MiniDisc (MD) is a magneto-optical disc-based data storage format offering a capacity of 60, 74, and later, 80 minutes of digitized audio. Sony brand audio players went on the market in September 1992.
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|Media type||Magneto-optical disc|
|Capacity||60, 74, and 80 min|
|Read mechanism||780 nm semiconductor laser diode|
|Write mechanism||Magnetic field modulation|
|Extended from||Compact Cassette|
|Extended to||MD Data|
Sony announced the MiniDisc in September 1992 and released it in November of that year for sale in Japan and in December in Europe, North America, and other countries. The music format was based on ATRAC audio data compression, Sony's own proprietary compression code. Its successor, Hi-MD, would later introduce the option of linear PCM digital recording to meet audio quality comparable to that of a compact disc. MiniDiscs were very popular in Japan and found moderate success in Europe.