As one recording format shows signs of making a return, another one, it seems, is taking a final bow. Twenty ears on from its launch to compete with Philips’ DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) format, Sony has called time on the MiniDisc.
It’s one of those many formats we have known all too briefly over the years – Betamax, anybody? – that should and maybe could have been a success, if only large numbers of consumers gave a monkey’s about sound quality and longevity (of recordings held on a particular format).
OK, so MiniDiscs and the players were expensive and really, originally, aimed at professionals, and could, so they say, be erased if you waved a large magnet around. However, if you were careful, you could hold onto those recordings for 30 years. And, unlike that technological abomination the portable CD player – seriously, has anybody really had a good experience with one of those? – it was the first time high-quality music recordings became truly portable.
So, although mine site forlornly in an office drawer, and the discs themselves are in a box in the loft, I have fond memories of commuting, going on holiday … and making my first podcasts … with my MD player.
Enough of the nostalgia, though. What are your views and memories concerning the MiniDisc? Do you mourn its demise? What other recording and playback formats are, or should be, destined for the scrap heap, for technological, commercial, or practical reasons?