This problem was solved by Emile Berliner in 1887 when he created the gramophone and its associated disc technology. The discs were duplicated using metal negatives, which revolutionized the world of sound recording and playback.

A common denominator in the history of sound recording, which remained unchanged until 1925, was that the recording itself was acoustic and made mechanically. The orchestra and singer would position themselves in front of a large horn, which directed the sound to a diaphragm. This diaphragm, using a needle, engraved the sound onto a wax cylinder or disc. The acoustic era lasted from 1877 to 1925. In 1925, sound recording fundamentally changed with the introduction of the electric microphone, bringing dramatic changes to studios and home music listening. The amplifier, equalizer, and electronic filters associated with the microphone significantly increased the recordable frequency range and sensitivity. Home players also evolved, with electronic controls and drives being introduced.