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> You would think that if you have an electron microscope and a record player, you’re most of the way there to being able to record close-up footage of a needle traversing the grooves of a long-player record.

Actually if you would have only an electron microscope, you could play the track without even needing the record player.




This has sort of been done with a flatbed scanner: http://www.cs.huji.ac.il/~springer/DigitalNeedle/index.html


It's also available commercially in the form of laser turntables: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_turntable and http://www.laserturntable.com


And don't miss the part about the IRENE system, at the bottom of your wikipedia page:

http://irene.lbl.gov

It uses microphotography of the disk surface, somewhat similar to that in the OP. They have recordings as early as 1860!




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