In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record, an album or an EP record. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats, in most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular, in other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album. As digital downloading and audio streaming have become prevalent, it is often possible for every track on an album to also be available separately. Nevertheless, the concept of a single for an album has been retained as an identification of a heavily promoted or more popular song within an album collection. Despite being referred to as a single, singles can include up to as many as three tracks on them. The biggest digital music distributor, iTunes, accepts as many as three tracks less than ten minutes each as a single, as well as popular music player Spotify also following in this trend. Any more than three tracks on a release or longer than thirty minutes in total running time is either an Extended Play or if over six tracks long. The basic specifications of the single were made in the late 19th century. Gramophone discs were manufactured with a range of speeds and in several sizes. By about 1910, however, the 10-inch,78 rpm shellac disc had become the most commonly used format, the inherent technical limitations of the gramophone disc defined the standard format for commercial recordings in the early 20th century.26 rpm. With these factors applied to the 10-inch format, songwriters and performers increasingly tailored their output to fit the new medium, the breakthrough came with Bob Dylans Like a Rolling Stone. Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch, 10-inch, other, less common, formats include singles on digital compact cassette, DVD, and LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc. Some artist release singles on records, a more common in musical subcultures. The most common form of the single is the 45 or 7-inch. The names are derived from its speed,45 rpm. The 7-inch 45 rpm record was released 31 March 1949 by RCA Victor as a smaller, more durable, the first 45 rpm records were monaural, with recordings on both sides of the disc. As stereo recordings became popular in the 1960s, almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo by the early 1970s
45 rpm single on a turntable, waiting to be played
45 rpm single record with large central hole as used in the USA for jukeboxes
The single of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" was a hit record for Jackie DeShannon in 1968. It was certified Gold in the United States when it sold more than 1,000,000 copies.