Tuesday, March 14, 2006

FoRK: Space-efficient Groove Recordings

As I mentioned in old bits on the FoRK list, I bought the hobby kit that makes an Edison cylinder recorder that records on plastic cups. (I still haven't assembled it yet, though.)

The cylinder recorder was replaced by the more space-efficient record discs, of course. (Edison fought that, as he fought many improvements of his work.) Anyway, I was just wondering what the most space-efficient format would be for a groove recording. And in a practical sense; what shape of medium would allow the biggest collection (in recorded hours) to sit in someone's closet?

Rectangular shapes fill up rectangular closets fairly well. But if the player is moving this rectangle in zigzags, like a CRT's electron beam, it seems a little tricky to swing the pickup needle around to the next groove. Even if that problem is solved, it might be best to have a looooong rectangle, so you canmaximize the straightaways and minimize the hairpin turns, if just for easier maintenance.