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Mankind’s first efforts in sound recording and reproduction were achieved by acoustic carving of materials and the playback of same by a tracking device. This is the basis of the phonograph. The medium that these devices used was called the record – a true example of function equals form. When it came time for NASA to attach an explanation of who we are, this medium was chosen as the best case method.
Magnetic media would decay within years and optical media would be difficult o interpret. So NASA sent along an audio record with operating instructions on the sleeve:
By the time one of these two releases is found, it will be a true golden oldie.