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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 It was also quickly superseded by many different technologies.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]