What Is MiniDisc (MD)?

TechDogs Avatar

MiniDiscs were a magneto-optical disc-based audio storage and playing device released in 1992 under the Sony brand. They were a strong competitor of cassette recorders and players, offering more space and convenience. MiniDiscs could be purchased in preloaded or empty and recordable form with 140 MB of space to store data or record, erase and play music on the go. MiniDisc was introduced as an alternative to tape cassettes, which were still popular then. MDs offered several advantages over cassettes: they were smaller, more durable, easier to store (no tangled messes! ), more resistant to heat and cold damage, and had no moving parts that could get damaged or wear out over time—all while offering better sound quality than tape cassettes! MDs weren't perfect, though—they had their Quirks (like being incompatible with some CD players), but they were still one of the most popular formats for storing music during their heyday from 1992 until around 2004 when they started falling out of fashion amidst increasing popularity for flash memory devices like USB drives or MP3 players like iPods MiniDiscs, the Sony-developed portable music format, were released to much fanfare in 1992. The discs were intended for use among teenagers, who would be able to record their music and listen to it on the go. Unfortunately, MiniDiscs were not cheap: they retailed for $250 at the time of their release—almost as much as a cassette player! They didn't gain much traction with teenagers or other consumers. Sony tried lowering the price of MiniDiscs several times over the years, but they never found a sweet spot with consumers. They eventually gave up on them altogether and moved on to other formats like CDs and digital downloads and you know how floppy disks are small, and you can put a lot of stuff on them? Well, mini-discs are even smaller than that. They're about the size of a cigarette lighter, and you can still put a lot of stuff on them. And what kind of stuff? Well, it depends on what type of mini-disc you have! If you have an ATRAC mini-disc player, your mini-discs can hold about 140 MB of audio data—almost 100 times more than the 1. 44 MB capacity of floppy disks! If you have a linear PCM mini-disc player, your discs will store up to 700 MB of data—about three times more than regular CDs! You can even record your music onto a mini disc if you want! Just find some blank ones at your local Best Buy or Radio Shack and get started making some sweet tunes today!

TechDogs

Related Terms by Consumer Electronics Technology

Cellular Automaton (CA)

Cellular automatons are not entirely cellular, quiet, and wholly atomic. They are the best of all worlds when you take the three fields mentioned above, study and play with them as any good scientist would. A cellular automaton (CA) is a system of many cells linked together using those cells' specific order and states. The goal is to change how each cell is ordered through repeated steps in an algorithm. The rules determine how cells change conditions over time. This happens multiple times until the CA stops changing and has reached an end state. Cellular automatons are many mathematical models studied in physics, computer science, social sciences, and other fields. Many natural phenomena, such as snowflakes, tree growth, and fire, inspire them. Cellular automatons are of interest for many reasons. One of them is that they are a non-linear model of physical phenomena. Given the same initial conditions, their outcomes may differ depending on the ruleset, much like non-linear differential equations. Another reason is that their rule sets are often simple enough to be implemented in a computer, allowing in-silico experimentation. Finally, some cellular automatons are used in modeling social and technological phenomena. If the number of ON neighbors exceeds the number of ones, the cell changes its state to ON; if the numbers are reversed, it changes its state to OFF. These rules are self-executing and do not require any external input. Depending on the number and placement of cells, it is possible to construct a variety of interesting CA with various properties and behaviors. The most common rule for a one-dimensional grid is for updating each site (i.e., each grid cell) independently, based on the values of its current neighbors. Cellular Automaton is exciting and intriguing. They're easy to understand but hard to predict. You'll need to sit down with a cup of coffee and think deeply about how they work to start seeing their beauty. Primarily though, they're fun.

...See More

Cipher Block Chaining (CBC)

Are you prepared to "chain" yourself to the subject of Cipher Block Chaining (CBC)? It's a method of encrypting information that's used to help keep data safe, and despite how dull it may sound, it's pretty fascinating! CBC, or "block chaining," is a method for encrypting data. This method gets its name because it operates by first dividing the data into blocks and then chaining them together. The output of one block is used as the input for the subsequent block, meaning each block must be encrypted using a unique secret key. Because of this, it is significantly more difficult for potential attackers to decode the data since they would need to crack the encryption for each block in the chain. The CBC algorithm needs to be foolproof, as it has weaknesses that can be exploited by malicious actors, such as when they use padding attacks or other similar techniques. But in general, it is a reliable method for encrypting data. It is used extensively in various contexts, including SSL/TLS protocols, virtual private networks (VPNs), and disc encryption. You may be questioning why we must use encryption in the first place. Consider all the sensitive information, like credit card numbers, login credentials, personal messages, and more, that we send and receive over the internet. If someone with bad intentions were to obtain access to such information, they could put it to any number of unethical uses if they so chose. Even if unauthorized parties receive our data, encryption can ensure that it will remain secure and confidential. Cipher Block Chaining may not be the most exciting topic, but it is crucial for everyone who cares about security and privacy. That is all there is to it, folks; I hope you found this information useful. #CBC #Encryption #Cybersecurity #DataPrivacy #SSL #TLS #VPN #DiskEncryption

...See More

Carrier IQ

If your phone company knows more about you than you do, it's probably Carrier IQ. Carrier IQ is a company that provides analytics software to various telecom providers. They've developed programs that offer information about smartphone users to cellphone carriers, like what apps they use, how often they use them, how long they spend on them, and even where the user is using them. The problem with this is that there needs to be a way for an average user to know whether or not her carrier has installed these programs on her phone. Even if she knows that her page uses the Carrier IQ program, she cannot opt out of it or stop it from collecting data about her activities and movements. The fact that this kind of information is being collected without our knowledge or consent raises serious privacy concerns—yet we have no say in whether or not our carriers can do this. Privacy advocates are up in arms over the Carrier IQ scandal, which involves a company collecting performance data on smartphone users. Carrier IQ gathers performance data, tracking and logging what users do on their phones. This can include calls made, texts sent, and emails received. While this is not necessarily an invasion of privacy in terms of content (e.g., Carrier IQ does not have access to the actual content of phone calls), it does present a risk to user privacy because it allows third parties access to information about whom you called or texted, whether you're using your phone to browse the web or send emails, etc. The issue came to light when reports revealed that Carrier IQ had collected information about users' phone activity without their knowledge or consent. It was reported that some phones were even sending data from users' text messages directly to Carrier IQ without permission from the device's owner!

...See More