HYPE: The audiocassette killer.
REALITY: Cool Product, Stupid Marketing. MiniDiscs were introduced just as people were running out of money after buying CDs to replace their LPs. Worse, prerecorded discs are virtually impossible to find. What's cool about Minidiscs, however, is not prerecorded music. It's the fact that they let you compile your own digital music. Worldwide, the market for Minidiscs isn't as gloomy as it is in the US. But now that recordable CDs are on the horizon, shadows are falling on the Mini. But Sony hasn't given up yet. "The cassette and the CD didn't explode in the early years," a Sony executive has said. "In the '90s, I think we are all a little impatient."
RATING: (two and a half stars out of four) Because the technology rocks, but the roll-out sucked.
A band with a top selling album can look forward to nonstop touring, and if you're a DJ, you want to pack as many tunes as possible. Craig Bullock, aka DJ Homicide, has found nirvana in the Sony MiniDisc. ``At home I hook it into my CD player and all my sampling equipment, and put everything down on MiniDisc - it's so convenient,'' he says. ``And it's better than a DAT, because you can flick through tracks like a CD, since it's information, not tape. You can switch your songs around or change the order that you recorded them in. You can take all your favorite songs, throw them on a MiniDisc that takes the place of, like, two CDs. It's so little, it fits into your pocket, and it's cool looking.... This is like a Sony endorsement.''