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Monday, April 25, 2011

CD Inventor Dies

The former president and chairman of Sony, Norio Ohga, who was credited with developing the compact disc, has died at the age of 81.

Ohga, who led the company from the years 1982 to 1995, died of multiple organ failure in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. In 1953, Sony's co-founders recruited Ohga while he was still studying at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and hoping to pursue a career as an opera singer. They sensed his knowledge of sound and electrical engineering would benefit the firm. He was an executive by his 30s. 

From the start, he recognised the potential of the compact disc, and personally drove Sony's initiatives to introduce the format. During the development of the CD, it was Ohga who pushed for a disc that was 12cm (4.8in) in diameter, because it provided sufficient capacity at 75 minutes to store all of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  

Sony sold the world's first CD in 1982 and CDs overtook LP record sales in Japan five years later. Ohga's specifications are still used today, and have shaped formats developed since, including MiniDisc and DVD. 

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