Beloved of concert tapers for their small size, shock resistance, and long battery life, MiniDisc recorders never much caught on with the general public. I remember playing with one in the early '90s — before high-quality solid state stereo recorders were affordable — and looking forward to the day that I would have one of my own. Playback-only decks were available, but understandably (in retrospect) never became big sellers; when MiniDisc
was introduced, CDs were still a recent comer, and 8-track was fresh in the mind. Music fans were probably tired of replacing their vinyl and cassettes with the Next Big Thing. Still, with its cheap media and decent portable recorders, MiniDisc struck a chord for some uses, and stuck around better than the Digital Compact Cassette
. Now, 19 years after the introduction of the MiniDisc format, Sony has announced that it will stop shipping its MiniDisc Walkman products
in September, though it will continue to produce blank media.