MiniDisc, MP3: Small wonders offer growing competition

December 08, 1998|By J.D. Considine

CDR (Compact Disc Recordable) and CDRW (rewritable CDR) aren't the only digital recording platforms out there. Sony has been doggedly promoting its MiniDisc (MD) for several years now, pegging it as the digital replacement for the cassette.

MDs are about the size of a computer floppy disc, are read with a laser and use the same "burn" technology for recording as CDR machines.

Although the sound quality isn't quite as high as CDs, the ruggedness of Walkman-size MD players has earned the format a small but growing market, particularly among active young people.

Even more popular among college kids, although for different reasons, is MP3. This is a digital compression system that makes it easier to store large music files on PCs.

Currently, MP3 files are mainly found on computer networks, not personal stereos, but the introduction of Walkman-size MP3 players may change that -- provided the machine survives a legal challenge by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Pub Date: 12/08/98

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