Sony bids farewell to the MiniDisc

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Sony is pulling the plug on the MiniDisc, ending the manufacture of stereo systems that support the format.

The MZ-N10 player sold for close to AU$700 when it was released in 2004.
(Credit: Sony)

Looking back, MiniDisc has had a decent 21-year run despite slow uptake. First introduced in 1992, the small square-shaped discs were designed to be an efficient successor to the cassette tape, though never achieved the same level of popularity.

MiniDiscs found their niche amongst audio engineers and field recording enthusiasts. However, the format never made enough of a dent outside of Japan to be a threat to the ubiquitous compact disc and MP3 players such as the iPod. In the first year of sales, Sony only managed to sell 50,000 MiniDisc players and recorders.

The players and discs themselves were notoriously expensive compared to both the cassette and the CD. Initially, the discs could store 74 minutes of audio, though this was later boosted to 80 minutes.

Sony discontinued the production of MiniDisc walkman players in 2011, which was a strong signal of the format's demise.

The discs themselves will still be made available for the foreseeable future, and other manufacturers will continue to make MiniDisc-compatible hi-fi systems.

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NeutralN posted a comment   

maybe they could release the code that sonic stage has used to lock me out of recordings that i made with a mic on md... instead of leaving me with the msg "you do not have copyright on this track"


CarlosO1 posted a comment   

Sounds like a story Microsoft should read, now that they are trying to replace classic Windows (aka XP, Vista, 7) with Metro (aka Win 8, Win Phone 7 and 8)... it takes more than technology to create something that strikes a nerve be it consumer electronics or computer systems.

If you can't outperform the current platform by a mile or so, chances are that it will bury you in the future, just like CD has seen the demise of DAT, Compact Digital Cassette and Mini Disc.


LTLsisaleo posted a comment   

Didn't even know they still made em and yea I think if they were higher capacity on par of flash drives they would still b around


AdamE4 posted a comment   

I am not saying good bye. We will work together and bring this format back. We will keep our tapes, vinyl, CD's and minidiscs. mp3 sounds like crap. Minidisc sounds better than mp3. Minidiscs will come back in the future and will be higher capacity.


AdamE4 posted a comment   

Sony wants us to relive the 8 track tape!


AdamE4 posted a comment   

Yeah, they said this back in 2004, 2005 and 2007. I am not going to read this story again! This is 2013. We should be more advanced in this format. How about mini DVD? 4.5 GB? I am getting tired of Sony being Sorry. Sony is already down sizing on the short wave radio receivers! How can you Make Believe when Sony is already taking your imagination away???


PaulK9 posted a comment   

Compared to other quality portable audio recorders at the time, the price was not that bad. The disc it self is also archival, I have never had a disc fail and they do not wear out with use. CD-Rs were not around and tapes are slow to skip songs, rewind and wearout the more you play them. MD LP gave 4 hours of OK quality for traveling, and if dropped the MD player and killed it, the disc was still good :-)


CharlesE posted a comment   

Little known fact: at least one model of minidisc player had no max volume setting. This "feature" combined with some yard sale speakers made for some fun games of How Far Will the Magnet Fly?


BetinhoF posted a comment   

Noooooo. This is completely wrong *("°^°")*


IanM8 posted a comment   

Beautiful technology the minidisc. I used one for quite a few years, justified the cost by making live recordings of the amatuer musicals I was performing in. The soud quality was brilliant. Sadly though the ipod Nano 4th gen just did a better job - the sound quality was almost as good (lets be honest most amatuer musicals arent that great anyway) the battery life was better, the were smaller and eaier to transport and there was no mechanical noise from the recording device.... Add to that the ubiquitous docking stations...

Hearing this though I will have to go pick one up second hand and check out all the old recordings. :)

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