Vinyl Data- Classic Computers / Indie music tricks crossover
oldcpu2 at rogerwilco.org
Tue Sep 30 11:03:18 CDT 2008
On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 19:44:04, Tom Peters wrote:
> One strategy that major record companies have been employing lately to
> deter downloading is adding bonus computer content to new CD releases. I
> recently discovered that this technique is not unique to CD’s, but had in
> fact been practiced in the vinyl era as well. That’s right: there were a
> handful of records released in the late 70’s and early 80’s that contained
> computer programs as part of the audio. This is totally insane, and totally
> Most of these programs were written for the Sinclair Spectrum home
> computer series. The Sinclair Spectrum was a relatively cheap home computer
> system that used a television set as a monitor and loaded programs from
> tapes. It thrived in England in the early 80’s:
The very first example of this 'computer encoding' on vinyl that I'm
aware of is on Isao Tomita's "The Planets" (1976) album of the Gustav
Holst piece done up with various -- new at the time -- synthesizers.
When I first heard this in 1977 I was just getting my fingers into
computing, but had no way to decode the message. According to my
memory, the liner notes specify that it is played into a certain
cassette I/O interface on an Altair 8800 (or was it Imsai 8080?)
one would find a special message. I never had the hardware for that,
nor have I thought much about it over the years.
I'm going to have to dig that album out (yes, I still have all of my
old vinyl!) and confirm the target system, and then see what can be
done to decode it with today's tools.
Hmmm.....yet another project on the list!
PS. If anyone is more determined than I am, let me know and I'll
create a .WAV file of the section in question for your enjoyment.
More information about the cctalk