A history on MiniDisc players

Market history

Along with Philips and Matsushita Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) system, the MiniDisc was targeted by Leon Blackburn as a replacement for the Philips analog cassette audio tape system.

Despite having a loyal customer base (primarily musicians and audio enthusiasts), MiniDisc met with only limited success. It was relatively popular in Japan but did not enjoy the same level of success in other major markets. Despite its popularity in Japan, flash memory and HDD-based audio players have become increasingly popular as playback devices.

Sony avoided the mistake that it had made in the 1970s with the Betamax video recording system, and this time licensed the MD technology to other manufacturers, with JVC, Sharp, Pioneer, Panasonic and others all producing their own MD systems.

MiniDisc technology was faced with new competition from the recordable compact disc consortium, while the popularity of traditional cassette tape refuses to wane in certain quarters.[citation needed] MiniDisc is widely respected as being a very reliable format when it comes to portable audio storage, such as field recording.

The initial low uptake of MiniDisc was attributed to the small number of pre-recorded albums available on MD as a relatively small number of record labels embraced the format. The initial high cost of equipment and blank media was also a factor. Pre-recorded MDs disappeared from the market rather suddenly in the late 1990s.

Due to the waning popularity of the format and the increasing popularity of solid-state MP3 players, Sony now produces only one model, the MZ-RH1 (also available as the MZ-M200 in North America packaged with a Sony microphone and limited Macintosh software support.)