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The return of the minidisc!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by rauer, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. rauer

    rauer
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    After a feared extinction of the MD format, Sony brings something new. Fresh news from www.minidisc.org: a 1 GB minidisc with 7 hrs 55 min playing time. Product images are already on a Sony site, perhaps the announcement in CES in the following days (my guess).
     
  2. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    The $64,000 question is whether it will play on my existing JA20ES as I sure as hell won't be spending £500 on another one.
     
  3. hornydragon

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    Well i bought my first mini disc player 3 months ago after wanting one for years!
     
  4. seany

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    I sold my sony jb940. I miss it really, i always liked md
     
  5. CJROSS

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    Minidisc is a fanatastic medium IMHO did it ever go away (not for some of us BTW), I have always liked the sounds from the format, Im still running my trusty old Sony MDJ-510 and my MZ-E40 Personal unit from 1997, One thing about that new 1GB format is that it will be even more compressed than the existing MDLP Atrac I reckon compression which currently does not play on older decks, Im a bit wary of compressing audio to fit more time onto personal players after hearing the latest Apple I-Pod, very lacking in bass performance to my old MD personal IMHO. Another thing that will give MD a shot in the arm, is digital recording from Freeview TV & Radio (ah the joys of Jools Holland on TV & the Digital radio is top drawer for concerts to my ears).

    Anyway dudes Im finding it very hard not to buy one of these things and bolting it into my PC for another system, one of the best VFM mini systems I have seen in a long time, For those into MP3 and the like one of these off a PC with its NetMD functions is a no-brainer. CD+MD+Cassette+Tuner, Amp + Speakers for £220. Sony is really pushing its MD technology for Net / MP3 usage as well.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...3476/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_11_1/026-6090273-2340415

    Power to MD dudes.
     
  6. eviljohn2

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    If I can get them working in my portable MZE-10 I'll be a happy bunny. But then I'll need to replace my recorder (CMT-CP500MD system).

    TBH, I like the current incarnation of MD with the LP options and groups. It's like selecting CDs so more mood-orientated than mp3 players.
     
  7. agw_01

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    :D Me too! Got one on Sunday! It's an Aiwa AM-NX9 (made by Sony :clap: ) and I love it. It's great to take into College, as in LP2 I can fit 160 minutes onto one MD. It's also NetMD so I can easily put stuff onto it, with me not having a full size deck, yet.
     
  8. HMHB

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    Theres an article here on the BBC technology site.
     
  9. Ed Selley

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    13 hours at standard ATRAC compression- impressive stuff. Sadly it seems that it is not backwards compatible :(.
     
  10. tom_nieto

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    I love my MZ-N1, and my MZ-R50 before that. Both still work perfectly despite being heavily used and bashed about. You can't beat MD for shock resistance. I'd like that 1GB disk, but for the moment I'm happy with the LP2 and 4 capability of my current player, although I do find that with my sennheiser headphones I can tell the difference quite easily between LP2 and LP4, however for normal listening it's not a problem, as I use CD for any serious listening.

    I'd probably buy one of the new snazzy players once they come on the market as they sound like a really good idea, especially the external HDD functionality. I shall have to wait a little while as my 'N1 is still going strong :)
     
  11. Garrett

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    I have had one for years, I never fancied one till my father got one, usually it’s me talking him into new technology. But when I looked ad the functions I got one. I then got a portable and use it when I take the dog on long walks.
    I think I will wait till one goes till getting the new type.

    Glad to see they are using it as a storage media always wondered why that side was not developed.
     
  12. nsherin

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    An MD fan here too - I've got three recorders:

    Sony MDS-JE480 for main recording/playback duties at home in my seperates rig
    Sony MZ-N510 (NetMD deck) as my main portable and for MP3 --> MD transfer
    Sharp MD-MT80 - £50 from Argos - bargain! for use at the gym.

    MD is an excellent format with nifty editing features for analogue recording from FM/LP. MD is the only recording format I use for compilations now. Like CJROSS says, that 48kps bit-rate could sound very ropey - I rarely even use MDLP2, which both my Sony units support. MDLP4 is a big no no!

    MD also beats carrying bulky CDs around (and I'm not fussed if I lose a £1 copy on an MD, as opposed to a £15 CD).
     
  13. knightrider

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    I have to say guys, that i'm another silent minidisc lover.

    It's just such a great format, and to be honest, i'm surprised it didn't take over the world.

    What i'd love to see, is Minidisc video. Imagine the possibilites if minidisc's could do what DVD's do?!
     
  14. Dean

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    I agree, in fact MD is the blue print of Sony's Universal Media Disc (UMD) for it's forthcoming PlayStation Portable (PSP) expected this christmas. Sony say it may be possible to watch movies from UMD, as well as other media
     
  15. michaelab

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    IMO as a portable music format MD is history or soon will be. I just bought myself a 20Gb iPod and my Sony MZ-N707 NetMD portable will be up on eBay as soon as I have time to photograph it.

    As a portable "system" the iPod beats MD hands down. I had about 30-40 of my CDs ripped to MD, primarily to use whilst I'm on my monthly trip to London but that meant that if I wanted music for the plane trip back to Lisbon or for a holiday I'd have to think about which handful disks I should take with me as I was hardly going to be carting around 40 MDs aswell as the player :rolleyes:

    Now with my iPod I have 100+ CDs that are always with me in a smaller package (not to mention a much cooler one :cool: ).

    The iTunes software and interface is also so much better than any of Sony's lamentable efforts like OpenMG and, unlike Sony's ultrarestrictive system, you can copy songs from an iPod to a PC, not just the other way around.

    The sound quality on the iPod with 320Kbps MP3 is also way better than my MD player. Have to use a decent pair of headphones though like my Sony EX70s - the ones that come with the iPod are no great shakes.

    About the only thing the MD player has going for it is incredible battery life (about 50hrs) compared to the iPod's sorry 8 hours or so on a single charge.

    Michael.
     
  16. CJROSS

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    I would have to argue that an Ipod @ 320Kbps is superior than a normal MD portable Michael, I have compared the 2 and the bass performnance from my elderly MZ-E40 was streets ahead of the Ipod to my ears not maybe a MP3 320 problem but more the actual Ipod unit bass delivery problem IMHO, that was using both Senn 470s & Sonys £35 MDR-EX71 in-ear headphones. And not setting mega bass settings on the MD portable.

    No argument if you wish to cart around a whole record collection (or part of) then Ipods are cool but they do have drawbacks (as does MD to you like 40 MDs in your case) :

    If you are a MP3er then you need at minium a Broadband connection at home for net use. (£££)
    You cannot record analogue wise to them like MD.
    Digital transfer to & from is non existant I believe, so copying from other digital formats like DAB etc is a no-no.

    FWIW Im using I-Tunes on the PC this is one wonderful audio interface I agree, allowing varying versions of music quality (WAVs, MP3s etc) to be stored at different levels of resolution and Im sold on that but MD as a poratble option is behind the Ipod (to my ears of course). YMMV.

    Edit :

    "I would have to argue that an Ipod @ 320Kbps is superior than a normal MD portable" duh!
    "I would have to argue that an Ipod @ 320Kbps is superior to a normal MD portable" :D

    "but MD as a poratble option is behind the Ipod (to my ears of course)" duh!
    "but MD as a portable option is behind the Ipod for storage size" :D
     
  17. michaelab

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    You only need broadband if you're downloading music (legally or illegally). I don't. I just rip my CDs so I can "carry" them around with me on my iPod.

    The iPod doesn't do digital or analoge "live" recording but the Philips iPod competitor has a line-in which may make it a winner for some. Personally, I don't need either.

    TBH, about the sound quality, even at 192Kbps I prefer the sound of the iPod. My EX70s (older version of EX71s) in-ears give decent bass response. I used them with my MD and the bass there was IMO a little over the top. Some people may prefer that of course.

    You've made some contradictory statements by the way:

    "I would have to argue that an Ipod @ 320Kbps is superior than a normal MD portable"

    "but MD as a poratble option is behind the Ipod (to my ears of course)"

    I'm guessing you meant the opposite in each case....must still be a bit early in the morning up in Scotland :D

    Michael.
     
  18. CJROSS

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    Yep I stil,l have not got the hang of this typing carry on Michael. It did make sense when I was typing TBH :D

    "I would have to argue that an Ipod @ 320Kbps is superior than a normal MD portable" duh!
    "I would have to argue that an Ipod @ 320Kbps is superior to a normal MD portable" :D

    "but MD as a poratble option is behind the Ipod (to my ears of course)" duh!
    "but MD as a portable option is behind the Ipod for storage size" :D

    Soundwise though, I would not say a Ipod is better than a MD. Not after listening to one for a couple of days, bass response as I said is nowhere near as good as my MD portable. And the bass response from the EX71s is a world of difference away from my Senn 470s BTW. I will doff my hat though that I-Tunes is one funky mother of an interface. Especially PC based audio for WAVs - MP3s etc.
     
  19. HMHB

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    There's a bit of a discussion going on here about the ipod sound quality.
    I have 2 minidisc decks and 1 portable player and have been into minidisc from the start. I have about 120 discs that I've recorded from my own cd collection so will continue to use it around the garden and house. But, I'm off to Portugal for the Euro 2004 in June and am seriously considering an ipod as I don't want to be carrying loads of discs about.
     
  20. Ed Selley

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    I've just been quoted £147 for a new laser pickup assembly for my JA20ES- I suspect my use of MD may be drawing to a close.
     
  21. michaelab

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    Opinion seems to be strongly divided between those (like myself) who think the iPod has a superb netural sound and those coming from other portables (esp. Sony) where it's well known that they artificially boost bass and treble to make them sound more "impressive" to the average Joe.

    I'm glad that Apple decided to go the high fidelity route. FWIW Stereophile rated the iPod sound extremely highly and it's jitter and other measurements would put some cheaper CD players to shame :eek:

    Michael.
     
  22. CJROSS

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    Well I never have the bass turned on with my MD personal and I found the Ipod bass shy Michael quite simply, funnily enough listening to I-Tunes (uncomped WAVs & 320 MP3s) on my cheap PC SC and the bass is better than the Ipod also FWIW, its the first I have heard that Sony with their portables “boost” treble & bass to make them more impressive. The only thing they do is include a “mega bass” tone control that can be switched to various setting ie off/mid bass increase/low bass increase. A user preference, I bet a lot more people would like this facility in the Ipod (I would).

    One thing is for certain the sound quality of the Ipod unit is in question even against other solid state players, and no matter how you view it, the mag reviews, user comment pick up on the same point. Its Bass shy and it is down to the unit itself not the headphones supplied with it which are like every portable supplied plugs - best binned.

    It would be interesting to see what an Apple Ipod separates HDD device would be like, not long off I would imagine.

    Tons commissiration dude £147 oooouch !!! mind you £147 for a JA-20ES is still a bargain.
     
  23. Ed Selley

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    True enough- it set me back £500 in 2001 (one of the few items I have ever bought at retail). The catch is that £147 is £146.50 more than I currently have. The engineers upstairs have shrinkwrapped it until I decide what to do.
     
  24. michaelab

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    CJ, it's well known that the vast majority of portable players, especially Sony ones, have a frequency response that is anything but flat. They deliberately boost bass and treble so it sounds "better" to Joe Public who doesn't know any better. "Megabass" and the like are just absurd - best left to the spotty teenagers listening to the latest jungle beats. Surely you have heard of "the Sony sound" before? That's a reference to the artificial "loudness" (bass and treble boost) applied to all of it's portable players and to a lesser extent its lower end separates.

    The sound quality of the iPod is not remotely in question, whether against other HDD and solid state players or other portable devices, by people who actually know what a neutral sounding hifi sounds like. It's only MD and Discman portable users who think it lacks bass.

    Compared to my home system the bass on my MD portable was almost laughably boosted. The iPod has it just right.

    Michael.
     
  25. CJROSS

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    That is a bit absolutist Michael don’t you think ? so your opinion is final is it and anyone else will not toeing that line does not “actaully know” what a neutral sounding hifi is like?, I mean have you actually read the link to the Ipodlounge ? these are Ipod users that think it lacks bass IIANM (quite a few BTW), I think you will find Michael that the sound of the Ipod “is remotely in question” no matter how much you personally like it. To reverse the blame it on peoples exposure to “boomy bass high treble personals” from Sony is crazy, as I said earlier and noted below by another Ipod user it lacks bass against my cheapo PC SC. So Ipods are now the “reference” portable sound systems ? now cmon dude !!. Its just another portable audio player. Nothing startling IMHO. It can carry loads of tunes agreed but it lacks a sound quality to a few people that is surely evident.

    Some choice quotes from the Ipodlounge link :

    When compared with the output of the same mp3s (EAC ripped and 320kbps lame encoded) and also wav files from my sound card directly, from my amplifier connected via optical to my PC, from the output of my friends ipaq, to the output of my ipod, the difference is startling and VERY clear.

    Well, maybe YOU think it sounds fine. I think it sounds OK, and not awful. But compared to other MP3 players, the iPod is not up to the common standards.

    Stereophile tested and measured the line output, not the headphones output. The line output is well designed, as shown by them.
     
  26. michaelab

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    Here are some different quotes from the same thread which I did read btw:

    "A fair number of people over at Head-Fi regard the iPod as being one of the better sounding, more neutral players. Even the folks at Stereophile were pleasently surprised by the SQ of the iPod."

    "Its all relative, in terms of portable mp3 players, the iPod is among the best you can get in regards to sound quality. "

    "The sound quality from the iPod is pretty #### good. Unless you have a very high end HiFi then you won't really notice the difference. I compared a 192 AAC track with the original CD by plugging my iPod into my HiFi system. I connected the iPod to the Tuner input on my amp & the first thing I noticed was the volume difference but once I compensated this (turned down CD), I noticed the compression but the actual difference in sound quality was relatively small, (compared with the drop in bit rate). I need to point out that I am using a HiFi that cost over £1200 ($2150) and I was pleased with the outcome. Sound quality to the uninitiated may seem a problem but I have always listened to high quality equipment and take it from me that the iPod is very good so stop griping and get your ears checked!! "

    "Not enough bass with the porta's ... wow that's a first...

    It can take some time to adjust from exaggerated bass to a more neutral sound...but I've heard iPods through porta pro's and trust me, the bass curve is well above neutral"

    "Hmm... It's great to me.

    I run my iPod directly to a pair of Grado SR60's, a pair of Sony MDR-V6's and Etymotic ER4S's. I have no complaints with the sound.

    If you don't think it's up to par, try some of the other MP3 players and see if they sound better."

    "There's plenty of bass and good reproduction of mids and highs with no one frequency sounding overly dominant. In fact, I am hard pressed to notice any appreciable difference between the source CD and my MP3 files played through the iPod.

    Maybe I'm just not being critical enough, but the iPod sounds great to me."

    And yes, short of a Nagra professional tape recorder, I do think the iPod is a reference in portable sound systems. It's about time people were weaned off the exaggerated bass of nearly every other portable device.

    Michael.
     
  27. knightrider

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    I just have to say that i like this thread becasue it initially was solely to do with the minidisc format, and showed that there are still a lot of us out there who still love it.

    I have a Sony MZ-N10, and compared to a recent listen to an ipod, sounds consiberably better...TO ME.

    This is the main point i would like to make:

    Sound like music is personal. Everyone has their own tastes. Personally, i like the sound i get from my minidiscs players, period.

    :zonked:
     
  28. Garrett

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    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I got my JA20ES round 2001 if not earlier and I got it for £300 new.
    I wouldn’t be without it.
     
  29. Ed Selley

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    The chances are that you weren't dumb enough to buy it in Harrods- What can I say, I'd made a killing that month working at Richer and then got 4 numbers on a lottery ticket- seemed like a good idea at the time.
     
  30. HMHB

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    I've jsut noticed that they have a bit of information about these new minidiscs on avland. Has anyone seen any more about them yet ? I'm now seriously considering one of these for my portable music when I go to Portugal in the summer. One of the important things I now need is something that will run on normal batteries, as I'm not sure if I will have proper accomodation for the whole of the Euro Championships and so would not be able to recharge an ipod or similar device. The info on avland doesn,t say anything about battery type/life
     

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