The use of digital encoding in telecommunications and the other advances in DSP (digital signal processing), such as in speech synthesis, led to the use of DSP in recording. In 1972 Nippon Columbia began to digitally master recordings, and in the same year the BBC began using pulse code modulation for high-quality sound distribution in radio and television and in its studios began using an 8-track digital audio recorder with error correction. By 1975, it was demonstrated that DSP could improve old recordings (in the first case, by engineer Tom Stockham, historical recordings of Enrico Caruso), and digital audio tapes began to be widely adopted by audio engineers. Music synthesizers incorporating digital recording also began to proliferate. But then the technology took an interesting turn.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has established this site to record the history of digital methods of sound recording and playing, the technology behind compact discs and digital audio tape. A brief historical essay prefaces the site, and a timeline beginning in the late 1950s and running up to the present day details the milestones in the technology. An extensive bibliography of digital recording accompanies the essay and timeline, as does an international list of educational institutions involved with the original (and continuing) research in the field. In addition, there are links on the site to other histories of the compact disc, CD-ROM and recording technology in general. The distinguishing feature of this site is its interest in collecting (via input forms) the personal recollections of those who worked on the research and development of digital audio recording and its associated technologies. Visiting engineers are asked to submit photographs, audio clips and other memorabilia to the site for its historical archive.