Compact disc

Updated: 01/31/2019 by Computer Hope
Computer compact disc aka CD

Abbreviated as CD, a compact disc is a flat, round, optical storage medium invented by James Russell. The first CD was created at a Philips factory in Germany on August 17, 1982. The picture is an example of the bottom of a standard compact disc and is the side the disc player reads. The opposite side of the disc has a label to help indicate what is on the disc.


When referring to a round CD, DVD, or Blu-ray it is known as a "disc" and not a "disk." If you are referring to a magnetic media such as a floppy disk or a hard disk drive, it is called to as a "disk" and not a "disc."

What is a CD used for in a computer?

As we mentioned above, compact discs are used to store data so that may be retrieved or executed at a later date. CDs can store software programs so that you may load them onto your computer. They save files for backup or transfer to another computer, as well as hold music to play in a CD player.

How much data does a CD hold?

The standard CD is capable of holding 72 minutes of music or 650 MB of data. An 80 minute CD is capable of holding 700 MB of data.

What came before a CD?

There were several types of storage media released before a CD. However, the most common storage media used before the introduction of the CD was the 3.5" floppy diskette.

What came after a CD?

Several years after the CD was first introduced in the 1980s there have been other methods of storing and retrieving data. However, the most common replacement for the CD today is DVD and Blu-ray discs. For larger storage, jump drives are also a popular replacement to the CD.

Audio CD, CD-R, CD-ROM, CD terms, Computer acronyms, Optical disc