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Author name (Administrator) #1
Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Rediscovering MiniDisc
Back when CD and Cassette were king, two competing formats came out that tried to compete for our dollars: Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) and MiniDisc (MD).  DCC had players that would play your old tapes as well as the new digital media, but I predicted MD would win 'cause it had instant access, and no tapes to rewind or jam.  And I was right, sort of: MiniDisc's win over DCC was not a real win over anything else, because Sony are fucking retards, and they saddled the system with a ludicrous anti-copying mechanism that meant your MDs were basically one-way media.  Whatever you recorded onto an MD digitally could not be perfectly copied, so every copy would be slightly suckier than the last.

[Image: /grafx/throwaway/MD.jpg]

It was still awesome though, as a playback unit before MP3 players made everything obsolete.  Small, protected, re-recordable discs with CD-length capacity (74 or 80 minute discs were the norm).  You could bung a stack of 'em into the car and not worry about scratches.  They'd get 8+ hours on a single AA battery, and had huge 'shock buffers' (remember those?) to allow uninterrupted playback while you jogged or rally-drove your way to work.

In any case, I was an MD fan.  I bought a player in Japan that was really great, and I loved the shit out of it for years and years.  Then I replaced it when it started to die, with another MD player, this time with a removable extra battery pack, and a large docking station for more convenient edits, digital in/out ports, etc.

But then I bought my 20GB Rio Karma MP3 player, and the idea of putting every single song I owned (plus a bunch I didn't) onto one instant-access player with drag/drop copying, smaller size and weight, and lower cost...  Well, that was the end of my MD love affair.

The other day I pulled the MD player out of storage, along with a dozen old MDs, and enjoyed a trip down memory lane with mix discs I  had created many years earlier.  It was good fun, and I re-discovered some songs I'd forgotten about.  I even threw the player in the car and enjoyed the beautiful sound of old Bz and Toten Hosen...  Right up until I had to change a disc while driving.  That brought home, in a crashing hurry, the reason we make advancements and leave the old things behind.

They were great, but they're not great anymore.

RIP MiniDisk. :heart:
Author name #2
Member since Jan 2009 · 4 posts · Location: New Cumberland, PA USA
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I'm a big MD fan and even continue to use the format day in and day out, heh.

I was looking into digital recording back in 1998 and during a trip to Japan that summer to visit my brother I saw MiniDisc was pretty popular over there at the time. As soon as I got back to the States I bought a recorder and head unit for my car. Started making my own play lists on 'em and away I went. I even dubbed some SEGA Saturn tunes onto 'em from like Daytona U.S.A. It's the best when traveling fast down the highway :cool: When I started going to Penn State Harrisburg that fall both its radio station and multi-media lab were fully vested in the format as well.

Anywho, years later when I met the woman who would later become my wife, she too used MD. Her stuff was all the latest MDLP standard though, and all mine were original MD. I could play my MDs in her stuff but not the other way around. Wanted to get into Hi-MD but then the kids started to arrive and, well... .

The car head unit still works by the way. Coming up on 11 years. I listend to Duran Duran on the ride to work this morning :-)
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