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3 Media Formats That Are Now Long Forgotten

There are hundreds of film, audio and data formats that have simply been forgotten. We live in a culture where we are constantly upgrading our technology and replacing the old with the new, without a second thought. But it can be find to look back on old technologies with fondness and remember how things used to be. In this article, we’ll be discussing just a couple that you might have come across at some point.


It may not be remembered by a lot of people outside of the technology industry, but the MiniDisk had it’s time in the limelight at various points through the 1990s and early 2000s. It had - and continues to have - something of a cult following of musicians and those with an interest in audio and recording.


Used for data audio storage, Sony and various other big brands released walkman-style devices during this period that allowed users to easily record their own audio or manually from another format.

The MiniDisk even made an appearance in the sci-fi classic The Matrix back in 1999, where it is the preferred format to pass information and files between hackers.

Unfortunately, the MiniDisk’s rise was cut short by the emergence of digital format music players and storage devices such as the iPod, MP3 player and USB.


The VHS really revolutionised the movie rental concept in the late 70s, but the idea was envisioned long before then. Along with other competing formats, the Cartrivision was one of the first that had the tape inside a cartridge, thereby protecting it and making it more feasible as a format that could rented out. In fact, this was the first format that offered feature length films for rental purposes when it was released in 1972. The cassettes needed to played in special Cartrivision enabled TVs.


Unfortunately, the argument could be made that this format was simply ahead of it’s time. It wasn’t all that convenient for consumers to have to go and buy a new TV to be able to rent out feature length films. Plus, it was a released at a time when there were no video rental stores, meaning people would have to be mailed their cassettes and have to mail them back when done with them, which was not at all idea. But perhaps the biggest reason that Catrivision just didn’t take off is the fact that the cassettes could only be played once through, without the ability to rewind or re-watch.

Zip Drive

The Zip drive was essentially an upgraded floppy disk and in many ways it would be wrong to call this storage format a complete flop (pardon the pun). Released in 1994, the Zip drive had it’s time in the limelight after the floppy disk and before technology appeared to enable us to write information directly onto CDs. At the time of it’s release, the Zip drive was super impressive, as it offered 100 MB of storage, considerably more than any commercial data storage format before it.

zip drive

To put it in perspective, most of us - if we even had computers - were using 1.44 MB floppy disks at this time. A drive would need to be purchased and connected to the computer, but considering the sheer volume of data that could be stored on these discs, the technology was quite affordable and Zip drives were commercial successful in the early going.

The Zip drive’s downfall can be credited to the fact that even more efficient, larger and less expensive options emerged in the late 90s. There were also some well publicised technical problems with the discs, as often information would be corrupted.

So there you have it! At Cineclair Productions, we love our old formats of all types and love reminiscing about the technologies we once thought were amazing. We are experts when it comes to transferring old film types into DVD and digital formats , so if you’ve got any sitting around, give us a call and we can help you out.  

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