A ZX Spectrum program hidden in a vinyl (and in a CD)

Did you know? There are programs for 1980s computers on vinyl records, and even, in this case, on an Audio CD.

Instead of repeating all the previous articles each time, I’ll refer you to the dedicated page, which explains what I do with vinyl records and lists all the pages containing programs, explanations, etc.


This time, we’re talking about the album New Anatomy by the group Inner City Unit. It contains a track intended for the ZX Spectrum (a British computer from the 1980s). The LP from the 1980s contains the track, but more surprisingly, so does the 1993 CD reissue. So, I confess, I cheated: I bought the correct CD – beware, the other reissues and the version available on Apple Music do not contain the track – rather than the vinyl. It’s much easier to get a usable track this way, obviously.

The CD cover does not indicate the presence of the data (it only lists 10 tracks), but it is indeed there.

The cover doesn’t indicate the presence of the data

I obviously advise against listening to the track: it’s 3:43 of harsh beeps, not very pleasant. For testing, I used the Fuse emulator, which conveniently accepts a WAV file directly to load software. I’ll provide a recording of the program, which offers some information about the group, song lyrics, etc. Obviously, it’s quite easy in 2021: I recorded the track, loaded the emulator, and within seconds I had access to the program. At the time, the basic solution was to record the vinyl onto a cassette tape, then load (in real time, so close to 4 minutes) the program. I’ll provide some screenshots and a video of the process.

If you’re interested, I can provide the audio file, but it should be available in a more convenient format online.