Everything was new once and it's fun to imagine quite how gobsmacked viewers might have been watching these BBC reports on significant developments in music technology - many from the long-running science series Tomorrow's World - on the day they were broadcast. Together, they tell a story about music that runs parallel to the story of the actual music itself, and if you think it's only in the 21st century that technology moves at lightning speed, think again...
1. The Moog synthesiser (1969)
Neither electronic sound nor the Moog synthesiser were new in 1969, but both were on the brink of becoming commonplace in pop music. Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach - pieces by the baroque composer recorded on a Moog - had been a commercial and critical hit album in 1968, no doubt leading Tomorrow's World to run a report on the machine a year later. "You don't have to be an electronics expert to play the Moog, all you need is a a good musical ear," says presenter Derek Cooper, foreseeing its coming place in pop. The player in the clip is Mike Vickers from Manfred Mann.
2. Kraftwerk's British TV debut (1975)
And just six years later, Kraftwerk, a perfect pop band creating entirely electronic music, were invited onto Tomorrow's World to demonstrate what they called 'machinemusik' by performing their track Autobahn, while presenter Raymond Baxter details their process: "The sounds are created in their studio in Düsseldorf, then reprogrammed and then recreated onstage with the minimum of fuss." The appearance (their first on British TV) has gone down in legend; in 2011, the Guardian recognised it as "No.1 in our series of the 50 key events in the history of dance music".
3. The Fairlight synthesiser (1980)
Just as revolutionary as the Moog was the Fairlight - a keyboard, sampler and digital audio workstation introduced in 1979. Presenter Kieran Prendiville explains how it works in this 1980 clip, saying that, until the Fairlight's invention, "We've never been very good at electronically creating sounds that sound real." He demonstrates its potential for creating effects for TV and radio programmes, and it quickly became ubiquitous in pop, too. In the sleeve notes of his 1985 third album, No Jacket Required, Phil Collins felt the need to state that "there is no Fairlight on this record", which was another way of saying that his horns and strings had been recorded live.
4. The Walkman and its impressive headphones (1980)
As well as changing the way musicians could create music, in the 70s and 80s technology was having a profound effect on how we listened to it. But not all new gadgets were a success. The hilarious "stereo radio that you can feel" that Kieran Prendiville demonstrates at the beginning of this clip is lost to time, most likely because it looks ridiculous. The Walkman, however, was a huge hit in the 1980s - due, in no small part, to its small headphones, which Kieran proves to be impressively sensitive.
5. An American town bans personal audio devices (1982)
How many times in a day do you see someone staring at their phone while blindly walking into a busy road? Terrifying, isn't it? But the potential of technology to cause accidents is nothing new. After the Walkman's success, a town in New Jersey called Woodbridge decided to ban what the BBC calls in this report, "The latest status symbol, delivering the trendy into their own private world of melody." A council member claims that citizens are putting themselves at risk by closing themselves off to the sounds of the street, but the locals aren't impressed. "I think it's ridiculous," says one. And will the ban spread to other towns? The report finishes with news that a prison governor near Washington is taking action against a warder who failed to hear nine prisoners escaping because he was "tuned into country music while on patrol".
6. The birth of the CD (1983)
It was shiny! It was small! It used lasers! And it didn't matter if it got dusty. Would the compact disc, introduced in 1982, do better in a "hi-fi world that has become something of a graveyard for bright ideas that came to nothing"? Tomorrow's World greets its launch with enthusiasm, but also something of an eye roll, listing other formats like the Elcaset and 8-track cartridge that consumers promptly consigned to the tech dustbin.
7. A major label shirks the CD market (1982)
It wasn't just Tomorrow's World who were suspicious of the CD in 1982 - major label EMI initially decided to give the new format a miss, despite the above report detailing a crisis in the music industry at the time, largely because sales of vinyl albums were down. That EMI had not been wise to the massive financial opportunity the CD offered is extraordinary in retrospect (it would lead to a boom in sales, as music fans both bought new records and re-purchased albums they already owned on vinyl), but the then-largest British record company had a track record of acting slowly in the face of new technologies - the above report begins by reminding viewers that they were late to adopt the LP 30 years earlier.
8. Home taping
To its immense cost, the record industry has learned that if music fans can get their hands on music for free they will, regardless of whether they're breaking the law or not. Before illegal downloading, the threat was home taping, which forced the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to launch an anti-copyright infringement campaign complete with a memorable slogan: Home Taping Is Killing Music. It was largely fruitless - as this clip reveals, even the government realised it couldn't be stopped, resulting in the introduction of a 10 per cent levy on blank media.
9. A MiniDisc vending machine and MP3 players (2000)
Sony's MiniDisc was announced in 1992, but never managed to truly challenge the all-powerful CD, which crushed the competition in the 90s. Nonetheless, you could still purchase MiniDiscs up until 2013 and in 2000 a "vending machine" was introduced that allowed fans to download songs onto discs for a cost of around £2. In her report for Tomorrow's World, Lindsey Fallow says the machine should be coming to bars and train stations soon, before moving onto MP3s, which she rightly calls "big news". The players are small and have no moving parts, unlike the CD Walkman and MiniDisc players. Will they take off? In 2000, a year before the iPod, they were expensive and could only store tiny amounts of data, and, hang on, what's this ending the report? DJ Spoony and Timmi Magic of Radio 1's Dreem Teem professing a love for good old-fashioned vinyl - the format that refuses to die.
10. The digital download boom (2013)
Much downloading was done illegally at the beginning of this decade, but certainly not all. In fact, legal downloading caused a boom for the entertainment industry, which reported £1billion sales in 2012. CDs and DVDs were on their way out, and so, it would transpire, were MP3s, which will be remembered as having a remarkably short shelf-life as a major music format. Will streaming too? Only a fool would predict anything about technology in music, but for now it's certainly full stream ahead...