I know this isn’t going to be news to anyone but just wanted to put this out there. Having grown up with lps and cassettes, by the time DCC, DAT and MD came out I was done with portable formats and carried on with CD at home and cassette in the car until CDR and solid state memory became a thing. Only recently have I had the spare cash and technical know how in the repair department to experience MD and DCC for the first time and I have to say DCC knocks MD into a cocked hat for sound quality. I can’t really tell the difference between CD and DCC but MD just sounds very compressed dynamically. There is one thing about MD that is satisfying however and that’s a feeling of robustness - its weird but while listening to DCC I’m always on edge waiting for it to fall off the knife’s edge and fail. Maybe its because I have had to mend both my DCC decks and know how complex and bonkers the design is and how vulnerable.
Anyway thats my two cents worth!
DCC is more robust than you think.
My recorder is almost 30 years old and it works like a charm. (OK, it was repaired by the DCC museum)
I’m not sure I will be able to say the same thing about modern devices like modem, smartphone or connected radios.
About my MD recorder (a good old Sony MZ-R 30), I’m still able to play my discs, but recording doesn’t work anymore. Plus, it corrupts the disk if you try to do it. And some of my pre-recorded MD’s has drop-out even if I stored them carefully…
My pre-recorded DCC tapes work like they were new. Few of them has drop-out that disappeared after few playing.
Don’t know about DAT, I never used this media, I hope one day.
 I forgot to add that the great advantage of the MD was its editing capability though I always preferred DCC.
all the formats have their pros and cons. i use all 5 – DAT, LP, DCC, MD, Cassette. My favorite is MD. i bought 2 MZ-1s when they were first released in the 90s and they both still play and record. I use them all the time. for the music I listen to on the MD, the sound is just fine to me. DCC is my love too. ive had several dcc 900 machines over the years and bought the first one when they launched. i had so many because the caps would leak, rendering them useless. my MD never failed me all these years – i even found a guy who makes lithium battery packs for the MD and there is also a modification to use the 18650 batteries in them as well. im grateful for dcc museum ( i bought my current NOS dcc 900 from ralf a couple years ago and it was soo coooooollll to open it up and experience that feeling again).