Minidisc FAQ Index
- Full Index
- Complete FAQ
- Disk Topics
- What are the dimensions of a MD?
- What is the storage capacity of MDs, CDs, DATs, DCCs?
- What is the minimum allocation unit when recording on an MD?
- What is the MD disc space allocation algorithm?
- Why is MD capacity always the same
(74:59 exactly) regardless of how much redundancy there is in the
- What's the difference between the 60, 74 and 80
- Will MDs of the future contain un-compressed data?
- Will my MD player be able to play them?
- How does a pre-recorded MD differ from a recordable one?
- Is there a difference in the disc layout
of a recordable MD and pre-recorded MD?
- How many times can I record on a recordable MD?
- How long can the data/audio be stored on a
- What is the status of Sony's push to have MDs replace CD-ROMs?
- Can an MD Data drive be used to access the ATRAC
data on an MD Audio disc?
- Blank MDs are now available from several manufacturers. Do they all
perform equally well? The only information available to me is the relative
pricing so on what other basis can a reasoned choice of brand(s) be made?
- I've heard that after many recordings
and edits an MD can become fragmented, is this a problem?
- MD Lens and Head cleaning discs are
being sold, do these help?
- When a Sony MD deck (pre-MDS-JE520) is in record-pause mode, the disc is spinning
and the magnetic head is in contact with it. How long can it
safely be left in this state?
- Audio Topics
- Is there an audible difference between modern MD and CD/DAT?
- Between MD and DCC?
- What is ATRAC exactly? How does it compare to PASC?
- What is the bit rate of the Minidisc's ATRAC audio after compression?
- How does ATRAC compare with MPEG compression? At what bitrate
would an MPEG file be equivalent to a song compressed with
- If I use digital connections between an MD
player and MD recorder, why can't I make an exact copy of an MD?
- What else (besides compression) affects the sound quality of MD?
- Does ATRAC have "forward compatibility," or is it
a static algorithm? Does the ATRAC version affect the quality of the
recording or the playback?
- What's the difference between the various ATRAC
generations, and how well do they interoperate?
- What actual changes have been made to ATRAC over the years?
- Is there any loss of information when I record from a CD?
- When I record from tape, microphone, or other
- I don't have the equipment to make
a digital recording, will my recordings sound okay?
- Many have suggested setting levels
manually when recording from analog sources. Any tips for how to best
determine the correct level using the MZ-R3's and -R30's feeble little LCD
- Is it worth it to get the
equipment necessary to make digital recordings?
- Which ATRAC chips are in which MD units?
- I've heard some negative comments about optical digital interconnects.
Does is matter whether I use optical or coaxial digital input when
recording to Minidisc? Is jitter a problem?
- What's the scoop on digital connectors,
and how can I make a digital connection between my source device with
its digital coaxial output connector and my MD unit with its digital
optical input connector?
I see MD equipment with 16, 20 and even 1 bit
DACs (Digital to Analog Converters), what's the difference?
- Dolby ProLogic Surround is encoded in the stereo signal through phase
shifting. Does the MD's transform coding interfere with the "Surround"
information after recording and playback?
- Minidisc Specific Topics
- Do MDs skip during playback? Why not?
- Does the size of the music buffer vary from
player to player?
- Does MD have any special editing features for recording?
- What is Scale Factor Edit?
- What is "Group Mode"?
- What happens if I bump my player when I'm recording?
- How flexible is the process where I put the titles of the tracks on the MD?
- Is there a limit to the length of the titles?
- Is there anyway I can "undo" an edit
operation if I delete the wrong track while editing?
- Miscellaneous Topics
- MD equipment bears the label ``US and
Foreign Patents licensed from Dolby Laboratories Licensing
Corporation,'' why is that?
- How does SCMS work?
- Is there an adapter for the strange little headphone
connector on the MZ-E3's remote?
- Is there a Sony distributor I can order things from?
- Where can I order parts and service manuals?
- Where is a good US Service Center for MD repair?
- Where can I get a case for my Minidiscs?
- How can I make labels on a computer for my MD
- How can I subscribe/unsubscribe to the Minidisc
- On the Sony LIP-12 batteries, there is a little switch with a red dot
in one position, what is this for?
- MDLP (``Long-Play'') Mode Topics
- What is MDLP?
- What encoder is used for MDLP?
- ATRAC3? Isn't that a step backwards? I thought modern Sony MD
equipment was up to ATRAC 4 or something.
- Oh that ATRAC3. Then what happened to ATRAC2?
- What is ATRAC3plus?
- Can the new LP mode tracks be played back on old, non-MDLP hardware?
- What happens when I try to play an LP track on old, non-MDLP hardware?
- Will the new MDLP units play back old ("SP" mode) discs?
- Will the new MDLP units record "old" (SP mode) tracks?
- Can old non-MDLP units title MDLP tracks?
- What bitrates are used?
- You mean that 10% of an MD's capacity is
wasted in LP mode due to lack of planning!?
- Why aren't there LP monaural modes that double the recording time?
- If LP4 mode's left and right channels are coded jointly, then what kind of channel separation does it have?
- How high quality is the LP mode audio?
- Will an MDS-W1 move LP mode tracks?
- How can I try out ATRAC3 and listen to some samples?
- What about the ATRAC3 that Real Networks Supports?
- Where can I learn more about ATRAC3?
- What happens if MD hardware is made to play MD audio data in the wrong mode?
- Are there translations of the MDLP section of the FAQ?
- NetMD Topics
- What is "NetMD"?
- Why is it considered a "format extension"?
- What NetMD software packages are there?
- What equipment supports NetMD?
- What restrictions does NetMD impose on transfers?
- What is known about the information transferred over the USB link?
- Is there any way of transferring MP3s to MD without using OpenMG
- Wouldn't the transfers go even faster with USB 2.0?
- What other NetMD FAQs are there?
- Hi-MD Topics
- What is "Hi-MD"?
- What new capabilities does Hi-MD equipment provide vs.
the existing Minidisc?
- What is Hi-MD media?
- What is "Domain Wall Displacement Detection" (DWDD)?
- Is this like DVD technology then?
- How did Sony increase capacity on the existing Minidisc to 305MB?
- What audio encodings and capacities exist on Hi-MD media?
- Is Hi-MD equipment compatible with original MD recordings?
- Can Hi-MD equipment record in the original Minidisc format?
- What happens if I try to play a Hi-MD formatted disk in a
- If I reformat an original Minidisc blank to Hi-MD format, can I
later reformat it back to the original Minidisc format?
- What happens if I try to record on a 1GB Hi-MD blank with a
- What is the audio quality of ATRAC3plus?
- Can I drag and drop ATRAC files between a Hi-MD system and a PC?
- How is audio uploading from Hi-MD to PC conducted?
- Will I be able to use Hi-MD to upload analog-source recordings
made on existing ("std-MD") equipment?
- How fast will I be able to transfer music from my PC to an MD with SonicStage?
- What are the technical specifications of the Hi-MD disks?
- What websites have Hi-MD information?
- Beginner Topics
- I just don't get this Minidisc thing. Could you please sort it all
out for me in a clear and simple way?
- Is it true that you can re-record on Mindisc? I heard
you can record mp3's to the MD, then shuffle them around, delete some and
add more later. Is that right?
- Why should I buy an MD recorder over a
standard portable CD player, especially with the new CD-R drives for
- I hear that Minidiscs are "near-CD quality", and use
compression. How do they sound in comparison to CDs? Can anyone tell
- How do you transfer a CD track to a Minidisc?
- Since Minidisc is a digital format, isn't there a Minidisc
drive that can be connected to a computer for direct transfers of
audio between PC and MD?
- Can Minidisc carry MP3's or other computer music formats?
- But can I use Minidiscs to hold actual MP3 or other computer files?
- How do you record music from the radio?
- Can MD connect to a cassette or deck in any way?
- I'm still confused, can you just tell me what cables I need?
- What are some other things MD records from?
- Enough about recording to MD... can I record from MD
unit to my computer (or another audio device)?
- Can all things be done on a portable Minidisc recorder that can be
done on a larger Minidisc deck?
- What's the difference between a player and a recorder?
- Has a portable MD unit ever been released that has a built-in
- I've heard rumors that Minidiscs are on their way out... is MD a
- What's the difference between an MD and the 3-inch CD-Rs used
in the Sony CD1000 digital camera? Sony sold a digital camera in
Japan in 1998 called the Cybershot DSC-MD1 that recorded images to an MD.
What is the difference between that technology and the technology used
to record images to a CD-R?
- What I was mainly wondering about is the disk technology itself. If
you took an MD out of its cartridge and compared it with a CD-R,
other than size, what are the differences?
- I recorded from the radio to MD, titled the
tracks, and then digitally copied that MD from my home deck to my
portable MD recorder. The audio and track marks were copied, but the
track titles I made were not. Why is that?
- If I took an MD out of its cartridge, could I play
it in one of those new mini-CD players such as
If you have the PC-LINK that comes with the MZ-R500, MZ-R700 and
MZ-R900 recorders, will it work with the newer MD recorders
(eg.MZ-R909, R910, etc.) and/or older ones (eg. MZ-R90/91, MZ-R70,
My friend claims he can record movie quotes via the optical line in using
his Sony MD and DVD player. I am not sure of the model of either of his
players, but both were purchased in Europe.
However, when I tried recording this way I was given the error message 'NO
COPY'. I can still do recording from DVD using the analog connection but it
would be easier with the optical cable. My DVD player is a Sony with an
optical output and my MD player is the MZ-N707. Why can't I use the optical
line for this recording?
Copying Status: Public Domain. However, no liability is accepted for
the correctness and safety any procedures or advice given here. This
FAQ is distributed in the hope that it will be useful. Also, please
include a notice that this file can be found at http://www.minidisc.org/minidisc_faq.html
in any copies that you post.
As always, I would be much obliged for any updates and corrections
from Sony Engineering. -Eric
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