Finally, there was the challenge of recording fidelity.
The primitive systems of the era produced sound of very low quality unless the performers were stationed directly in front of the cumbersome recording devices (acoustical horns, for the most part), imposing severe limits on the sort of films that could be created with live-recorded sound.
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.
The primary steps in the commercialization of sound cinema were taken in the mid- to late 1920s.
At first, the sound films which included synchronized dialogue, known as "talking pictures", or "talkies", were exclusively shorts.
He then determined that he could reverse the process and reproduce the recorded sound from this photographic strip by shining a bright light through the running filmstrip, with the resulting varying light illuminating a selenium cell.
Beginning in 1914, The Photo-Drama of Creation, promoting Jehovah's Witnesses' conception of mankind's genesis, was screened around the United States: eight hours worth of projected visuals involving both slides and live action were synchronized with separately recorded lectures and musical performances played back on phonograph.
Meanwhile, innovations continued on another significant front.
By the early 1930s, the talkies were a global phenomenon.
In the United States, they helped secure Hollywood's position as one of the world's most powerful cultural/commercial centers of influence (see Cinema of the United States).