The most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7-inch.
78 rpm was chosen as the standard because of the introduction of the electrically powered, synchronous turntable motor in 1925, which ran at 3600 rpm with a 46:1 gear ratio, resulting in a rotation speed of 78.26 rpm.
With these factors applied to the 10-inch format, songwriters and performers increasingly tailored their output to fit the new medium.
The 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded songs.
The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".
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As stereo recordings became popular in the 1960s, almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo by the early 1970s.
Columbia, which had released the 33 ⅓ rpm 12-inch vinyl LP in June 1948, also released 33 ⅓ rpm 7-inch vinyl singles in March 1949, but they were soon eclipsed by the RCA Victor 45. The first release of the 45 came March 29, 1949 in seven translucent colors, one for each type of music: dark blue 52-xxxx light classics series, light blue 51-xxxx international series, yellow 47-xxxx juvenile series, bright red (cerise) 50-xxxx folk series, deep red 49-xxxx classical series, green (teal) 48-xxxx country series, and black 47-xxxx popular series.
The first 45 rpm record created was "Pee Wee the Piccolo" RCA Victor 47-0146 pressed 7 December 1948 at the Sherman Avenue plant in Indianapolis, R. Except for the 47 series these series started with 0000.
50-0000 (Arthur Crudup), 51-0000 (Meisels), 52-0000 (Al Goodman) The claim made that 48-0001 by Eddy Arnold was the release of the 45 is evidently incorrect (even though as of this writing 48-0000 has not turned up) since all 45s were released simultaneously with the 45 player on the March 29th date. RCA was trying to blunt the lead Columbia had established in releasing their 33 1/3 LP system back in June 1948.