MiniDisc Recorders and Players Product Guide

MiniDisc Recorders and Players

Created by Sony Electronics, the MiniDisc was introduced in 1992 as an easy way to make digital recordings for personal use.

At the time, cassette tapes were the most popular home recording media and were generally well accepted by the public. The CD had already replaced vinyl records and digital recordings were gaining considerable favor over the older analog recordings. Although capable of producing excellent sound, cassettes generally recorded and played in an analog format, falling short of the clarity and greater dynamic range that the digital format offered. Unlike CDs, which could offer amazing versatility with multiple methods of playback, cassette tapes had to wind forward and backward.

The MiniDisc became the first recordable media that could reproduce digital recordings. At only 2.5 inches, it is half the diameter of a CD. Portable MiniDisc recorders and players are also about half the size of a portable CD player. It's also enclosed in a thin plastic shell that helps protect it from dust and fingerprints. This helped assure the best, reliable sound performance over time.

Available in two recording lengths, 60 minutes and 74 minutes, the recordable MiniDisc can be used to comfortably copy other recordings and live performances.

Though a MiniDisc stores less information than a CD, Sony developed ATRAC (Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding), an intelligent method of compressing audio information without loss of sound integrity. It uses only 20% of the space that conventional recording methods require. Using sophisticated research and complex algorithms, ATRAC attempts to follow the perceptual model of human hearing to determine what the human ear can and cannot hear. Anything determined to be inaudible or masked by other sounds is where the major compression occurs. The end result: Music that sounds (to the human ear) exactly like the original.

Unlike the CD, recording a MiniDisc is as easy as recording on a cassette tape. It wasn't designed for a computer enthusiast. The MiniDisc was developed by engineers for use by the average person who has an above-average appreciation for recorded music and sound. Most CDs may only be recorded once. You can re-record a MiniDisc many times, for even added convenience.

Seeming to be overshadowed by the CD, the MiniDisc remains popular. With its 10 year history, millions of audiophiles around the world remain supportive of this format. You can easily find many new MiniDisc car-stereo players, portable MiniDisc recorders and players, and MiniDisc home components. You can find them here.

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