Hi-MD, or High-capacity MiniDisc, is a storage medium introduced by Sony in 2004 as an improved version of the original MiniDisc format. Hi-MD discs have a higher storage capacity, typically 1GB, and offer superior audio quality compared to the original MiniDiscs. The format is mainly used for high-quality audio recording and playback, portable media storage, and data storage.


The phonetics of the keyword “Hi-MD” would be: Hotel – India – Mike – Delta

Key Takeaways

  1. Hi-MD is a high-capacity version of the MiniDisc format, offering increased storage and better sound quality.
  2. Hi-MD discs can store up to 1 GB of data, allowing for up to 45 hours of music playback or several hours of video content.
  3. Hi-MD players are backward compatible with older MiniDiscs, providing a seamless transition for users who are upgrading their MiniDisc systems.


The technology term Hi-MD (High capacity – MiniDisc) is important because it represents a significant advancement in the MiniDisc format, which was introduced by Sony in the early 1990s.

Hi-MD was developed to improve not only the storage capacity of the discs but also the audio quality and data transfer capabilities, making it a versatile and robust solution for various applications.

Launched in 2004, Hi-MD discs offered a storage capacity of 1 GB, which was a substantial upgrade from the original 80-minute audio recording and 160 MB data storage capabilities.

This increase in storage enabled the recording of high-quality, uncompressed PCM audio and allowed users to store larger files and transfer data at a faster rate, thus making Hi-MD a relevant format for both music enthusiasts and professionals alike.


Hi-MD, or High capacity MiniDisc, is a digital sound recording and data storage format developed by Sony in 2004 as an extension to its original MiniDisc technology. The primary purpose of Hi-MD was to provide users with an enhanced, high-capacity solution for portable audio storage and playback.

With capacities reaching up to 1GB, Hi-MD allowed for longer recording times and much higher audio quality compared to the previous format. Although it was primarily designed for audiophiles and sound recording enthusiasts, Hi-MD quickly gained traction among professionals in the fields of journalism and broadcasting due to its robustness and reliability.

In addition to its ability to store and playback high-quality audio, Hi-MD also functioned as a versatile data storage format that could be used to store various types of files, including images, documents, and even software. The introduction of a USB interface for Hi-MD devices made it possible for users to seamlessly transfer data between Hi-MD and their computer systems.

As digital audio players and more advanced portable devices came into the market, the usage of Hi-MD gradually declined, with Sony officially discontinuing it in 2011. Despite its eventual phasing out, Hi-MD played a crucial role in the history of portable audio technology and served as a significant stepping stone towards more advanced and versatile storage and playback solutions that we have today.

Examples of Hi-MD

Hi-MD (High-Mini Disc) is an audio storage format developed by Sony as an extension of MiniDisc technology inIt offered increased storage capacity and improved audio quality. Three real-world examples of Hi-MD technology are:

Sony MZ-RH1: The Sony MZ-RH1 Hi-MD Walkman was a portable music player that allowed users to record, store and play high-quality audio tracks. It was popular among audiophiles and musicians for its ability to record live performances in Linear PCM (uncompressed WAV) format, providing CD-quality audio and longer recording times.Sony MZ-DH10P Hi-MD Digital Camera: This unique device combined a Hi-MD player with a digital camera, allowing users to shoot photos at a resolution of

3 megapixels and store them on Hi-MD discs. Additionally, it supported MP3 playback, enabling users to listen to music while capturing images.Sony MDX-DH1 Hi-MD Car Stereo: This car audio system was designed to play Hi-MD discs, offering users improved audio quality and support for various digital music formats such as ATRAC3, ATRAC3plus, and MP

It also featured a built-in AM/FM tuner and CD player, providing a complete in-car entertainment solution.Despite offering improved audio quality and storage capacity, Hi-MD technology was eventually eclipsed by the rise of MP3 players, smartphones, and digital music streaming services.


What is Hi-MD?

Hi-MD stands for High-capacity MiniDisc, which is a digital storage medium that was developed and marketed by Sony. It is an improved version of the MiniDisc format that offers a higher storage capacity.

What is the storage capacity of Hi-MD?

A Hi-MD disc can store up to 1 GB of data, making it significantly more spacious than a standard MiniDisc which can typically hold only 74 minutes of audio or about 160 MB of data.

What types of files can be stored on a Hi-MD?

Hi-MD can be used to store various types of files, including audio, images, and documents. However, Hi-MD is primarily associated with storing high-quality audio files such as lossless and high-resolution audio formats.

Can a Hi-MD player play standard MiniDiscs?

Yes, a Hi-MD player is compatible with standard MiniDiscs, allowing you to play both Hi-MD and traditional MiniDisc formats on the same device.

When was Hi-MD introduced?

Hi-MD was introduced by Sony in 2004 as an enhanced version of the MiniDisc technology. It was meant to address the growing demands of higher storage capacity and improved audio quality.

Are Hi-MD players still available for purchase?

Hi-MD players are no longer in production and have been discontinued by Sony. However, you may still be able to find used Hi-MD players for sale on online marketplaces like eBay or through collectors and enthusiasts.

Related Technology Terms

  • MiniDisc (MD) format
  • High-capacity storage
  • Magneto-optical technology
  • Lossless audio compression
  • Portable music player

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