Cylinder Player Image Cover

Title: Title

Artist: Artist

Record Label: Record Label

Number: Number

Take: Take

Mold: Mold

Month/Year: Month/Year

Comments: Comments

Cylinder Library

Banner Background

Listen to the Library

Check out our extensive library of cylinders. If you click the "Listen" button, you will be taken to our library page. There you can use the "Search" feature to find a cylinder by song title, artist, or even the year it was created.

Disclaimer: We have tried to keep the cylinder content as close as possible to what was written and recorded at the time, and tell history as it was. With this, there may be certain content from the past that may be considered offensive to some people.

This Month In History

This feature allows you to view the cylinders that were published this month over a century ago. Listen to what your ancestors might have listened to during their leisure time.

Turn back a few pages in history and enjoy some of the earliest recordings ever made.


We gladly accept donations of cylinders and/or financial donations to keep the UVU Cylinder Project running. Since we are a 501.c institution, we can even give you vouchers to use as write-offs on your next tax return.

Also, you may Adopt a Cylinder of your choice, which allows us to take a cylinder from our unarchived boxes, transcribe them, gather metadata, clean them up and post them on our site! Currently, it takes about $60 to see that whole process through, and you get to listen to a new cylinder!

(Our donation system is currently under construction)

How to use the Site

At the top right of the screen (top for mobile), you will find the Cylinder Player. When you load the page, it will automatically select a song from our cylinder library.

Within the player are controls that will allow you to play, pause, stop, and search through the track.

website cylinder player

By selecting the "Library" button on the navigation, you will be taken to the Library section of the site. Here you can select any of the cylinder cover pictures to view the cylinder.

screenshot of library page showing cylinder images

Once you have selected a cylinder, the metadata will appear below it. There is also an option to load the selected cylinder into the cylinder player.

library selected song cylinder player

After selecting the "Load Cylinder" button, an easy to access Play/Pause button will appear. A message will state that your cylinder is now in the player.

close up of play and pause buttons with access to more information

The selected cylinder is now available in the player and can be accessed from anywhere on the site.

website cylinder player

Another thing to note is the search feature. If you select the "Search" button on the navigation, you will be taken to the Library Page to search through the cylinder library.

With the search feature, you can search by cylinder name, cylinder artist, or even the year it was published.

screenshot of how search feature works

{{ item.cylinderTitle }}

Artist: {{ item.cylinderArtist }}

Record Label: {{ item.cylinderRecordLabel }}

Number: {{ item.cylinderNumber }}

Take: {{ item.cylinderTake }}

Mold: {{ item.cylinderMold }}

Month/Year: {{ item.cylinderMonthYear }}

Comments: {{ item.cylinderComments }}

Blank Grey Image
Cylinder Cover Image


Record Label:






Load Cylinder

This cylinder is now ready in the player!

Cylinder Project

This website is an ongoing collective project of Utah Valley University Digital Media Students. It took a lot of different skillsets to create this website over a period of several years.

top of 4 minute cylinder box



The cylinders needed to be transcribed. Over the past 7 years, with the input of Professor Mike Wisland and mechanical engineer Gary Hannah, the method of transcription has evolved over the years to the point that we now have a unique way of transcribing cylinders that is not found anywhere else. Read more information on our transcribing process activities here.
original Edison playback device Figure 1. Original Assesmbly
First, to transcribe the cylinders electrically, we remove the original Edison playback assembly (needle and diaphragm), pictued in figure 1, and insert some form of playback device using a modern phonograph needle. Using a Stanton 500 cartridge, we can use a wide variety of needle sizes to optimize the playback of the cylinders. The first device we had seen on the internet was a brass device that fit perfectly into the Edison mounting hole, but with a phono needle mounted directly beneath.
Library of Congress device on left and new angle device on right Figure 2. Old and New Playback Devices
The device was made by an unknown inventor sometime in the early 2000’s. The item was no longer available, so we borrowed the same device from the Library of Congress and had the device copied, and mounted it into an Edison Amberola 30 player, allowing electric playback. We eventually decided that the contact angle was not optimized, so we decided to modify the playback device to correct the contact angle. Those devices are pictured in figure 2.
clear plastic tonearm prototype on player Figure 3. Tonearm Device
After studying the devices we had created, Gary Hannah, a mechanical engineer from Kansas City, decided to approach a playback device from a completely new angle. Truly thinking outside of the circle, Gary engineered a playback device that resembles a tonearm that fits into the original Edison hole. The picture presented here in figure 3 shows how this fits into an Amberola. This allows the tonearm to float considerably more, to allow playback of out-of-round cylinders. It is a very effective device to use to try to correct skips using the first method.
digital 3D printed playback device Figure 4. Back to Edison Style
Gary was determined to create an even better transcribing device. If you’ve ever used an original Edison Amberola to play back cylinders, you know how robust that device is in playing not only out-of-round cylinders, but also its ability to play through skips. So we went back to the original Edison design to create our 4th modification of cylinder playback. Gary carefully made measurement of the original Amerola 30 device, including the original needle and rocker arm, tied to the diaphragm with a string. We simply replaced the diaphragm with an inverted Stanton 500 cartridge, but with no needle since that is no longer necessary. It is now tied to a new needle ground out of an 8 mil saphire rod. Gary then 3-D printed the whole device. Fully assembled, this is how that device looks now.
two Edison Gold Moulded cylinder boxes highlighted in blue and red



First the students must transcribe the cylinders in one of the four ways described above. Depending on the condition of the cylinders, some methods play back better than others. Also, needles can be changed at this point to test playback quality. After a satisfactory transcription, the Audio Restoration students first remove the clicks from the cylinders, then denoise them (hiss, groove noise, thumping) before posting them to the website. We use a variety of software to do this, and that is an ever-evolving process. We have found that CEDAR Declick and Sony (now MAGIX) denoise gives superior results, but we re-evaluate this part of the process annually. Here are some examples of our restoration, before and after:
Jennifer Haynes mounting a cylinder on the Edison player
Tipperary Before Restoration
Tipperary After Restoration
Musical Wizard Before
Musical Wizard After
group of 7 Columbia Records Graphophone cylinder boxes showing the tops



Various metadata about the cylinders is researched and collected, including a photo of the actual cylinder, Record Label, Label number, Title and Artist. If other information about the recording can be found (take number, mold number, etc), we include that in the metadata, which is displayed whenever you click on a cylinder recording.
cylinder and box from the Columbia Graphophone Company



The creation of the website itself is the work of Mengxi Li, Jared Cooley, and Yuki Arai. The project manager who put everything together was Abe Raigne. The Design, Look, and Function was created by Yuki Arai, Jared Cooley, and Blake Stevens. Once the website code is created, then it must interface with the database of the cylinder recordings and their metadata. It was decided to separate the website code from the ever-growing database. That is technically called the website’s back end, which was designed and implemented by Blake Stevens.
Edison Gold Moulded cylinder boxes



The database interface was created by Blake Stevens in MySQL. By separating the database from the actual website code, this allowed Blake to create a user interface that allows us internet dummies to add new cylinders and metadata to the database without having to know webcode. This makes updating the contents of the website very simple. The website then references the database and displays the requested content. This also allows you to search on any topic in the “metadatabase” and see the results. We sure appreciate Blake’s work….

Project Members

Picture of Project Member Abe Raigne

Abe Raigne

Picture of Project Member Blake Stevens

Blake Stevens

Picture of Project Member Jared Cooley

Jared Cooley

Picture of Project Member Mengxi Li

Mengxi Li

Picture of Project Member Yuki Arai

Yuki Arai

Picture of Project Member Jennifer Haynes

Jennifer Haynes

Audio Restoration students along with Professor Mike Wisland transcribe Mr. Wisland’s cylinder collection.
We would also like to thank previous members and volunteers of the UVU Cylinder Project: Brian Olson, Brett Carroll, Roberto Lerma, and Stephen Kuykendall, Duane Rosenbaum, and Kellie Johnson.

Contact Us

Have a question? Let us know!