05/02/2013 04:21 GMT | Updated 06/04/2013 06:12 BST

Sony Kills The MiniDisc After 21 Difficult Years

The MiniDisc is finally dead.

Sony has announced that after 21 years it will stop producing players for the small CD cassettes.

MiniDiscs were seen as revolutionary on their launch in 1992, because of their durability, high capacity, small size (just 2.5 inches across) and ability to be recorded over like a tape cassette.

But while early adopters appreciated the benefits of the format, it never found mainstream appeal outside of Japan where five million players were sold in 1997.

In July 2011 Sony said it would not ship portable MiniDisc players, which was seen as an effective death sentence for the format.

And now Sony has announced the last machines will be shipped in March 2013.

The discs themselves will still be sold for a limited time, but the move is seen as an admission that the era of the MiniDisc is over.

In fact the MiniDisc lasted a much shorter time than many other formats - vinyl records and players are still sold, while Sony still makes Walkman cassette players for sale in China.