I wanted one of these so bad back in the day. Never had the cash though unfortunately.
Or even, perhaps more relevantly, with read-only media.
It's fantastic. Also nice to see someone doing that kind of thing on YouTube with a local (well, to me) accent.
And then... came the Internet.
Parents once brought me an MD player from Japan back in nineties. We bought dozens of MD cartridges, but only 3 ever worked.
Orienting in between at least 3 visually undistinguishable MD cartridge types was very frustrating, and near impossible for non-Japanese.
What killed the format was Sony's aggressive policy of forcing you to use their software.
With the original iPod also introduced in 2001, and MD's high media cost and lack of pre-recorded releases having kept it firmly in its original niche, I think probably most MD adopters in the US didn't have compatibility problems for the simple reason that, by the time those problems became possible, we weren't really bothering with MiniDisc any more anyway.
That said, NetMD was just a different format on the same media, and a line of players capable of transferring audio from a computer digitally via USB. You can't use a NetMD-formatted disc in a non-NetMD player, but you can still reformat and use the disc in an older player, and a NetMD player will play back discs using the older format. The real compatibility barrier is Hi-MD, which uses a totally different media formulation in order to reach its ~1GB capacity; as far as I know, Hi-MD media, however formatted, can't be used in any non Hi-MD player.
(Even for latter-day MiniDisc aficionados such as myself, that's still not a huge barrier, because not much Hi-MD media was ever made, and you can expect to pay $60 or more for a single disc today. Hi-MD players are likewise rare and pricey, so I suspect most folks who get into the medium for hobby reasons end up sticking with NetMD.)
Some played MP3, some did different incompatible versions of ATRAC, some did raw PCM packed in two different containers.
And there was even a digital videocamera using Data2.
Panasonic MD was also barely compatible with Sony's one. Record in one, but not play in other.
Sony certainly doesn't have a good enough record on avoiding media fragmentation generally, that any benefit of the doubt seems warranted here...
Japan was all over that place.
I also remember DAT players. People say they were a commercial failure in Japan.
Players themselves were a frequent sight on sale, but tapes were near impossible to find, let alone ones with pre-recorded music.
And they were prone to tearing in humid climate. They were scotch taped, and superglued 100 times over, that's how rare they were.
Then came the iPods and the rest is history.
If you're thinking of getting one I don't recommend it. Finding a properly working model is non-trivial and once you do finding content is harder. At the end of the day you've got a hard to use dictionary.
I didn't find out these details until I owned them. However I have a soft spot for Sony's industrial design from the 90s. I've got a couple of these, Pyxis GPS receivers, and some Hi-8/Digital-8 pieces. I think they just look cool and some I lusted after when I was younger. It's way more techno looking than their 70s and 80s ID and way cooler than their post-2000 retro-esque ID.
Nobody cared for a gazillion cartridges, sticks, disks, drives etc if it all sounded exactly the same in the end.
It brought back memories of my SWL days. My favorites were Radio Sofia, Radio Habana (when playing music), and RNZI. I even sent away for an RNZI t-shirt, and was wearing it in Pennsylvania one day when a Maori recognized it and came running across the room to ask me about it.
I still listen to RNZ Pacific online, but it's not the same.
*Sony desire rising*