DIGITAL WARS!

The Hi-MD can store up to 45 hours of music on a single disc, as well as accommodating pictures and text...

SONY are hoping to go head-to-head with the IPOD with the launch of their new minidisc players.

The Hi-MD, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, can store up to 45 hours of music on a single disc, as well as accommodating pictures and text, reports the BBC.

The minidisc format, developed by Sony, has suffered a knock in its market dominance following the rise of hard-drive based portable MP3 players, spearheaded by Apple’s iPod.

The new model discs hold a gigabyte of data on a single disc, which translates to 45 hours of music compressed at 48kbps. The standard minidisc can hold 13 hours at the same density.

Todd Schrader, Vice President of Marketing for Sony Electronics’ portable music range said: “We’ve created the best overall portable music solution that addresses digital music fans’ needs for high capacity storage and long battery life in a small and extremely durable device.”

In the US, The first generation of players are expected to retail at around $200, while Hi-MD discs should cost around $7 each.