Shaw Sounds can play all types and makes of MiniDisc - either those recorded at standard speed, or extended recordings using MDLP (LP2 or LP4). Transfer can either be made to MP3, WAV or FLAC files.
We use Sony MDS-JE640 and MDS-JE480 players.
Sony's MiniDisc was one of two rival digital systems introduced in 1992, that were both targeted as a replacement for the Philips analog cassette audio tape system: the other was Digital Compact Cassette (DCC), created by Philips and Matsushita. Sony had originally intended for Digital Audio Tape (DAT) to be the dominant home digital audio recording format, replacing the analog cassette. Unfortunately, due to technical delays, DAT was not launched until 1989, and by then, the U.S. dollar had fallen so far in relation to the yen, the introductory DAT machine Sony had intended to market for about £250 in the late 1980s now had to retail for £500 or even £650 to break even, putting it out of reach for most users.
Relegating DAT for pro use, Sony immediately set to work to come up with a simpler, more economical digital home format. By the time Sony came up with MiniDisc in late 1992, rival Philips introduced a competing system, DCC (the digital compact cassette). This created marketing confusion very similar to the Beta vs. VHS battle of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sony attempted to license MD technology to other manufacturers, with JVC, Sharp, Pioneer, Panasonic and others all producing their own MD systems. However, non-Sony machines were not widely available in North America, and companies like Technics and Radio Shack tended to promote DCC instead.
Despite having a loyal customer base (primarily musicians and audio enthusiasts), MiniDisc met with only limited success. It was relatively popular in Japan during the 1990s but did not enjoy comparable sales in other world markets. Since then, Recordable CDs, flash memory and HDD-based digital audio players introduced in 1998 have become increasingly popular as playback devices.