But then, along came the BIG mp3 players. So the strengths of the MD player (from the perspective of commercial appeal) were very quickly superseded by these. Why carry around any media, even if it's smaller than a CD, when you can have all the music you ever need stored on the player itself?
Yeah, MD was a good idea that was slaughtered by another technology about 5 years later.
Funny that the biggest criticism of MD was that it used a lossy format vs. CD. But nowdays nobody cares that MP3 is also lossy (and the more common MP3 encoding rates are noticeably worse than ATRAC).