Sony MZ-RH1 Hi-MD Walkman faces axe (but MiniDisc lives on!)

Goodbye, MiniDisc, we loved you. Well, perhaps not love, but at least a grudging regard. Unfortunately, grudging regards don't add up to sales, and Sony has decided to axe the MZ-RH1 MiniDisc Hi-MD Walkman in September this year. Worry not about your precious MiniDiscs themselves, however; those still using the format will have time to stock up.

Sony has said it doesn't intend to cease sales of the Hi-MD MiniDiscs (HMD1GA) the MZ-RH1 uses until September 2012, each holding up to 1GB of data. However, the regular 80 minute MiniDiscs – with which the MZ-RH1 is backward compatible – will remain on sale beyond that point; they can normally hold 177MB, but can be extended to 305MB if used in the recorder's Hi-MD mode.

The company blamed falling sales and the rising competition of flash memory drives as the key reasons for the MZ-RH1's demise, though it's fair to say the PMP had a decent shot at the market. Launched back in April 2006, it had high-end features like an OLED display, a premium headphone amp and support for recording from various analog and digital sources, making it popular among musicians and other A/V pros. Full product details are here, if you're feeling sentimental.

[via AV Watch]