It all started back in July 2011 when Sony announced that it would be winding down production of the MiniDisc format beginning in September of that year. Almost a year-and-a-half later, we're now getting to the point where Sony is seeing its last MiniDiscs roll off the factory line. The company announced that it will be shipping its last MiniDisc players starting in March.
As you may already know, the boom of the MP3 era has taken physical media by the neck throughout the past 10 years or so with the introduction of the iPod back in 2001. CDs are still being sold in stores and such, but older physical media are now starting to see their official demise, MiniDisc being one of them.
The MiniDisc ended up living 21 years before it eventually will see its deathbed this year, which is quite a long time, considering that half its lifetime was seen living in the iPod ages. In any case, while the MiniDisc may not have been a popular item in the US, it will still be dearly missed, and it will join all the other great technologies of the past up in technology heaven.
The MiniDisc was announced back in September of 1992, and could pack in the same audio quality as a regular compact disc. A standard MiniDisc could hold about 80 minutes of audio -- roughly the same amount as a CD, but while the format was fairly popular in Japan, in never gained much ground in other parts of the world, including the US. The compact disc eventually became the audio format winner.