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  • Sony Unveils Mini-Disc with Recording Time of 80 Minutes
  • January 21, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Sony Corp. announced that it will start selling the new MDW-80H mini-disc (MD), which is capable of holding up to 80 minutes of music, on Feb. 10.
    The new disc can be used with existing MD recorders and will be priced at about 650 yen (US$5.60).

    Sony said it decided to market the new disc in response to an increasing number of customers requesting discs that can be used to make longer recordings.

    Many compact discs (CDs) are being released with running times of more than the 74-minute standard CD playback time. In order for a user to be able to copy a longer CDs on a single MD, an MD capable of holding more music is needed.

    MDs have only been available in 60-minute and 74-minute formats. In November 1998, Sony added standards for the 80-minute disc to its "Rainbow Book," a manual of mini-disc specifications. The new disc was developed based on those standards.

    To extend the running time of the new disc to 80 minutes, the track pitch has been set at 1.5 micrometer, the minimum value specified by the Rainbow Book. This compares with the standard 1.6 micrometer typically used for MDs. And the tracking speed during recording also has been reduced to its lowest possible limit of 1.2 m/s, according to Sony.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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    Updated: Wed Jan 20 15:47:00 1999 PDT