if you take a note with minidisc hower, you can see that SONY is not the only manufacturer of players/recorders. They have sold the rights to various companies (Panasonic, Aiwa, Sharp, Kenwood, etc. for players, and TDK, Maxell, HiSpace for media). Minidisc is WILDLY popular in Japan.
What's amazing is that if I wanna add 45 hours of music to my collection, it'll only cost me $6.50. Limitless expansion that an IPOD can't provide. The real question now is how quickly can we transfer files onto the new HiMD. If quickly, I'm sold.