Rigid circular plate of either metal or plastic used to record video and audio signals for playback. It resembles a phonograph record and can be played on a machine attached to a conventional television receiver. There are two major classes of videodiscs, magnetic and nonmagnetic. Magnetic videodiscs have an oxide-coated surface onto which input signals are recorded as magnetic patterns in spiral tracks. Nonmagnetic videodiscs use either a mechanical recording system analogous to that used in phonograph records, or optical technology that uses a laser to read data coded as a sequence of pits on the disc. The most common type of videodisc today is the DVD.
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Person who plays recorded music on radio or television or at a nightclub or other live venue. Disc jockey programs became the economic base of many radio stations in the U.S. after World War II. The format generally involves one person, the disc jockey, introducing and playing phonograph records and chatting informally, usually extemporaneously, in the intervals. Because popular DJs are in a position to influence public tastes, record companies have sometimes attempted to bribe them with money and gifts, known as “payola.”
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Molded plastic disc containing digital data that is scanned by a laser beam for the reproduction of recorded sound or other information. Since its commercial introduction in 1982, the audio CD has become the dominant format for high-fidelity recorded music. Digital audio data can be converted to analog form to reproduce the original audio signal (see digital-to-analog conversion). Coinvented by Philips Electronics and Sony Corp. in 1980, the compact disc has expanded beyond audio recordings into other storage-and-distribution uses, notably for computers (CD-ROM) and entertainment systems (videodisc and DVD). An audio CD can store just over an hour of music. A CD-ROM can contain up to 680 megabytes of computer data. A DVD, the same size as traditional CDs, is able to store up to 17 gigabytes of data, such as high-definition digital video files.
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