I remember putting some audio CD in the computer a long time ago, and there was extra content in form of videos, as well as an interactive application (maybe flash based). I think Ed Hunter - Iron Maiden is an more extreme example of this.

My question is however, when was the data possibility of CD's first utilized by an album/single? (Is it still used, in today's world of more and more streamed music?)

  • 2
    I don't know definitively when the first example was, but an early example was Mike Oldfield's Songs of Distant Earth in 1994 (soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/feb95/mikeoldfield.html ; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Songs_of_Distant_Earth_(album)). So this is the example to beat!
    – user16
    Mar 2, 2015 at 15:36
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    @topomorto It might be Sarah McLachlan's The Freedom Sessions, which was released December 6, 1994. The Songs of Distant Earth was released on November 14, 1994, but the enhanced version of the disc was not released some time after this date, according to the Wikipedia article. But Mike Oldfield does claim in the 1995 interview that you linked to that "This album is the first time that record buyers will be able to get a bit of interactive software on an audio CD."
    – Ben Miller
    Mar 2, 2015 at 16:12
  • @BenMiller Yes, I didn't get as far as trying to find information on the various release dates of Songs of..., though the Wikipedia article does later say "Produced in 1994 it was an early example of Enhanced CD content..."
    – user16
    Mar 2, 2015 at 16:16
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    Though articles.orlandosentinel.com/1996-03-22/lifestyle/… supports the McLachlan hypothesis!
    – user16
    Mar 2, 2015 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


An early format was CD+G, though it displayed low-res graphic images not video.

The primary application was for karaoke machines, however CD+G capable players were (and I suppose are) available for computer use.

According to Wikipedia, the earliest release was in 1985.


I think you may be thinking of CD-i [CD Interactive] of which CD+G was a sub-category.

I remember the company I worked for in the 90s investigating this & other technologies at the time; but we were too late to the market to really be able to make anything of it & it never really took off.

The first one I recall personally was The Beatles, Hard Day's Night [University of Toronto Library lists it as 1993 - also says it's Quicktime, so it may not be the same as CD-i]

However, this Wikipedia article tells me the first CD-i was Todd Rundgren, No World Order, in 1993…

In 1993, American musician Todd Rundgren created the first music-only fully interactive CD, No World Order, for the CD-i. This application allows the user to completely arrange the whole album in their own personal way with over 15,000 points of customisation.

Prior to that, it was marketed as a game format.
Phillips discontinued the format in 1998.

http://www.icdia.co.uk/archive/music.html lists releases back to 1991, but it doesn't differentiate between CD-i & CD+G [both of which the original Phillips players were capable of playing]
It doesn't list Hard Day's Night, though it does mention another one I had at the time - Xplora 1 - Peter Gabriel's Secret World.
The Todd Rundgren album is listed as TR-I, the name it was released under.

Their homepage - http://www.icdia.co.uk - lists more resources than I needed to read on the subject.

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