Are mini-DVDs the next big thing?

While every other consumer electronic device seems to shrink more every day, portable CD players have remained more or less the same size for years. Obviously, this is mainly due to the fact that the player must be large enough to accomodate a CD (120 mm, if I recall correctly.) Mini-CDs (80mm) aren’t a viable alternative as they can only contain about 20 minutes of music, about a quarter of the capacity of standard CDs.

A standard-sized DVD, on the other hand, has a capacity of about 4.7 Gigabytes. If the proportion of 120mm to 80mm disc capacity is similar to that for CDs, then a mini-DVD should in fact hold a good bit more data than a full-sized CD does. This would allow for the creation of much smaller portable players that still have the ability to play full-length albums. The only problem I can see is the inability to play (or fit, for that matter) current 120mm discs. In time, though, that problem would diminish as mini-discs become the standard.

So, at long last, the question: Is there any reason that this won’t or shouldn’t happen?

A good reason.

We need more capacity. The next generation of disc will need to store at least 30GB. The more the better.

HDTV is rolling out and the need is great.

Contellation 3d is working on a 120mm disc that will easily hold that amount, with later versions holding up to 2TB of data (hopefully).

Something will have to replace the cd player. DVD has a shot but the disks are too big for portable use (also cd’s are too big). mp3 palyers or other formats are hated by the record co’s and they are making it hard to copy music to a computer. mini dvd’s have a problem of being mainly for portable use - if you have play it in a full size dvd player you would want the extras of the full size dvd (maybe music video).

Perhaps when you go to buy your music DVD in the future you will have a choice of the full size one, the mini or both.

There are a huge number of companies, large and small, working on smaller and/or higher capacity disks of some form. Slashdot regularly carries articles about PR glurge from said companies. People respond with the usual “guess I got to buy the White Album again” joke.

DVD’s and CD’s made it because of standardization by the major players in the business [Phillips, Sony, etc.]. But technology is outpacing such efforts. This is not good. Look at the DVD+/-RW format wars. Standards groups for next gen. DVD recently decided not to go “blue” (laser light). That’s a factor of at least 4 in capacity lost there. So companies will go ahead, without standards approval.

It is going to be a mess on next gen. stuff for several years. The old “shoot yourself in the foot” syndrome. (And that’s without the RIAA/MPAA trying to deliberately screw things up.)

I’m sticking with Beta.