Perfecting Sound Forever

Greg Milner's book Perfecting Sound Forever is a great read as well as being a well-researched history of recording technology.

Starting with Edison's wax cylinders and covering the development of the rival Victrola, the introduction of magnetic tape after World War II, then Philips' compact disc and, finally, discussion of the loudness wars initiated by radio stations that have blighted popular music in recent years.

The explanations of the technology were easy enough for me to understand but the highlights seemed to be the people on the periphery who I'd never heard of before, like Leopold Stokowski and John Diamond. The latter has ignited a long-running debate about the effects of listening to digital recordings and there's an interesting quote from Rupert Neve on this topic elsewhere on this blog.