Edison’s personal favorite invention, the phonograph, marked the beginning of on-demand listening. Rocking the tech world of 1877, the phonograph had unprecedented impact on how music was consumed and distributed. The phonograph’s advent facilitated a wave of experiments, including some ghostly, spine-tingling renditions of classical themes and the ability to record “the last words of dying persons,” as Edison himself envisioned. A study published by Smithsonian.com digs deep into the history of this machine, which, for the first time, caused the worlds of music and technology to overlap. If you like it a bit more contemporary, this minimalist record player will sure do the job.