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Electronics and gadget pundits have been predicting the demise of the MiniDisc format for years. Sony invented MiniDisc in the late 1980s, before the MP3 revolution. MiniDiscs originally were going to compete against CD players and cassettes, offering digital quality with personal recording convenience. But in 15 years, the MiniDisc has morphed into a cult favorite for journalists and others who like its field recording capabilities, as well as its abiliy to play MP3s on removeable minidiscs.
The latest incarnation of MiniDisc, called Hi-MD, sets up like a hard drive when connected to your desktop or laptop. Also, MiniDiscs now play MP3 and WMA files, whereas in the past they were restricted to Sony's proprietary ATRAC system.
Bottom line: Sony MiniDisc players offer an alternative for portable MP3 fans, with removeable media and hi-fi field recording capabilities.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|