanding user appeal and unequalled convenience of handling and operation. No other tape-based system can match the benefits of CD, so extension of the CD format by a recording capability is a logical development.This has now been standardized, again at an industry-wide level, in the ‘orange book’ specifications. A key factor in these specifications is their compatibility with the ‘red book’. This means that user-recorded CD-R discs are fully compatible with the CD standard, and can therefore be played on any CD player. CD-RW (ReWritable) discs have a lower surface reflectance than
standard CDs, and therefore cannot be played by all today’s CD players. However, Philips intends to extend its future generations of CD players so that they will also be able to play CD-RW discs.