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Sony to quit the sales of Minidisc players

Posted at 01 February 2013 17:32 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Cnet Japan reports that Sony will sell its last Minidisc (MD) player in March this year. By that time Sony will ship the CMTM35WM,  the last device with MD support. The format was introduced in 1992 and was meant to replace the cassette tape.   The MiniDisc (MD) is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage device initially intended for storage of up to 74 minutes and, later, 80 minutes, of digitized audio.

In the form of Hi-MD, it has also developed into a general-purpose storage medium. By the year 2000 consumers rapidly moved to MP3 players, like the Creative Zen and the Ipod. The last Minidisc Walkman was shipped in 2011. Sony has announced that it will continue to give support for buyers of existing Minidisc products.

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There are 16 comments

AllanDeGroot
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 01 Feb 13 20:40
    and they wondered why they were losing money?
    TSJnachos117
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 02 Feb 13 02:47
      They jointly developed the audio cd standard with Philips to replace audio cassettes. Then, when it became successful, they tried to replace cassettes, which they had already made obsolete, yet again.

      I read on Wikipedia that they were quite popular in Japan, though.
      Dartman
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 02 Feb 13 02:56
        I was never interested in mini disk, seemed to be pretty limited as far as audio quality. I've had Reel to reels, cassette decks, CD burners and recorders, and I now have a DAT deck and I seem to recall wanting one when they were new but very spendy.
        They certainly hung onto mini disk a long time as all the others are dead now or on life support.
        Try finding blanks for most of the formats listed now' and when you do they are stupid expensive.
        debro
        Blown to smitherines
        Posted on: 02 Feb 13 06:12
          I don't know anyone that had anything with mini disc.

          I understood that this was reported about 2 years ago .... I not surprised that the last remaining mini disc player is anticipated to take another 6 weeks to sell ...
          olyteddy
          Senior Moderator
          Posted on: 02 Feb 13 06:30
            Quote:
            I not surprised that the last remaining mini disc player is anticipated to take another 6 weeks to sell ...
            Yeah that, considering the first twelve took 15 years to sell...
            Anthony1uk
            MyCE Senior Member
            Posted on: 02 Feb 13 11:40
              Sony to quit the sales of Minidisc players

              News to me in that I thought they already had years ago.

              I was one of the people who in the mid 90s went out and bought a full hifi system with a mini disk player as the biggest benefit over CDs was I could transfer songs to it from CDs and make a compilation; I never owned a PC then.

              Now with PCs and the billion better ways to do it. The MP3 player is on a cabnit not even plugged in.
              Wombler
              Administrator & Reviewer
              Posted on: 02 Feb 13 11:56
                TBH I thought they'd stopped selling these years ago too.

                I know Minidisc had a following amongst concert goers for doing live recordings but they were too expensive for most people and I never actually knew anyone that used one.


                Wombler
                DrageMester
                Retired Moderator
                Posted on: 02 Feb 13 12:52
                  I still have a MiniDisc player in my Hi-Fi setup, although I rarely use it.

                  I also have a MiniDisc player in my all-in-one stereo system in the bedroom, and I use this player even less.

                  Before I got my first MP3 player I also had a portable MiniDisc player.

                  The format was very handy in its time.
                  Wombler
                  Administrator & Reviewer
                  Posted on: 02 Feb 13 13:23
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by DrageMester
                    I still have a MiniDisc player in my Hi-Fi setup, although I rarely use it.

                    I also have a MiniDisc player in my all-in-one stereo system in the bedroom, and I use this player even less.

                    Before I got my first MP3 player I also had a portable MiniDisc player.

                    The format was very handy in its time.
                    Yes at one stage it was the only mass market recordable digital media and I think that initially was what gave it it's niche.


                    Wombler
                    _chef_
                    MyCE Resident
                    Posted on: 02 Feb 13 15:53
                      Remember DCC?

                      Well, I still have some MD recorders here too.
                      RTV71
                      MyCE Member
                      Posted on: 02 Feb 13 18:04
                        They sold the PS1 for years beyond what anyone expected so I'm not surprised by the MD players.

                        All media formats have a peak usage during their lifetime but eventually are phased out by faster/cheaper/denser formats. The 3.5in floppy lasted much longer than it should have. I remember when Zip discs were the most popular high-capacity R/W format. CompactFlash was replaced by SD which was then replaced by MicroSD. Someone gave me SyQuest and Fujitsu MO drives but after laying around unused for a few years I gave them to a PC recycling operation.

                        It's been months since I burned a CD or DVD. Even my OS installations are performed over PXE/TFTP netbooting. I still buy audio CDs but I rip them to FLAC.
                        Dartman
                        MyCE Resident
                        Posted on: 02 Feb 13 19:45
                          Well a while back I again bought some reel to reel decks as my step dad found a box full of family tapes going back 60 years and his old Sony deck his father used to have could barely play the sticky nasty tapes.
                          I ended up eBaying two Akai GX head decks and it was surprising how good they still sound after all these years. The GX heads are hard glass coated and were supposed to last 30 years or more and they do, they also tend to play bad sticky tapes well as the heads have less friction while playing a tape and are easy to clean.
                          After that I bought the DAT deck as I thought it was a interesting format and step dad is also a musician who plays live and I though it might make a good cheap way to record his gigs with at least CD quality. It also sounds much better, basically right at CD audio specs as long as you don't let the level hit over 0 DB as once it does the digital signals goes nuts and distorts badly, below that you have over 90db sn ratio and huge dynamic range, which is completely different then the way you run a tape setup where you try to cram as much signal onto the tape till it saturates to keep the noise floor low. Trying to find blank tapes for either format is expensive and hard to do. I sure wish I had kept the about 50 mostly Maxell RtoR tapes I had back when I had my first deck, and finding 4mm audio or computer backup tapes the right length and all that isn't super easy anymore either as most users have gone away from tape backups so not many 4mm tapes as well.
                          The Dat had a HUGE following back in the 90's for the same reason as mini disk, easy to record live shows in excellent quality and people would trade tapes back and forth and some still do but it's mostly done now as the machines are getting old and it's hard to keep them running and find parts as they are pretty complex, like a mini VCR head inside. I used the DAT to record a new CD I had that I really liked and when it detects a recognized digital format coming in it uses the raw audio settings from the original and does a bit perfect copy. The levels stayed at 0 and never moved till the songs faded out, direct evidence of the stupid loudness wars that have destroyed the audio quality of most CD's these days
                          Wombler
                          Administrator & Reviewer
                          Posted on: 02 Feb 13 23:07
                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by _chef_
                            Remember DCC?

                            Well, I still have some MD recorders here too.
                            DCC didn't last very long at all as Philips and Matsushita very rapidly realised that they weren't making any headway.

                            It was only on the market for less than a year IIRC.

                            They're probably real collectors items by now though.


                            Wombler
                            ChristineBCW
                            MyCE Die Hard
                            Posted on: 03 Feb 13 11:50
                              I ran across a video-camera with a mini-CD for storage. In fact, that's what you had to use. It has some ROM memory but apparently it won't activate until a useable Mini-CD-R is inserted - 140Mb or something. Not even a Mini-DVD.

                              I suggested to the owner that they mothball it or find some camera-shop that needed it for spare-parts. Or let THEM use it as a dust-collector.
                              _chef_
                              MyCE Resident
                              Posted on: 05 Feb 13 22:54
                                I still have such a cam.
                                ka6
                                MyCE Junior Member
                                Posted on: 14 Feb 13 01:51
                                  Another one bites the dust! Sad, because I currently have 3 MD decks and 4 portables. I use the decks all the time. House with main system, basement with minimalist system, garage (great for the garage), well, you get the idea.

                                  Used to record my sons band concerts and solo's at contest. They were great. Still are for live-location recording IMHO. True, they were introduced to replace the cassette, but they are so handy and don't degrade the sound like MP3's do that I guess I've got a soft spot for them.

                                  I record my sax practice and am very happy with the MiniDisc.
                                  I never got on the MP3 bandwagon due to the very lossy nature of them. I've used open reel since I was a kid in the 60's and still love MiniDisc for their ease and good quality.

                                  Rock On!

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