|Media type||Magneto-optical disc|
|Read mechanism||780 nm semiconductor laser diode|
|Write mechanism||Magnetic field modulation|
|Extended from||Floppy disk|
MD Data is a magneto-optical medium succeeding MiniDisc. Sony wanted it to replace floppy disks, but instead came the Zip drive, CD writers, and memory sticks and cards.
The technology has 140 MB of data storage, but it is slow and expensive. It is in products such as a still camera, a document scanner, and in late 1990s 4- and 8-track multitrack recording decks. Meant as a step up from the popular 4-track cassette-based studios, these recorders enjoyed a brief prominence before they were replaced by relatively affordable and far more flexible direct-to-hard drive recording on Windows and Macintosh based computers. The format lacks an affordable computer drive. Some examples of products that used the format are a few multitrack "portastudio"-style audio recorders such as Sony's MDM-X4 and Tascam's 564.
In 1997, Sony introduced the MD Data2 format at 650 MB. The only product that used the format was Sony's DCM-M1 camcorder (capable of still images and MPEG-2 video).
Since 2004, Hi-MD allows 340MB or 1GB of any type of data to be stored on a Hi-MD formatted MiniDisc, succeeding MD Data and MD Data2.