Audio Gear History: Remember the MiniDisc?

By the time we got to the middle 90s, people agreed that the CD was a pretty good thing. But shouldn’t home taping move into the digital age, too? With CD-burners still new (and expensive), mixtapes were still the domain of cassettes. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) has in the process of being killed by the music industry because of its ease of making perfect digital copies of CDs. Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) was pretty much doomed from the start. About the only consumer format that offered digital recording was Sony’s MiniDisc, which was introduced in 1992, almost exactly 10 years after Sony unveiled the first CD player.

MDs ended up being very popular in Japan but a flop elsewhere. Its history is fascinating.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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