Old MiniDisc Page News 2001

Past News: Recent, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996.


What's Old?

12/31:Shiro Wilde points out a photo and Japanese info for the unusual Sony WX-770MDX double DIN CD/MD/FM receiver with wireless remote. The unit has a motorized front panel that slides down to reveal separate CD and MD slots. Nick Riley points out further WX-7700MDX details as well as an interactive demonstraion of the unit's fancy illumination controls.
We find the Sony MZ-R909 manual (low contrast, 6.3MB PDF scan) courtesy AVLand (UK).
12/29:Nick Riley gives us his impressions of the Sony MZ-N1 and OpenMG, sadly he finds them underwhelming.
Mark Bausch spots a ZDNet article reporting that CD prices are headed for $10 each in the battle against online music piracy.
Blair Aakre reports that contrary to the Xitel web site, the Xitel MDPort-DG2 does work with the latest version of MacOS X, 10.1.2.
MDPassion.com, the online MD blank e-tailer, gets their own domain name.
12/28:my-minidisc.com carries the Xitel MDPORT-DG2 for DM190.
12/26:Andrzej finds the Sony MZ-N1 NetMD portable recorder in stock at Minidisco.com for US$415.
Tomas reports the release of Yamdager 0.3 (Yet another MD manager), an open source Linux titling solution for Sony portable MD recorders. By way of his page, we note yet another titling solution: Alun Thomas' MDInterface page.
12/25:Merry Christmas!
Howard Chu finds Japanese info and photos for the JVC KD-MD1 in dash MDLP receiver. A flash animation shows off the user-settable, 5-color, ``Avantegarde'' front panel.
The MD FAQ gets a facelift as well as a full index.
Alex starts the Dead-Center mailing list for amateur and professional concert ``tapers'' (primarily those in Europe).
12/24:Al Payne clarifies and corrects the details of building a titling adapter for Sony portable MD recorders.
12/20:Russell McPherson finds the Sharp MD-MT99 manual (pdf) in English and French on Sharp Canada's manuals page.
12/19:Alan Stockdale finds a good Guide to Minidisc from a producer at KQED-FM.
Mark Bausch discovers a report that Universal will release rip/copy-prohibited CDs in the US.
IGN reviews the Sony MZ-R909 portable MD recorder.
Minidisc.org was providing sluggish access with its Qwest feed and is now switched over to Genuity. Let us know if things still seem slow.
12/17: Just when you thought you'd seen every angle of Sony's new MZ-N1 NetMD, MDcorea posts some more pictures, interestingly including some of the extra items packages in the box.
Jani Mantyla-Bla notes Sony are offering a discount on their PCLK-U5 PC link kit for European owners of compatible decks and MD systems purchased between 1 Jul - 31 Dec 2001 - bringing the price to EUR50. Full details on the snappily titled http://www.pclku5.com/ site.
Fabian La Maestra reads a DV.com article advocating MD (to an extent) for off-camera sound recording in a Digital Video shoot.
12/15: We add Reactive Sounds 'Reporter' mic to our accessories listing.
Frederic Filleul spots the new Marantz CM6200 CD/MD deck (Japanese Link).
Anthony Johnson finds an equipment summary on the previously reported Sony Japan NetMD pages.
12/14: Japan-Direct posts their own Sony MZ-N1 closeups. The machine looks tasty alright, but side-mounted volume buttons?
12/13: Ted Major has a new address for his Home-made Binaural Mic Project.
Vasiliev Andrey has a smart-looking Russian MiniDisc Info site.
NetMD News: MDCorea has an interesting collection of photos of Sony's MZ-N1 NetMD taken at the CEATEC show in Japan. / And T-Station has a MZ-N1 discussion well under way. / AV Land has UK pricing for the MZ-N1 (£260), MZ-N707 (£199) and MZ-N505 (£169).
12/11: Brian Geddes does a search on C-Net Download.com and finds a fair collection of shareware and freeware of interest to MD users.
Ivan Martinez spots the Nakamichi MD-30z secondary head unit (part way down col 1) for use with their car CD units.
12/10: Nathanial Fenton reports Sony's tagline for a recent TV ad for the new line of Vaio desktop PCs includes a phrase along the lines of "Burn your music to almost anything - CD, MD or DVD."
Ray Tan spots yet another new, highly styled, MD unit from JVC, NX-MD1000 (Japanese).
12/8: Paul Perry spots a picture and short reference to Sony's NetMD units in the 10 Dec issue of Fortune Magazine. The text only is available online - halfway down under "Speed Metal".
Minidisco has its own Net MD Info page
Davin Patton directs us to Sharp's Japanese announcement for the IM-MT880 Net MD.
12/7: Sadly, we lose our Australian mirror of this site on Sun 9 Dec. We are grateful to Conrad Sanderson and the Griffith University for providing the Australian mirror to date.
12/6: We are starting to get reports of availability for Sony's $2800 MD-based PC, The Vaio PCV-MXS10. PlanetMiniDisc has them in stock, and Robert Trail tried one out in Circuit City, Norwalk CT.
Meanwhile the portable Sony NetMD units are getting more coverage with Jan Ysjout finding the Japanese Sony Style NetMD pages and we have some photos from Paul Perry taken at Sony's stand at Comdex a fortnight ago, including the MZ-R707 NetMD recorder and two unmarked NetMD prototypes: a full sized deck and a PC.
AV-Land has some more info on Sharp's NetMD portable, the IM-MT880. This is likely to be the MD-MT899 in Europe.
12/4: Here's something to make you think how MD moves on: Alex Abad stumbles upon an old box for a Sony MZ-R30 with a pricetag of $699!
12/2: Ray spots a rather fancy bookshelf unit from JVC, NX-MD1 (Japanese page).
11/30: eCoustics.com's Minidisc Comparison Shopping price comparison page adds user reviews, spec comparison and merchant ratings.
Tomas releases version 0.1 of his open-source freeware MD manager for Sony portables, YAMDAGER (Yet Another MiniDisc manAGER).
Gordon Bishop stumbles upon an audio interview on REELRADIO with Pete Townshend which Townshend produced himself on MD (part 1 from about 1'50" for PT's technical details).
11/29: Kingsley Smith of AV-Land points out the Sharp MD-M888 NetMD will only allow tracks to be exported from the MD to the PC if they originated from the PC in the first place.
11/28: There apear to be a number of new bookshelf and boombox models in the run-up to Christmas. M Clerici spots the Panasonic SC-PM37MD bookshelf unit on T-station. Peter Ravn finds 3 new Aiwa models: XR-FD1, XR-FD3, MR-X3.
11/27: Several readers point out Question of the Day on How Stuff Works is "What is a MiniDisc and how does it differ from a CD?".
11/26: Todays news is brought to you in spite of a barrage of emails caused by W32/Badtrans@MM virus.
The Sound Professionals have an annual sale and a number of new accessories including the SP-SPSM-5 stereo mic and SP-PREAMP-3 Portable stereo preamp.
Fabian La Maestra notes a Boostaroo portable headphone amplifier on sale at ThinkGeek.
11/24: First spotted at the International Funkausstellung show back in August, Rob Hardin notes Japan Direct are now taking order for Sharp's MD-MT899 NetMD offering
Steve Jess finds an opinion piece on Digital Broadcast radio from Radio World. The writer makes a dismissal of MD whilst missing the point of radio entirely!
Bob Berardino finds some more incomplete journalism in a piece on the death of the cassette tape in USA Today.
11/23: Michael Van Kradenburgh spots some English info on Sony's MZ-E707 on Minidisco's site.
T-station and MD Passion have a US$1.59 deal on 74 min TDK MD Jack discs - if you are prepared to buy 100.
11/21: Its a quiet day, but readers may be interested in a thread on audio recording that is developing on leading Macintosh news site, MacInTouch.
Staying on a Mac theme, a reader tells us about Aram's guide to recording audio from a Mac to MD.
11/19: The Register carries a story saying BMG will replace the un-copyable Natalie Imbruglia CD in the UK at least.
Simon Mackay notes that UK retailer Nexxia has a number of interface kits (the units are listed by marque under 'CD Changer Interface Kits') for connecting the Sony MDX-65 MD changer to certain OEM head/dashboard units.
Sticking on an automotive theme, James Koutsis reads in Mercedes Magazine Australia, that the new ultra-luxury Maybach range will feature MD players.
11/17: Mironics updates its Minidisc Suite control and titling software/hardware combo for Sony portables to version 2, with a number of useful new features.
11/16: Sony's offical NetMD Press Release is discovered by Hardeep Bhogal, and includes some links to pictures of the new units.
Alex Anton-Luca alerts us to a portal into various music and audio related articles published by anti-static dust cover makers, Studio Covers.
T-Station has some images of TDKs new MusicJack MiniDiscs along with Aiwas MDLP offerings; the HX300 and HX400.
11/15: ZDNet reports from Comdex, and the arrival of NetMD.
11/14: Reactive Sounds binaural and mono micro electret mics added to the accessory listings.
Ken Tidwell uses his MD to replay dictated emails.
11/13: Tim Banney finds a Head-fi discussion on a new pair of ER6 isolating reference ear-phones from high-end ear product specialists Etymotic Resarch.
Glenn Mitchell is a teacher and has a neat use for his MD. Glenn records instructions for his class when he has to be away, so the supply staff just hit play and supervise!
Minidisco has a number of US$10-20 price cuts on some Sony portables.
11/12: Hmmm... Temporary editor Nick Perry keeps forgetting to run scripts so he has re-categorized recent news under 12 Nov!
Case Logic has a couple of new Neoprene MD/MP3 cases: MPC 3 and the squarer MPC 2. MiniDisc Access has the MPC 2 and MPC 3 in stock.
Prateek Sharma writes an introductory article on NetMD for IGN.
Brian Phillips finds some discussion of 'Corrupt CDs' - which are designed to be digitally copy-protected.
Terry Park spots a Japanese announcement for the Aiwa HX-150 portable deck - complete with a facia that users can customize to match their mood!
Alex Anton-Luca comes across an Audio Site Portal at ExtremeTech. It's not very comprehensive yet, but readers can add to it (hint!).
11/7: Roger Boix tells us about his new Spanish MD site Qué sabes de... Minidisc. It's a work in progress at the moment but looks promising, and already has a smart news section.
Keith Bauer notes that Mada joins the growing ranks of Car manufacturers offering MD options for in-car audio - as seen on the Mazda Protegé 5.
11/5: The MiniDisc T-Board has been upgraded.
11/3: As NetMD players start to appear on retailers' websites, Dor Shahaf notes that the Hong Kong exporter Micmic, is taking pre-orders for Sony's MZ-N1 NetMD unit, at US$389.
11/2:Nick Perry takes the MDCP reins for six weeks.
Randy tells us about Pioneer's Japanese announcement for the X-HD1 "HDD Digital Jukebox" - combining an CD, 6 GB hard disc and a memory stick, and with support for ATRAC - all in a "micro"-sized package!
Gary Bingner spots online retailer PlanetMiniDisc.com has had a facelift and now covers much more than just MD.
David Stansbury of Tritronics finds JVC's UK site has a browseable list of consumer manuals for a wide range of products, including its MD range.
Jason Preuss has a natty use for High Criteria's Total Recorder recording shareware (US$12). Jason records Internet Radio programmes using its unattended timed recordings feature and later transfers them to MD.
11/1:We take a look at recording Internet Radio stations to Minidisc.
Speaking of Internet Radio, Peter Ravn points out Live365.com with about 30,000 radio stations.
Minidisco is offering an MZ-R909 giveway contest that includes a 10-pack of discs. Contestants get their email address added to a "specials" mailing list, but Minidisco promises never to give, share or sell it to others. Minidisco is also reporting lower prices on MD portables.
Home Audio Servers heat up: Mark Bausch finds a Reuters article covering Hewlett Packard's de100c, their $1000 entry into the home audio server market. For those willing to piggyback on their PC, the $300 Audiotron from Turtle Beach (reviewed on Slashdot) mounts and accesses a PC's filesystem of MP3 files.
10/31:Hardeep Bhogal spots Sony Japan's (English) tourist products page for the MZ-B100 portable "business" recorder, an MDLP unit with built-in stereo microphone, mono speaker, and jog dial.
Kevin Bohner finds the Sony MXD-D5C MD/5CD-changer deck at Advantage Superstore for $200.
10/29:Ken Tidwell has made a helpful iPod comparison chart, showing how the unit stacks up against other hard disk portable players.
AV-Land (UK) has further Sony MZ-R909 info, including the instruction manual (scanned PDF), and a video review (24MB DivX).
10/28: William Sturrock sends in a photo of the National Post (Canada) front page showing Michael Jordan being interviewed with a reporter's Sony MD recorder.
MiniDisc Passion reappears, selling MD blanks with promotional free shipping on orders over $50 for their first month.
10/27: The Sound Professionals announce their True Fidelity in-ear microphones.
10/26:Bob Bernadino finds Compaq's PM-1, a $100 mini-CD player (mini-CDs hold 180MB, cf. MD's 140MB). Wondering what's the difference?
10/25:Six readers point out a New York Times article reporting that the Xitel MD-Port saved MD in North America.
Rob Trail finds a nice MD player roundup of four recent units at IGN.
IGN also has a good Sony MZ-R700/Apple iPod side-by-side photo in their iPod article.
Phil Parker is starting a free Recording Tips Newsletter.
10/24:Minidisco reports replenished stocks of imported Sony MZ-R909 and Sharp MD-MT770 portable MD recorders, in all their colors.
10/23:The $100 (almost) recorder returns: Chris Hickman spots the Sharp MD-MT90 at Overstock.com for $110+$4 (ground) shipping. They report having over 60 units in stock.
All you need then is a Macintosh: Apple announces the iPod portable audio player, a slim and stylish 5GB, firewired, MP3 player that doubles as a hard drive. (Courtesy Mark Bausch)
Would that they had been priced sensibly from the start: David Brown reports that music retailer HMV (UK) are clearing out all of their pre-recorded MD's -- prices range from £3 to £10.
10/22:New portable audio entertainment concept? Mark Bausch finds CBS Marketwatch speculation on tomorrow's device announcement from Apple.
Tidwell and Walli point out a Denver Post article on Dataplay (the 250MB a side, write-once media that aims to replace CD). The article precipitated a good deal of MD related verbiage on Slashdot. The latest ship date for this new, incompatible, copy-restricting medium is now 1Q02. We remain skeptical, sorry.
10/21:Fel Communications offers a line of battery-less, in-line microphone amplifiers specifically designed for "plug-in power" equipped portable Minidisc and DAT recorders.
10/20:Mutant Boomboxes Peter Ravn points out photos and Japanese info for Aiwa's unique MR-X1 MDLP/CD table radio. The stylish unit sports 2x high speed CD->MD dubbing, group functions, timer recording, and possibly (judging from previous Aiwas) a world-band FM section.
Minidisc T-station covers the equally unusual Panasonic RX-MDX55 MDLP/CD/tape boombox (large photo, Japanese page). The unit offers 2x CD->MD dubbing and a freely adjustable playback angle, but is marred by the lack of world-band FM tuning and mono-recording mode.
Matthew Petty adds further tips for Minidisc use in drama production.
Rick Kahl suggests using Cooledit for economical cassette tape preservation.
10/19:Sony fast forwards to hard disk video recording: The Crusoe powered GT3/K camcorder cum Windows 2000 notebook debuting in Japan (but available in English dress from Dynamism) will store 5 to 20 hours of full motion video at up to 640x480 resolution on its 30GB hard drive.
10/18:Paul Yachnes rediscovers Tidmarsh's binaural microphone construction page.
10/16:Hynek Syrovatka reports that the EasyTitle2 (a US$50 PS/2 keyboard adapter for all Sony decks) is back in production (table entry).
Chris Siow finds Sharp HK (English) coverage of their current MD lineup.
10/15:Mark Muscat describes his wife's use of Minidisc in court reporting work.
10/14:Prateek Sharma points out further Sony MD advertising on MTV's band tour dates page (suggesting, perhaps, the plural benefits of taking an MD recorder along for the ride?).
10/13: Steve Bommarito likes recording automobile races onto Minidisc.
Oliver Farrens finds that his Sony D-EJ721 portable CD player (Malaysian made, serial#5005077) does not output CD SCMS codes properly [SCMS 10 bit is cleared], causing SCMS copy prohibited CDs to produce SCMS-unrestricted MDs when copied.
10/12:Please let it be an I/O device: Davin Patton finds Sony's US model VAIO with built-in NetMD ``Minidisc drive''.
Minidisc T-Station posts AV-Watch (Japan) coverage of Audio Expo 2001 (trans) showing the clearest photo yet of the Sharp NetMD portable. The unit incorporates a Sony supplied NetMD IC.
10/11:The human touch: Edward Lee renders a fluent translation of the Sony MZ-N1 NetMD portable announcement.
10/10:Second try for wireless remotes: Terry Park points out a photo and Japanese info for the Sony MZ-E606 portable MD player, with a small, pocketable, wireless remote. Quite a far cry from the wristwatch remote of the old MZ-E7W.
James Nakashima finds a cute Sony Walkman advert airing on MTV. "Umm, the doctor will see you now!"
10/9:NetMD SpyFlash NetMD equipment photos from Japanese trade shows appear.
Peter Nunn reports that Brian Youn's Sony MZ-R900 SCMS defeat trick works on the MZ-R700 too.
Simon finds AV-Watch (Japan) coverage of Kenwood's MDX-J3 and -J5 MD boomboxes, the latter capable of playing CD's of MP3 and WMA tracks.
Jason Elvina points out a positive Sony MZ-R900 review at CNET, marred only by a misstatement that MDLP is achieved through spinning the disc slower (akin to saying that .zip files work by spinning a hard drive slower).
10/7:Ecoustics has a fairly complete automated price watch table for MD gear.
The $100 recorder: PC Mall and eCost have the Sharp MD-MT90 for $100+~$10 shipping.
James Andariese finds the Sharp MD-MT90 manual (1.2MB pdf) at Sharp USA's website.
10/6:Eric Ivanoff points out a MacNN forum covering Sony (Xitel) PC-Link connections on a Macintosh.
10/5:Wing Li finds Minidisc Australia selling the Minidisc Control Center for AU$70, Tim Pitman's parallel port based PC/MD titling solution for Sony portables. Seems a pity that the small-shop PC titling solutions don't use a proper Sony remote connector, especially when they're selling for ~US$3/ea. in lots of 50 on eBay.
Reactive Sounds has created a "pen" microphone (table entry).
10/4:New Portables Week Terry Park finds Panasonic portable MD press releases: The SJ-MJ50 (photos: unit, cradle, trans) has a slot-in design and speaker equipped charging cradle, the SJ-MJ90 (photo, trans) has a world record breaking battery life (150hr in LP4 w/AA + rechargeable) and a magnesium case.
Geoff Grant points out a bevy of TOSLink goodies at SFB digital audio distributors, including 6 and 12-way splitters!
Richard Prinsloo discovers Sharp MD-MT877 (aka MT77) and MD-C2 manuals on Sharp's (UK) support pages.
Mark Bausch scouts New Scientist articles on copy-prohibited CDs, including mention of SCMS protected CDs in Germany.
Ian Langrish spots MD blanks for US$1.20 at Circuit City (search for 'sti minidisc').
10/3:Kingsley Smith points out a photo and Japanese press release (trans) for Kenwood's DMC-P33 and 'P55 portable MD players. The DMC-P55's charge stand includes built-in speakers and a timer function, allowing it to be used as an alarm clock. Both units have a staggering 85 hour LP4 battery life (120 w/AA, 153 w/both).
Peter Ravn spies Sony's Japanese page (trans) for the MZ-E707 portable MD player. The stylish unit sports a battery life (rechargeable + AA) of 87hr (SP) and 120hr (LP4), and is due out Oct 10 in Japan.
The Sony MDS-JE530 service manual appears (4MB pdf).
10/2: Michael Yucha finds a ZDNet article mentioning that Sony's all-in-one, MD equipped computing/home-entertainment console is due at Circuit City stores by Oct 11.
Further copy-prohibition concerns: Kingsely Smith points out a ZDNet UK article indicating that Sony's copy-protected CDs may be in breach of trading standards.
Minidisco is offering blanks as low as US$1.30 until Oct. 15. They've also cut prices $5-$15 on all US model Sony portables and again stock the Sharp MD-MT770 and Sony MDS-JE470.
N. Tooline uncovers the Microphone Do-It-Yourselfer's page, with good mic battery box plans.
Jim Coon's ``Famous'' T-Mike page reappears locally.
Edward Chadez suggests there should be less horizontal scrolling in life; we finally smell the coffee.
10/1:Mark Bausch finds informative ZDnet coverage of plans for copy-prohibited CDs that carry two copies of the audio: CD-DA and WMA (Windows Media) format. The article contains a link to McFadden's detailed discussion of how CD copy-prohibition works, and how it can be circumvented.
Mark Fullen points out a good price (US$95) for the Pioneer MJHX3000, an add-on MD unit for Pioneer's XHX3000 Musiqube micro systems.
Shawn Lin spots dozens of optical interconnect goodies at PartsExpress.com, including US$14 coax->optical and optical->coax convertors (AC adapter not included). Search for "optical" in the keyword box on the left.
9/30:AV-Land (UK) points out a photo and Japanese press release for Panasonic's SV-SR100 (English summary), a portable CD-player capable of also playing AAC, MP3 and WMA audio from Panasonic's SD ("secure digital") memory cards. The SDMI complaint device allows recording from CD, microphone and line input sources to memory in AAC format. No word on whether subsequent USB upload to PC is possible.
9/28:Bernhard Mayer has a home-brew PC titling solution for Sony portables (there's an English version as well).
Minidisc T-station offers a write-a-review contest, for those keen to comment on their equipment.
Mark Bausch points out a legal suit that has been filed because of a Charley Pride album that is PC copy-prohibited.
9/27:Walmart, OK! By Bruce Yarbor's lights Minidisc has finally made it: Sony blanks are available in Oklahoma City's Walmart for about $2. (And Walmart sells Sony's MZ-R700 online).
9/26:Chadez and Bausch note a Reuters article (carried by Yahoo and CNET) reporting that Universal will introduce PC-ripping prohibited CDs in October. Such CDs are not expected to interfere with digital, S/PDIF-based CD->MD copy operations.
9/25:Robert Trail points out an IDG article on Sony VAIO machines with NetMD drives (looking like this most likely) being shown at World PC Expo Tokyo.
9/22:Duane Freemantle finds a South China Morning Post (HK) article favoring Minidisc portables over the latest solid-state players.
Eric Kollig spots Sony's MZ-R500 in yellow, black, and red.
Minidisc T-station is temporarily down due to technical problems.
9/21:Sony finally smells the coffee: Jan Yskout points out Sony's NW-E7 (64MB) and NW-E10 (128MB) (trans) Network Walkmen (solid state audio players) with native support for MP3 as well as ATRAC3 audio formats. Wondering what to do with your older, ATRAC3 only Memory Stick Walkman? Fabian LaMaestra recommends asking Sony for a firmware upgrade on their customer feedback page.
Minidisc T-station covers Sony's DMT-PR1 (Japanese), an all-in-one audio-video-CD-DVD-MD-TV-FM-Windows2000-800MhzCeleron-Flatpanel, web-surfing, broadband-capable, next-generation home family entertainment console extravaganza. Only NetMD seems to have been left out.
Jesus Perez points out NetMD commentary at IGN for Men.
9/19:James Koutsis reports that Sony's MZ-R900 stars in a McDonald's New Tastes Menu ad on Australian TV, featuring a nice close-up that occupies most of the screen.
Sunil Panchal notes that Sony MDS-JE440 decks are going for £110 in shops like Richer Sounds and Sony Centre (UK) due to their imminent replacment by the MDS-JE470 (the latter's Group Function and PC-Link connectability (via PCLNK-MN10) being the only functional differences with its predecessor).
Scott Hamilton finds good prices and stock levels for MD blanks and accessories at First4Media, located just off Oxford Street in London. They even carry MD-Data blanks.
9/14:Minidisc T-Station points out Sony's NetMD page (Japanese) with links to their NetMD equipment: the MZ-N1 portable recorder (trans), LAM-Z1 desktop audio system (trans), CMT-C7NT compact component system (trans), and MDS-NT1 PC connectable deck (trans).
9/13:My-Minidisc.de captures good NetMD snapshots at IFA, and notes that Sony's download speed to NetMD decks is 32X in LP4 (16X and 8X in LP2 and SP, resp.). They also report (having tried it themselves) that Sony's NetMD can be used for audio upload from MD to PC.
9/12:Sony NetMD gear announcement (translation of Sony's equipment and NetMD info). Available in December, the equipment allows high speed downloading from PC via USB, albeit fettered by SDMI's check-out/check-in silliness.
AV-Land (UK) posts English info on the NetMD capable Sony MZ-N1 portable and points out AV-Watch (Japan) coverage of Sony's NetMD gear (trans) and VAIO PC (trans).
9/11:A day of silence for our fallen brothers and sisters ...
9/10:Sony catches up with Sharp: Ant Wiles discovers (and Brian Youn reports) that the MZ-R909's recording level can be adjusted on-the-fly in manual recording-level mode.
Michael Brooks points out the Pioneer MEH-P7300R, an MDLP in-dash AM/FM/MD receiver.
9/9:Mike Harman takes binaural recording to its logical extreme with a set of in-ear microphones.
MDMan (Korea) posts a gallery of MZ-E909 photos. The machine's elegant design and diminuitive size fully realizes the portability of Minidisc.
Japan-Direct's photos expose the unbearable lightness of being a Sony MZ-E909.
Randy Sprouse finds repacked (not factory refurbed) Sharp MD-MT15s for US$80 at Fry's Electronics (CA&TX, USA). He advises pawing through boxes to find one in pristine shape.
9/8:Minidisc T-Station points out Sony's MZ-E909 page (translation).
Mark Queitzsch finds the Pioneer MEH-P5150 and MEH-P7150 in-dash AM/FM/MD receivers at Pioneer Australia, neither are apparently MDLP capable.
Matt Sephton spots MD web pages for London's Tottenham Court Road shops ASK and HiFiBitz. He reports success with bargaining for lower prices in-person however.
Tugrul Tanyol notes new MD pages for David Console Shop (HK) .
Dominic alerts us to interesting digital optical goodies at Radio Shack: TOSLink amplifier, right-angle adapter, TOSLink to optical mini-plug, TOSLink to TOSLink joiner TOSLink splitter, TOSLink 4-way selector switch, and analog to TOSLink (and composite to S-Video) adapter (in case you're "Tired of the analog audio or composite video from your old VCR, CD player or other A/V equipment").
Benoit LeBlank explains his MiniDisc Passion and offers Press-IT labels and software from his store on Ebay.
9/6:NetMD Spyflash: Karl Bahr nabs a (fuzzy) Sharp MD-MT899 photo from IFA Berlin. The caption reads: "Portable MD recorder with USB input, 16X dubbing speed with LP4 audio, Recharging station."
9/5:Minidisc on the rise: A Gannett News article extols the virtues of Minidisc (quoting us in the process).
Rei spots Minidisc's prominence at Sony Canada.
Barney Kahn finds Sony MDS-E11 pro decks in use in HDNet's mobile studios (HDNet is the USA's first all-HDTV network, broadcasting on DirectTV channel 199).
Mark Fullen points out refurbed Pioneer MDSP7000/Bs (an in-dash MD add-on) for US$150.
Matt Sephton notes good MD prices (modulo shipping fees) at Electric-Warehouse (UK).
9/3:AV-Land (UK) adds a page for the Sharp MD-MT888 (Euro MD-MT770), reportedly due there in November.
The Sharp MD-MT15 user manual appears (scanned PDF).
9/2:The South China Morning Post (HK) has a nice shot of the Kanji-capable remote on the Sony MZ-E909 portable MD player.
The Minidisc T-Station snoops out the Denon D-A03 bookshelf system with world-band FM section (Japanese), and JVC RC-X5MD boombox (Japanese). Both units are MDLP capable and sport 2X CD->MD dubbing.
9/1:Matt Wall reviews the Sony MDX-C800REC in dash MD recorder.
8/31:AV-Land (UK) posts photos and information on the Panasonic SJ-MJ10 MD player (original Japanese announcement), an MDLP unit boasting a record breaking 147 hr battery life (in LP4 w/NiMH+AA).
Minidisc T-Station notes stylish MD players from JVC: the XM-PX601, with a speaker in its charging stand (Japanese), and the XM-PX501 (Japanese).
Minidisco is offering a college Minidisc starter kit: Sharp MD-MT90, Xitel DG-2, 5 MD blanks, and an Otter box, all for $180.
8/30:Brian Youn shines again, completing a tell-all, 5 page review of the MZ-R909.
8/29:NetMD Dream Machine: Karl Bahr reports that Sharp is showing a prototype NetMD portable recorder at the International Funkausstellung (consumer electronics show) in Berlin. Dubbed the MD-MT899, the unit is nearly identical in form to the MD-MT888 (itself apparently the European edition of the MD-MT770) but has a USB jack on the body that allows 16X downloading of LP4 tracks. No price, features, or shipping date has been given. We would be deeply indebted to any IFA attendees that could send in a few snapshots and details for this unit!
Robier Pieters has made a Dutch Minidisc page.
Planet Minidisc offers some special deals on older MD gear.
8/25:Peter Van Riel has started a Yahoo Sony MZ-R900 group.
8/24:Rob Trail finds an IGN article panning the Kenwood DPC-MP922 portable MP3/CD player.
The Minidisc T-Station covers fancy new blanks from Axia and Maxell and notes that Hyper Jack (Japan) is giving away three Axia Dolphins with every Sony MZ-R909 or Sharp MD-MT770 purchase.
8/23:Guy Churchill points out a splended comparison review of the Xitel MD-Port AN1 and DG2, including a good snapshot of the DG2's guts.
8/22:Les Turoczi reviews Core-Sound Microphones in a Stereo Times article.
8/21:Japan-Direct's closeup photos of the Sharp MD-MT770 recorder shows off the unit's remarkable thinness.
Minidisc Australia opens shop, offering discounted MD gear and blanks.
8/20:MDMan.net (Korea) posts clear snapshots of the Sharp MD-ST880 portable player.
George Styles' Rip MDS-PC3 package V0.4 (a freeware alternative to Sony's ``M-Crew'' MDS-PC3 control software) is available for download. It now includes FreeDB support (CDDB).
Daniel Robinson updates his MZ-B50 comments with information from a response by Sony.
When you've got money to burn: Louis Vuitton sells a leather Minidisc player case for $400. That's more than any current MD player! (Courtesy Minidisc T-Station).
Dr. Minidisc still has some final closeout items available (portables and blanks).
8/17:Philippe Bélanger adds to the Sony Canada MD-blitz details: apparently it is a treasure hunt of sorts that's also running in Montreal.
8/16:MDMan.net (Korea) makes a lovely gallery of side-by-side MZ-R909 & MD-MT770 snapshots, clearly showing the congruent evolution of the species.
Scott Simpson finds that Sony's Minidisc marketers are really taking it to the street in Toronto.
Minidisc T-Station posts a favorable review of MD-Suite, Mironics' PC-based titler & recorder for Sony portables.
8/15:Ravn and Lam point out Sony's Japanese press release for the MZ-E909 portable MD player (translation), featuring ATRAC Type-R, Kanji character display remote, and 140 hour(!) max. battery life.
Japan-Direct posts several clear photos of the Sony MZ-R909 and stocks the unit as well. (Note that the END-SEARCH button is still there [on the left-hand side], though the function can be set to automatic, just as on last year's models).
8/14: Our advisors say Hyper Jack (via Minidisc T Station) offers a nice deal on the Sony MZ-R909: $357 (w/shipping to the US) gives you prompt, courteous service, and your choice of color (payment is w/Paypal).
SoundProfessionals gives a review of the Archos hard disk based portable MP3 recorder and finds that its sound quality rivals Minidisc equipment.
8/13: MicMic has the Sony MZ-R909 in stock for US$370 w/shipping to Asia.
8/12: Eugene Dolan submits a review of the Sony MDS-JB940 MD deck. <-- add to EBE -->
Marc Lee finds Japanese info for several MD decks we haven't yet covered: Kenwood's DMF-7020 and DMF-3020, and Onkyo's L-style MDLP decks. The DMF-3020 is also covered (and with a better photo) on Kenwood Deutschland's MD deck page.
Marco Rossen points out William Hollingworth's S-Link Commands for controlling Sony MD Decks.
8/11: N. Tang kindly scans the Sony MZ-G750 user manual (4.2MB PDF).
Peter Ravn finds a slew of Minidisc gear at Techtronics (UK), including the MDS-JE770 for £200 w/shipping.
8/10:Matt Wall points out MicMic's clear photo and English info for the Sharp MD-MT770 portable MD recorder (the blue and pink models are visible at the bottom of the page).
Minidisco now stocks the US$1450 HHB Reporter's Kit featuring an HHB MDP-500 recorder, Sennheiser microphone, and Pelican case.
AV-Land (UK) has opened shop again, offering Sony's MDS-JE470 MDS-JE770 and associated PCLK-MN10 PC Link Kit. They also have a photo and brief info on Denon's handsome D-A03 CD/MD bookshelf system.
Michael Hoffman is keeping track of mini-CD/MP3 players and DataPlay untis.
8/9:So that's how they'll do it: Chuck Falzone finds a ZDNet article discussing the Recording Industry's hope to phase out CD and replace it with DataPlay (a medium with greater copy restrictions, lower [target] audio quality, and smaller capacity than CD). Say, was that pre-recorded MD's original mission after all?
Jesús Pérez finds a CNet comparison of the Sharp MD-MT877 and the Sony MZ-R700.
8/8:Seamus Dunphy finds a BBC News article mentioning that pre-recorded Minidisc sales have fallen off (and what do you suppose the read-only Memory Stick market looks like?).
8/7:John's Minidiscinfo.com allows you to build your own Minidisc page on his site. Choose the ``SiteBuilder'' link in the upper navigation bar.
Fredrik Moden spots a snazzy Japanese page for Sony's CMT-C5 Q-Bric MD/CD bookshelf system.
Gonzalo Duque has a page devoted to the USAF Thunderbirds theme music that is played during airshows; in it he details the Minidisc equipment they use.
8/6:More 8cm CD/MP3 players: The Philips 8cm eXpanium, Freecom Beatman (103x95x29mm, 170g, ~6-7hr playback w/AAx2), and Samsung Mini-CD Yepp (113x100x29mm, 165g, article in German, with photo). (Courtesy Hoffman & Ketsugi)
8/5:Tony Kwong gives a brief but useful review of the Griffin iMic, a USB audio input device for Macs.
8/4:The MPzip is the first mini-CD MP3 player, Joe Hui gives it a thorough review. Its near-CD player bulk and poor battery life (~1-2 hr) hardly make it an MD slayer, however the allure of easy, unimpeded computer access to its media gives an MD fan pause. (Courtesy Michael Hoffman)
www.doctorminidisc.com is closing its doors soon and has some closing offers on stock.
8/3:There's been much talk of cracks for Macrovision's Safe Audio CD anti-piracy technology of late. Ken Tidwell notes a CD-Freaks article and a Roxio technical note on the 'Burst Mode Copy' method. Marc Herbert spots criticism of a rival Cactus system.
Ken Tidwell also expands his MiniDisc & iTunes page with details of Home Theater & wireless AV.
Conor Lalor adds a German version of his MD Labels site, in addition to the French and English versions previously announced.
8/1:Franck Durtschi spots a new European midi system MD deck MD-SS41 from French vendor, Hifissimo.
www.discountdiscs.co.uk are offering the Xitel DG2 PC->MD interface to customers in the UK and rest of Europe for GBP 59.50 and GBP 65 respectively. The interface is also available from QED-uk.com at GBP 50.92.
7/29:Martin Roberts finds a plethora of MD portables and home units at QED (UK), including the Sharp MD-MT99 for £151 w/shipping. He also finds the Sharp MD-MT877 for £180 (plus shipping) from Empire Direct (UK).
7/27:Kingsley Smith points out a photo and Japanese announcement for the Sharp MD-MT770 portable MD recorder (machine translation); AV-Land posts an English summary. The unit sports a 2 line LCD remote, record breaking thinness (15.7mm), several unique group mode functions, and can be connected to a PC via USB for titling and audio download with Sharp's AD-PCR3 kit (available end of September).
Mironics posts a press release detailing their consumer-grade PC titling solution for Sony portables.
Nedi discovers further refinements to the MZ-R900 SCMS workaround.
Martin Roberts finds brief, consumer level reviews at HiFi Choice for several portable MD recorders: the Sharp MD-MT877, Sony MZ-G750, and JVC XM-R700SL.
Copy prohibition comes to Compact Disc: Jorge Puga spots a Stereophile article detailing Macrovision's method of making CD's un-rippable.
7/26: Kevin Cramb notes that the Optical Storage Technology Association has approved the MultiAudio Standard, an updated CD-TOC format that allows faster access to compressed audio files on CD (complete spec).
Planet Minidisc offers the Sony MZ-R700 sans DPC for $200, w/shipping. They also offer the MZ-R500 neat as well as an updated feature comparison chart for portables.
The Melting-Pot (Japan) is exporting top Japanese in-dash MD receivers that have been adapted to US and European FM bands.
7/25: Trevor Bommersbach points out photos and Japanese info at AV-Watch for Sony's MZ-R909 portable MD recorder (close-up). Sony's Japanese announcement (machine translation) details its improved battery life and indicates the unit has a 3 line, 9 character LCD, ATRAC Type R, group function, and a revamped, speed-sensitive, fully turning jog-dial interface.
AV-Land (UK) gives initial coverage of Sony's MZ-R909 portable recorder. An updated MZ-R900, the unit sports a larger main-body LCD, charging stand, ATRAC Type R, and improved battery life (84hr playback in LP4 w/NiMH+AA vs. MZ-R900's 66hr).
Robin Marsolier finds a photo and Japanese info for the Teac MD-H100LP, a compact form-factor home MDLP deck.
Frank Dunn finds a Kenwood DMF-5020 review at HiFi Choice (UK).
7/24:Tony Maric points out a USA Today article pitching the MD format against solid state devices.
Conor Lalor launches a version of his MD Labels site en français
7/21:Steven Goetz relaunches his Minidisc 200 Fan Page and includes a comprehensive list of pre-recorded MD titles.
7/20:Ed Chadez notes a user group review of the pro MD recorder, HHB MDP-500, with the focus on its use in Digital Video production.
7/18:Matthew Woolf points out Goodman's GMD16RB Minidisc player, available from Argos (UK). The unit appears to be an Audiophase/ Casio XG-3 clone.
7/17:Ian Johnston reviews the Alpine MDM-7741 in-dash AM/FM/MD receiver.
Lionel Pawlowski has a DIY PC titling solution for Sony MD portables.
7/16:John Lui's positive Sony MZ-R700PC review for ZDNet Asia indicates that Sony is shipping the unit with an analog PC link there.
Tony Lai finds Sharp UK's pages for their MT-88 and MT-99 portable MDLP recorders. (Apparently the same basic unit aside from front panel button shape differences, the MT-88 comes without a remote control or rechargeable battery).
7/14:NetMD: Rob S. points out a Japanese announcement by JustSystem (translation, and brief English blurb) saying that they will develop and release software in compliance with Sony's NetMD standard.
7/13:The Minidisc Patents section reopens.
Yuri Bernikov finds Nakamichi's MD-5 deck (about halfway down the page).
7/12:Robert Trail points out a favorable IGN review of Sony's MDS-JE440 home deck.
Johan Fryxell has started a Swedish Minidisc Page.
7/11: Ian Johnston points out Alpine's page for their MDM-7741 1DIN in-dash MD receiver. We found the user manual for it recently as well.
7/10:YF finds a photo and Japanese press release (machine translation, pp. 1 2) of Sharp's MD-ST880 portable player. The MDLP unit features 130hr battery life (NiMH+AA), back-lit remote w/2 line display, dolby headphones and support for group function. (Babelfish JPN->ENG HTML translator).
Jim Schaekel points out a happy Sony MZ-R900 review on TechTV (though their battery life figures and mono mode quality report is incorrect).
Home Music Servers: Peter Ravn notes that even Compaq will soon offer a system.
7/9:Mike Pusfarm kindly scans the Sony MDX-CA680X in-dash MD player manual (PDF).
7/6:Like a love letter? Can Berk Güder talks about a Romantic use of Minidisc.
7/5:Jerry Ee finds the Aureal Vortex2 Super Quad PCI sound card w/TOSLink digital output for $25 (w/shipping) from West-Tech.com and reports that the card works well for him, recording MP3s to Minidisc under Win98 and WinME.
7/4:Happy Independence Day! (Okay - we are still dependent upon Britain for pop music worth listening to! :-).
Doug Adams updates his Macintosh SoundJam Insert Blanks AppleScript for even easier insertion of inter-track pauses.
Planet Minidisc offers a convenient feature comparison chart for current US model Sony and Sharp portables.
The Minidisc T-station points out photos and Japanese info for Kenwood's MDX-G2 boombox (T-station coverage); the MDLP capable unit is identical in spec to Kenwood's MDX-G1 unit, only the facia has changed.
7/3:Tim Pitman has created MiniDisc Control Center, a freeware (but closed source) titling program for Sony MD portables. The interface plans are based on the Mironics hobbyist version, itself a derivative of Thomas Meier's schematic for TitleAid (a DIY PC titling setup for Sharp portables).
7/2:Minidisco's latest contest offers a Sharp MD-MT877 as first prize.
Richard Mallett spots several sound card reviews at PCPro (UK).
7/1:Sunny Lam reports low Canadian MD portable prices at Futureshop.ca. Update 7/4: they have since jacked their prices up to MSRP.
7/1:Sunny Lam reports low Canadian MD portable prices at Futureshop.ca. Update 7/4: they have since jacked their prices up to MSRP.
6/30:Does that mean we're geeks? Ken Tidwell finds an IDG article stating that 9% of geeks own Minidisc players.
Planet Minidisc now stocks the US model MZ-G750DPC, Sony's portable MD recorder incorporating an AM/FM tuner (tuner is for playback only).
Noud de Beijer points out Dixons Netherlands, an MD-etailer, and finds that Sharp's MD-MT80 is their overall 3rd top-seller (after Age of Empires but before Logitech's cordless optical mouse).
In a category of its own: Rei notes that Sony Style Canada has placed a Minidisc link prominently in their navigation banner.
6/27:Finally! Sony extends the MD format to allow high speed ATRAC downloading to Minidisc (Japanese). Entitled Net MD, the extension allows secure ATRAC and ATRAC3 files to be purchased or encoded on PC and downloaded to MD via USB. The USB interface also enables PC based editing, titling, and control functions. (Specific Net MD products have yet to be announced)
Arto Kuusiaho points out in-dash MD gear from Blaupunkt: the revamped Dallas and the New Orleans.
6/26:Geoff Grant points out Onkyo's SE-U55 USB Digital Audio Processor and finds it available from J&R for $200. The PC/Mac compatible unit sports line and optical I/O as well as microphone and headphone jacks.
Paul Perry notes some good deals on used Minidisc equipment at Half.com.
6/25:Peter Ravn scouts the handsome Aiwa CSD-NS5MD CD/MD bookshelf system; an MDLP unit equipped with 2X CD->MD dubbing, track group function, 2X high speed playback, and world-band FM tuner. (A footnote on the page hints at one incompatability of the group function: An MD recorded with the MD group function may not play back if the tracks have been edited with audio equipment not compatible with the MD group function.) If you must have it: Planet Minidisc and Melting Pot are both reputable and offer custom purchase and shipment of anything available in Japan.
6/24:Guy Lambert points us toward a slew of official Sony user manuals, including those for the MZ-R900 and DCM-M1 (Minidisc camcorder). Did you know the DCM-M1 will record 4h20m of ATRAC stereo audio to an MD-Data2 MD? See section entitled Recording audio including photo.
Jason Ward is an Air Force crewman who loves Minidisc.
Gary Bingner finds the Sony MXD-D5C for $350 at Crutchfield (IGN's review).
6/23: Prateek Sharma finds Sony's US model MDS-JE470 MD deck (the first home recorder with Group function) available at Planet Minidisc and Minidisco (details); Minidisco also offers Sony's PCLK-MN10A PC connection kit for use with the MDS-JE470, MXD-D40 and MDS-PC3 (with which the kit comes bundled).
Robert Trail points out an enthusiastic IGN review of Sony's MXD-D5C, a home MDLP deck incorporating 5CD changer and high speed dubbing functions.
Derek Lane spots a better deal: Sony MDS-JE330 MD deck & MZ-E62 player for £125 at Unbeatable (UK). (The MZ-E62 is the European version of the MZ-E60, only its color [silver with blue accents] differs. -Brett Kaplan)
6/22:AV Land (UK) offers further details on the Panasonic SJ-MR220 portable MDLP recorder.
6/21:Ben Hamilton spots the Sony MZ-E62 MD player(?) at RicherSounds (UK).
Mike T. points out Doug Adams' free Insert Blanks AppleScript for SoundJam that can insert a blank MP3 between each track in a playlist.
Les McDade finds TOSLink<->Coax converters at Blackbox.com.
6/20: The Minidisc T-Station compiles Panasonic SJ-MR220 info and points out its Japanese press release and photo. The MDLP unit sports 100hr playback and 55hr recording times (AA + NiMH rechargeable) as well as being the first portable recorder with Track Group function.
Jeff Chou finds the Sharp MD-MT15 recorder for $100 at CityGadgets.com (after $20 rebate).
6/17: TraderTrax now carries fashionable, color coordinated(!) optical cables, as well as a US$22 (w/shipping) 100VAC step down transformer (useful for running Japanese gear in the US).
Minidisc Tricks and Tips:
Scott Hoffman is a Marine with a Minidisc.
Andre, a sailor, talks about getting songs at sea.
Bob Locher uses Minidisc in his Cessna for in-flight entertainment on long cross-country flights.
6/16:George Styles releases RIP MDS-PC3 (v0.2b), a free alternative to Sony's M-Crew software that offers improved MP3 file handling. (The web server is in George's living room, it is not always turned on.)
James Brooks points out Kenwood USA's KMD-D400 in-dash 3MD changer; it can be coupled with any Kenwood head unit that has changer control.
6/15:Panasonic Party T-Station finds a small photo and brief info on Panasonic's SJ-MR220 MDLP recorder. Panasonic's Japanese MD page sports photos and info for their non-MDLP MDX50 and MDX70 boomboxes (both Japanese FM band only), the latter (an AM/FM/CD/MD/Cassette unit), running on AC as well as D-cells (battery life: 4hr (MD playback), 3.5hr (CD->MD recording), 5.5hr (Radio->MD recording)(?))
6/14:Stand Back! Mike Paulus finds Archos' updated Jukebox HD-MP3 Recorder & Player with S/PDIF and line in, real-time 160kbps MP3 encoding, USB I/O for drag and drop track handling, and 6GB capacity (there's a 20 gig version in the works). The 350gram, US$350 unit will play 10 hours on a full charge and is slated for June 21 shipment.
Gustavo Gallina points us toward the Alpine MDM-7741 in-dash MD receiver.
6/13: Superfi (UK) hosts a ton of high-res MD gear photos: Denon DMD-M1000 DMD-6.5 DMD-F100 DMD-M30, Sony MDS-JA333ES MDS-JA555ES MDS-JB940QS MDS-JE330 MZ-E300 MZ-E500 MZ-E900 MZ-G750 MZ-R500 MZ-R700 MZ-R900, and Yamaha MDX596
6/12: Michael Lane spots an interesting USA Today article on Minidisc's comeback.
Robert Mindenhall sends in an MD footnote: The Toronto Star mentions Minidisc in its annual Achievement Awards ``Best audio recording technology: MiniDisc, due to its editing capabilities and portability.'' (See the entire article [2MB PDF]).
John Rolt finds the handsomely styled Sanyo MDC 3300 boombox, available from Dixon's (UK) for £180. The unit has a builtin microphone and appears to be the same as the Sanyo PH-MD9 sold in Japan.
Luis Dodero notes several Minidisc product reviews at Ciao.com
The MD Portal (Singapore) gets a new domain name and server: MDPortal.net.
6/11: Xitel provides info on their MD-Port DG2 and Mike Paulus finds Macintosh user reports of experiences with the device under MacOS X.
Tim Yocum completes a review of the Aiwa AM-HX55 MD portable MD player.
6/9:Florence Jennings points out the Mironics Minidisc Suite (née Minidisc Titler) from Bruce Miranda, a $70 (w/shipping) hardware/software solution for PC based control and titling on a Sony portable MD recorder (via parallel port).
Michael Moore notes an article on the use of Minidisc and Core Sound microphones in Stereo Times.
6/8:Boost your TOSLink down the block! J Tasker points out the TOSAMP (standard and pro versions), capable of driving an optical signal 1 kilometer.
Nassib Khayat finds the Sony MZ-E300 MD player for $90 new, from Etronics.com. (Are there cheaper solid state players?)
6/7:So does this mean Radio Shack carries Minidisc? Michael Conner reports that though the Blockbuster Video/Radio Shack tie-up is old news, a Blockbuster Video store in Austin is displaying a Sony MZ-R700DPC and Xitel DG-2 smack in the middle of their Radio Shack kiosk.
6/5:Wither SDMI? Fabian LaMaestra notes coverage of a general exodus from the SDMI forum (27 companies departed in all) at TheRegister.co.uk.
MD21 (the French MD site) gets a fresh new look.
Mike Paulus points out tips for using Minidisc with iTunes (Macintosh music management app).
David Abraham finds Optical<->Coax converters at Jaycar (Aus); search for Jaycar Cat. # AA1720 or AA1722. Price: AUS$40 each.
6/4:A closer look at FM Band Expanders: Howard Chu points out several FM Band Expanders that allow Japanese car radios to receive FM broadcasts when operated abroad (a top priority in the NZ and Australian used car market). The reason there are so many to chose from is explained by the manufacturer's helpful FM Band Expander Selection Guide.
6/3:Use Japanese car MD units in Australia! Kohn points out the C. A. Tronics Car Radio Frequency Converter that shifts the Australian FM band (94-108MHz) into the Japanese FM band (76-90MHz).
Bert finds HeadCase Electronics (UK), a site describing in elaborate detail how to create a CD player with optical output from a CD-ROM drive.
Nick brings the searchable MD mailing list archives back online.
6/2:Garth points out a good page describing digital audio for the layman. Particulary nice is their Java based Fourier transform demonstration.
6/1: Gabriele Bellini updates his spectacular Sony MD portable IR remote plans to support multiple, off-the-shelf, IR remote control units.
The MD T-Station points out a photo and Japanese info for the Sharp MD-F220 CD/MDLP boombox (see also, and T-station entry), equipped with world band FM tuner and the previously reported Group function.
Mattwiks spots Kenwood's Japanese page showing 5(!) 2DIN CD/MDLP in-dash units, all resolutely Japanese FM band only, though the DPX-9021MPi and -7021MPi will play MP3 CDs as well.
Mattwiks also finds Japanese coverage of Pioneer's FH-P999MDR and FH-P777MDR 2DIN CD/MDLP in-dash recorders, as well as the 2DIN CD/MDLP FH-P888MD, FH-P666MD and FH-P555MD units, the last of which is rather comely. Pioneer also offers the 1DIN MEH-P999 in-dash MD receiver.
Howard Chu finds further information on the JVC 1DIN KD-MX2900R CD/MD in-dash combo (and in Singapore), the credit-card remote is optional now, and sadly the unit is not MDLP capable. He also finds JVC PDF manuals for the KD-MX3000, KD-MX2900 and KD-MX2800 units, the last of which appears to be a refreshed KD-MX3000, similar in function to the KD-MX2900 but lacking its digital radio receiver.
Japan appears to be having a Minidisc automobile-sound festival! (though your country's mileage may vary)
5/31:The Korean MD page posts several clear snapshots of the Sony MZ-E300 (their US model unit was purchased from Crutchfield).
Cornelis van Rensburg describes a novel approach to creating a cheap optical plug.
5/30:Bernie Johnson sends in a Sony MZ-R700 user manual (PDF).
Stephen finds brief info on the JVC KD-MX2900R, their second single slot CD/MD in-dash receiver.
Peter Ravn spots the Grundig MD60 at Dixons (UK), Grundig's first MD deck.
Rob notes a 2nd release from n5md.com, a label that issues recordings in Minidisc format only.
Prateek points out Video Direct's Sony MD 2001 portable comparison chart.
Video Direct also notes that Sony has extended their Analog USB link offer on home MD deck purchases through March 2002.
Edward Hasbrouck finds the Sony MZ-R37 for US$100 at Fry's Electronics stores in CA, TX, OR, AZ (check their store locator) or call +1-408-617-1300 to order (ask for "telesales' department). He also finds the Sony MZ-R70 in blue and silver for $150 at eTronics.
5/26:Minidisc Format Tweak! A newly available Group function helps organize the plethora of MDLP tracks that can be recorded on a disc:
Glen Wintringham spots Aiwa's AM-HX150 English page, which states: The AM-HX150 can recognize all the tracks selected by the user as a group and play them back together. (An MD player [sic] conforming to the group function that will be launched in the future is needed for group setting.)
The T-station points out photos and Japanese info (machine trans.) for Sony's Group function equipped MDS-JE770 MDLP deck & MZ-E501 MDLP player, the former capable of making discs with songs grouped in up to 99 separate, titleable sets (e.g. by CD, genre, artist, etc.), the latter capable of playing and displaying by group.
Sinisa finds photos and German info for Sony's MDX-M690 MDLP & MDX-CA580 (non MDLP) in-dash MD units.
Ric Nepil recommends the PC connectable, CDDB aware, $10 Palm Organizer MD titling package ``This thing is great!''
Marc Britten notes the AMD Movelt-1 Sports Case at Planet Minidisc, intended for upper-arm fitting of MD gear.
5/25:Minidisco offers the Xitel MDPORT-DG2 for $60. This second generation USB to digital audio output device operates with PCs and Macs and is compatible with all MD gear.
5/24:The T-station points out a photo and Japanese info for the Aiwa AM-HX150 MDLP player, with world record breaking size and weight (71.1x12.6x77.2mm & 56g). Unit incorporates novel ``ear position remote control'', with pause and play buttons on the headphone housing. Max battery life is 125 hours w/additional AA in LP4 mode.
NYT reports researchers debunk placebo effect; coaxial cable and green magic marker squad jubilant.
Marc Herbert finds a Minidisc Audio/Data discussion on Slashdot.
Lawrence Gough adds photo details of the optical out mods he made to a Sony CDP-CX200 200 CD changer.
Zac spots the Sony MDX-CA680X MDLP in-dash unit for US$236 and Sharp MD-MT877 MDLP recorder for US$263 at Minidisc-Canada.com.
5/23: Greg Schwabacher finds the Sony US model MZ-R900 in stock at PlanetMinidisc (US models are available in red only).
Gary Bingner spots the Sony MZ-R37 portable recorder for $100 at J&R.
5/22:Blue finds Sony's DHC-MD555 5CD/5MD bookshelf system for $300 on closeout at Crutchfield (first time customers can enter referal code 20686263 in the "special instructions" field for another $25 off).
5/21:Sony's OpenMG Light & ATRAC3 to be adopted by NTT DoCoMo's PHS-Compatible "M-stage music", opening the way for high quality, copy-prohibited music downloads to mobile phones in Japan.
Randy finds the Onkyo FV-V77, a CD/MDLP/FM receiver with optical output. (Rumored to have Japanese band FM tuner).
Josh Tasker points out Google's web directory of sound effects sites.
5/20:Jason makes a clean scan of the Sony MDS-JE440/640 manual (also available as a multi-page 5MB TIF file viewable with Imaging for Windows). The manual's Setup Menu Table (p.56) (and footnote (p.57)) succinctly summarizes the MDS-JE440's & MDS-JE640's functional differences. (See also Blakeley's comparsion of these machines.) And did you know there is a Self-diagnosis function (p.53) that will tell you if the unit's optical block has gone south?
Prateek finds Sony's '01 US Minidisc models on their web page.
5/19:Minidisco pushed their robot's Spring Cleaning button and found a fresh new look in the morning.
John Balint finds that Planet Minidisc has the Xitel MDPORT-DG2 in stock, this version of Xitel's USB to digital optical link is now compatible with all MD gear.
Jean-François at MD-21 sends in tiny photos of Sharp's MD-MT88 and MD-MT99 units, the MDLP versions of the MD-MT80 and MD-MT90.
Andrew Williams finds the Sharp MD-MT877 for £184 at Richer Sounds (UK).
5/18:Annie get your gear! A NYT article discussing this summer's music subscription service offerings mentions legal 13 cent song downloads that cannot (as yet) be copied to a portable music player or purchased for permanent use.
Trucki shows off some deep hacking of the Sharp MD-MT15 (trans); hacking that uses drill bits, extra connectors (trans), and motorized Lego parts -- all in the name of hands-free PC to MD titling.
The Minidisc T-Station posts their MD pixel contest entries.
5/17: We find the manual for the Sony MZ-R2 (in Japanese & English), the first Minidisc recorder to require manual END SEARCH. This ``feature'', the bane of every MD recordist, was introduced with a single sentence in the top left column of page 68.
eCoustics updates their MD reviews page.
Paco Ojeda finds the Sony MXD-D40 CD/MDLP deck at Crutchfield, where they have a good high-res photo of the unit.
Jeff Dubin spots an 8cm CD-R portable MP3 player from Philips.
Wilton Vargas points out a TWICE article stating CD-R prices are due to rise.
5/16:Prateek spots the US model Sony MZ-E900 MD portable at PlanetMinidisc.com.
Bob Luckin finds Kenwood's page for their KMD-44 in-dash MDLP player, the unit is available from Crutchfield and Planet Minidisc.
Bob also points out Pioneer's page for their MJ-L5 add-on MD deck. He reports that the unit is included in ``Pioneer Pure Platinum Micro Surround System'' bundle, available for $150 on closeout at Sam's Club in the US.
Kris Roe notes a bounty of MD systems in Britain: The JVC MX-S6MDR and XM-R700, Kenwood HM782MD and HM382MDS (follow: Products->Home entertainment->Micro Systems), and Panasonic SC-PM35MD and SC-PM65MD* units. (*Panasonic touts the HDES ``High Density Encoding System'' employed in this unit, said to achieve ``sound quality better than ATRAC''. The question: which version, of who's ATRAC?)
5/15: Kieran sends in a lovely JVC KD-MX3000 manual (PDF), the in-dash receiver accepts CDs and MDs in the same slot.
Dave Matthews points out two ``lifestyle'' bookshelf systems from Sharp UK, the SDNX10H and SDCX1H.
Shai Wendy reports that the Sony MZ-R700 will be available at US Target stores for $200.
Ciaran Lalor has a site devoted to MD labels.
5/11:Niels Pijck contributes a review of the Sony MZ-R700.
Minidisco offers a chance to win a Sharp MD-MX20 bookshelf system.
MZ-B50 day: Dan Robinson gives his comments on the Sony MZ-B50.
Planet Minidisc makes a fine scan of the MZ-B50 manual. (Did you know the unit has a ``Voice-Up'' function (p.22) to ``emphasize the left-right orientation of individual voices, making them easier to distinguish and hear''?).
5/10:Scott describes how his Minidisc collection survived a flood, 97% intact.
Josh Tasker points out a comprehensive LP->CD-R recording tips page, much of this advice relates to LP->MD recording.
Soundtract sells Nashua brand Minidiscs online.
The Equipment Browser rates a tab at the top of the page (finally!).
5/9:The University of Wisconsin uses Minidisc in their Communicative Disorders Clinic.
The T-station points out Kenwood's MDX-G1 retro-look MDLP boombox (Japanese info).
John Jerabek has started MinidiscInfo, a site designed along the Open Directory Project framework.
We're building a Sony MZ-R900 class feature comparison table. If you can help fill it in please let us know.
Craig Barber reports that on Tuesday's episode (May 8th, 2001) of Dark Angel on FOX, they used the Sony MZ-R70 to play a telephone conversation. (Yes, this is the website for The Little Format That Could).
eMemorex sells MD blanks online.
5/8: Kris Roe points out 3 bookshelf MD systems from Sony UK: the CHCCL5MD (3 CD changer, digital PC link), CMTCP500MD (digital PC link), and CMTSP55MD.
Robert Lindemann finds inexpensive optical transmitters, receivers and cables at Reichelt.de (search for LWL TOS in the search entry).
5/5:The Korean page MDMan.net has a bevy of Aiwa AM-F90 snapshots, including closeups.
Whilson Khoo spots an MD e-tailer in Macau (prices are in Macau Pataca (MOP), which are 7.95400 to US$1 [courtesy Oanda.com]).
5/4:The Minidisc T-station has assembled 87 views of Minidisc's superiority to MP3 players.
Harry Battraw spots low prices for several MD portables, including a US$105 Sony MZ-R37 at ttadirect, a closeout dealer.
Blast from the past: Roger Williams contributes a 1998 Sony MZ-F40 AM/FM/MD portable review.
5/3:Tritronics provides online parts sales for nearly all Sony MD gear. (Follow Shopping->Consumer login)
Peter Spindler has source code and detailed plans auf Deutsch for an MP3 to Sony MD deck transfer and titling solution (via home-brew RS232 to control-A1 interface).
Dave Edney finds glossy info on Sony's MZ-Rx00 and MZ-Ex00 units at Sony UK (click on ``Minidisc''). The page also sports [rather fuzzy] photos of the MDS-JE470 and MDS-JE770 MD decks.
Andy Taylor points out Marillion, a band that uses Minidisc extensively in their work (see 2nd section ``How does it work?'').
My-minidisc.de has really high-res photos of the Sharp MD-MT877 and MD-MT90 units.
Fixtronix (Ireland) offers service and repair of professional Minidisc gear.
5/1:And it will be cool then too: Wilton Vargas finds a Wired report that the New York Times has placed a Minidisc player in a time capsule, to be opened in the year 3000 (search within the article for "mini disc").
Roman Shevepov has a page showing three MP3 players employing 8cm mini-CDs (in about the middle of the page).
We take a page from Kohn's book and tidy up the Equipment Browser (let us know if the font is too small).
Planet Minidisc has high res photos of Sharp's MD-MT90 and MDLP capable MD-MT877 (US version of the MD-MT77), they stock them as well as many other MD portables.
4/30:Rei points out a Tech-Report.com MZ-R70 article that judges MD favorably in comparison to MP3 players.
Kris Roe spots Aiwa's colorful LCX-MD250 MD bookshelf system.
Prateek finds most of Sony's latest MD portables in stock at Crutchfield.
4/29:Did you know Sony made changes to improve the shock immunity of their latest Minidisc gear? Video-Direct's MD glossary section on ``G-Protection'' states that the system can recover laser position 10 times faster than before, withstanding 8G impacts 3 times per second, making MD suitable for use while jogging.
Fernando finds the Sony MDX-CA680X MDLP car stereo at Minidisco.
We copy the Aiwa tech bulletins on MD repair from Schemes.spb.ru for safe keeping and speedy access.
4/27:The NYT reports that the RIAA kept an SDMI cracking technical paper from being presented, fortunately the SDMI cracking paper itself made it onto the web, safe for all.
Bluetin (Singapore) has surprisingly low prices on MD portables (e.g. MZ-R900: US$267+shipping).
Alexander Huf spots interesting Aiwa tech bulletins for servicemen repairing MD gear.
Jeff Sawdy finds the Sony MZ-R37 on close-out at Sears for $100.
Mathew Boon notes low prices on MD blanks at SVP Communications (UK).
Steven Goetz has the beginnings of a Minidisc Fan Page.
4/22:The Minidisc T-station posts further MD blank collections from Gary Bingner, galleries 1 and 2.
The T-station is holding a pixel contest where budding artists can help promote MD.
Simon Taylor has a freeware MP3 to MDS-PC2 recording program that uses the Control-A1 interface to title and mark tracks.
Ming points out that if the table for Iomega's HipZip also included Minidisc (e.g. recorder@$300, 20 blanks@$3/each) it would beat the HipZip by $300 and best it in audio quality as well.
Prateek points out big Sony MZ-E900 closeups (among others) at the Korean MD site MDPlanet.
Scott Hamilton reports that Sony MZ-R900/R700/G750 units are generally available in the UK and finds good prices on MD portables at EmpireDirect (UK) (Follow: Home Entertainment->Portable Audio->[select] MiniDisc Portables).
4/20:The MiniDisc T-station points out Aiwa's AM-HX100, the world's smallest, lightest, and longest playing portable MD player (125 hours w/added AA).
Allan Dean spots the Denon DMD-F100 and DMD-F30 MD decks at Superfi (UK).
Eric Hickey finds 135 pre-recorded Minidiscs at HVM.com (Canada). To locate: Click "Music" tab (top of page), then in "Search Music" field enter "Minidisc", in "Search for" field select "Keywords". (Sticker shock: their MDs are $3-$5 more than CDs).
4/19:We make several comments on the South China Morning Post MD article.
Rob Trail points out a comparison of inexpensive headphones from Minidisco at IGN for men.
We stumble across some old and nearly lost reader contributions: The Sony MZ-R55 user manual (PDF), Sony MZ-R3 service manual scans (partial, in PDF) and the RS232 interface for the Sony MDS-E11/E52.
4/18: The South China Morning Post (HK) carries a positive Minidisc article that quotes us. (You'll need to register first, but it's free).
Covers4MD.com converts its vast collection of MD cover labels (over 240!) to Microsoft Word format.
Read up on TechTV's review of the Sharp MD-MT877 (found by Shai).
A reader finds Amazon.com selling the Sharp MD-SR60 portable recorder for $150 ($10 off with promotion code "AMEXBLUEEXPS").
Peter Ravn spots another workaround for people wanting to record digitally to MD who don't have optical output or a CD burner in their computer: CD Post will burn a CD for you and mail it to your door.
4/16:Tony points out Pioneer operation manuals (PDF) for their MEH-P5150, MEH-P7100R, and MEH-P7150 car MD units.
At the Pioneer website is a detailed explanation of their "Advanced Parameter Processing" for ATRAC.
4/15:Happy Easter!
Daniel finds low prices on Sony MD portables (e.g. MZ-R500: $130, MZ-R700DPC: $220) at RadarCity.com. Update: Not available until sometime in May
4/14: The Standard reports that online music subscription services are on their way: A Sony/ Universal/ Yahoo deal dubbed `Duet' and MusicNet, an AOL/ Bertlesmann/ EMI/ RealNetworks partnership will together provide offerings from 87% of the US music titles by late summer.
Mark Bausch finds word of a WSJ article stating that Microsoft and others aim to render MP3 obsolete.
Prateek points out excellent Chinese MD coverage at ITPower.net, including a nice Sony MZ-E800 page with lots of close-up photos.
Prateek also spots the Sony MZ-R900 for $299 (w/shipping) at International Connection (look for paypal offer in left-hand column).
Paco Ojeda discovers the Sony MZ-R700DPC at J&R, further showing the unit's current widespread availability in the U.S.
4/13:Ken Pohlmann writes a positive Minidisc article that appears on HiFiBuys' site.
4/12: Minidisco is running a contest giving away a Sony MZ-R700, complete with a PC Link kit and 10 blank 80-minute MDs.
MD Portal (in Singapore) is now stocking the full line of new Sony MD portable recorders, available for shipment worldwide.
John Shumate discovers Crutchfield is now stocking the MZ-R700DPC (w/USB->Optical adapter) for $250.
4/11:Howard Chu provides a magnificent, 3/4 HTMLified Sony MDH-10 service manual. If anyone would like to volunteer to produce HTML for [parts of] section 5, we'd love to have your help. Just let us know so we can coordinate the work.
Another sound card is found with optical in/out by Steve Jess: the Quadrant PCI 3D, available for $55 from Egghead.com.
Davin Patton spies Sony's Japanese press release (machine translation) announcing the stylish CMT-J300 MD mini system (MDLP, 2X CD->MD dubbing, PC Link compatible).
4/10: Larsen spots a great price on the Sony MZ-R700 at HiFi Components (based in Germany) for 400 DM (about USD $180). Unfortunately orders are only deliverable within the European Union.
The Nakamichi MD-95Z CD/MD/Tuner car stereo unit is found by Jorge Puga (2DIN, 6CD changer built-in, aux input, 43W x 4).
4/8:Sunil Panchal points us toward [visit first: Sony Switzerland's] pages for the MDS-JE770 and MDS-JE470 MD decks due in June and July (also noted in Unbeatable.co.uk's JE770 and JE470 pages [with a typo about "ATRAC Type-E"]). First one to spot a bigger picture of these units gets honorable mention.
Mark Bausch points out a Reuters article saying that Realnetworks is in talks with major record labels to begin offering online music subscriptions.
Mark also finds the abstract for an IDC report on the compressed audio player marketplace. In it they state ``Because of the cost and capacity constraints of flash memory, an increasing number of vendors and consumers alike are turning to cheaper alternative media to transport their music.'' Could one of those alternatives be MD?
Kris Gielen sends in an updated PCLK-MN10 manual (v1.05E), this version includes proper bookmarks along with additional screenshots and information. He includes 1 2 3 pages scanned from the M-Crew manual on how to connect the Sony MDS-PC3 to a PC (information apparently not available online or in the other manuals). The PCLK-MN10 manual mentions Sony's homepage for M-Crew compatible gear.
Kris also recommends Supersony.com (Europe) for MD gear, they have good prices and ship quickly.
4/7: Tony Ho discovers the Aiwa AM-F90 for sale at Warehouse123.
MDLP units finally start hitting U.S. soil: Planet MiniDisc now has the following MDLP capable units in stock: the Sony MZ-R700DPC, MZ-R500, MDX-C680X, and the Kenwood KMD-44.
MD Portal (based in Singapore) now has the Sony MZ-R700 available for USD $230.
4/6: Steve Conlin has made an aural/visual gallery of Ogden Utah musicians, recording them with his Sony MZ-R900.
The Minidisc T-Station posts their top 3 MD flash contest winners.
Francisco J. Montilla points out Musique, a third party software package for use with the Sony PCLK-MD1 MD connection kit. Musique requires the Sony CAV-50 or CAV-1/2 (RS232/Control-A1 adapter included with the PCLK-MD1 kit). Brian Conte has further details on S-Link and CAV signalling protocols.
Ron Rogers notes lots of MD gear for sale at Ubid.com, including new Pioneer MJ-D707 home MD decks for $137 (including shipping).
4/5: A New York Times article predicts a Digital Storage Format Shakeout, mentioning Dataplay and other media.
Gary Binger's collection of unique (and unopened!) MiniDisc blanks is on display at The T-Station.
The T-station is also offering promotional Minidisc T-Shirts and accessories for sale.
4/4:Alan Stockdale finds further evidence that the Minidisc audio/data firewall is hopelessly out of step with reality: The portable ARCHOS Jukebox MP3-recorder does real-time MP3 recording to a 6GB hard drive from microphone, line-in or digital sources and is USB connectable for drag-and-drop PC file transfer flexibility. The ARCHOS Jukebox CDRW-MP3 is similar, but records to an external CD-RW drive.
Robert Meyer-Piening describes how toadd digital out to a Sony MDS-JE330 (and perhaps other similar low end Sony MD decks).
Sam Austin spots Sony's complete list of product pages, with photos (in Japanese).
Forward Scout Ravn finds AV Convert, offering MD to CD mastering services.
Gregory Chan points out a MusicMatch for Mac screenshot showing that they've added an MD trackmarking option.
4/3:There really isn't any justice dept: Ken Tidwell points out Sony's portable, recordable, (probably) unshockable, data/audio/MP3 handling, USB equipped, US$399 ``Digital Relay'' CRX10U/A2 CD-RW drive. Please remind me, what would be so actionable about the Minidisc-based equivalent?
4/2: Nick spies a new soundcard with TOSLink optical I/O for $49: the Gamesurround Fortissimo II (he also locates this close-up picture).
Having trouble with your Sony MDS-PC3? Check out Peter Boon's helpful guide on how to fix problems with obtaining a working audio signal.
4/1: Sony takes the merging of different electronic devices one step further, with the release of their MZ-TST1 dual MD drive recorder/bread toaster.
Lawrence Brown relates the story of how his MD player survived a car crash.
3/31: Marco Rossen does some homework and concludes that the PCLK-MD1/MD2 Sony PC link kits are identical hardware and only differ in their software. All available software versions are available for download from SonyMods.com.
Tout Sur Le MD, a French MD website, covers MD to MP3/CD transfers.
Pricebuster (UK), found by Colin Spencer, is selling discs for as little as 79p each (about USD $1.10).
3/29: T's tables points out photos and Japanese info for Denon's D-M05 bookshelf system. The unusual looking unit features MDLP modes, motorized CD door, and 2X CD->MD recording.
Taky Cheung gives his comments on the Sony MDS-PC3, a computer connectable MD deck.
A detailed comparison of the Sony MDS-JE440, JE640, and JB940 decks is submitted by W.H.G. Blakeley.
Johnathan Woithe creates a page that gives advice on getting service done on older Sony MD decks.
3/28: Jim Schaekel spots an Inside magazine article discussing the first computer copy protected CD to be released, Charley Pride's A Tribute to Jim Reeves. (Digital copying to MD will not be affected).
Rob Trail points out mainstream (read: nearly correct) MD gear reviews for the Sharp MD-MT60, MD-MT77 and Sony MZ-R900.
Dooyou has a slew of MD reviews.
Taky spots M-crew version 1.05e PC software for the Sony MDS-PC3 MD deck.
3/27: Mark Bausch finds a WSJ article stating that Aiwa will halve their workforce (perhaps explaining why the Aiwa AM-F90 is a Sony MZ-R900 clone?).
Taky Cheung points out Sony's M-crew download site, offering Windows Me and W2K versions of the control software for the Sony MDS-PC3 (a PC connectable MD deck).
3/26: Jeff Kwan reminds us of Crutchfield's great deal on the Sony DHC-MD555 mini system, currently the best deal going for a multi-MD-playing unit. Pick one up for $300 (and get a free PC/MD link kit if you order by March 31st).
Al Ducote creates a very useful key template (in PDF format) that identifies key functions when a PS/2 keyboard is connected to a Sony MDS-JB940 deck.
John Blok spots Sony's Canadian rebate for a free USB PC Link kit with a purchase of select MD units (originally expiring on Feb 28th) has been extended until March 31st.
3/25: JF Vincent of MD-21 spots Sharp turning out another MD unit variant, the MD-MT80H portable recorder (very similar to the recently-announced MD-MT90).
Clare points out a Discount Discs (UK) deal selling MDs for 96p each (about US $1.30) if ordering a pack of 100.
MiniDisc & CD Solutions (UK) has a selection of MD gear and accessories available.
3/24:Brian Youn offers a definitive review of the MD-MT77 portable MD recorder, Sharp's latest unit.
Brian also comments on using the Xitel and CatchSound USB audio adapters with MD gear.
Japan-Direct offers the highly compatible (e.g. Sharp, Sony, etc.) CatchSound USB to digital audio adapter for $100 plus shipping (machine translation of manufacturer's page).
Loan them ~$1000 for 10-14 weeks and get a Sony MZ-R37 for free?! (Won't find me procrastinating on that rebate!). Thanks to Grant Goodale.
3/23:The first Sony clone? Leon spots a Japanese announcement of the Aiwa AM-F90 (machine translation). It even has the R900's End Search!
Cloning confirmed: My-Minidisc.de's Norbert points out Aiwa's AM-F90 English page. He also spots a handy, general purpose Japanese to English web page translator.
The Aiwa AM-F3 user operation manual (ca. 1996) has been scanned in.
Björn Blomberg's Best Buy & Hifi Tip website gives advice on purchasing several different MD units.
3/21:Philip kindly scans in the complete 70 page English MZ-R900 user manual and George Michalski helpfully converts it to PDF.
3/20:Brian Youn covers the Sony MZ-R900 in exquisite detail with a review suited for true MD fans.
Brian's also assembled some user comments on MDLP mode.
3/18:The French MD site MD21 posts info on the Sharp MD-MT90 portable recorder. It appears to be a new machine.
Regardless of your regional MD weather, it is springtime for the format in Japan: Witness the plethora of new MDLP gear that T's tables has photos for: Sony WX-5500MDX double DIN MDLP/CD car unit ( Japanese press release), Teac MD-5 MKII MDLP home deck (PS/2 kbd input, pitch control, title copy -- Japanese press release). Victor RD-X3MD MDLP boombox ( Japanese press release [machine translation]), Kenwood f-MD7, M929 & MZ929 MDLP car units (1MD, 1MD & CD/MD resp. -- Japanese press release). According to T's MDLP table there are about 70 MDLP audio components on the market in Japan. Looks like MDLP has taken root!
3/17:Leon finds a photo and Japanese announcement (machine translation) for Panasonic's first MDLP player the SJ-MJ78, with record breaking battery life (104hr in LP4 mode).
Aileen Chen spots good photos on Aiwa's English page for their titanium skinned AM-HX200 MD player.
Christian Abegg has a spiffy, dynamically generated MD equipment comparator (in English and French).
A typo? With Payvand's help we find the US MZ-R90 for $184 at TechNetAmerica.com. Update: Erik R finds another MZ-R90 for $185 at Etronics.com.
Josh Tasker points out a comprehensive evaluation of software MP3 decoders.
3/16: Rob Trail finds mention of Minidisc in an ABC News article on Dataplay's uphill battle.
MD's competition grows: Ying Zhang finds a Sony page outlining the CMD-MZ5 cell phone/Memory Stick player. Nigel Edmund-Jones, Jani and Omar Hernandez spot the Sony CLIE PEG-N700C (see original Japanese press release or English PalmInfoCenter article), the latest of Sony's PDAs which can be used as a portable Memory Stick player (complete with wired remote). Alex Anton discovers the Marantz PMD680, PMD690, and Teac line of PC-card recording units (accepts PCMCIA type II ATA standard Flash memory cards).
Alex also points out TOSLINK<->Coax RCA converters offered by the Sound Professionals.
A Japanese press release covers Sony's announcement of the CMT-PX333 MD mini system (4X CD->MD record speed, MDLP, PCLK-MN10A PC Link kit compatible, ¥55,000).
3/13: My-MiniDisc.de offers a driver update for Sony's MDS-PC3 M-Crew software, English version 1.01E (Windows 2000/ME compatible).
Alejandro León writes a review of the Sony MDS-JB940 home stereo MD deck.
A user reports in a good deal at J&R, where they are selling the Sony MZ-E75 portable MD player for $99.99.
3/12: Bob Harding sends in the Microsoft Access database that he uses to catalog and organize his MiniDisc collection.
Jeffrey Chou spots CityGadgets.com selling a few portable MD units.
You can view the alt.audio.minidisc newsgroup in your web browser thanks to Interbulliten.
MD Portal, a Singapore-based MD exporter, offers the recently released Sharp MD-MT877 and Sony MZ-E900 portable MD units.
Looking for some nifty Mac icons? Edward Chadez spots James Meister's MD unit icons (download links are broken, you can retrieve the icon pack from us).
MD Portal proprietor Ho Zen Yong states that the Sony MZ-E900 and Sharp MD-MT877 have been released in Singapore; the latter is available from them for US$290 + ~US$20 shipping.
3/11:Digital Disc HandyCam, take 3!: Sanyo's iDshot records stills or Quicktime/JPEG video (8-120 minutes depending on resolution) to iD PHOTO media (a 730MB, 50mm Magneto-Optical disc) with basic in-camera editing functions. Audio is 8KHz, 8bit mono only . (Spotted by Michael Grigoriev)
Roberto Barrios contributes plans for a Coax to Optical S/PDIF converter and smart NiMH/NiCd battery charger.
Through March 15: Cassette House offers Hi-Space blanks for $1.25 each plus shipping.
3/9:Digital Disc HandyCam, take 2: Hitachi's DVD-CAM will store 1 hour of high quality MPEG2 video (30 minutes per 1.4GB side) with full in-camera editing capabilities on an 80mm mini-DVD cartridge [cf. MD: 64mm, Floppy: 85mm]. Audio is MPEG1 Layer 2(!)
Nicolas Martin finds further rumors that audio CDs that are unreadable on a PC will be appearing soon.
A CNN Sci-tech article on the 32mm write-once Dataplay disc discusses its problems and possibilities in the portable audio marketplace.
Peter Ravn notes that the Sony MZ-R900, -R700 and -R500 are now available in Germany from My-Minidisc.de.
Sebastijan Semiz points out Sharp Deutschland's MD pages.
David Robinson of DiscountDiscs.co.uk notes their good prices on TDK XS-iV Series 2 and 3 discs: £22.90/20 blanks.
3/8:Leon finds a Japanese press release for the Aiwa AM-HX200 MDLP player (English browser table entry).
3/7: Finally: affordable high quality analog audio input to Macs/PCs/Laptops: Alex Anton spots the Griffin iMic Adapter, a US$35 USB audio I/O device with mic and line level inputs as well as line level output. The unit handles full duplex I/O and can be ordered direct from Griffin.
Nothingman finds Advice for Aspiring Tapers on a Pearl Jam site. The advice? MiniDisc is the best bet for the cost-aware taper.
Blue finds Crutchfield selling the Sony MDX-C800REC in-dash MD Recorder for US$330, with another $25 off by placing referral code 20686263 in the "notes" section during checkout.
Nozza likes the VideoLogic DRX-601E DAB tuner for making sweet off-the-air recordings digital-direct to MD gear (too bad DAB isn't available to us Yanks!).
3/6:Shawn Lin points out the Leadtek WinFast 4Xsoundcard, a $30 digital I/O sound card that comes with a TOSlink optical I/O daughtercard, TOSlink cable and optical mini-plug adapter.
Would be swell for audio MD gear too dept: Until December last year, Sony Japan offered an MD-Discam firmware upgrade on an MD-Data2 disc (machine translation). The upgrade disc added video-track copying capability (via a PC) and a few new editing features.
Paul Fioravanti finds an MD-Discam Editing Demo in Japanese (click the highlighted buttons to see the Discam's editing features).
3/5:Cell-phones streaming music from mp3.com (initially @ 14.4kbps) are due out by year end through a deal made by Qualcomm & MP3.com.
Could have been great! Chad Gombosi spots Japanese info for the elegant Kenwood MDX-G7 Rampage (machine translation), an AA cell powered AM/FM/CD/MDLP boombox with USB input, foolishly crippled by lack of a USB to MD recording function and a Japanese-band FM tuner.
3/4: The MDCP site search engine (at the top of the page) is back in action. Sorry for the delay!
3/3: Jean-François Vincent's MD-21 MD website en Français adds information on the Sony MZ-E900 and JVC XM-R700 portable MD units (their web address has also changed to www.md-21.fr.st).
Further French MD coverage is found by Thomas James at Minidiscque.com, where MiniDisc is compared to several other digital audio formats.
3/1: A Scientific American article found by Dan mentions MiniDiscs in its discussion of copyright management in today's digital world.
Hardeep discovers an official Sony press release stating that all of this year's MiniDisc Long Play portable recorders (MZ-R500, -R700, -G750 and -R900) will be available in the United States (thank you Sony!).
A guide covering recording to MiniDisc from Apple's iTunes software is compiled by Ken Tidwell.
Peter Ravn and Trevor Bommersbach keep an eye on the competition: Sony announces in a Japanese press release (machine translation) the NW-E8P Network Walkman, a pair of clip-on headphone units that have 64MB of built-in ATRAC3 memory to store audio.
2/27: Sebastien Bogaert freshens up his French MiniDisc page with new features, including full technical information on MDs.
2/26: A few good European deals on MD units: Peter Ravn finds the Sony MZ-R900 for £200 at Superfi UK (they also have the MZ-R500 and R700 in stock), and Dinis spots the Sharp MD-MT 877 for 765 DM at Minimaniax (Germany).
Tradertrax, a business which thrives on eBay auction dealings, offers MD blanks, storage racks, and lots of optical cables.
Matt Snow starts up a MiniDisc hip-hop trading group site on Yahoo.
2/23:Peter Ravn takes a peek at the Sony MZ-G750, the first portable MD recorder with a built in tuner (though you can't record from it).
2/22: Eric Whitney spots a new unit in a Japanese press release from Panasonic: the SC-PM60MD bookshelf system, with 3CD and 1MD, 2X CD-to-MD recording, MDLP.
Roy Myers and Jeff Dubin both remind us of some fantastic MD deals that can be found at Sony's outlet stores across the country. Portable MD recorders can reportedly be picked up for under $140, with MD players as little as $50.
Apache Micro offers an add-on bracket giving Sound Blaster Live! cards SPDIF and optical input/outputs, as well as a digital DIN connector. Sinisa Cuk picked one up from Adison, a Croatian computer store.
A user finds a Canadian Sony rebate (PDF) for a free PCLink kit, good for any MD unit purchase between December 1st, 2000 and February 28th, 2001; completed rebate must be received by March 30, 2001. (The U.S. coupon is valid for select MD unit purchases between July 1st, 2000 - March 31st, 2001; must be postmarked by March 31st.)
2/20: Steve Lafferty sends in a bunch of updates on how to make your own headphone amplifier.
Memorystick.org promotes Memory Stick products, use, licensing, etc. Found by Marco Rossen, it has a very low "Sony brand" profile though the site is maintained by them.
Four more manuals found proves Irage isn't done yet: Sony MDX-65, MDX-C6500X, MDX-C800REC, and MDX-C8500X (all PDF).
Brinkmann, an online German electronics dealer, is found selling the Sharp MD-MT877 (apparently a slightly re-named MD-MT77) for 799 DM (approx. $370 US).
2/18: Irage pulls through again with a slew of new MD manuals all in PDF format: Denon DN-M1050R, DN-M991R (plus supplemental); Onkyo MD-105X, MD-121, MD-2521; Sharp MD-MS722 quick guide, MD-MX20 (plus quick guide), MD-MT821 quick guide, MD-MX30 (plus quick guide); Sony MDS-JE330, MDS-M100; Yamaha MDX-793, MDX-595, MDX-9, MDX-E100.
Trucki updates his MD-MT15 Titleaid QBasic software to 3.1 -- you can download it from his German MD page.
Icon MiniDisc, run by Chris Siegle, has an impressive collection of MD labels for many popular albums available for download.
IGN.com posts a very positive review of the Sony MZ-R900, found by Joost de Meij.
2/16:Bruce Miranda contributes DIY plans for a computer titling interface for Sony portables. Wondering where to get the remote connector? Fabtech is selling Sony MZ-R37 remotes on Ebay for $16 (incl. shipping), they reportedly have plenty.
Keen to give MDLP a quick audition? We've assembled an ATRAC3 codec for Windows along with a few audio samples so that the various bit rates may be compared.
Panasonic sticking to their [old] guns? Leon spots Japanese info for the Panasonic SJ-MJ80 player (details [English]), a new, non-MDLP unit with 110 hour battery life.
2/14: More info on the new JVC XM-R700 surfaces: My-MiniDisc.de offers detailed German information on the unit, and Thomas James finds an English description on JVC's European website.
Gary Binger's keen eye spots an amusing typo in the Sony Style description of the MZ-R700, with the unit's ability to let you "create your own personal MD complications."
Fujitsu has a page (found by Adam Frix) describing their new I-Series computer notebooks that have a built-in optical output, apparently made specifically for connecting to MiniDisc recorders.
2/12: T-Station has info on JVC's new XM-R700 portable MD recorder and Sharp's new MD-ST70 portable MD player.
Peter Ravn spots a Japanese Sony press release describing the new MXD-D40, a CD/MD combo deck.
T's MD Comparison Page adds the Sony MXD-D40, CMT-J100, and PCLK-MN10A units to their site.
Mark Bausch kindly scans in pages from the Spring 2001 issue of Sony Style magazine that describe the MZ-R700 and MZ-G750 portable MD recorder models.
2/9: T-Station is running a MiniDisc Flash contest, where people can submit their MD-related MD Flash presentations for a chance at winning a Kenwood MD player. Contest ends March 10th.
A Sony Japanese press release found by Peter Ravn notes a car CD player that can also play back a CD burned with MP3 files.
2/7: Irage collects a plethora of PDF MiniDisc manuals: JVC models MX-WMD90, XM-448BK, XM-EX90, XM-P55, and XM-PJ1BU; Sony models MDS-JA20ES, MDS-JA555ES, MDS-S40, MXD-D3, MZ-E90, MZ-R37SP, and ZS-M35.
Overstock.com is selling a Pioneer MJD508 MD deck for USD $199 with free shipping (deal found by Kakey Chan).
T's page sports photos of several new MDLP units: the Sharp MD-ST70 portable MD player, the Pioneer MEH-P777 and Kenwood RX-780MD in-dash MD receivers, and the Kenwood MDX-G3 boombox (with world FM band tuner).
2/4: Get your MiniDisc watches here! We have a feeling that the actual product won't live up to its description, but you can enjoy checking out iGadget's deal of a Sony MZ-R33 watch model (complete with true analog watch hands!).
Beyond HiFi (UK) stocks a few exotic blank MDs from TDK's XS-iV design line: "Alien Rock", "Out Of This World", and "Brainstorm".
Learn more about Sony's ATRAC3 in this PDF TechnoWorld article found by Howard Chu.
No audio format can keep everyone happy... this is particularly evident in Andrew's Audio HiFi Recommendations page, where he describes MiniDiscs as "junk and total waste of time and money."
Oliver finds Friend-Chip audio format converters with SCMS management.
2/2: T's MD Comparison Page gets updated with some of the new Pioneer car MD units.
An official page for the Teac MDH-500 high-end MD deck is found by Pete Fedak.
A generally positive eTown review of the Sony MZ-R70PC is spotted by Steve Ramirez.
1/30: A favorable review of the MD audio format is written in French by Christian Hamel on Canoe.ca, one of Canada's popular internet portals (article found by Thomas James).
Irage finds a manual for the Sony MZ-E60 (PDF) on Sony's website.
We add Equipment Browser entries for the Sony MZ-E600 and Aiwa AM-HX77.
1/28: Irage Tursoon-Zadeh finds the Sony MZ-E75 manual (PDF) on a Sony website.
Another user finds the Sharp MD-SR60 user manual (PDF).
My-MiniDisc in Germany writes a review of the Sony MDS-PC3.
1/27: Peter Ravn and Desmond spot a Sony Japanese press release describing the new MZ-E600 portable MD player. When using the unit, it will alert you to an incoming cell phone call (how exactly is not very clear yet!).
Argos, a popular UK chain store, is found (by Adam) offering portable MiniDisc units with through online store. (choose Browse By Category / Audio and Video / Portable Hifi / Personal MiniDisc)
Minidisco, Sound Professionals, and the T-Station all team up for a giveaway contest including various blank MDs, an MD carrying case, headphones, and a microphone. Contest ends January 31st.
T-Station gets the scoop on the Aiwa AM-HX77 portable MD player.
Sharp MD-MS722 and MD-MT821 Quick Guides (PDF) are found by Tom Trussell on Sharp's USA website.
WoofersEtc.com, an online car audio dealer, has a selection of car MD units.
1/25:Larry Bakst points out an interesting article on the perils of industrially imposed copy protection by John Gilmore of EFF fame.
1/23: iTunes, a free program for Mac users to manage their MP3's (including the burning of MP3's to CD), is released by Apple.
Thinking of buying some MD equipment from Crutchfield? Then use coupon code 20686263 (found by Blue) to get $25 off an order of $250 or more.
Arne Striegler notes Minimaniax, a German online MD dealer, offering 10 Hi-Space MDs and a pair of JVC headphones for free when ordering the Sharp MD-MT866.
A user finds Quality Electrical Direct, a UK MD dealer with good prices on MD equipment.
1/22: Bob finds RealPlayer's "RealAudio 8" supporting Sony's ATRAC3 format.
Christian Abegg maintains a French MiniDisc site with a database on the latest MD recorders, an MP3-to-MD guide, and a full French translation of the MDLP FAQ (originally in English).
1/20: Trucki has written TitleAid, a QBasic software that allows control of a Sharp MD-MT15. The German page for the software also covers how to build the necessary interface that plugs into the unit's headphones remote jack.
Minidisco is giving away a Sony MZ-R90 portable MD recorder and a 10-pack of 80-minute discs in a contest (ends 12:00AM on February 6th).
1/18: MiniDisc is mentioned briefly in a ZDnet article found by Rob Trail which talks about incompatibilities between various audio, video, and game console media.
Here's another use for your Palm PDA: use it to title your MiniDiscs! Howard Chui finds MD Titler, a Palm program that can send IR signals to most Sony MD decks. John Vocking finds another page that outlines the MD Titler program in detail.
1/17: Ross Miller shares his method of printing text directly on Memorex MD labels using Microsoft Word.
DoctorMiniDisc.com appears on the scene, offering various MD units as well as blank MDs.
1/16: Marco Rossen finds PlanetMG, a website that offers ATRAC3 and Windows Media audio files for download. You can also download an ATRAC3 plugin for the Windows Media Player.
My MiniDisc, an online German MD store, stocks MD units of all kinds, including a wide selection of computer digital output products.
1/15:Walter Knapp spots owners manuals (in pdf format) for the pro-use Marantz PMD650 and HHB MDP500 portable MD units at Minidisco.com.
Get a great deal on the Sony DHC-MD555 5-disc MD mini-system, on sale for $299 at Crutchfield (deal found by David West).
Bob finds the USB ZephIR, a Mac scriptable learning infrared device designed to contol MD decks (as well as other electronics).
Defeat the SCMS copy protection on your MZ-R900 by following Brian Youn's step-by-step directions.
1/12: Oliver Blanc puts together an exposition of the MiniDisc en Français, including the technology behind it, unit test modes, and ATRAC details. The French documentation and associated test software is also available in download format.
AVLand is the first with info on Sony's MZ-E300 MD portable player.
An interesting article found by Marc Herbert covers the issues of piracy over the internet, and a solution on how to handle the problem.
A Wired article briefly mentions MiniDisc MDLP as it sizes up the latest audio and video products (article spotted by Improvious).
Sven creates a webpage that explains how to make your own MD labels in three easy steps.
MD-21 puts up coverage of Sony's latest line of MD portables (in both English and French).
1/11:Wither SDMI? EE Times reports that a leading MP3 chip maker, Micronas, has bailed out of SDMI.
1/10: AVLand.co.uk becomes the first place to have photos and info on Sony's latest line of portable MD recorders: the MZ-R500, MZ-R700, and the MZ-G750 (the first portable MD recorder with a built-in FM tuner!). All three units run off of a single AA battery (and are all roughly about 50% thicker than other new MD portables because of this).
An official Sony press release spotted by Tony Lai talks of the MZ-R700DPC (MZ-R700 bundled with PC Link Kit), the MDX-CA680X in-dash car MD unit, and the MXD-D40 high-speed CD/MD dubbing deck. (Browse to third page of the CES Press Releases.)
Sharp is also announcing their new MD units for 2001: an official Sharp press release, also found by Tony, talks about the MD-MT877 (possibly a MD-MT77 clone) and MD-MT90 portable MD recorders.
In a rather surprising move, Howard Chui finds an MSNBC article telling of Sony's upcoming release of several MP3 disc-playing CD players.
Gerald Tomyn creates a very informative, step-by-step webpage describing how to record from your computer to a MiniDisc.
1/8: Sony is pushing the MiniDisc Long Play (MDLP) feature at this slick, Flash-enhanced Japanese MDLP website spotted by Jean-François Vincent. The site also has an Ad Gallery where you can view some still image ads, as well as watch a 30-second MDLP commercial (in Quicktime .MOV format).
Oliver spots the Friend-Chip D4-2 Copy Con, an SCMS editor, available from Klay Anderson Audio for USD $199.
The HHB MDP500 PortaDisc MD recorder, designed for the traveling professional "sound recordist," has a host of different connections (XLR Mic, RCA, coax & optical). including USB connection to a PC.
The MD Sleeve Center, which collects and designs MD album sleeve labels, gets a new domain name.
Jon Arakaki kindly submits a Adobe PDF copy of the Kenwood KMD-42 in-dash car MD unit manual.
1/5: Have a lot of different audio components to connect with optical cables? The Recoton ADS1000 Digital Optical Selector Switch, spotted by Charles, connects up to three optical devices to one unit.
For those in the UK wanting a Sony MZ-R900, Simon Foulkes reports that local stores expect it in within the next two months. If you still want to dive in now, you can preorder an MZ-R900 from AVLand, an online UK electronics dealer.
Pareen Gandecha scans in the Denon DMP-R70 portable MD recorder service manual pages describing how to go into test mode.
If Japanese web pages leave you completely in the dark, you might try this online Japanese website translator located at Tranexp.com, if for nothing other than its humor value. (If you've got some inkling of Japanese, this will only impede your progress).
A good deal is spotted by David West: FutureShop.ca, a Canadian electronics dealer, is selling Sony's MDX-C6500X car MD player for Canadian $299 (about USD $200). Note that they will only ship to within Canada. For US readers, CarMedia sells the unit for $289.
Philip Hamm reminds us that Electronics Emall has several good MiniDisc deals going, including the Sony MDS-JE320 home MD deck for $99 and the Sony MZ-R37 portable MD recorder for $129.
1/3:David Tamkin discovers what happens when you forge LP tracks from non-LP audio data, and vice versa.
Dan Scellen finds a new MD micro system made by Kenwood: the HM-381MD, complete with CD/MD/cassette/tuner capability.
1/1:Happy New Year!
The Chinese electronics news website ITPower.net has a page describing Sony's "ultra high quality" MD2000 blank MiniDisc, spotted by Tim Chapel.
Shiv Naimpally discovers how to enter test mode on a Sharp MD-SR60.


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