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Sony MiniDisc players: The Facts

The past few decades have seen monumental technological advancements in the global consumer electronics industry. In fact, there has been a fast development from portable cassette players, MiniDisc (MD) players to DVD and MP3 players.


A notable ground breaking case of technological brilliance was the release of the Sony MiniDisc (MD) player. Physical description
Sony MiniDisc players are portable disc-based audio player machines that use a small compact disc resembling a CD.
While the diameter of a CD is 5.25-inches, the diameter of a Sony MiniDisc is a mere 2.5-inches - hence its name.
Different MiniDisk designs do exist, but the first of the designs was the MZ-1 recorder, which featured an optical line output that was later discontinued. Technological description
MiniDisc players are based on magneto-optical storage media that allow for writing and rewriting stored information.
Laser beam was originally used to read information magnetically encoded on the MD.
Shock-resistant technology is used on Sony MiniDisk players to make them shock-resistant.
They can withstand vigorously shaking without audio skipping occurring.


Japan release
Sony MiniDisc players were first designed and developed in 1986, but it was not until November 1992 that the audio player was first launched in Japan.
The MiniDisc player (MD) combined the best of both audio cassettes and CDs players in an attempt to replace the Phillips audio cassette technologies. US and European release
After the November 1992 release in Japan, Sony MiniDisc player (MD) was subsequently released in the USA and European market in December of the same year.


Market reception
The Sony MD player was very well received in Japan and the rest of East Asia, largely because it offered a cheaper alternative to the then relatively expensive CD format.
In the US and European market, however, the MD player was less than favourably received.
In 1997, for example, 5 million MD players were sold in Japan whereas only
one million of the players were sold in the United States.
This disparity was due to different social-economic factors. Market penetration
In an attempt to increase its less than impressive global market penetration, Sony is constantly launching new improved MD players, such as the 2000 launch of Sony MiniDisc Long Play (MDLP) and the 2002 NetMD player.
Sony MD players, however, still lag behind more popular audio players in the market today, such as DVD and MP3 players.

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