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Magneto-optical storage medium, mainly used for audio / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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MiniDisc (MD) is an erasable magneto-optical disc-based data storage format offering a capacity of 60, 74, and later, 80 minutes of digitized audio.

Quick facts: Media type, Encoding, Capacity, Read mec...
MiniDisc by TDK, with AA battery for scale
Media typeMagneto-optical disc
Capacity60, 74, and 80 minutes
Read mechanism780 nm semiconductor laser diode
Write mechanismMagnetic field modulation
Developed bySony
UsageAudio storage
Extended fromCompact Cassette, Compact disc
Extended toMD Data, Hi-MD
ReleasedNovember 1992; 30 years ago (1992-11)[1]
The Sony MZ1, the first MiniDisc player, released in 1992.

Sony announced the MiniDisc in September 1992 and released it in November[2] of that year for sale in Japan and in December in Europe, North America, and other countries.[3] The music format was based on ATRAC audio data compression, Sony's own proprietary compression code. Its successor, Hi-MD, would later introduce the option of linear PCM digital recording to meet audio quality comparable to that of a compact disc. MiniDiscs were very popular in Japan and found moderate success in Europe;[4] although it was designed to be the successor of the cassette tape, it did not manage to mass replace it globally.[5]

By March 2011 Sony had sold 22 million MD players.[6] Sony has ceased development of MD devices, with the last of the players sold by March 2013.[7]