An electronic music distribution system has been designed and built to permit the in-store production of very high-fidelity personalized cassettes, to the customer's order. In the store, the system consists of a computer-controlled high-speed optical disk-based digital audio archive of up to 15000 individual selections of music, an order entry terminal, a high-speed cassette recorder, and a high-resolution label printer. Centrally, the system includes a pre-mastering label printer, a high-capacity winchester disk-based digital recorder utilizing custom editing and assembly software, and a coding system, optimized for distribution that has a better than 3 to 1 sampling efficiency advantage relative to 16-bit PCM. With this equipment, a customer can obtain a high-fidelity tape containing an album-length compilation of the songs he wants in the order that he wants them, after a wait of only about 5 minutes.
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