The phonograph was connected by an intricate arrangement of pulleys to the film projector, allowing—under ideal conditions—for synchronization.
However, conditions were rarely ideal, and the new, improved Kinetophone was retired after little more than a year.
Three major problems persisted, leading to motion pictures and sound recording largely taking separate paths for a generation.
In Europe (and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere), the new development was treated with suspicion by many filmmakers and critics, who worried that a focus on dialogue would subvert the unique aesthetic virtues of soundless cinema.
In Japan, where the popular film tradition integrated silent movie and live vocal performance, talking pictures were slow to take root.
Reliable synchronization was difficult to achieve with the early sound-on-disc systems, and amplification and recording quality were also inadequate.
Innovations in sound-on-film led to the first commercial screening of short motion pictures using the technology, which took place in 1923.
No agreement was reached, but within a year Edison commissioned the development of the Kinetoscope, essentially a "peep-show" system, as a visual complement to his cylinder phonograph.
The two devices were brought together as the Kinetophone in 1895, but individual, cabinet viewing of motion pictures was soon to be outmoded by successes in film projection.
The earliest feature-length movies with recorded sound included only music and effects.
The first feature film originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927.
In 1907, French-born, London-based Eugene Lauste—who had worked at Edison's lab between 18—was awarded the first patent for sound-on-film technology, involving the transformation of sound into light waves that are photographically recorded direct onto celluloid.