MiniDisc

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What Does MiniDisc Mean?

A MiniDisc (MD) is a magneto-optical disc-based audio storage and playing device released in 1992 under the Sony brand. They were a strong competitor of cassette recorders and players, offering more space and convenience. MiniDiscs could be purchased in preloaded or empty and recordable form with 140 MB of space to store data or record, erase and play music on the go.

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Techopedia Explains MiniDisc

Although MiniDiscs were targeted for use among teenagers, they were generally too expensive in 1992 and hence could not attract many users. Sony tried lowering the price, but $250 was still out of range for a regular teenager at the time. MiniDiscs gained some popularity in Japan, where they came to be commonly used, but failed to gain a foothold in other regions.

A MiniDisc is similar to a small floppy disk, except that it can hold almost 100 times more data than ordinary floppy disks (140 MB of audio data storage vs. 1.44 MB capacity of floppy). The audio files were stored in the ATRAC audio data compression format, but later the default format was changed to linear PCM digital recording for better quality and convenience as well as better storage.

Production of MiniDisc players was discontinued in 2013.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.