The MiniDisc (MD) is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage format offering a capacity of 60, 74, and later, 80 minutes of digitized audio or 1 gigabyte of Hi-MD data. Sony brand audio players went on the market in September 1992.
Sony announced the MiniDisc in September 1992 and released it in November of that year for sale in Japan and in December in Europe, Canada, the US and other countries. The music format was originally based on ATRAC audio data compression, but the option of linear PCM digital recording was later introduced to meet audio quality comparable to that of a compact disc. MiniDiscs were very popular in Japan and found moderate success in Europe. Until March 2011 Sony had sold 22 million MD players.
Sony has ceased development of MD devices, with the last of the players sold by March 2013.
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