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Opinions on mini-disc format

Old 10-01-01, 11:34 AM
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Opinions on mini-disc format

My son is asking me for a mini-disc player.

From what I have seen the players are expensive, this is a Sony only format and it requires you to make your own discs. With Napster gone, are these things worth it? Is it the next betamax?
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Old 10-01-01, 11:45 AM
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The only reason MD hasn't caught on bigger in America (it's very popular in Europe and Asia and pretty much everywhere else) is because generally Americans are lazy or uninterested in RECORDING music.

It's a great and highly underrated format. I've been using it for over a year and wouldn't choose anything else, although it isn't MEANT to be a replacement for CD it is the ideal companion. The portable recorders are awesome (even better models are now on the horizon) and there are a variety of prices and manufacturers, not just Sony, although they did invent the format.

NO WAY is this going the route of Betamax. It's used by professional radio and by millions of people worldwide and an increasing number in this country. Among other things (it's the "Swiss Army Knife" of recordable formats) it's an inexpensive and ideal way to transfer and listen to MP3s (if you don't want to lug around tons of easily scratched CDs and bulkier, less-advanced portable equipment). An MD recorder is objectively superior to any portable CD player or solid-state MP3 player. I hope to get an in-dash one installed for my next car.

These are the sites which can answer all your questions and give you a good introduction:

www.minidisc.org

www.t-station.net

www.minidiscussion.com
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Old 10-01-01, 01:02 PM
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For me mini-disc is dead as fried chicken. I used it for about 3 years and I loved it. Now that I can put 170 MP3s on a single CDr and still have good quality, I have no need for mini-disk.
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Old 10-01-01, 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by palebluedot
For me mini-disc is dead as fried chicken. I used it for about 3 years and I loved it. Now that I can put 170 MP3s on a single CDr and still have good quality, I have no need for mini-disk.
Here we go. (this is more for the thread-starters benefit.)

Yup, a CDR with 170 MP3s is nice. I've made them myself.

Until you scratch the disk (MDs are virtually indestructible). Or it rots in a few short years. Or you want to change the contents--oops, you can't. On an MD, you can re-record almost endlessly with no quality loss. Delete tracks you don't like, switch their order temporarily OR PERMANENTLY if you choose. All this on something smaller than a floppy. Now with MDLP you even get twice the running time (up to 160 mins.) at virtual CD-quality.

And can a portable CD/MP3 player record from a mic, be virtually unskippable and unshockable, or record from any source you choose as long as you've got the right cables?

The latest top-of-line MD players and recorders have battery life approaching or exceeding ONE FULL DAY on one charge.

As much as I like MP3s and CDRs they still cannot beat MD in the broadest number of applications and uses. But, different gadgets for different purposes, I agree. Not everyone is MD-suited, but I certainly am. I couldn't go without one. CD burners and CDs are there in any case, but they don't make MD useless IMO.
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Old 10-01-01, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for the input, did not mean to start a controversy.

My son is 14 and has an attention span shorter than my dog.

Not sure how necessary long term storage is. His friends have them and I have tried to convince him to burn cd's on the pc for his portable cd player. Not cool enough because he thinks that something that does not skip and holds 4 times as much is "better". Also with Napster gone and a dial up conection at my home, where will all the material come from to make these discs?

Thanks!
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Old 10-01-01, 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by Brian Shannon
Also with Napster gone and a dial up conection at my home, where will all the material come from to make these discs?

Thanks!
Well, there are so many alternative places to get MP3s now it's mindboggling. "Napster" was synonymous with it but those who want to keep doing it have their ways

MDs, as I said, can record from ANY source if you simply have the cables and the minimal knowledge. Vinyl & cassette archiving, CD, computer, live recording, TV & VCR audio...the sites I pointed out have literally hundreds of possible uses for the format. It's so great that only Sony's mishandling of marketing can truly be blamed for the relative obscurity of it among the buying public here, but sales figures show that it actually OUTSOLD portable solidstate MP3 players last year, so some people ARE catching on.
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Old 10-01-01, 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Jepthah


Here we go. (this is more for the thread-starters benefit.)

Yup, a CDR with 170 MP3s is nice. I've made them myself.

Until you scratch the disk (MDs are virtually indestructible). Or it rots in a few short years. Or you want to change the contents--oops, you can't. On an MD, you can re-record almost endlessly with no quality loss. Delete tracks you don't like, switch their order temporarily OR PERMANENTLY if you choose. All this on something smaller than a floppy. Now with MDLP you even get twice the running time (up to 160 mins.) at virtual CD-quality.

And can a portable CD/MP3 player record from a mic, be virtually unskippable and unshockable, or record from any source you choose as long as you've got the right cables?

The latest top-of-line MD players and recorders have battery life approaching or exceeding ONE FULL DAY on one charge.

As much as I like MP3s and CDRs they still cannot beat MD in the broadest number of applications and uses. But, different gadgets for different purposes, I agree. Not everyone is MD-suited, but I certainly am. I couldn't go without one. CD burners and CDs are there in any case, but they don't make MD useless IMO.
Jeez, do you work for Sony or something. Like I said I liked the MD format but now that MP3s came around it no longer serves my purpose.
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Old 10-01-01, 02:48 PM
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I don't record music very much. I usually just buy albums, and if I only like a song or two off an album, I'll just get the MP3. That said, I would like to have a CD burner in the future, but have no interest in mini-disc. If I burn a cd, I can listen to it in my home theater stereo, the boom box in my bedroom, either of our computers, both of our cars, in my disc man, in my dreamcast, and so on. If I buy a mini disc recorder, the only thing I could listen to it in is the recorder itself, unless of course I buy other mini disc players. CD burners are just much more cost effective for people that already have several cd players.
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Old 10-01-01, 03:07 PM
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Not a Sony employee and don't get $$$ for referrals either. I just am a big advocate of them and am hardly alone.

I use my MD recorder walkman not only while walking to and from work, but also on my home stereo (it sounds as good as any CD and records, obviously) and in my car through an adapter. I'd prefer a nifty in-dash MD and CD/MP3 setup, though (see, I'm not against CD/MP3 technology ). So it has been totally good for me. MDs for the car and for portables make much more sense in my view because they're tougher, more compact and more adaptable.
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Old 10-01-01, 03:45 PM
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Re: Opinions on mini-disc format

Originally posted by Brian Shannon From what I have seen the players are expensive, this is a Sony only format and it requires you to make your own discs.
My portable player is a Panasonic and the player/recording deck that sits with the rest of my hifi is a Pioneer MJD707.

That said, I think I must be like the Americans Jepthah mentions because I haven't got it together to make any of the compilations which were the main reason I bought the two units!

You can buy pre-recorded but I guess they don't sell well enough for economies of scale to kick in: in the UK pre-recorded MDs almost never seem to be discounted whereas CDs are.
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Old 10-01-01, 03:50 PM
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I have never found a really justifiable reason for the mini-disc format.

Sony has been trying to hock the MD format for over 10 years now and has never been very successfull in America.

Is it because Americans are lazy as someone else suggested? Hell, No! And yes, we Americans are lazy but that isn't the topic of this thread.

For me, the big reason I never got into MD was the expense. Sure it is cool to record my own CDs but I can do that with CD-Rs. With mini-discs I have to buy a recorder. Shell out some money... now what? Okay, to take those babies out on my morning run I need a walk-man. Chaching! Well wait now, what about my car? That is where I listen to most of my music. Well, time to get rid of that nice Alpine system I blew my load on and upgrade to a proprietary mini-disc car stereo. Okay, by now my credit cards are so hot I can't even put'em in my wallet. Now I get to work and what to listen there. Well, my work computer doesn't have a mini-disc player.... what to do, what to do... oh, I know, I can use the expensive walk-man I bought... oh wait, I dropped that like a hot potatoe once I got my car stereo so its back at home. Oh well.

My point is that mini-disc and any new (and I use that term loosely) results in great expense of its users. Today I can burn a CD at home using industry standard CD-R media and I can play it at home in my PC, in my Home Theater through the CD Player or any DVD Player in my house and I can go about town listening to this sweet new CD in my walk-man, my car stereo and when I get to work I can play it on my computer there. And if I am so inclined, I can even let my best bud borrow it as well.

Can I say that about MD? No, I don't think so.

Hey, what's that yer listening to? Can I borrow that? Sure, but you need a special proprietary MD player. Oh, no thanks.

Save yourself some time and expense and use CD-Rs and enjoy the life span of many, many standardized players already available at very reasonable prices.

If your son wants a mini-disc player, buy him one but be prepared to see it sit and collect dust once the novelty wears off and Sony decides to shelf it for another 10 years.
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Old 10-01-01, 04:22 PM
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I've had a mini-disc player for a while(about 8 years now), and I love it! Not only can you record live, which I've done for a number of concerts(wind symphony concerts I've performed in and the like) and interviews, but now, the price has come down, and you can even put mp3's on them.

I've found them generally more skip resistant than their cd counterparts, even though I could never bring myself to buy a cd player worth more than 60 bucks.

I've found them smaller and a little more indestructible than cd's, and the media is even coming down in price. I really like my player, and honestly use it quite a bit. I also can take them in the car, on the bike, to the office, and the whole package takes up way less space than carting around a bunch of cds and the cd player.

Honestly, I think that if your son is a technophile, he'll like this, and so long as he has a recorder(the bundle with the recorder and the portable player or something), it will be a fun thing for him. You can probably find cheep md players on ebay, so maybe that's the way to go until you really determine his interest level.

robyn
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Old 10-01-01, 04:29 PM
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BadAsh's argument isn't totally there, I think.

First and foremost, if my previous posts didn't make this clear, MD wasn't meant as a CD replacement. More like the replacement for cassette--if cassette were, oh, about 7 orders of magnitude better.

Anyway, if you get a portable MD recorder, there's then NO NEED to have a separate standalone deck for the home since it records the same way and sounds as good, (although they are nice and may have a few nifty but relatively minor advantages) or the car. You just pipe the MD through the car stereo if you so choose.

I couldn't care less how 'popular' the format is since it serves my music needs so perfectly. CD-R/W is great too, but it's far from ideal for everything.
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Old 10-01-01, 09:15 PM
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[list=a][*]Two Words: 180 second anti skip protection. No Mp3 player I know of does that[*]Newer models can hold as much as 320 minutes of stereo sound on 1 disk[*]smaller. Fit's in pockets easy. [*]Awesome for live recording. I have plugged directly into the sound board before using optical cables many times for digital quality bootlegs[*]Editing features are nice. My mixes tend to evolve over time. Track will be deleted once I get tired of it, and track list will be rearranged.[*]Great in the car. A MD reciever can fit in your glove box![*]negative: Media is more expensive, about $2 a disk. However it is reusable and virtually indestructable[/list=a]
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Old 10-02-01, 04:56 PM
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napster is bigger than ever with the right servers

Originally posted by Jepthah


Well, there are so many alternative places to get MP3s now it's mindboggling. "Napster" was synonymous with it but those who want to keep doing it have their ways

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Old 10-02-01, 06:29 PM
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Expensive and worthless, IMO. It's only for recording and I don't record.
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Old 10-02-01, 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by evenflowddt
Expensive and worthless, IMO. It's only for recording and I don't record.
I would disagree with that..

MD players and MD blanks are by no means as exotic, scarce or expensive as they once were.

However, I would partially agree on the "only for recording" thing - I've got a collection of over 150 MD, and only one of those is a pre-recorded disc. However, the skill level involved in recording to MD is lower even that than required to burn cds full of MP3s.

(also, its not exactly a "Sony only" format.. I've got three MD recorders/players of different sorts, one of which is a Sony, but the others are from Sharp and Teac)

The "next betamax" of audio formats was Philips ill-fated DCC (digital compact casette) format.

(IMHO of course)

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Old 10-03-01, 12:14 AM
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FWIW, I purchased my first MD recorder, a Sharp MD-M11 (http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sharp_MD-M11.html) in mid 1994

(thus I would consider myself to be something of a dyed-in-the-wool MD supporter

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Old 10-03-01, 12:48 PM
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I've been using MD for several years and I love it.

I just hate having to use a computer as "middle man" for recording.

I use it all the time when I go biking and workout at the gym.

It's a lot smaller and not as bulky as a cd player.

The only downside I've found is when recording. It's similar to recording on a cassette. The song has to actually play while recording.
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Old 10-05-01, 01:30 PM
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The 'realtime' recording problem is soon to be a thing of the past with NetMD:

http://www.sony.co.jp/en/SonyInfo/Ne...00106/01-037E/

The acid test will be how Sony implements the NetMD/OpenMG software. If they do it similarly to their lame Memory Stick Walkmans (Walkmen?) it may not be that great. But it does allow for 2x-30x PC-->MD transfers. That may include ripping from CD into ATRAC. And the capability to title and edit from the PC is something that 3rd parties have been innovating around for a while now, but this is the first 'official' implementation and might be really nice.
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