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Merged Page Histories[edit]

Merged page histories after an improper cut and paste move of the article. -- Mic 20:37, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Link to UMDs[edit]

I was wondering if there should be a link between this article and the UMD article in order to prevent confusion. (?)

Data Rates[edit]

Sony do appear to have made some strange decisions with their MD devices, and their marketing strategy (which includes some peculiar views of digital rights management - DRM, and compatibility with other formats such as MP3, WMA etc.), though taken in historical context these may be perfectly reasonable. The lack of an intermediate data rate encoder on the new Hi-MD devices does seem unfortunate, but on the other hand if you look at the specifications when recording in Hi-SP (256) mode 160 minutes of recording is available on a reformatted minidisc, which is exactly the same as for LP2 (132 - ATRAC3) recording on the same type of discs - though this is only available on an MDLP player. If Hi-MD discs are used then the time available goes up to 475 minutes. The cost of the Hi-MD discs may be an issue, though I believe it is possible to get them at prices which are not much higher than standard MDs.

I'm also not quite sure - but it seems that there might be several types of Hi-MD discs - original (thick) and newer (thin). Is this worth writing about? Does it matter?

One thing I don't yet know - is it possible to use a Hi-MD recorder to generate a standard format MD?

Compatibility issues are perhaps something Sony hasn't fully worked out - but then, maybe they have.

Does anyone wish to update this article, or the Minidisc article to reflect this? David Martland 10:10, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

PS: Is a fairer comparison with Hi-SP 256 (ATRAC3plus) which is available on Hi-MD machines - using Hi-MD formatted discs with SP 292 (ATRAC? Both should have similar quality, but the Hi-SP 256 mode gives 160 minutes compared with 80 minutes on a standard (normally formatted) MD.

There are interesting and relevant articles at and

Looking again at the article here, the table for HiMD does not include the modes at 160, 192 mentioned in the text above it. Mention is also made of developments for 2nd generation HiMD devices, though it's not clear what are 2nd generation. My own observations (based on a very short exposure) are that the whole thing is rather confusing. We have a Sony MZ-RH910 - is that a 2nd generation model? I'd have thought so. The SonicStage software tends to do conversions, so if I input a CD and convert to 160 kbps (which should apparently be allowed), this will still be converted to 132 kbps when transferring to the HiMD disc. My suspicion is that I'll have to input the CDs at 256kbps in order to get SonicStage to transfer it to the HiMD disc at a better quality. Whether this is something which can be fixed in the future by upgrading the SonicStage software, or something inherent in the hardware, I don't know. I have so far only managed to get MP3 encoding to work at 128kbps, and it seemed to me that the quality when doing so was quite badly compromised, with possible aliasing effects. These devices appear not to like recordings done at 48kHz sampling rates, and will recode them to 44.1kHz. David Martland 07:12, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


So, how lossy ATRAC really is? This page says that that "... due to limitations in human hearing and perception, some sounds cannot be heard under a variety of conditions ...", - a sentence actually doesn't belong here at all, but should be in Lossy data compression. And the article at ATRAC says that its quality is comparable to that of MP3, and when tested against MP3 and OGG, ATRAC even came last. That's some contradiction.--Amir E. Aharoni 21:39, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I toned down the flowery talk. --KJ 03:57, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Pre-recorded Albums[edit]

The article mentions that only albums on Sony's own label were released, however a number were released by Virgin and Chrysalis; can anyone else confirm that these are record labels are not part of the sony group. In addition would it be worth having a list of albums released in minidisc format? Y control 09:46, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Would it be worth having a list of albums released in minidisc format - NO! Please not another list ... but a category would be fine.--Amir E. Aharoni 19:16, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
The list wouldn't be particularly long. The number of titles in MD format increased consistently from the format's introduction. Even a couple of the cheap labels adopted the format (often a healthy sign). Sales followed suit, but then almost overnight sales of pre-recorded MDs stopped. It is, of course, entirely coincidental, that this occured at the same time that the price of a blank MD fell below the difference between the CD and MD versions of the Album. 08:35, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Sony released the most, but were by no means the only label to release them.

nothing very important[edit]

Ah, the MiniDisc. Good times.


Any chance of MiniDiscs becoming more widely used, or has the march of technology passed them by with the advent of flash memory? --Nerd42 02:14, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

--> thanks for your contribution (wikipedia is not a discussion board). it looks MINIDISC is back again on the market, both recorders and media. User:Akidd_dublin 20060315


"As of 2006, MiniDisc is nearing the end of its life as a format and may soon be considered obsolete;"

I DO NOT THINK SO (not only because since today i am one of the mini disc people). Probably cassette tape declines- but it is very EASY to record audio cassettes.

As said in the article, it has very advantage in field recording (i.e. percussion/keyboard session). For this user group, i do not see an "End of lifetime". IMHO, the sentence (in quotation marks) needs edit. User:Akidd_dublin 20060315

Blonde2max 19:29, 26 March 2006 (UTC) Someone talk about the MZ-RH1 MDs Latest comeback

  • About WP not being a discussion board: Hey, the issue I was bringing up had to do with what the article should say. If they're a failed Sony idea that history has passed by, the article should say so and possibly examine the reasons why. If they're gonna make a comeback, likewise. --Nerd42 17:04, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

To input, Minidisk is huge in the theatre audio industry. Nearly every theatre nationwide has a player and they are generally used for sound effects playback and or backup becuase of the size and the ease of use. Another plus is that they begin immediately when pressed to play, instead of lag as in CD's

[Chester, Charleville, Australia] On obsolescence: I tried hard to contact Sony to get a minidisc drive which would fit in a computer. I received no answer to my mail, and no joy on telephone. The transfer rate to and from minidisc therefore had to be at audio rates, which is a severe limitation. I changed to a memory stick device (Marantz PMD 671 specifically), and note that the ABC bought a large number of its little brother last year. Any medium disallowing transfer of files easily and at speed would seem doomed to obsolescence. The new media allow production of a (draft) CD within 10 minutes of the end of recording.

Well minidisk is great for certain tasks. It records at excellent quality, and as a standardized media it is easily transferable. In studio applications, the minidisc still has purpose.

However, it has little to no use in the modern consumer marketplace as an audio medium. Minidisc's goal of replacing audio cassettes was a failure. Cassettes don't skip while jogging, minidisk players do. CD-R's became economical in the late 90's, allowing people to make high-quality recordings playable on a more-popular medium. Minidisc made a slight resurgence with it's Hi-MD reaction to the MP3 revolution, but this was rendered obsolete after MP3 players with solid-state memory storage surpassed the storage capabilities of the Hi-MD discs. Seeing that an Ipod Nano is 1/4 the size of a portable md device and can hold 16gb, as opposed to a 1gb hi-md disk that is prone to skipping, it's clear that Mini-disks are obsolete as consumer products. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

little note[edit]

I'm no expert but it seems that the curie temperature point 'erases' the magnetic orientation. (see [1]) and after which the magnetic orientation can be altered easily.


I seem to remember LP2 and LP4 (in particular) would suck the batteries on my portable MD player at about 4 times the rate as well! Did anyone else encounter this and is it worth mentioning? Bihal 05:52, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Personally, and according to Sony press releases, LP2 and 4 tend to double and quadruple playback times. Obviously this will vary, however the due to the smaller file sizes, the disc must spin less to extract the same amount of data. Decompression of the file works against these causes however. Bananatree

I don't remember exactly the MD unit I had as I loaned it to someone and never saw it again, but, I do know from personal expierence that when running LP2 or 4 that the batteries did last longer...there were a few exceptions. The main one has to do with how fragmented your disc is. the magic of minidisc was the ability to move tracks was flexable, and was amazing...and that's thanks to a hard-drive like method of wiriting the data in empty blocks and moving to more when it reaches blocks that aren't empty. So, if your disc has a lot of fragmentation, the laser running back and forth would negate the battery savings. The majorty of my MD collection was SP mode and were usually had no fragmentation. The few LP mode discs I made were also pretty much recorded all at once in order without any kind of editing. DewDude 05:23 29 October 2006 (UTC)

A Marketing Trend?[edit]

For some years, minidisk recorder/player models that were convenient for field or live recordings (mic ports, etc.) were sold by several major electronics dealers, but for some time now, only the models that are usable only for use with PCs have been available--and it seems even they're being replaced by ipods, mp3 players, etc. (Sony still makes one 'field-recordable' model, but it's becoming less easy to get without mail-orders.). Therefore, I tend to believe that 'the market' has come, or is coming, to look upon the minidisc format as one that tends to appeal to a limited number of hobbyists and enthusiasts: if they want it badly enough, they'll go out of their way to get it, but they needn't bother stopping by the local audio store. Of course, this speculation is based on limited personal observations and probably needs to be verified (or modified perhaps) by users with a wider scope of knowledge on the issue.

--JWMcCalvin 05:37, 13 May 2006 (UTC)JWMcCalvin

Comments moved from article[edit]

(Not sure exactly how Personal Experience/Recommendations fit in, so if someone knows a better way to edit this, please do... It might go well on the talk page, with a pointer from what I wrote above. I'll leave it to the experts...)

As a personal recommendation, PatrickSalsbury wanted to stress the importance of the writing of the TOC track, as the very last item of business in recording.

A recent mishap underscored this for me (the first time in 5 years of using my MD), and I hope others can learn from my experience, rather than get caught by it themselves.

I usually carry a spare AA battery in my MiniDisc arm-band/pouch, along with some headphones, and a pair of tiny microphones I tuck in my ears to make a Binaural_recording. I had been recording for about 30 minutes or so, and knew that the battery was getting low, but wasn't keeping a close eye on it. When I was finally finished, and went to stop it, it went into that "Data Save" / "TOC edit" sequence...and promptly died. (There's a burst of disc activity as it finishes up, and apparently that was too much for the battery.) It failed to write the TOC info, marking the beginning and end of the 30-minute track. Even though all the sound data was there, it was "invisible" to the MD when I put another battery in. All the old tracks were fine, and all that audio data was on there, but the indexing was missing for it.

In short, if it doesn't write that TOC track, you don't have your recording. So be sure you keep an eye on your power levels, and if in doubt, stop it and let it checkpoint. Better to lose 30 seconds of a recording while you stop & restart than to lose all 30 minutes of it!

Hope this is helpful to someone out there!

--PatrickSalsbury 05:23, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

I think that Patrick writing about his personal experience would count as WP:OR, and as such can't be in the article. However, if external articles can be referenced that document such incidents where recordings were lost when the TOC couldn't be written due to low battery levels, then this might get worked into the paragraph that talks about the TOC. -- Tomlouie | talk 21:18, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
In case this happens to anyone else, there is a method by which it may be possible to recover your recording. I should point out that it is not for the faint hearted, but if you have access to a suitable MD recorder, it can be possible to effect a recovery. Naturally, I offer no guarantee and it won't work in every case. You need a machine where it is possible to shut the power off before the TOC is written and where it possible to eject and insert a disc without that power. Finally it has to be a MD recorder that retains the TOC structure in memory without power (most do).
First insert a blank MD and record a full disc of silence. Once the recording has finished, but before the TOC is written back, turn off the power. Now hand eject the disc. Insert your recorded disc fully to the point where you turned off the power. Now restore power and eject the disc normally. The recorder should now write the stored TOC to the target disc.
What this should do is allow the disc to now playback, including (if you are lucky) the 'lost' recorded track - and a whole lot of silence at the end. There will, however, be no track marks or titles, which will have to manually restored. I B Wright 12:48, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Category: Failed media formats ?????[edit]

We have to have a more democratic or debated way to decide things like the presence on this article of Category: Failed media formats. I don't think you can call it a failure. Past it's peak, yes, but the millions of blanks sold hardly means it is as much of a failure as DCC or DAT. Even DAT was a success in professional markets. --LeedsKing 16:10, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Failed format? I went to a BBC open day and found out they use MD extensively. Totnesmartin 21:05, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Failed format? Maybe / Maybe not (See comment about BBC above)Outside of professional sound recording / Studio use, The format is all but forgotten. Needing software like Sonicstage(PC only) and Sony's own ATRAC audio format didn't help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:52, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

some people's idea of FM quality[edit]

I don't know about you, but in my area, FM radio transmits with a 15khz lowpass filter (i'm sure it used to be 19, but was lowered so that DAB wouldn't sound quite as horrid), and is effectively PCM ... well, ok, full analogue. No compression artefacts other than what the original recording had (as in... dynamic not data compression). Plus it's got fairly good stereo separation - not as good as CD, but with minimal crosstalk.

No. The upper frequency limit of FM analogue has always been 15 kHz. You may be getting confused with the stereo pilot tone which is 19 kHz. 08:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

48kbit is not "FM quality" - it's dull, and squelchy. 64kbit barely counts (it's got the frequency response, but is horrendously over-compressed). 66kbit is a bit better, but it's still like the radio's "tone" control has been turned a long way anti-clockwise; plus all three of the former use stereo multiplexing, i.e. "lossy" stereo. The formats that come closest are typical 112kbit mp3 (or 128k in some poorer encoders) - still with lossy stereo unless you enable separate tracks and take an individual channel quality hit - or, for ATRAC, 105kbit (with full, individual channel separation).

please, people, get your comparisons straight, or they risk losing all value. and don't put FM down so hard! It's still pretty much the highest quality radio standard at the moment (until people learn that fewer DAB channels with higher bitrates are better than a plethora of sub-niche ones at 96kbit.. in MP2..) and doesn't deserve to be compared to such crappy standards such as 48kbit ATRAC (or, for that matter, 64kbit MP3).

I came to this discussion page because of this statement about FM [radio] quality. Please REMOVE this sentence or restate that Sony "claims" a 48 kBit/s bitstream can achieve radio quality, or cite a respectable webpage that has carried out the apropriate listening test. Most aproximations of the quality delivered by radio are, well, unfounded – Microsoft ACM preset (22 kHz, 8-bit), 96 kBit/s Xing MP3 – to name a few. Neither a superior quality signal can be downconverted to these bitstream widths with similar quality to FM radio, nor a captured broadcast can be saved in 48 kBit/s. -- J7n 01:30, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Regardless of your rantings, DAB radio does sound vastly superior to FM analogue. It wouldn't sell if it didn't. Whether it sounds as good as it should sound is another matter. 08:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Analog or Analogue?[edit]

Perhaps I'm being pedantic, but the use of spelling should at least be consistent. I'll let someone else decide which is correct..

"with version 3.2 allowing users to upload their analog recordings an unlimited number times.

More recently in 2005, Sony announced the ability for their Hi-MD players to store and view photos; hence the name 'Hi-MD Photo'. This was perhaps to rival the iPod Photo, which was available just before its release.

A 1 GB Hi-MD disc can hold between 94 minutes (PCM) and 45 hours (48 kbit/s ATRAC3plus)* of music.

   * 48 kbit/s ATRAC3plus is equal to FM quality.

Prior to the release of Sonicstage 3.4 (Sony's music management program for the Minidisc format) only Hi-MD recordings from analogue sources could be"

Carl0s 17:57, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, I too noticed the stands out when reading the article, and after checking this talk page attempted to standardise to BE, reasons being:
  • The MD was most popular and sucessful in Japan and the UK
  • The first major contributor was Hungarian (which to me, Europe implies BE)
  • I'm English and thus I'm biased towards BE
If there is a major problem with this then feel free to change and comment here on why Jastein 18:47, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
With multiple editors from both sides of the pond, it is inevitable that contributors are unconsiously going to use the spellings with which they are familiar. Wikipedia requires that the English is consistent, but that is unlikely to happen. It does annoy me though that (obviously) American contributors will go through whole articles and change all the true English spellings into the American pseudo-English. The English contributors have the courtesy not to reciprocate.
Oh, and to answer the question: it's 'analogue'! 08:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)


I can imagine, that only the md-lovers do write and talk here, but hasn't anybody else noticed, that large parts of this article sound like official public relations announcements by sony?! the part about MDs benefits is outrageous long and positive and the part about the critical points sounds a lot like "but it's not that bad, is it?".

I'm not able to change this article myself, as I don't consider me to be such an insider to the md-universe. But I hope some of you might be able to lay down their heroic attitude about the md and change the tone of this article. That could prevent the impression, that a sony-staff-member wrote most of it.

I hope this doesn't offend anybody.

best regards, joe thanks. 01:22, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't find this as an advertisement at all. I mean, if you're going to talk about a format and it's history, and that format was invented and driven by one company, then it's going to sound like a press release, sure. But the article has criticism and I believe it has a fairly NPOV. I learned a lot from it :) dbs 19:57, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Portability of recording formats?[edit]

There is a claim on this page that the various formats (HI-LP, HI-SP, and Linear PCM) are free of restriction in transport, meaning a recording done in Hi-LP on a Hi-MD unit is easily transferred to a PC or Mac.

However, according to this page, the Hi-LP and Hi-SP formats cannot be transferred over USB to a host machine, only the Linear PCM can. Can this be clarified? As someone about to invest in a new recorder, this is important to me :) dbs 20:01, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The link you quote is correct and so is the article. How can this be? Because the link refers specifically to the Apple Mac, to which you cannot transfer the audio from a Hi-MD (apparently due to limitations deliberately built into the operating system by Apple). But if you buy a real PC, the audio can be transferred. 08:28, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Only if you use Sonic Stage V3.4 or later - and then only in conjunction with the MZ-RH1 Hi-MD recorder. (talk) 15:40, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

More bitrates[edit]

There are more bitrates than listed in the table. 192kbps and 352kbps ATRAC3plus are not mentioned for example. See this website: click.


I feel like the Hi-MD section is dominating the article. Perhaps it should be made into its own article? --ozzmosis 05:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. {{splitsection}} added. —Down10 TACO 23:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
If anything, I think it belongs here, but also as a separate listing. There is too much common ground to separate it and enough different that it requires its own (more basic) listing, linking to more detailed information on the format under MiniDisc. Broooce 23:52, 4 May 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be split to its own article.-- 22:53, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

As someone who used the Sony mini-disk about 4-5 years ago to do interviews for my dissertation, this article has been very helpful in bringing me up to speed on later developments. I would not have known about Hi-MD had the information not been integrated into the mini-disk article. If you must split the entries, please at least provide links that encourage the reader to explore further.Cbwebber 15:14, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Well yes, that's standard practice. Split should be done ASAP, the Hi-MD sections is more than half of the entire article, certainly enough to warrant a split. vlad§inger tlk 18:49, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Hi-MD is the current MiniDisc. The back of my recorders still say "MiniDisc recorder" despite them being Hi-MD. The discs themselves are exactly alike in physical dimensions. The recorders use standard MiniDiscs too. How is Hi-MD not MiniDisc? How does it matter that the only relevant present and future of MiniDisc - Hi-MD - takes up half the article (much of which applies to standard MiniDisc and earlier enhancements)? I fail to see how chopping the section off can help, unless it's, as I say, a more basic listing under the listing of Hi-MD linking to this article. Hi-MD is MiniDisc, just like NetMD is, except relevant and current, not some foreign, unrelated format enhancement. Being current, it deserves the most detail.Broooce 23:31, 11 July 2007 (UTC)


Removed from article:

Defragmentation would require either two discs, or enough RAM to store the full contents of a MiniDisc, and computing power to rearrange the fragments so that each song is stored on the disc in one fragment only.

Why: not correct. To defrag it is not necessary to read a whole disc at once then write it all in one go. Windows has been defragging for many years with far less RAM than hdd capacity.

Computing power is no greater than needed to read or write to the disc.

Presumably the reason for no defrag is that a) the software would cost money b) the buffer makes it unnecessary c) its a commercial product Tabby 01:43, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


Why no mention of the MiniDisc’s decline in popularity and eventual abandonment in recent years? — NRen2k5 18:03, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, the decline has only been in the consumer sphere. As other contributors have mentioned, MiniDiscs are widely used by journalist and media corporations for interviews. The BBC in Britain and the ABC in Australia make extensive use of them; these are both very large corporations. One uncited reference in the article says that MDs disappeared from shops abruptly in the late 1990s - in my personal experience they were still being sold in mainstream music stores in December 2000 (to be fair, this was a Sydney Airport, which has a large number of foreign visitors, particularly Japanese tourists. Though when I lived in Japan in 2003, they had certainly disappeared even from second-hand shops). (talk) 19:53, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect information - 80 Minutes original spec on disk[edit]

I know for a fact that the minidisc when it first came out in the early 1990's it was designed for 60 minutes on a disk then it was changed to 74 minutes and then to 80 minutes. I don't have a source to cite it but I do have a 60 minute player, it only takes 60 minute disks because that was all that was available back then, from the early 1990s, I think 1994 and a 74 minute player which will play and record 60 and 74 minute disks, for the same reason, from the late 1990s, I believe 1998 so I don't know who wrote the 80 minute part but they are dead wrong! I have the devices to prove this! The table at the bottom needs to be updated as well to include this! I don't have any sources to cite it.

Thank You —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wildman6801 (talkcontribs) 01:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

The MZ1 plays 74 and 80 minute discs without problem. Although 74 minute discs were not available when the MZ-1 first came out, this was down to manufacturing problems with producing 74 minute discs. The 60 minute discs had a lower bit rate per revolution than the 74. It was always the intention that the standard minidisc size would be 74 minute to match the official Compact Disc playing time.
As the manufacturing process improved, both 60 minute and the 74 minute discs became available. As the yield of 74 minute improved, the 60 minute was dropped. Eventually, the manufacturing process became able to produce the 80 minute discs. (talk) 15:36, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Limitations placed by Sony on Minidisc as a recording format[edit]

Minidisc had the potential to change the world in many ways and didn't. It arrived on the scene as a magneto optical storage medium long before iomegas 'ZIP' disc with a higher capacity, lower profile and much lower price tag per disc.

The devices themselves were designed as a recording format as much as a portable player. Players subsequent to the MZ-1 had the digital optical out removed and Net-MD players were completely unable to transfer recordings outside of the disc.

A petition with over 2000 signatures asking for this to be changed along with a proposal of how this could be achieved was sent to the heads of Sony in May 2002 and a reply was sent in September that year declining to make such changes in the near term.

I would also mention that some of these concerns were addressed with Hi-MD, albeit with the adverse and somewhat strange side effect of deleting originals once transfer was complete.

I think these and other restrictions, in the context of the times, represent significant reasons such a fundamentally good format failed to achieve wider adoption. Although I have only skimmed the article as yet, I do not see any mention of them.

If no one out there wishes to write a section on this I may come back and do so later.

I'm new at this so feel free to edit My statement. This statement is false and should be removed or edited. "Stationary MiniDisc-player/recorders never got into the lower price ranges, and most consumers had to hook the portable player to the hi-fi in order to record. This inconvenience contrasted the earlier common use of cassette player/recorders as a more or less standard part of an ordinary hi-fi set-up, even before the break-through of portable cassette tape players." I owned a MiniDisc player and recorder, the media cost more than CDs but in CA they were reasonably priced. I think the player / recorder retailed less that $200 CAD and the Media was approx $16 for a two pack. The MiniDiscs also were incredibly usefull because they could be re-writen and that point CD-RW was uncommon. To that point CD-RW are still pricey because of low demand. Perhaps the author should make statements saying CD-RW was a fail media also? What killed Minidisc for me was the growing size of medialess portable "MP3 players" at about the point where they passed 256Mb. NRM Keith — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:58, 16 February 2012 (UTC) Please comment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 11 October 2009 (UTC)