Product: Compact Disk
MultiFormat CD   (+7, -1)  [vote for, against]
CD with Multiple Media Playback Modes

Compact discs are nice. But there's more potential there than is being used. My suggestion is to integrate older technologies into the CD's so that their usefulness is not limited by availability of a CD player.

You have the "normal" content of the CD. You can also have the printed/"top" surface etched like an old-fashioned vinyl record. And, you could embed small photographs around the inside and outside borders, like an old ViewMaster.

Useless? Probably. But it would be rather entertaining to place a CD on an old Victrola and be able to play it. And to stick it into some kind of luminoptical projector and see pictures.

Were we to send out a Voyager-like space probe now, and we wanted to pack a lot of information onto it, it would make sense to utilize multiple media formats on the one artifact.
-- quarterbaker, Feb 07 2002

Bones from CDs machine http://www.halfbake...rom_20cds_20machine
Where I note that CDs could be turned into 45s [phoenix, Feb 08 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

CD manufacturing process
See steps 5 and 6 [phoenix, Feb 08 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Zoetrope http://www.imperica...amera/zoetrope.html
Just so we all know what waugs is talking about. [quarterbaker, Feb 08 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

If it's transparent, won't the CD laser just shine through it? If it's opaque, how can we see the Viewmaster stuff? Hey...

Anyone want to post a 'CD-ROM-based Viewmaster' idea?
-- phoenix, Feb 08 2002

If the potential probe finders need an vinyl record-like etched surface to decode our messages they are probably not sophisticated enough to find the probe in the first place.
-- bristolz, Feb 08 2002

The notion of putting transparent pictures around the edge of the CD is entirely bakeable if the CD doesn't hold too much data (since data is written from the inside out). A small amount of groovy audio could likewise be recorded, since records play from the outside in. If the groove passed over the pictures, however, it would tend to make then not look so good. It would also have to end before it reached the digital data since both the groove and the digital data are recorded on the top side of the disk (on CD's, the data are recorded on underside of the silvery coating on the top side of the disk).
-- supercat, Feb 08 2002

Just to clarify:

1. The pictures would be located at the inner and outer clear borders, as they currently exist. In other words, the laser data area would remain unchanged. [the inner border has more potential; the outer border may prove too uncontrollable] Photographic resolution density can be quite high: witness microfilm.

2. Similarly, the groovy impression on the top would be bound by the same borders, in order to avoid interference with the photos.

3. Most cheap CD's appear to have the laser data medium attached to the printable side of the disk. Therefore, for this scheme to work, the medium must be embedded between an upper and lower area. Otherwise, the groovy surface would result in a groovy laser data medium, which would be unusable.

Personally, I find two aspects of this idea intriguing. First, like I mentioned, you could play a CD on an old phonograph player. The inherent anachronistic character of that activity is charming. Second, I think it serves as a touchstone for rethinking data density techniques. Current techniques in R&D appear to be a "more-of-same" approach: i.e., get the bits packed together tighter. This idea shows that there may be potential for exploring the use of multiple parallel encoding systems.
-- quarterbaker, Feb 08 2002

1) Microfilm ViewMasters? Didn't see that one coming. And there will be a difference between the resolution of the photograph and the resolution of the image printed on the CD.
2) (See 3), but I rather like the idea of the photos overlapping the grooves
3) But we're not talking about cheap CDs here, are we? I've not seen a CD where the reflective medium was exposed, but I'll take your word for it. Typically, there's a layer of plastic above (which doesn't do very much as you'd find by taking a ball point pen to it). I can't think of a reason why you couldn't *mold* (as opposed to etching) the upper (grooved) portion of the CD separately from the lower portion then adhese the two together. You still can't see through it, but you get just about everything else.
-- phoenix, Feb 08 2002

phoenix - take a CD-R from pretty much any maker, and bend it. The label will peel, and you can usually peel it off in big sections. It's sort of painted-on. All you have left is the clear plastic disk and some paint peel.
-- quarterbaker, Feb 08 2002

The reflective surface is currently varnished/lacquered over to form the top to the CD. I'm simply proposing the use of grooved plastic in place of the lacquer.
-- phoenix, Feb 08 2002

phoenix - so am I: see a couple posts up. Does thinking alike mean the notion is more likely to be feasible?

I'm not whining, but I'm surprised that more regulars here haven't expressed interest in the anachronistic angle.
-- quarterbaker, Feb 08 2002

qb, that's what I like about it. I'm trying to figure out a way to work in a zoetrope.
-- waugsqueke, Feb 08 2002

waugs, people are beginning to talk about you and zoetrope. bun for qb.
-- po, Feb 08 2002

[po] I'd heard it was someone called poetrope...

[quarterbaker] Just wait until [Amishman35] shows up.

[waugsqueke] I'd suggest my CD-based ViewMaster (mentioned above). Call it a personal picture viewer. I'd post it, but someone would probably call it baked.
-- phoenix, Feb 08 2002

Could sandwich the CD data information in the center of two thinner plastic disks, instead of putting it immediately under the painted on label. Record grooves aren't very deep. This would make it more expensive, but less prone to scratch damage. In fact, this gives me another idea to post...

If you only put a small CD's worth of info <I forget the size. The CD singles, the ones about the size of the base of a can of soda.> you could make the outer rim transparent, and thus allow for the Viewmaster pictures <Which I would find greatly amusing>...
-- StarChaser, Feb 09 2002

phoenix, ask the doctor, I said, ask the DOCTOR to syringe your ears - it will make a huge difference and does not hurt at all.
-- po, Feb 09 2002

Mabye we can acoustically record the grooves. I have taken a paper cup with a needle stuck through the bottom, and scratched it across a CD-R coaster while shouting into the cup. But I only get the wiggle from the needle skipping across the polycarbonate. I took an old record and shouted "!" into the cup as it violently followed the run-out groove (with the record rotating on the turntable). This was my first playable acoustic recording. I have also experimented with aluminum foil and made visible ripples which turned out to be my voice. Upon playback, however, it sounds honky and unintelligible. I have taken a crashed hard drive, removed the cover, soldered wires to the actuator coil, soldered a needle to the head, and hooked the wires up to my stereo. I will need to design a track/feedscrew in order to get the right pressure, but once I get the right support, I can see myself burning 78's onto CD-R by slowing down the music and recording at 45 RPM.
-- Amishman35, Mar 12 2002

Honky and unintelligible, huh? Can't imagine why.
-- angel, Mar 12 2002

random, halfbakery