The concept of infinite CD is of course deeply anchored in the history of music generation and of ambient music, both of which started at least a century ago, and have roots even earlier. Of course, the creation of real-time generative music systems, and especially infiniteCDs is greatly simplified since the widespread arrival of computers, and computer programs.

An infiniteCD is based on a computer program, which creates sound and music, here and now, according to the rules previously designed by the infiniteCD author. The rules may include degrees of freedom. Whether the program creates the music, improvises or merely plays a partition remains a hot debate.

An infinite CD is a creation. And it has a creator. Whether it is a musical creation or a more general, yet unnamed, artistic creation also remains a hot debate. The infinite CD concept is a form of algorithmic art. It is also a form of sound environments research. It is deeply linked to the plastic art field.

An infinite CD has no end : it generates sound and music potentially indefinitely. Also, each time the infiniteCD starts, it may start differently. An infinite CD is not designed to be listened to, but to be heard, or (not) noticed. On the author's side, this puts the emphasis on how the music is created rather than on which music is created.

Technically, an infiniteCD is a CD-Rom containing sound data and a program. When inserted in a computer, the program starts and generates sound and music, through the computer sound card, and using the sound data that is on the CD-Rom. It only stops when someone stops it. The computer can be used to do other tasks while the music is playing.

The infiniteCD concept is the natural consequence of many force fields :

  • composers are looking for new composition paths
  • the public is looking for new non-intrusive music and new listening habits
  • the current computers are powerful enough to run the complex realtime music generation programs