Any love for MiniDisc?

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neekomax

Any love for MiniDisc?
« on: 11 Mar 2018, 04:15 am »
So, I had a Sharp minidisc portable recorder/player (I forget which one) for a few years around the year 2000, as did all my musician friends at the time. This was in Switzerland, so it's a given that a) musicians bought stuff like that more than most, and b) this was just before the iPod and Mp3 took over, so MD was the best thing going. (In certain ways, it remained better until much more recently), and c) Switzerland, being in Europe, was a place where Minidisc tech was embracd much more readily than it seems to have been in the States (where I'm from, and now reside), and plus, Swiss folks have a bit more dough, on average, than people from most other places. I (we) used it to grab albums (vinyl, CD, etc), record musical ideas with the help of little stereo condenser mics that often plugged right into them, and record gigs and rehearsals.

I have fond memories of my time with the format: Amazing rehearsal performances I can recall having recorded to good effect, grabbing a high quality of a vinyl copy of Tom Waits' "Nighthawks at the Diner" and enjoying it immensely, and just the ease, great sound quality, and portable fun of this mostly forgotten medium.

So...

neekomax

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #1 on: 11 Mar 2018, 04:27 am »
Recently, it dawned on me that maybe it was time to revisit the MiniDisc as a format.

My 10 year old stepson, a light of my life, shares my love of music in his own way; he's starting to rock the guitar (a Les Paul pee wee mini electric for now), loves Pearl Jam, Journey, Vulfpeck etc... and yet he's restricted to the home hifi for listening. We're old school, and there's no way he's getting a smartphone right now. So I started to think: MiniDisc could be perfect for him! We could make mixes, or dubs of albums he likes, to MD and he could have a little MD portable (by far the most ubiquitous MD hardware available) to rock out with whenever he likes!

SO... the chase was on. First thing I ended up getting, just last week, is this crazy thing: The JVC XU-301 MD-CD COMBINATION DECK!

« Last Edit: 11 Mar 2018, 07:42 am by neekomax »

richidoo

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #2 on: 13 Mar 2018, 07:08 pm »
I thought about trying minidisc in lieu of a CD changer in my car. But then digital portables came along so I went that way. So I've never even heard a minidisc play.  :duh:

JohnR

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #3 on: 14 Mar 2018, 08:56 am »
Me either, they never took off here (except for the later version that was used in camcorders).

Interesting adventure!  :thumb:

neekomax

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #4 on: 14 Mar 2018, 04:50 pm »
Well, I finally got some new MiniDiscs from eBay, and tested the MD side of the JVC XU-301. No dice. Seems to not be able to read discs.

The Ebay seller has agreed to refund me, so back it goes. Might have to spend a bit more and go the separates route for this experiment.

 

dB Cooper

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #5 on: 14 Mar 2018, 06:39 pm »
How much money/effort do you want to put into an obsolete format where hardware support will be nonexistent and media availability almost so? There are reasons MiniDisc tanked in the marketplace, Things have only gotten worse since Sony took the format off life support.

neekomax

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #6 on: 14 Mar 2018, 08:46 pm »
How much money/effort do you want to put into an obsolete format where hardware support will be nonexistent and media availability almost so? There are reasons MiniDisc tanked in the marketplace, Things have only gotten worse since Sony took the format off life support.

As far as I know, the main reason for the death of MD was the advent of MP3, which is more convenient for sure. It is not necessarily a higher quality audio format.

One thing I like about MD is the fun factor of recording audio, as opposed to transferring files. Kind of how a lot people enjoy the 'hassle' of vinyl (setup, flipping records, etc.). We'll be able to record from Spotify, CDs, even grab the audio from an obscure live YouTube video if we want.

So I don't think it's gonna be a big debacle, although I do have a sort of budget that I'll be sticking to.

neekomax

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #7 on: 14 Mar 2018, 08:51 pm »
Also, just bought a different (better) deck that's been tested properly it seems. It had 60 minidiscs included (with mostly jazz on them) so I think we'll be ok for media for the foreseeable.

Will give details a bit later.

richidoo

Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #8 on: 14 Mar 2018, 10:52 pm »
Some interesting tidbits of MD info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiniDisc

First gen MD players played only compressed audio files, but usually higher resolution than napster 96kbps was possible.
Later Hi-MD players could record & play 44.1kHz sample rate to compete with CD.

Cool that you're gonna check it out! I look forward to reading about what you learn.

Odal3

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Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #9 on: 14 Mar 2018, 11:27 pm »
I used to have one and I really liked it at the time for the portability and better quality at the time than compared to crappy mp3s. Don't remember the exact product number but it kind of looked like http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MZ-R70.html

Btw that looked like a really comprehensive site listing a lot of different equipment. I also came accross this history of the minidisc when looking. https://medium.com/people-gadgets/the-gadget-we-miss-the-sony-minidisc-a8b1379b2f1

Probably wouldn't use one myself any longer but it brings back a lot of fun memories.

Doesn't matter really what you use -the important part is spending time with your kids and as long as he enjoys it, it is all what matters.

dynaflo

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Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #10 on: 15 Mar 2018, 12:43 am »
I still have and still use two Sony MD decks.  A MDS-JB930 and a MXD-D3.  I have north of 100 discs of stuff I really enjoy listening to.  I got into MD heavy in the 90's and thought it was so much better than the other options.  I was amazed it did not catch on in the US.  It was huge in Japan and Europe.  I also have a small portable that was so much better than a Disc Man. 

rif

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Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #11 on: 15 Mar 2018, 12:59 am »
Love? Maybe
Nostalgia?  Definitely

I had a Sony portable and I used a remote off of a higher end model.  It even used a regular AAA battery!

But no love for marking where songs started and ended and trying to name them.

dynaflo

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Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #12 on: 15 Mar 2018, 01:10 am »
With a deck marking and everything else was very simple.  You could plug in a keyboard and do it all. If your unit did not have a keyboard connection then yes, it did take a while to mark and name tracks etc. Lots of flexibility on what you could do.

Saturn94

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Re: Any love for MiniDisc?
« Reply #13 on: 15 Mar 2018, 02:10 am »
We still have a Sony MD deck, MDS JE510, and still use it.  Much of our MD collection consists of recordings from vinyl. :)