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Mini Disc - Is it dead? Where to Transfer to and How?


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Old 03-04-2007, 12:35
doverrog
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Most discussions seem to be about video technologies, but let's not overlook the changes in Audio systems.
I went into Mini Disc believing it was the way forward. Sadly, although they are brilliant and better than recordable cd, they have been overtaken by the move into solid-state MP3 type technology.
This leaves the problem of where to go with the recordings currently stored on Mini Disc.
Are there any easy ways of transferring from Mini Disc onto recordable cd, Hard Drive or solid state/MP3 media?
I've been looking at possibly connecting my Mini Disc player/recorder to my computer but the Mini Disc unit only has a two channel analogue output. I wondered about transferring to DVD by using my DVD Recorder, but will DVDs work in CD players such as the car?
Can I transfer via the analogue output onto an MP3 player?
Has anyone else been in the situation?
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:50
mikw
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Yep, it's a shame about the demise of mini-disc, it's a brilliant format. Tough, rugged, reusable. It's still being used in some local radio stations - mainly BBC - but it's gradually being replaced by hard disc/flash recorders and the like.

Virtually dead in the home market though, which is a real shame because it was a great format.
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:53
chrisjr
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Simple.

Connect the LINE OUT of your MD player to the LINE IN on your PC's soundcard. Then use something like Audacity to record and edit up the tracks. Audacity has an optional mp3 converter plug in that will allow you to save the finished songs in mp3 format ready to download onto a solid state player. Or an mp3 CD if your car CD player has the ability to read them.

Alternatively you could save the files in uncompressed WAV format (hard disk space allowing - 10MB per minute required) and burn the songs to an audio CD.

It is highly unlikely that a car CD player will read a DVD.
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Old 03-04-2007, 13:13
The Severn Bore
 
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A damn shame that the Mini Disc format did not catch on.

I haven't seen any Mini Disc equipment in the shops for a long time now.Yet cassette tape equipment (the format that Mini Disc was supposed to replace) is still available!
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Old 03-04-2007, 13:22
sleepercat
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I use Minidisc to record from the radio: concerts/plays that will probably not be released on CD. Also used it to archive older recordings made on cassette before I got my MD.

There are a few MD decks still available out there and plenty of blank discs as well.

Would they still be producing blank MD's for a while? I mean you can still buy blank tapes.
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Old 03-04-2007, 20:25
welshyyyyy
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sony invented mini disc then killed it themselves with their horrendous sonicstage software and zero advertising and lack of support ( until recently when it was too late ) for mp3
sony boffins invent so much great hardware then the software and the suit guys come along and screw it all up
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Old 03-04-2007, 20:43
nightflyer
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indeed, thanks to Sony's worries regarding copy protection the machines were hugely limited software wise - when i first bought one i couldn't believe i couldn't upload my OWN music to the computer digitally after a concert! Nowadays you can upload your own stuff (recorded in hi-md) from the hi-md models, plus I believe with the very latest model you can upload from all your old mds digitally too(but at a price).
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Old 03-04-2007, 22:32
Orbitalzone
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What bugs me is that Minidisc came out in the early 1990's (in the UK from 1993ish) - copy protection worries and dodgy Sonic stage software came much later - now it was expensive at the time but cheaper than the slightly superior DAT and comaparbable in cost to the nasty DCC ( Philips Digital Compact Cassette) - recordable CD's weren't about then and this was before Windows 95 and computers in everyone's houses.....

Sony didn't market MD very well and failed to push it, they really missed a golden opportunity I think with the PC... they could so easily have sold it as a super floppy disc...and an audio MD all in one.....in fact they did offer MD data discs I believe but too late and too expensive... imagine if every decent PC had a MD data/audio drive in it... we'd probably all have had them.

Anyhow.... they're still a very rugged format and I think maybe more rugged and durable than CDR's or DVDr's but the format I'd consider to back up to is either hard drives (but don't rely on just one for long term backup) and / or also DVD Ram discs which are also very durable.

MD History
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Old 03-04-2007, 22:55
GoodBuddy
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Ahhhh I used to love my minidisc.I have loads of stuff I need to transfer but never seem to have the time. I remember having Sony Jukebox which was transfer software but it was a bum to use. Damm shame it never caught on. I even had one of the few car radios which had a built in md player..........until some bas&^%d nicked it from my car
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Old 03-04-2007, 23:20
Cornucopia
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I used to be a big MD fan. Now completely hooked on MP3. (A 4GB Chinese "ipod" - 38, can't say fairer than that!)

I do still have a MD hi-fi in the bedroom, that I use for time-shifting Radio 4 (mainly comedy programs). Although, if R4 ever start publishing their stuff as MP3 (rather than streaming), I think it's days are numbered.

Oh, and I definaetly recommend Audacity. For something that's free it really is very good, and easy to use. I've actually copied stuff from MD to MP3 using this method, without any hassle.

Last edited by Cornucopia : 03-04-2007 at 23:22.
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Old 04-04-2007, 20:12
JimRockford
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Originally Posted by welshyyyyy
sony invented mini disc then killed it themselves with their horrendous sonicstage software

Minidisc was around a loooong time before the internet.
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Old 04-04-2007, 20:24
chitarivera
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Many Club/pub Acts still use Mini disc for their Backing Tracks because of it's versatility.
Therefore the players are still made by companies who specialise in Pro audio. Such as Tascam. They are more expensive than the domestic players because they are designed for gigging/travelling rather than remaining in situ at home.
Blank discs are still available in shops who sell Karaoke discs, audio cables for PA systems, stage lighting, PA systems etc.
[and on Amazon.]

I still use it.
I love the sound quality and I transfer stuff from my CD's to a blank minidisc to make my own compilation albums. Then whe I tire I just delete the track I'm bored with and record over it.

Fabulous medium and I'm furious that it isn't more popular.
It's like blimmin Betamax video all over again.
The better product doesn't sell.
What's wrong with people??????
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Old 04-04-2007, 20:35
GARETH197901
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Originally Posted by chitarivera

I still use it.
I love the sound quality and I transfer stuff from my CD's to a blank minidisc to make my own compilation albums. Then whe I tire I just delete the track I'm bored with and record over it.

Fabulous medium and I'm furious that it isn't more popular.
It's like blimmin Betamax video all over again.
The better product doesn't sell.
What's wrong with people??????
same here,and my local hmv still sells blanks so they are easy to get hold of
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Old 04-04-2007, 20:39
JimRockford
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I still prefer it. I can't get used to large solid state storage.

Forget playlists, I still prefer making Mix-Cds or MDs.
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Old 04-04-2007, 21:26
firehawk1
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ive had my MD for 7 years now.....still perfect. I recently bought an MP3 player hoping to "move forward" but it was a disspointment! the quality was much poor than the MD - i stuck with my MD...
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Old 04-04-2007, 21:30
Mr Giggles
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I still own my first portable minidisc minidisc recorder which I bought in Germany as a "managers special" Okay I don't use it anymore but when I bought it I used and enjoyed it.

I used minidisc to record something really special, some 1960's tapes of the pop charts. I was pleased with minidisc being invented.

I moved up to NETMD and started using my minidisc player on the road, I like music while I work. I don't have a need for minidisc now because of the HDD walkmans Sony have brought out but I will keep my minidisc recorders and players because you never know, I might need it again one day.

One of the downsides of my 20 GIG Walkman is the battery, bloody thing is inside the unit and when the power is out I need a recharge. With trusty minidisc I just simply add a AA battery in the addon power pack which will last me a few of days.

It's funny, mp3 players/ HDD walkmans consumes power quick, Minidisc, well bugger me a single AA lasts ages. And yet, in mp3 players there are NO moving parts unlike minidisc.
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Old 04-04-2007, 22:46
nightflyer
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Might amuse you all to note that I bought 3 minidisc originals off ebay. they just look cool! bob dylan, kula shaker and reef. i now have 23 original md albums! sad i know!
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Old 05-04-2007, 13:22
voyage35
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Originally Posted by doverrog
player/recorder to my computer but the Mini Disc unit only has a two channel analogue output. I wondered about transferring to DVD by using my DVD Recorder, but will DVDs work in CD players such as the car?
Can I transfer via the analogue output onto an MP3 player?
Has anyone else been in the situation?
I've just bought the latest recorder MZ RH1 and this is a beautiful machine.

One REAL benefit is that it allows you to transfer any material you have recorded (whether in HI MD or original Atrac) to your computer via Sonic Stage. It also gives you the option to save those files additionally as .wav files so you can make CD recordings via sonic stage (as audio or mp3 discs) or use the wav files in the normal way.

Why bother with mp3 though if you have a mini disc - the sound quality of mini discs is far better especially using atrac 3 plus. Also Mini Disc does not put annoying gaps between each track - a bonusi f listening to live music or medleys (I know there are ways round this with some mp3 rippers but it's messy)
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Old 05-04-2007, 23:53
amaninspired
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I don't really listen to as much music as I used to, but when I do, I'm not going to waste time with an MP3 recording. The quality just isn't there.

CD through a hifi is enormously better. If you listen very closely, you can hear that CD is better than MD - at least that's how it sounded on the set up that I had (a Sony midi system with a separate Mini Disc deck), and that's also how it's supposed to be!

My set up was slightly biased against the Mini Disc because I was using low quality analogue cables to connect the two. Having said that, it wasn't easy to hear the difference.

Even though I think Mini Disc was a good technology in its own way, it has suffered from being caught in the middle between CDs, which are still thought of as being high quality (notwithstanding the existence of SACD) and MP3s, which are clearly more portable.

My own Mini Disc deck is, unfortunately, presently sitting unused at the back of the spare room. I do intend bringing it back into some form of use when I (finally) set up the study bedroom I've promised myself in there for the last 2 years!

Last edited by amaninspired : 05-04-2007 at 23:54.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:24
Nigel Goodwin
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Originally Posted by amaninspired
CD through a hifi is enormously better. If you listen very closely, you can hear that CD is better than MD - at least that's how it sounded on the set up that I had (a Sony midi system with a separate Mini Disc deck), and that's also how it's supposed to be!
Yes, CD is un-compressed, mini-disk is compressed, similar to a good MP3 really - but MP3's are often compressed further to take up even less space.
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Old 06-04-2007, 13:44
Hugh Jarse
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Originally Posted by voyage35

Why bother with mp3 though if you have a mini disc - the sound quality of mini discs is far better especially using atrac 3 plus.
I thought that too for a good while as have an MD car stereo, but having thousands of songs at my fingertips on an MP3 player, connected through the AUX socket in the car stereo, is fantastic. With 256kbps MP3 recordings and with all the extraneous noises while driving, you'd be hard pressed to hear the difference in sound quality.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:51
Neck_Romancer
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I disagree about MP3's being poor quality.

True they don't quite compare to CD sound but I would not call them poor. Some people can't even tell the difference because it's only multiple frequencies which are removed so to the untrained ear they do not sound much different and given a good set up you can make up for that anyway.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:05
scooty
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I still use MD for all the jingles on the hospital radio where I present.

Still got and use my MD player at home too - it's a great format.
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Old 07-04-2007, 13:36
Martin_S
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Originally Posted by voyage35
I've just bought the latest recorder MZ RH1 and this is a beautiful machine.

One REAL benefit is that it allows you to transfer any material you have recorded (whether in HI MD or original Atrac) to your computer via Sonic Stage. It also gives you the option to save those files additionally as .wav files so you can make CD recordings via sonic stage (as audio or mp3 discs) or use the wav files in the normal way.
This is a really good topic for discussion, and the current state of MiniDisc is something I wonder about from time to time. I adopted MiniDisc in 1997. I have two hi-fi decks, both MDS - JE 500's, a sharp portable and more recently a new hi MD Walkman, the MZ-NH600. I managed to get this from my local Sony Centre, at a knockdown price of 60 including a free 1GB disc. This portable really is very good, being able to act as a storage drive when plugged into your PC in hi MD mode and you can also transfer hi-MD files to the PC digitally (no loss of quality). It's a shame that the thing is so complicated to operate without referring to the manual constantly. Also a shame that it won't let me transfer my original ATRAC recordings to the PC digitally, unless they have changed the sonic stage software recently, or is it just the hardware limitation of this particular portable? Voyage, how much did you pay for your RH1?

I really hope that MiniDisc doesn't die because at the moment there is no real replacement for it. Until there are commercially available MP3 recording decks (something that you could plug into your hi-fi and record to hard drive or flash memory devices) I can't see myself getting rid of my mini discs. I suppose the big question is do we need a proper replacement for cassette tape and if so, would an MP3 recorder, be it? I have seen a few MP3 players that have a recording facility on them. But they are few and far between, and they are quite often restricted to low quality bit rates. This must be some kind of copyright protection worry from whoever licences these MP3 recorders. So they are forced to cripple the bit rate in case the original MP3 ends up on the net
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Old 08-04-2007, 00:10
Cornucopia
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Isn't this just a question of convergence - i.e. the abilty to manage high quality audio through your PC.

There are also some (audio) devices now that record MP3s to SD cards, which I guess is coming at the issue from a non-PC viewpoint.
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