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Sony MZR50
Sharp MS 701/2

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INTRODUCTION & HISTORY

It's a disc, and it's mini. That about sums it up then. Well, in a short sentence it does, but there's much more to this amazing product.

Firstly, lets get one thing straight: it's not a replacement for the CD (that's here to stay for a long time to come (or until they think up the next thing)), it is in fact a replacement for that hissing, degrading sound quality, ancient format know as tape. Now no longer will you have to suffer to the prehistoric compact cassette, instead there's excellent sound quality (just as good as a CD despite what people say, but more about that later), perfect reproduction every time and instant access, all this in a sexy, small, durable MiniDisc.

...and here's one of them MiniDiscs MiniDiscs themselves were first chucked out of the production line by Sony (who invented/pioneered the format) in 1992. This digital disc based medium (basically a mini CD) is available in pre-recorded (although the selection of albums is restricted) and blank recordable discs (which remember is it's main purpose). They give so called 'near CD' quality sound because they use a compression method know as ATRAC, which compresses and throws away parts of the sounds that use humans can't hear- although hi-fi purists do claim they can tell the difference (which is disputable), everyone else can't (including me). The cute little disc itself sits inside an enclosed cartridge (as seen right) and is about 7cm by 7cm, with the recordable types being able to be recorded on as many times as like, without any loss of sound quality. The only real draw back with these titchy discs is that you can't make a perfect copy of another MiniDisc because of the cycle of decompression and compression (like JPEG's (if you know what I mean)). But I'm sure you could all live with that because of all its advantages!

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