This is just amplification of a myth!
According to Philips own design engineers (who designed the physical disc), there ended up being a
5" diameter mandate and that's how the time length got decided. It's that simple.
I was told, by one of those same Philips design engineers, that 5" was arrived at by marketing folks
who decided that most adult hands could handle a 5" disc by the edges. This tells me that, despite
marketing jargon to the contrary, everyone involved in the design knew that CDs were vulnerable to
fingerprints and scratches from Day 1, so they wanted to come up with a form factor that adults
could reasonably handle without touching the disc surface. Of course this got forgotten a couple of
decades later when some genius came up with the super-grabbing center clamp that is common on
plastic-in-cardboard packaging. It is very hard to remove a disc from those things without bending
it more than is recommended, snapping off the center clamp, or both.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Urbahns" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2014 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD time limit - Beethoven
> The plot thickens, this blog states...."the longest-running version of the
> *9th* in the Philips-owned Polygram catalogue – Furtwangler's 1951 Bayreuth
> Festival recording – was 74 minutes, that became the standard."