I still have my old Minidisc MZ-R50. Was an early adopter in 1997 when it was first released and enjoyed many many many years of good use and good quality sound out of it.
I recall when first receiving the MZ-R50, I emailed Sony support when MP3's were quite new, asking them that it would be fantastic if we could use the disc writing capabilities of the MD to write mp3 files to the disc and play the files back. Sony responded that they use superior ATRAC capabilities and have no intention of using mp3's on MDs... At the time, the only way to record to MD was to input through audio-in. It was tedious but, leaving a cd to play for 74mins while the MD recorded was the norm, but heck it was worth it! The alternatives were carrying discmans and tape around everywhere....
Then came ipods... Around 2004, I switched to a 4th Generation Ipod because I could store 20GB of mp3's on there and it was convenient.... so my use of the MD eventually faded... until now.
After learning of Sony's intentions of discontinuing production of MD, I quickly dashed out at lunchtime and managed to find a MZ-RH1 in an electronics store nearby. My first impression was WOW!
I use Etymotic ER-4P's (I like treble!) and the sound coming out of them with the MZ-RH1's is superb! These are the same mp3's I've been listening to on my iphone and it feel's like I've been in a long 7 year slumber! What have I missed out on?!?! Now, after 14 years of waiting, the MZ-RH1 finally fits my needs perfectly.
I'm investing in this, paying for the quality of the equipment and the quality of the sound it produces and can see it being used for another 14 years!!
Thank you Sony.