Sony MiniDisc Production Coming To An End

Sony MiniDisc players are going the way of VHS and audio tapes.

The electronics manufacturer has been producing MiniDisc’s for more than 20 years, thanks mostly to a Japanese market that has developed a loyal following with the dated recording technology.

While Sony MiniDisc’s were meant to replace audio cassettes, their sales never quite reached those same levels.

MiniDisc’s from the company offer a proprietary magneto-optical disc encased in a plastic enclosure with a sliding mechanism to protect the disc. The disc’s were in fact setup in much the same way that 3.5-inch floppy discs were constructed.

Sony MiniDisc’s originally allowed for 74 minutes of recording, levels that with better compression were eventually pushed to 80 minutes.

The company’s technology was quickly overshadowed when three years into production the compact disc (CD) format began allowing customers to burn their own discs at home.

Despite tough competition from CDs, Sony managed to sell more than 27 million MiniDisc players over the last 20 years, accounting for millions of dollars in MiniDisc sales.

The only major player still making MiniDisc’s is Onkyo, although how long that production run will continue is anyone’s guess.

In today’s age of cloud computing systems, it may only be a matter of time before digital recording and data connectivity help push DVD’s and Blu-ray discs out of the market. A recent study found that sales of DVD’s and Blu-ray discs fell by three percent throughout 2012.

Are you sad to see the Sony MiniDisc era come to an end, or have we developed far superior products over the last 20 years?