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The Compact Disc Technology Coursework

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Updated: Jan 11th, 2022

Introduction

The introduction of digital technology has resulted in the production of digital equipment such as music players that are used to output information including music in digital forms. A compact disc (CD) is an optical storage medium that is used for storage of information in digital form. The digital information is usually in form of streams of 0’s and 1’s arranged in tracks and sectors within the compact disc. The memory of the compact disc is accessed directly for any digital information. The compact disc stores music information as 16-bit digital words, going from the centre hole to the outside rim of the disc, and on a standard 74-minute CD, there is around 650 MB (megabytes) of data stored. Reading of data from the CD uses laser technology, which reflects the laser light through the thin aluminum layer. The layer of clear polycarbonate plastic protects the encoded information. The reverse side of the CD is made up of the label and a protective lacquer coating (Reese, Gross, 2006).

Compact disc players are physical equipments that retrieve encoded information from the CDs using a decoder section of the player, producing the output in form of sound, motion pictures, and other data forms to the display screen, and or the speakers. Data is stored on the CD as pits, which vary in length, relating to where the 1’s appear in the digital data stream, with the start or finish of a pit being the moment when a digital 1 occurs. These pits cause variation of the reflection from the laser light. Because of the drastic and dynamic changes in technology, there has been production of various CD players, varying greatly in terms of size, style, quality, design, usability, technical features and functions, and price (Clements, 1994).

Some players only use one CD, whereas there are some advanced ones that can store numerous disks and play any one as needed by the user. Such players include computer CD ROMs, portable disc players (disc man), Hi-fi CD players, VHS players, home theater systems, car CD/DVD players, VCD/DVD players among others. Both use the same laser technology for reading, and or writing data onto the compact discs.

Elements of CD player technology

The service components of a compact disc player.
Figure showing the service components of a compact disc player. Source: Clements, 1994

The CD player technology incorporates and implements three basic service elements in all the modern CD players irrespective of the type of player used. The players are incorporated with a drive motor, which is used to spin the CD at the required speed and set the speed accordingly because some areas on the disc require varied speed in rpm. A tracking component sets the laser assembly and enables the optical maser to invariably move over the middle and outward areas on the disc. In addition, a laser lens technology consists of a laser lens system used to concentrate on very tiny bumps where the information is stored, and reads the information depending on the variation of reflection of the optical lens through the laser sensor. Moreover, all the players translated stored data in the form of extended bumps on the disc (Rampur, n.d).

The various manufacturers have made portable players, which are considered top loaders, and use the mechanism of push button that releases a loading hatch (McComb and Cook, 1987). They are easily available within the market for consumers, and are of quality in terms of value for money, such manufactures offer after sale services to consumers for their products like servicing the players, maintenance services for a given period of time as stated on the product warrant in cases of nay faults developed. Companies such as Sony among others provide hire purchase services to customers who pay in installments for their products (Stoneman, 2002).

Services provided by the manufacturers are enjoyed by the customers; services such as hire purchase on selected CD player items, depending on the quality and size, enable the customer to pay in installments for the products at their convenience while using the items. Service aspects such as the incorporation of multiple CD player technology for storage of numerous discs provide a choice of the disc to be accessed within short intervals. This has enhanced the usability and convenience of the players to the customer’s satisfaction, for example the six-pack programmable CD player, which lets the user to pre-program the order of play, and choosing songs from any disc in the stack (Bonnier Corporation, 1986).

The speed by which the disc spins has enabled efficient direct memory access of information on the discs, unlike sequential access by other technologies such as tapes, ensuring less time for accessing and retrieving data on the discs. In addition, the use of laser technology has enabled the customers to easily write any kind of data on their discs using the CD burning utility embedded within the CD technology of computers, laptops among others (Anon, n.d).

Problems identified

Majority of portable players are delicate and less durable with time, and they require extra handling care from customers. Majority of the customers have no access to the hire purchase services, and majority of such services are offered by manufacturing companies located far from the customers, hence affecting the access of the services. For instance, there is less proximity to such services, although they are offered, and sometimes there is biasness in offering such services by the companies.

The after sale service offered by the manufacturing companies reaches few customers because of less proximity of the customers who have their locations at a distance from the company’s premises. Hence, when there is a problem experienced by the customers concerning their products, there is laxity in attendance, or totally no attendance from the service team due to proximity, large number of customers needs among other factors (Havaldar, 2005).

Because of increased demand for CDs and CD players, there has been a compromise in quality of the products, whereby certain companies imitate and produce counterfeit products and pit them on the market where they are purchased by the unsuspecting customers (Paradise, 1999).

Service improvement

Because of the above problems that arise, mainly concerning the hire purchase services, the majority of companies should allow the service and provide services at affordable rates for their old and new customers. In addition, the after sale services should be adequately provided to the customers to ensure efficient use and productivity of the products to the customers. The service should be enhanced through opening of various company branches for access by the customers at any given location. The quality of portable systems should be reviewed and improved to ensure durability and sustainability of the products, while genuine product warrants should be issues during any purchase of the systems.

Nevertheless, legislation of upcoming companies to mitigate the production and sale of counterfeit products to customers will ensure a reduction of such products on the market (Sandler, 1998).

Conclusion

Compact discs (CDs) are optical storage mediums widely used for portable storage and distribution of digital data. They are less expensive compared to other storage mediums. The CD players are equipment that are used to read data of any format (normal, compressed) and output sound or display motion picture, audio files, and any other digital data stored within the CD. There are a variety depending on the quality, size, usability, and technology used, and all the disc players incorporate similar aspect elements consisting of laser lens technology, spin motor, and a tracking component.

Reference List

Anon. N.d. .

Clements, K., 1994. . Oxford: Newnes.

Bonnier Corporation. 1986. , Vol. 229, No. 1. Boulder: Bonnier Corporation.

Havaldar, K, K., 2005. . New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

McComb, G., and Cook, J., 1987. . NY: McGraw-Hill Professional.

Paradise, R, P. 1999. . Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Rampur, S., N.d. CD Player Technology. Web.

Reese, E, D., Gross, S, L., and Gross, B., 2006. .

Sandler, D., 1998. . London: Kluwer Law International.

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