The most recent MD players and recorders can also use a new format, usually referred to as MDLP or MDLP 4. Basically, it encodes the sound more efficiently, so that (without losing quality) you get 4x the play time per MD. So an 80 minute MD gives 320 minutes of play time. That's five hours and twenty minutes on one disc. I currently have six blank 74 minute discs and two blank 80s, which, using MDLP, gives me a total of 2,416 minutes of recordable time, in perfect quality (barring degradation from my recording setup, which should be minimal since it's optical). That's 40 hours and 16 minutes, using only eight tiny discs.

I think I'm in love.

Currently (2000/01/10), there are only two portable MD recorders which support MDLP 4, afaik, both of which are Japanese imports (i.e. no North American versions yet, but they can be obtained easily from online vendors):

Hopefully, this node will soon evolve to detail most MD equipment that supports playing/recording MDLP 4.