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MiniDisc mania from Sony

Sony keeps the MD flag flying with a whole flotilla of player/recorders

Despite the explosion of MP3 players, MiniDisc certainly shows no signs of going away soon. Sony is keeping the flag flying, announcing a whole new range of portable players at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The MZ-R37SP is Sony's attempt at a budget recordable player. It includes digital automatic gain control, which aims to keep the recording volume uniform thought a MiniDisc. Digital synchro recording lets you make digital copies of CDs onto a MiniDisc with a synchronised operation that gets rid of that irritating blank space at the start of recordings.

It's got what Sony calls a "unique horizontal design'', and will be out in the US in February for just under $200 (£120).

The ZS-M35 is what Sony quaintly calls a MD boombox. This is a black and silver all-in-one portable mini hi-fi system that gives you one-touch CD-to-MD recording, CD text transfer and synchro recording. There's an AM/FM tuner, remote control, Mega Bass system, clock/alarm clock and timer recording. One for your younger brother perhaps.

Out in the US in April for $350 (£215).

To round off the range there is the MZ-R70 recordable player, with a dual headphone jack that you can plug into your car sound system, and two new play only models -- the blue MZ-E60, and the MZ-E75 with digital sound presets.

There are no details at present of UK launch dates.

For full coverage, see the CES News Special.

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