Sony's MiniDisc Goes The Way Of The 8-Track

The era of Sony's tiny, amazingly clever recordable optical disc is over.

Sony has confirmed it's shipping its final MiniDisc player in March of 2013, effectively ending official support of the miniature optical recordable disc format.

Though you may have completely forgotten it existed, the MiniDisc was actually pretty revolutionary when it was introduced in 1992. It used magneto-optical technology and behaved a little like a hard drive crossed with a miniature 6-cm CD. It also hit the market long before user-recordable CD technology did. But its innovative potential was stymied thanks to Sony's usual trick of creating proprietary formats and strict Digital Rights Management, and the MiniDisc was never as popular as CDs. It was also quickly superseded by many different technologies.

I listened to MiniDisc recordings many times. But do you remember this tiny disc?

[Image: Flickr user raeallen]

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  • Katherine Karvess

    I definitely remember these.. I had a little mic and used it to make recordings of live situations - kind of instead of taking photos. Unfortunately, my MD player died long ago and now I have a bunch of recordings/memories sitting in a drawer gathering dust.

    It's pretty retro-cool to have a working mini-disc player these days though and I hope to buy another one.

  • Test

    I still use my MiniDisc. It has such an incredible sound quality which is easily years ahead of mp3 players. It's a real shame that Sony kills it with its usual strict proprietary format and DRM.