MiniDisc - The Audio Cassette Replacement
How times have flown in the world of the MiniDisc. In the 1990s, the production volume of audio cassette tapes were on a continuous rapid decline - no thanks in part to the establishment of the compact disc media, which had quickly replaced analog audio technology due to its digitally-based, high speed random access and direct search capabilities. But compact discs are a read-only media. So Norio Ohga (Sony's President back then) decided that a new media was needed to replace the aging cassette tapes, and challenged his engineers to develop a recording and playback device that uses a disc smaller than (yet, as good as) the CD to replace the audio cassette tapes (CD-R and CD-RW media were pretty much unheard of back then, you see).
Then in May 1991, with all developments concluded, the new audio standard, the MiniDisc was announced. Sony then made a call upon various hardware and software manufacturers to endorse the MiniDisc system. A product launch was then projected for the end of 1992, and the rest, as some would say, was history.
A cigarette casing, anyone?
Fast forward to circa November 2002, and the world was introduced to the, well, world's smallest and lightest MiniDisc player in the form of the MZ-E10. Available in Japan since that month (and only in Singapore this year), the MZ-E10 was one of four Sony commemoration models to celebrate the behemoth company's 10th Anniversary of its MiniDisc division. And if you're wondering, the other three models are the MZ-N10 (essentially the recordable cousin of the E10), the LAM-10 and Z10 (both of which are desktop MD systems). We'll take a look at these three other anniversary models some other time, but for now we'll get our hands full with the MZ-E10.
The MZ-E10 is only about 1/3 thicker than a minidisc.
At just 9.9mm thick and weighing only 55g with a built-in battery, the MZ-E10 is really one of, if not the smallest player around. And along with its signature magnesium-alloy body, the MiniDisc walkman can easily pass off as a metallic cigarette case or a namecard holder.
Sony MZ-E10 Technical Specifications
||Playback (MD-LP4) 40 Hours
80% 1 hour (approx)
100% 3.5 Hours (approx)
||Stereo two channels/monaural one channel
|Audio Compression Method
ATRAC (Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding)
ATRAC3:LP2 stereo and LP4 stereo
||55g (Including Li-Ion battery)
LCD remote controller
Built In Li-Ion rechargeable battery