The following information is true and accurate at the time of publication.
January 8, 2004
"Hi-MD" Format Established:
The Music Recording MD Format Has Evolved into a Versatile
Recording Media for the Broadband Era
"Hi-MD" Realizes a Maximum Recording Time of up to 45 Hours
of Music, and Raises the Potential for Versatile Storage
January 8, 2003, Tokyo, Japan - Sony
Corporation today announced the development of "Hi-MD,"
marking an evolution of the music recording MD format into
a versatile recording media that also delivers PC data such
as images and text file recording capabilities, while maintaining
playback compatibility with the current MD products and
ensuring copyright security.
Since the introduction of the first "digital audio" MD products
that enabled random access and easy editing, Sony has provided
users with a variety of MD compatible products for various
applications such as home audio products, portable devices
and in-car systems.
The MD format is licensed by approximately 80 hardware/media
manufacturing companies. Cumulative shipments of MD media
and compatible products are expected to reach approximately
1.1 billion and 80 million respectively as of the end of
fiscal year 2003. (Data by Sony)
With the introduction of "Hi-MD," Sony is poised to meet
the demands of a growing broadband era with a versatile
media capable of recording a variety of content, such as
music and images, while maintaining high quality sound and
- High capacity:
- By formatting an existing MD into the "Hi-MD" format,
its density can be increased to almost double the current
maximum capacity. In addition, a 1GB (gigabyte) "Hi-MD"
disc has been newly developed, realizing a maximum recording
time of up to approximately 45 hours of music by incorporating
the first (*2) Domain Wall Displacement Detection (DWDD
Since "Hi-MD" products will be compatible with current
MD format discs, users will also be able to play back
their existing MDs.
High quality sound:
- "Hi-MD" uses ATRAC3plus (*4) audio compression technology,
which delivers high data compression while maintaining
quality of sound. "Hi-MD" also enables linear PCM recordings,
resulting in the recording and playback of CD quality
Versatile recording media:
- "Hi-MD" uses the File Allocation Table (FAT) system,
which enables the recording of music and other PC data
files such as images and text.
Copyright protection technology:
- "Hi-MD" incorporates OpenMG and MagicGate (*5) copy
protection technology. In addition, "Hi-MD" music recordings
preserve encryptions contained within the original source.
"Hi-MD" users will be able to record various content,
such as images and text files in addition to music,
to a single disc and replay it on the go, at any time
and any place. This makes it possible, for instance,
for users to record their favorite music from their
home PC to disc, play it back with their "Hi-MD" player
while commuting to work, and to then connect it to a
PC at work to upload stored content such as text files.
Sony will proactively promote the "Hi-MD" format industry-wide
and anticipates that it will significantly contribute
to the vitalization of legal music distribution. Sony
will develop the MD market further by using its versatility
as a recording media to explore new applications.
When using a 1GB "Hi-MD" recording disc and transferring
data from a PC to the disc at 48kbps with ATRAC3plus.
As of January, 2004.
Find 1) High Capacity by Hi-Density Recording Technology
section at the "Hi-MD" Format Main Features below
for more DWDD description.
An audio compression technology incorporated in "Hi-MD"
that realizes high-quality sound under high compression.
OpenMG and MagicGate are digital copyright protection
technologies developed by Sony with the aim of protecting
"Hi-MD" Format Main Features
1) High Capacity by Hi-Density Recording Technology
Through modification of modulation and error correction
methods, and greater signal processing efficiency, high-density
and high-capacity recording has been achieved. By formatting
existing MDs into "Hi-MD" format, disc density can be approximately
doubled (up to 300MB approximately in the case of an 80-minute
MD). Furthermore the 1GB "Hi-MD" disc is the first of its
type to incorporate Domain Wall Displacement Detection (DWDD)
technology, leading to a maximum recording time of up to
45 hours for music data.
Domain Wall Displacement Detection (DWDD) technology:
The size of readable recording marks on an optical or a
magneto-optical disc depends on the spot size of a laser.
Until now, it has been necessary to reduce the spot size
of a laser beam in order to read out small recording marks
for increasing the disc's recording density. DWDD applies
a kind of Magnetic Super Resolution (MSR) technology that
utilizes the temperature variation created by an irradiating
laser on a disc surface in order to temporarily expand recording
marks smaller than a laser beam spot and read out the stored
2) High Quality Sound Recording and Playback
"Hi-MD" incorporates ATRAC3plus high compression and sound quality audio compression technology, realizing extended length, near CD quality sound. By also adopting a non-compressible, linear PCM recording, "Hi-MD" compatible products enable users to enjoy the recording and playback of high-quality sound, equal to the quality of commercial audio CDs.
3) High Compatibility with PC
"Hi-MD" uses the FAT file system, making it possible to use "Hi-MD" formatted MDs and 1GB "Hi-MD" discs as versatile media for recording PC data files, such as images and text. Furthermore, as portable, rewritable PC media, "Hi-MD" complies with USB format's Mass Storage Class, ensuring that simply by connecting a "Hi-MD" product to a PC it is immediately recognized as an external storage device.
4) Copyright Protection Technology
To prevent an illegal copying of digital content, "Hi-MD" incorporates OpenMG and MagicGate technology, already adopted in Memory Stick and Net MD for content management to ensure that music content stored on a "Hi-MD" disc will be encrypted. "Hi-MD" also conforms to the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS).
- Figures and information above for MD and Hi-MD
formatted MD are specified by the respective formats
in the use of an 80-minute disc.
- Data transfer rate above indicates a data transfer
rate when spinning a disc at a particular linear
velocity (a maximum data transfer rate; speed
reductions due to the process of writing & verifying
and USB interface are excluded.)
- Hi-MD capacities above indicate recording capacities
after being formatted.
- 1 MB = 106bytes;
1 GB = 109bytes.
- ADIP abbreviates "Address In Pre-Groove," and
PRML abbreviates "Partial Response Maximum Likelihood."
* "Hi-MD" "OpenMG" "MagicGate",
and "ATRAC3plus" are registered trademarks or
trademarks of Sony Corporation.