Old MiniDisc Page News 2002

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

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12/30:Dan Gilchrist points out Bret Fausett's rant on Sony's NetMD uploading oppression. Apparently ICANN meetings in Amsterdam were recorded to Minidisc with the intention of putting them online, only later was it learned how "spectacularly awful" Minidisc is at moving audio to PC.
Sony, how about some compassion for your customers and the trouble this missing capability is causing them?
Adam Casperson has updated PC-2-MD to v1.2. The $10 PC to MD realtime (non-NetMD) audio transfer utility now features support for ID3 v1 tags.
Marc Wielage kindly sends along a tri-lingual (English, Spanish and Russian!) Sony MZ-B100 operation manual.
The Ghost of Christmas Past drops off a Sharp MD-MS701 service manual.
12/24:A Christmas present from Brian Youn: he contributes a no-holds-barred, all-questions-asked, exploration of the Sony MZ-N10 portable NetMD recordable. Discuss...
12/22:Mr. Phish finds many Sony accessories available online from Sony Electronic's own Service website.
12/19: Michael points out the Froogle search engine from Google. It allows you to scour the net for the best prices on everything Minidisc.
Minidisc HK posts SimpleBurner and NetMD drivers for downloading.
Ricardo Camba notes an interesting NPR segment on changes to artist royalty accounting practices (6 min.) that 2 of the big 5 labels are making in hopes of convincing more artists to join their battle against free music on the Internet.
12/18:Gosh MD prices are dropping! Rinaldi Wibowo finds the [unmicrophonable] Sony MZ-N505 portable NetMD recorder for US$92 (w/shipping) at uBid.com Flash: uBid also carries the Sharp MD-MT180 for US$123 w/shipping (likewise un-"mike"-able).
Santa's repair-elf sends in service manuals for the JVC XM-EX90 MD deck, the Panasonic SJ-MD100 & SJ-MD150 decks and the Panasonic SJ-MR100 portable. (The SJ-MD100 supplement contains a good introduction to MD technology). Dear Santa: May we also have a few Sharp service manuals for Christmas?
Minidisc as a cultural assumption: Taylor Thomas spots a non-Minidisc related advertising image on MP3.com that depicts Minidisc as a common audio accessory.
Bob discovers an even cheaper NetMD digital [realtime—yawn] uploading solution: Techtronics (UK) will ship a Sony MDS-JB980 NetMD deck to the US for £239; add a US$33 Radio Shack US->UK power transformer and it totals US$415.
12/16:The US$80 MD recorder (if you can do without microhone input): Several readers point out the Sony MZ-R500 at Tweeter (bundled with the Xitel analog PC-Link).
Minidisco is offering the Sony MDS-JE780 NetMD deck for US$470. Its optical output allows automated digital (albeit realtime) MD->PC uploading with the Win NMD freeware package (and optical input soundcard).
12/15: Ross Purves finds an interview with Robert Palmer (300KB scan) in the UK Daily Mirror Magazine supplement wherein he says "I love My Marvelous Minidisc Player".
Reactive Sounds has created the micPOD, a US$35 tripod for holding small microphones by their built-in phone plug.
Minidisc Australia has a gallery of Sony MZ-N10 photos.
Stephanie Koles reports that WMGK (102.9 FM -- a major market classic rock station in Philadelphia) is running a Sony MZ-N505 NetMD promo for Circuit City. Circuit City in turn lists 85 reviews of the unit, giving it a 4.5 out of 5 rating overall.
12/10:ATRAC3Plus for Sony Solid State Players: Ravn and AVLand spot Sony's NW-MS70D Network Walkman (mech. trans) featuring a new ATRAC3Plus mode that offers high quality audio at 64kbps and 48kbps. That industrial sculpture shown in the left photo is the unit in its docking stand. Discuss...
Our discussion site gains many moderated Minidisc forums for well-mannered discourse on all Minidisc-related topics.
Mark Brandish points out Paolo Sessa's M3U2SBurner utility (for Windows) that couples nicely with Dino's SimpleBurner/Nero MP3 downloading method by extracting titles and putting them into the SimpleBurner database so they needn't be entered manually.
James Koutsis finds a Sony Hong Kong Minidisc page with [impossible to navigate!] flash animation coverage of Sony's MD portables of the past.
Stephen Commiskey spots a Sony NetMD Commercial on Wal-Mart's in-house video network and several readers report seeing MD gear at various Wal-Mart stores in the US (e.g. Parkersburg, WV).
12/7:Video-Direct's handy Sony 2001 portable comparison table is reinstated.
Minidisco offers the Sony MZ-E10 portable for ~US$300 w/shipping and has two new shapshots of the unit.
12/5:The folks at the Minidisc IRC page have spotted a Japanese Panasonic SJ-MJ55 commercial (local copy) starring Ayumi Hamasaki, her bellybutton, and some vintage Lawson music. At the end she refers to herself saying "Ayu listens this way ..."
12/2:Minidisc.org is seeking volunteer forum moderators and suggestions for forum topics. Discuss...
Minidisco has a few imported Sony MZ-N10s available for US$390 w/shipping.
12/1:Karl Borst finds good prices on Sony MD portables at ElectronicsMall.com (e.g. MZ-N707 for $175), but still lower prices can be found using the Minidisc price comparison tables.
11/30:Peter Maksymiuk describes reset and restore procedures for those who have crashed their Sony MZ-R700/R500 recorders adding MZ-R900 features to them.
11/29:Minidisc T-Station has updated their Sony NetMD Software downloads to include SonicStage v1.5 (English version).
Koen Goossens finds that CDCovers.cc has closed their audio covers section at the RIAA's insistence.
AudioCubes is offering a 2 day sale (ends 11/30) on MD gear and accessores (including the suddenly popular Sony RM-MC11ELS universal MD remote for US$45 + shipping).
11/28:Chris Naumovic finds a Japanese announcement for the Sharp MD-DR7 portable recorder. The unit features record breaking battery life (120hr playback, 64hr recording), 1-bit digital amp, and ``trace-back'' (aka "time machine") recording with selectable 5, 10, or 30 second pre-recording interval. (Mech. trans: announcement, Sharp press release page 1 and 2). Discuss...
Minidisc T-Station helpfully hosts several Sony NetMD Software downloads: OpenMG Jukebox, the NetMD driver and Simple Burner.
11/27:If Sony Support doesn't have "So how do I get my song onto my PC?" in their Top-20, they surely will now: Joe Alterio points out the Sony Porta-Recorder Pack, a US$300 live-recording bundle for musicians that includes an MZ-N707 MD recorder and ECM-DS70P microphone. It appeared in this month's Guitar Center flyer.
Jan Yskout points out a Dutch ZDNet Belgium Minidisc article (the second page references Minidisc.org).
A few MD fans have made a Minidisc chat room on IRC.
Finally, line-input adapters for factory car stereos! Jordan Goldberg points out RCAinput.com, with (pricey!) adapters for the stereos in several makes and models of automobile.
11/25:Pete Bentley releases Xmd v0.1 – nascent Open Source NetMD functionality for MacOS X, Darwin, FreeBSD, etc. So far only playback and titling functions are present. Discuss...
11/24:We open the Minidisc Community Forums for discussing daily news postings.
Giorgio Capacciola has updated his NetMD Creator to v3.0b. This version incorporates new functions such as track rename and delete.
Japan-Direct posts several MZ-N10 photos and is offering the unit for $420 (w/shipping).
Minidisco has the Sharp MD-F230 CD/MD boombox for US$350 (w/shipping). The unit includes a world-band FM tuner.
11/23:John Volanski recently published Sound Recording Advice, a guide to making a home recording studio. The book's website has an excerpt that covers electronic studio equipment.
Planet Minidisc has Samsung 74' blanks on closeout for $1 each (in quantites of 100).
Video-Direct (Florida mail-order electronics retailer) offers some of the best prices on Sony MD decks, but they can no longer carry Sony on their website. Phone (1-800-368-5020) or email ([email protected]) is a convenient way to contact them.
11/22:Further new MZ-N10 features: Leland McArthy reports that the Sony MZ-N10 has a REHEARSAL mode for fine adjustment of the track mark position à la MD decks; you enter it by holding down the track mark button. Discuss...
11/21: Wild MZ-R700/R500 hack! Peter Maksymiuk works out the EEPROM changes to add several MZ-R900 functions to an MZ-R700 or MZ-R500. Discuss...
11/19: Bill Nakamura points out a Macsurfer link to Andy Ihantko's Chicago Sun-Times Minidisc commentary that explains how Sony gets MD portable audio so right, yet so wrong ("heroically stupid" limitations, no PC upload path, hopelessly buggy "Open"MG software). Sony, would it be so bad to let Minidisc do an honest day's work? Discuss...
MDMan (Korea) posts a slew of Sony MZ-N10 snapshots (including a USB cable with a connector no one has ever seen before).
11/17:Poor Man's NetMD Uploader! Christian Klukas creates Win NetMD, a realtime, analog, (but convenient!), MD->PC audio track transfer utility for NetMD equipment. Discuss...
Giorgia Capacciola releases NetMD Creator v2, an OpenMG Jukebox plugin that accesses the OpenMG Database to provide title and file handling convenience functions.
NetMD Software Day Sony publishes a downloadable OpenMG Jukebox 2.2 patch, said to fix several serious sounding bugs (eg: "omg files lost when back up data is restored after imported").
Koen Goossens has embarked on an elaborate Minidisc page (prepare to hear pop music upon page load).
Yves Le Page renders his MD deck auto-track mark modification en Français.
11/16:Leland McArthy makes a few comments about the Sony MZ-N10, most noteworthy is that Sony has revised the battery life specs downward and that the unit includes a user settable option for reducing the FF and REW delays.
11/15:The $100 MD Recorder: Rob spots the Sony MZ-R500PC and Xitel MDPORT-AN1 (USB->LINE-OUT audio device) bundle for $100 at Tweeter. (Note: no microphone input on this unit).
Yet more factory Minidisc gear: Riley finds in-dash MD happiness available in Australian Mazdas for AUD$700-$800; Mackay says players are available on UK BMW Minis (GBP 135) and Australian Jaguar S-Types (AUD$720) and X-Types (AUD$300); and Jan sends in an Australian Mazda Miata brochure (PDF) showing a player available as an option.
Imported Japanese goodies: Minidisco is stocking the Panasonic SJ-MR250 portable NetMD recorder ($325) and Sharp SD-CX8 MDLP bookshelf system ($430).
11/13:More factory-installed Minidisc gear: Lance Birch notes that an in-dash MD player is available as an option on the Australian BMW Mini.
11/12:Julian Zhu points out Sony's 1 2 photos of MZ-E10 components and a photo of the inside of an MZ-N10.
Some assembly required: Yves Le Page shows how to modify a Sony MD deck to insert track marks every 3 minutes while recording.
Arthur Aiguzhinov finds an extensive Russian Sony MZ-N1 review.
11/11:Minidisco is offering an interesting Sharp MD-MT200 and microphone bundle for $260.
11/10:Mike Margraf notes that a factory installed Minidisc player is available as an option on European Volvo XC90 SUVs, and David Pitkin points out mention of this on VolvoSpy.com.
11/9:In the process of ferreting out Sony MZ-E710 information from the 2002 MD Walkman catalog we translated Sony's MD portable features glossary that indicates the Sony MZ-N10 has an auto-time-mark function that can lay down track marks in any interval from 1 to 99 minutes.
No More Name Bank? A careful reading of the Sony 2002 MD Walkman catalog reveals that Name-Bank has been dropped on the MZ-N10.
Did you know Sony Japan sells a ~US$30 RM-WC1 Rotary Commander (i.e. wired remote) for controlling MD walkman portables in a car? (And I'd guess Japan-Direct could provide them if you needed one).
Minidisc-Canada alerts us to upcoming additional levies on blank media in Canada.
11/6:Ilwoong Pyo points out Teac's calibrated test Minidiscs (with factory spec fingerprints!), useful for checking MD equipment servo and error recovery system functioning.
MDMan (Korea) has further MZ-E10 snapshots as well as gif animation of the MZ-E10 remote's animation.
11/5: Lots of sightings today of the MD 10th Anniversary Sony MZ-E10 that the T-Station reported last week - Sony Japan, MDNARA.com, Loksun.com and MDCorea.com.
11/3: Site sponsors, Minidisco, have a MD DJ bundle giveaway promotion running till 2 Dec - including a Sony MZ-N1, AT PRO55 camouflage headphones, blanks and a limited edition action figure! Simply sign up to the Minidisco mailing list to enter.
10/30: Thomas Barbee finds the new JVC XM-ZX3 portable which claims an astonishing 225 hours of continuous playback on internal power! (In Japanese; Babel Fish English translation)
Our friends at AV-Land spot a rather unusual DM-1NET front-loading Net-MD portable from Kenwood (in Japanese; Babel Fish English translation)
10/25: Eagle-eyed readers William Wang and John Marr spot a new Sony player - MZ-E710 featuring MDLP, 5-band EQ, and a window to see the disc being played. For the moment this model only appears in the PDF and paper versions of Sony Overseas Models catalogue (13.8Mb)
10/24: Mark Bausch notes a discussion (and some misinformation!) has started on MDs and Macs on the Deal Mac Forums.
Art Chimes has found an undated Pro Audio Review of the Sony MZ-B100 - an often overlooked, portable aimed at journalists and business users.
Jay Ireand read a promising article - Minidisc Hits The Big Time - in the November 02 issue of Smart Computing.
10/22: Our colleagues at Minidisc T-Station have kindly set up an upload petition forum on their T-Board as an on-going follow up to our own petition (which is now closed). Keep up the momentum - if you have something to say about the lack of MD->PC upload in the current NetMD technology, then post your views.
Meanwhile, 24 T-Station members are getting together to each record a local sample of sound on a single MD being sent round the globe. You can follow the progress of this (as-yet) unnamed project, started by Sketcher, on his website.
Robert Klein spots a number of jackets from Burton snow gear, such as this one, with built in MD pocket and access to the remote via a window in the sleeve - as featured in p120 of the Nov 02 Wired magazine!
10/15: Dmitry Chekanov of 3dnews kindly provides a Russian translation of the FAQ.
Several readers note the final demise of rival format Dataplay, as recorded in this Rocky Mountain News story. It reports the company is closed and up for sale.
Stanley Law find a 1999 Sony MD TV ad from Australia/NZ on The Commercial Closet website.
10/11: John Peters finds an ExtremeTech article that discussed the implications of the RIAA's threatened legal action and Fritz's Hit List - the defendant's list of items that might be affected by the action.
Charles Alcocer reports that US Satellite/Cable channel techtv's Screensaver show discussed a Sony MD ad, identifying the format as a persistent media with a loyal following.
Our key sponsor, Minidisco, have a limited special offer on TDK and Sony blanks.
10/8: Getting quiet again :-(... I'm resorting to some retail offers...
Satirical website, The Onion publishes a parody on the RIAA's keenness to control music distribution.
UK retailer AV-Land and Sony are offering a free MZ-E501 player with selected MD sytems and decks... proof perhaps that Sony is prepared to continue the push.
Michael Conner and Jerrod Hofferth point out C|net's review of Sony's MZ-N1 that concludes in much the way we would expect.
10/2: David Pitkin, Matt Bryant and others point out the near-death of the company behind the OEM iDP-100 PD-R audio player by iRiver. Rocky Mountain News reports on the troubles at DataPlay Inc.
The JVC XM-PX50WT Service Manual appears, courtesy of a reader, on our manuals page.
9/30: Jay Ireland spots author Stephen King using an MZ-R30 in a photo to accompany Entertainment Weekly's (27 Sep 2002) cover story - it doesn't appear in the abridged web edition.
The T-Station has added Panasonic's new MDLP players to its site: SJ-MJ95 and SJ-MJ55.
9/28:Like the proverbial buses... the news comes all at once!
In the ongoing Uploading debate, John Peters notes that Creative's Jukebox (an MP3 device) adds functionality to the live recording features and already has upload facilities - in the latest firmware upgrade.
and Phil Ouellette point out that Electronic Design Laboratory keep the data MD drive market alive and include Minidisc Transfer Editor amongst their products - a professional SCSI-based MD drive with 5x MD auidio upload. The only snag is the GB£4100 price tag.
Canon Chapman reports that Sony's NetMD management tool, OpenMG, seems to have a flawed backup tool for imported tracks. Apparently in restoring a backup to, say, a replacement PC, the check-out count for tracks is reset.
Dorian Staps discovers that the Sony MZ-S1 (Sports NET-MD) is now availabe in Germany exclusively through Karstadt-Sporthäusern department stores for €349...
...and he also notes three new portable players from Kenwood, Japan: DMC-Q77, -Q55 and -Q33 whilst Jeremy Fraser spots some new boombox additions from the same stable.
9/27:Rather quiet at the moment - though we have had some minor email niggles so if you have some news from the past seven days do please resend it to news@minidisc.org.
Sherwin Abesamis noted last week that the Magic Box console website reported that v2.0 of Sony's PlayStation 2 Broadband Navigator will have jukebox functionality with NetMD support.
9/20:Minidisc to PC Audio Uploading Sony replies ...
Nick Perry takes the Minidisc.org reins for 6 weeks.
9/19:Putting the punch back in prerecorded: MinidiscMusic.com (Tennessee) opens shop, offering a selection of some 500 prerecorded Minidisc titles to US customers.
9/16:Munie and Ravn find favorable Minidisc mention (2nd place to the iPod) on CNN.
9/15:Jeremy Fraser spots Sharp's MD-F230 boombox. The MDLP unit sports world-band FM tuner and 2X CD->MD dubbing.
Behind the Asian Pops Minidisc labels: Iyoung Chang's elegant Global Elements is home to myriad full size, downloadable, Asian Pop artist covers.
9/14: Minidisc T-Station snoops out the Panasonic SJ-MR230, an extended battery life, non-NetMD little brother to the SJ-MR250.
Peter Rice kindly illuminates the differential output and Class-D amplifier technology employed in the Sharp MD-DS8 MD player.
MDMan.net (Korea) shows what happens when a devotion to Asian pop stars and Minidisc labeling coincide (local copy).
9/12:Going EVA this winter? Burton Snowboards has integrated a Sony MZ-N1 and SOFTswitch sleeve mounted flexible keypad into their Analog Clone MD Snowboarding Jacket. (Courtesy John Andrusko)
Finally, sensibly priced optical gear: Clay Schneider points out Dayton Audio fiber-optic components as well as their A/D Converter, Coax->Optical converter, and Optical->Coax converter. Their sub-$3 TOSLink cable delights me (cf. Radio Shack's $15 equivalent).
Jack finds Memorex blanks for US$1.30 in packs of 20 at Amazon (free shipping).
9/11:Your car stereo's USB connector: Did you know Sony's US$100 XA-300 UniLink adapter has a USB port, allowing laptop connection to a Sony UniLink in-dash receiver? (The adapter is also handy for connecting Minidisc portables in the car).
William Wang finds that PocketFad does indeed have a few additional MZ-N10/MZ-E10 photos.
PCniu.net has a Chinese translation of Tim Corcoran's Kenwood MDX-G7 review.
In memory of many ...
9/10:Reactive Sounds introduces the Delta Microphone. Available from Minidisco, the $60 unit mounts directly to a portable recorder.
The $2.50 Minidisc storage solution: Jennifer Alexander finds an index card file perfectly suited to holding 24 MDs in their sleeves.
Geoff Grant points out a Macworld Steve Wozniak interview where he mentions Minidisc: "then I've got my MiniDisc LP, which stores eight albums on one minidisc and it's very cheap and the battery goes 20 hours." EP singles then?
Minidisc-Canada offers some lower prices: Sony MDX-C800REC (in-dash MD recorder) for US$406, Panasonic blanks (in 30-packs) for US$1.40 each, and the M Audio DiO 2496 digital optical I/O soundcard for US$167.
9/8:Those PocketFad MZ-N10 snapshots are from an AV Watch page (mech. trans.) that details a Minidisc 10th anniversary party Sony held in Tokyo.
Kenwood introduces the DMC-Q77, DMC-Q55 and DMC-Q33 MD players.
Calum Tsang updates his Zoltrix soundcard review.
9/4:Pushing DataPlay uphill: Mike Lastucka spots a NewsFactor article discussing the trials that lay ahead for the format despite the backing it has received from EMI, Universal and BMG.
9/3:PocketFad (Shenzhen China) has good closeup photos of the Sony MZ-N10, MZ-E10 and Sharp MD-DS8 portables.
Catching up: the Panasonic RX-MDX60 boombox, SJ-MJ15 player, SC-SV1 bookshelf system and Denon D-XW33 bookshelf system are added in.
9/2:Sony announces 10th anniversary Minidisc units: the LAM-Z10 bookshelf system, MZ-E10 player and MZ-N10 portable recorder. The latter features transfer rates of up to 64X, ATRAC Type-S, builtin Lithium Ion battery, 6 band equalizer, 1/2x to 2x variable speed playback, and includes "SonicStage" PC downloading software (OpenMG Jukebox is not mentioned in the release). Alas, no sign of any MD to PC transfer capability.
According to Sony's estimates on their Minidisc 10th anniversary page (mech. translation), it appears there are about 70 million MD units and 1.2 billion MD blanks in the world.
Sony's SonicStage Software (mech. trans) will apparently transfer CD, Wave, WMA and MP3 (upto 256kbps) tracks directly to Minidisc via NetMD [in ATRAC3 only(?)].
A friend points out Sharp's MD-DS8 portable MD player sporting 180 hour battery life and a one-bit digital amp.
Did you know Sony HK has a NetMD site?
8/30:James Koutsis points out a wonderful Sony Australia NetMD TV commercial. (local copy)
8/29:All things must pass: Angelo La Rocco spots an LA Times article (free reg.) reporting that Sony has finally scrapped Betamax (in passing they refer to Minidisc and Sony's willingness to stick with unpopular formats). What irony that Sony once battled Hollywood before the Supreme Court for their customers' right to use Betamax to record as they pleased. Would that they possessed an ounce of that same spirit for Minidisc!
A reader finds New York Times (free reg.) coverage of the DataPlay format that focuses on questions of market acceptance. In closing they quote Forrester Research's Bernoff: ``Maybe the time for physical media is past, the problem is not with the CD, but with anything that is physical. [Long-term, music distribution will be through packet-based wireless devices.] The format of the future, is no media at all.'' Aye.
Vincent Fontaine spots a Slashdot report that those distributing MP3 playabck software must now pay a license fee to Thompson of US$0.75 a package. (Et en Français)
Gary Ayre notes that Open/NMD (an OpenSource reverse-engineering of the NetMD protocol) has been incorporated in a BeOS GUI app for track and disc titling. (OpenNMD still does not support audio download however).
Speaking of Open/NMD, did you know there is an Open/NMD-users mailing list and a (small) news archive?
8/28: Minidisc in the lie detection industry: Darrin points out a Voice Stress Analyzer from Spyzone that is based around a Sony MDS-PC3.
Ray Woodward finds Yamaha's (UK) MDX-596 MD deck page. Apparently its 96KHz/24bit DAC is too swell for the likes of ATRAC3.
Can't wait any longer for a solution to high-speed audio uploading? Sound Professionals carries the RipFlash 128MB solid-state MP3 recorder (US$170) and a microphone pre-amp module (US$180) that together make an almost-tidy package for creating uploadable 2 hour field recordings in MP3/128kbps audio.
8/27:Readers point out Slate and Janisian articles rebutting the Recording Industry's claim that audio file sharing is hurting record sales.
And one we missed: A 2 year old One-to-one Online article discusses Minidisc's comeback, explaining that it has become the leading recordable audio format in Japan and including mention of the pre-recorded market.
8/26:A few tidbits of Sony documentation help illuminate the generational changes in the Minidisc system over the years.
8/25:Vincent Fontaine points out the Yamaha MDX-596 Minidisc deck, lacking MDLP support surprisingly.
My-Minidisc (Ger) posts a high-res Sony MDS-JE780 photo.
8/24:Digital audio uploading the old-fashioned way: Darren Tulk describes how to add digital optical output to a Sony MDS-JE440 Minidisc deck for about $10 in parts.
8/23:Budget solid state MP3 recorder offers USB uploading: Steve Jess points out the Ripflash solid-state MP3 recorder; a US$130 ($180) unit with 32mb (128mb) of builtin memory, a smartmedia slot, internal mic and speaker, line inputs, 32k-128kbps MP3 encoding, and USB audio downloading and uploading. Its rather skimpy user manual provides further details. Note to Sony: . . . _ _ _ . . .
Simon notes that SonyEricsson's P800 PDA/Cellphone uses Sony's new Memory-stick Duo, which is about 1/3rd the size of the original, but compatible with it through an adapter.
8/20:Euro NetMD campaign: My-Minidisc (Ger.) sends in a Sony Deutschland NetMD flyer.
8/19:The Register summarizes a Forrester technology report stating that MP3 downloads are actually good for the music business.
Minidisco is offering a free copy of Nero 5.5 with every Sony MZ-N505/N707/N1 (or for $13 standalone). As you may know, Nero enables MP3 downloads via Simple Burner without OpenMG Jukebox headaches.
Minidisc T-Station is giving away MD accessories as prizes in their write-a-review contest. They have also started a fund to promote Minidisc. Donations purchase preferential listings of T-Station URLs on Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, etc. for MP3 and portable audio related keyword searches (via Overture pay-for-performance search).
8/17:The campaign in Spain is not yet on the wane: Igor Jané reports on the Sony España NetMD & Coca-Cola advertising blitz.
Two for the road: Readers point out the Kenwood KMD-44 at Etronics for $225 and the Sony MDX-CA680X at Minidisc-Canada for $242, both MDLP.
For those who asked about the EMtec brand Minidisc blanks at Radio Shack: their (new) catalog number is 440-0806.
8/16:Ben Zarlingo finds a PC Magazine review of DataPlay. They express concerns with its engineering, user interface, and Digital Rights Management system.
AV-Land (UK) has a proper Sony MDS-JB980 photo.
8/15: John Canning finds a CNET review of the Sony MZ-N1. They note: "But one flaw prevents this Sony from being the perfect portable recording device: You cannot upload recordings via USB the way that you can with the Archos Jukebox Recorder 20 or the Creative Nomad Jukebox"
Peter Ravn finds Sony blanks at TapeResources.
8/14: Dear Sony ... Re: NetMD Uploading
Demers and Trudeau report a mention of Minidisc in the September Consumer Reports.
The Sharp MD-SR50 and MD-SR70 service manuals appear.
8/11: Bob Luckin spots the Alpine MDM-7741 in-dash AM/FM/MD (non-MDLP) receiver at Camera Club and Etronics for $170 and $175 (resp). Etronics apparently carries a good deal of MD gear, including the in-dash Sony MDX-CA680X MDLP reciever for $270 and the Sony MDX-66XLP 6 disc MDLP changer for $350.
Minidisc at Radio Shack (really): Jim Meshoyrer stocks the Sony MZ-S1 at his Brooklyn NY Radio Shack store for $180 (SKU #42-8047).
MD in the mainstream: Andrew Abernathy reports that a September Sound & Vision article covers 4 portable players: a TDK CD/MP3 unit, Samsung's Yepp, the Nomad Jukebox, and the Sony MZ-N1.
8/9: Sony announces OpenMG X, a DRM system that tracks your home viewing, listening, and copying habits and reports them to the copyright holder. Slashdot has further discussion, including this humorous gem.
You have the right to remain silent for 5h20m: Tom Burke finds an unusual BATF request for 66 Minidisc duplication systems.
MDcorea.com posts nice Panasonic SJ-MR250 snapshots.
8/8: Minidisc finally popular? Did you know there are over 18 places selling Sony MZ-N707s online?
Even Radio Shack? (well, blanks anyway): David Zantow finds EMTEC Blanks at his local Radio Shack for $8 a 5 pack.
8/6:My-Minidisc (Germany) is accepting pre-orders for Sony's CMT-CP505MD, a compact and stylish €520 MD/CD/Cassette bookshelf system.
On the beach in Kuala Lumpur: Brian Phillips finds an exotic advertising sample for Sony's Minidisc.
8/5:The tiny disc gets some air: Boston Globe posts a cautiously optimistic DataPlay article with comparisons to Minidisc. (Getting traction will be a separate matter)
8/3:Minidisc T-Station keeps us alert, pointing out the JVC XM-ZX5 portable MDLP player and world-band tuner equipped JVC NS-X7WMD double-drive MD boombox. The latter sports MD->MD dubbing and a host of recording and playback modes.
8/1:Lawrence Lin finds several Minidisc mentions at Underground Online (a Sony site?) in an article on Digital DJ-ing.
Dutch MD site MDcenter.nl freshens up, offering a contest for Netherlanders to win a Sony MZ-N505 as well as providing an online labelmaking facility.
7/31:Spanish Minidisc site Quesabesde posts an informative introduction to OpenMG Jukebox.
Travel necessity: Bob Luckin points out a brief Sony MZ-N1 blurb (near the bottom of the page) in the Telegraph (UK) travel section.
7/30:The Recording Industry's plan to force Digital Rights Management into every PC's hardware gains currency: The New York Times (free registration) reports Movie Studios Press Congress in Digital Copyright Dispute. The Register comments upon it (in their inimitable style) and ZDNet considers the broader implications.
7/29:Panasonic SJ-MR250 in focus: Japan-Direct posts several photos of the unit, and Minidisc T-Station points out a AVWatch preview (mech. trans.) with good closeups.
7/28:My-Minidisc is the first German e-tailer offering Sony's MDS-NT1 NetMD "PC connectable" deck (price: €270). Waitasecond: a unit slated for PC interconnection has no digital output!?
7/26: Look ma, no hands! Christian Truckenbrot's Sharp MD titling page offers DivX Videos showing his TitleAid PC software running without the use of intervening button presses (this does require a hardware mod to the MD-SR70 or MD-MT15 however).
Stefan Nilsson updates to MD Interface Version 2.0, a PC based titling package using DIY (or Mironics) hardware that integrates with Winamp or can be run standalone.
7/25:My-Minidisc (Germany) offers the Sony MDS-JE480 and MDS-JE770 home MD decks for €180 and €300 (resp.).
7/23:Hard drive portable audio revolution under way? Ken Tidwell (of iPod page fame) points out the e.Digital Odyssey 1000, a Mac/PC compatible MP3/WMA/WAV/FM audio player with 20GB hard drive, USB 2.0 interface, and track selection by way of a Lucent speech recognition engine that is slated for fall delivery, price unknown. Looks like they took a page (or perhaps a rough draft) straight from the iPod design book.
7/22:Mironics Suite, the PC-based titling, recording, and remote-control solution for Sony portables now has [non-USB based] support for the Sony MZ-N1 and MZ-N707 recorders as well as a few feature tweaks.
Minidisc Online (HK) offers the Sharp MD-MT770 for $209 plus shipping.
7/20:Tim Corcoran provides a lovely review of Kenwood's MDX-G7, a stylish desktop MD system. Despite its Japanese FM band, the unit seems quite nifty.
7/18:John Pariseau forwards news that Apple's new iPod is available for Windows, has a wired remote, and comes in sizes from 5 to 20GB (the cheapest one being $300).
7/17: Clif Rampey finds an interesting Stereophile article discussing the threat to Fair Use posed by Coble and Berman's CBDTPA-like bill going before the House of Representatives. And Daniel Hearn spots ZDNet coverage of the legislation.
Tim Corcoran points out a Kenwood HiFi fantasy Flash site (click "StyleScope" after it loads). The MP3 Carabiner and Sputnik products are particularly interesting.
7/14:Chris Hickman spots the tough-to-find Sharp MD-MT180 (US model) at Abt Electronics for $160 (free ground shipping).
Mark finds that Yamaha's CDR-HD1000 (an audio CD recorder w/30GB HDD) is available on clearance for half price (Good Guys had them for $450 recently).
7/10:Francisco Javier Moreno unveils his Minidisc Page en Español. Even if you don't read Spanish, its lovely explanatory photos are worth a look.
7/7: Dor Shahaf finds good photos and Japanese coverage (more) of Toshiba's Gigabeat, an MP3 player based upon a PCMCIA form factor 5GB hard drive. And Christopher Clark points out English ZDNet coverage.
7/3:Minidisc T-station snoops out Sharp's photos and Japanese page (mech. trans. [1, 2]) for their MD-ST800 portable MDLP player. The unit is equipped with Dolby's headphone system for "speaker-like" listening and sports 140h battery life (AA+rechargeable).
Man is the weather hot! (US East Coast)
7/2:Jorge Mata points out Kenwood's Japanese page (mech. trans.) for their DPX-9200WMP in-dash CD/MD receiver. The 2-DIN unit has flashy graphics and handles MDLP Minidiscs and MP3/WMA CDs (Japanese FM band though).
Matt Sephton updates his MD page to cover the Sony MZ-E909 portable player.
6/30: Peter Ravn notes Denon's DMD-201 MDLP deck is available from HiFi Components (Germany).
Mazli points out the RealOne NetMD FAQ.
Tony Lai spots Nikkei coverage (English) of the Panasonic SR-MJ250 NetMD portable that links to a Panasonic Japanese page for the unit.
6/27:Cure for OpenMG Jukebox in sight? Francis Gilbert finds a press release stating that Real Networks will release a free NetMD plugin for the RealOne Player on July 8. Scheduled for demos at Sony's PC Expo booth this week, the plugin transcodes MP3 audio to ATRAC3 before downloading. News Flash: Mazli Alias discovers the plugin can already be downloaded from within the RealOne player.
Bob Greer points out the Sony MZ-N505 NetMD recorder for $115 from Pac-2000 (+$8 shipping). News Flash: They've raised the price to an unremarkable $135.
6/26:Need compressed-audio uploading to PC? Cassette fulfills NetMD's missed opportunity: Bob Berardino points out the $200 Digisette DUO-DX (TechTV review), available from Radio Shack. Billed as the world's first digital E-cassette, it is an electronic replacement for tape that allows standard cassette equipment to record 96 minutes of 128kbps MP3 audio for subsequent playback or direct USB uploading to PC. Auxiliary line-input, builtin Mic, and Mac iTunes compatibility complete the picture.
6/25:Lo Kien Hock finds low priced blanks from GS2100 in Taiwan (nb. US$1 ~= 34.5NT). The site's hefty collection of scanned Minidisc packaging is worth a peek, e.g. the offbeat wrappers on these Maxell Music Gear blanks.
6/22: Peter Ravn finds ProAudioReview coverage of the HHB MDP-500 pro-use portable; they draw comparisons between it and a typical consumer level MD recorder.
Minidisco is importing Denon's Japanese-model D-A03 bookshelf system; the US$420, MDLP unit features 2X CD->MD dubbing and world-band FM tuner. (Denon's US model of the same name lacks the MD component)
MD Passion bounces back, offering Axia, Sony and TDK blanks with free shipping on orders over US$50. (Enter "VIVA MD PASSION" as a coupon code at checkout and get 5% off until Sunday, June 30th).
Minidisc.org's new server: a 500Mhz Celeron from eBay running FreeBSD. We're still hosted by the good folks at Connactivity of course.
6/20:DataPlay Beware? John Jerabek points out Philips' tiny blue-laser optical disc prototype (Video-clip, high-res photo, ZDNet coverage) intended for cameras and other portable gear. The 30mm single-sided read/write optical medium (cf. DataPlay @ 30mm, MD @ 64mm) will store 1GB on a drive measuring just 56x34x7.5mm. Their first demonstration? MP3 audio playback.
Medium-rare Blanks: Shane Lord scores a promotional NetMD blank from Sony at the Australian Consumer Electronics show. (It does seem cut from Sony's Bianca line however).
Peter Ravn finds further XS-iV designer blanks from TDK.
TapePlus offers packs of 5 Savit blanks for $6.25 plus shipping ($11 min).
6/19:Bausch and Ravn point out Toshiba's Gigabeat MP3 player (Japanese) based upon a 5GB PCMCIA formfactor hard drive (the drive can be mounted and used standalone in a laptop). The JPY 50,000 (US$420) unit runs up to 18 hours on batteries, sports USB 2.0, and will go on sale next week in Japan. The unit offers no live recording facility unfortunately.
6/17:Peter Ravn finds a Radio World review of the Sony MZ-B100 "business" recorder.
6/15: Minidisc T-Station points out Kenwood's photos and Japanese press release (mech. trans.) for their MDX-J7&-J9 boomboxes. Offered with Kenwood's own "Muria" software for NetMD audio downloading and control, the thin and stylish units even run on AA cells (but are sadly Japanese FM-band only).
Julian Zhu finds disassembled Sony MZ-N1 photos; the PCB is notably different from the MZ-N707 circuit board.
My-Minidisc (Germany) offers Sony's NetMD drive equipped PCG-NV109M laptop for 2710€ along with several PDF documents for the unit.
6/14:AV-Land (UK) and Minidisc T-Station point out Panasonic's SJ-MR250 NetMD portable. The unit's speaker equipped docking stand incorporates charging, NetMD PC connection, and titling functions.
Minidisco secretly offers TDK blanks as low as $1.59/each (plus shipping) until June 25.
6/13:Yippee! Sony and Universal to end copy-prohibition of purchased digital audio: Slashdot points out a Los Angeles Times story stating that Sony and Universal will drop prices and allow CD burning of downloaded tracks. (NYT coverage) Does this spell freedom from OpenMG? And can there hence remain any argument against NetMD audio uploading?
Peter Ravn finds Aiwa's English page for their LCX-MT22 CD/MD mini-compo system. The MDLP unit features double speed CD->MD copying and world-band FM tuner (but is sadly Japanese market only).
MiniDisc Australia offers a contest for Australians wherein submitting a review puts you in the running to win MD blanks and cases.
6/11:Ken Simpson-Bull feels that LP4 mode is too harshly criticized.
6/10:Bob Berardino points out a TechTV Minidisc vs. MP3 player segment to air today at 5PM EDT (also 6/11 at 3AM and 2PM EDT).
6/9:Did you know Sony Japan has an English page on the History of Minidisc?
Martijn Morrien suggests a poor-man's NetMD upload can be made from Open/NMD.
Minidisco is holding a World-Cup Wannabe Contest in which you can win a Sony MZ-S1.
6/8:Ed Langstroth spots Kenwood Europe's MDLP in-dash KMD-673R MD receiver and KMD-D401 3+1 MD changer (the latter similar to the US KMD-D400, but supporting MDLP).
Jes�s P�rez finds IGN's cursory review (but good closeups) of Sony's MZ-S1, a ruggedized portable MD recorder.
6/7:Harj points out yesterday's Austrian Supreme Court decision denying Sony exclusive trademark rights to the name Walkman. Hopefully their Minidisc™ recorders won't be next!
Titone sends along the Sharp MD-MT20 remote schematic (likely similar to all Sharp remotes).
6/4:MZ-R909 mid-life kicker: Bryan Mo discovers Sony's Japanese page (mech. trans) for the MZ-R910 portable MD recorder, a non-NetMD unit marrying the MZ-R909's feature set and the MZ-N1's battery life. (It appears Sony has dropped Joint-Text as of the MZ-N1)
Jon finds RockBox, an open-source reverse-engineering project for the Archos Jukebox hard disk MP3 player that has already released a working prototype. Unfortunately they haven't tackled the Jukebox-Recorder functions yet.
Impala spots a Sony Australia Walkman site, with several photos of past Walkman products.
6/2:The sub-$50 MD recorder: Michael Dahlstrom finds remaindered Sony MZ-R500PC and MZ-R700DPC units for US$44 and US$62 at Target stores in the US (though availability is spotty).
6/1:We add a NetMD FAQ (and are indebted to the nascent community of NetMD hackers for their helpful details).
The HHB MDP-500 Pro-portable service manual (6MB PDF) appears.
5/31: Will pointing and clicking be DMCA infringing? Minidisc T-station message-boarder Dino gives a tip for circumventing OpenMG Jukebox with Simple Burner. By using Nero's virtual CD feature, you can easily build up a set of tracks for Simple Burner to download, sans SDMI silliness.
This is an armband pouch, too: Francisco Silverio has armband pouches from Okinawa available on ebay.
5/29:Giorgio Capacciola is developing NetMD Creator (free download), a helper-app for OpenMG Jukebox that provides drag-and-drop music selection and track title length management functions.
5/27:Peter Ravn discovers the 2U rack mount Tascam MD-350 pro deck at Thomann (Germany). Thomann states that a second unit, the Sony MDS-E10 1U rack mount deck is a Top-10 bestseller and offers a 3D zoomable view of it.
5/25: MO better discs: Lai finds a worthy successor to Minidisc media: Matsushita and Canon's 2-inch, 3GB recordable Magneto-Optical disc prototype (cf. Sony/ Sharp 1GB and Sanyo/ Olympus/ Maxell 730MB discs of similar dimensions announced 2 years ago [Minidisc is 160MB/64mm (2.5")]). Not that industry would dare create the open, unencumbered, audio recording format of our dreams with it.
Copy-prohibiting A/D converters!? An EFF article discusses Hollywood's attempt to place a "cop-chip" (based upon watermark detection) in all analog-to-digital convertors.
Henke opens his Sony MZ-N707 portable recorder and makes a photo survey of the interior.
Minidisc Access now offers long sought-after Minidisc armband pouches for $15.
5/22:Peter Ravn spots Sony's Japanese announcement (mech. trans.) of the MDS-JE780 Home NetMD deck.
Peter also finds the Sony MZ-G755 AM/FM/MD portable (still lacking NetMD support). It's in stock at My-Minidisc.com (Germany) and can be ordered from Techtronics (UK) (though it's not in stock).
Rinaldi Wibowo discovers refurbed Sony MDX-C6500X car MD receivers at OnlineCarStereo.com for $150.
5/21:Programmers Wanted: Currently in early development, the Open/NMD project is reverse engineering NetMD for Linux/Unix and MacOS X users. Download and compile their development code and you can print, title, move and group tracks from the command line (no audio transfers yet).
5/20:Magic Markers Indeed! Bob Berardino spots a Reuters article detailing how to defeat Sony's Key2Audio "copy-proof" CDs with a felt-tipped marker.
5/19:Ben Anderson finds the Sony MZ-R701 at Dick Smith Electronics (Australia).
David Clubb reports that Sony repeatedly aired the Aibo NetMD commercial to thousands of fans at Rock im Park (a Nuremburg Rock Festival).
5/17:Sony Denmark's Aibo-tisement page posts a preview of their Aibo Minidisc commercial.
5/16:Pochi, fetch my MD! Peter Ravn spots Sony's use of their Robot-dog Aibo to advertise Minidisc.
Sinisa Cuk points out Sony Austria's German language user manuals site.
5/14:Mark Bausch finds Apple reporting that copy-prohibiting CDs do crash Macs.
5/13: A friend points out Japanese info for Sony's PCGA-MDN1 NetMD drive that fits a Vaio notebook bay (flash animation). AV Watch has close-up photo coverage as well. A side-by-side photo shows the difference in thickness between the existing Vaio desktop NetMD drive (right) and the newly developed laptop NetMD drive (left).
5/12: Eddy Pierre-Louis reminds us that Japan model Sony, Panasonic and Kenwood 2DIN car MD units are available from The Melting Pot. Though these are Japanese FM-band only, Melting-Pot includes an FM convertor to allow tuning most of the US and European FM band.
Mark Bausch points out the long list of Copy-Prohibited CDS at Fatchucks. Seems there are several dozen such being sold in the US now. Included on the page is a trick to copy Cactus-CDs to Minidisc.
Guy Lambert spots Japanese info for the Canopus MD-Port XP, an updated version of their USB audio interface that now offers digital optical-> (Windows only) PC uploading.
Antonio Saul Reyes finds Spanish language MP3 vs Minidisc coverage in an El Norte (Mexico) news article.
5/9:Dor Shahaf finds a CNET review of the iRiver iDP-100 DataPlayer. Like Minidisc it converts MP3 and other formats to its own, secure and inaccessible format when transferring to the disc.
Eddy Pierre-Louis points out photos and Japanese info on Alpine's MDA-W988J MD/CD/MP3 head unit as well as 1 2 closeup photos.
Online MD retailer My-Minidisc sprouts an English language My-Minidisc.com variation.
5/8:ATRAC3 at luxurious bitrates: Did you know that RealNetwork's RealSystem Producer Basic (freely downloadable in Linux, Mac and PC versions) will encode ATRAC3 at rates up to 352kbps? (It is helpful to know how to configure it however).
5/7:Marc Herbert further translates the NetMD upload letter and the petition information en Français.
5/6:Marc Herbert kindly translates the NetMD Upload Proposal en Français.
Hyper Jack (Japan) and the Minidisc T-Station partner to create AudioCubes.com, supplying hard to find Minidisc accessories.
5/4:Planet Minidisc appears to be one of the first with the Sony MDX-66XLP in stock, for US$450.
5/3:Fernando finds photos and English info for Sony's MSRP US$450 MDX-66XLP 6-disc MDLP in-car changer. In outward appearance at least, the unit remains strongly similar to previous models, including the original MDX-60 that debuted in 1995.
Vicco spots the Sony MZ-S1 at Circuit City (search "minidisc"), they even have a 3D viewer for the unit, with closeups.
MD Passion is in the midst of a going out of business sale.
5/2: Dan Fosse points out an MSNBC article stating that Sony has taken a stake in Real Networks, inking a deal calling for the companies to "collaborate in research and development and to work together on digital media distribution and software for a wide range of devices built by Sony". Sony also sees the deal "in part as a way to promote its ATRAC sound compression format and OpenMG copyright protection technology".
AVLand (UK) adds high res photos of the Sony MZ-S1, MZ-G755, MDS-NT1, CMT-C7NT, MDS-JE480 and MDS-JE780.
Minidisc Australia gets the url www.minidisc.com.au.
5/1:NetMD Upload: Over one hundred signatures in 24 hours, good work folks!
4/30:We send an open letter to Sony's CEOs and start a petition to advocate NetMD audio uploading.
4/28:We make a proposal to Sony, asking them to provide a NetMD-based Audio Uploading Function. Comments welcome. A petition will follow shortly -- stay tuned
Aiwa NetMD spoof? Minidisc T-Station spots a Chinese page with an Aiwa AM-F100 photo and comments (mech trans). The photo looks good, but anyone finding the Aiwa press release gets honorable mention!
4/27:Trucki's titling page has a zipped DivX video (800KB) of his Sharp titler in action.
4/26:Simon MacKay gives detailed instructions for connecting a Sony RMX-69RF controller without using the antenna lead.
Dan Sirkett finds a 2-pack of 1800mAh NiMH batteries (8 cells in all) for £10 at Maplin (UK).
4/25:User manuals for the Sony MXD-D5C and MXD-D40 home CD/MD decks appear.
Dave Matthews finds the Sharp SD-NX10H MD system for £ 400 at HiFiBitz (UK), less than half the MSRP (still seems like a lot though!)
4/23:go.to/MiniDisc points out Sony Europe's NetMD page along with their cool NetMD Flash animation, with spoken English.
Bigger than an MD player? MDMan.net (Korea) posts DataPlay Evolution EV-500 MDP player snapshots and a link to an Evolution spec sheet (PDF).
Dan finds Sony 60' blanks (remember them?) for $1 each.
4/21:Not getting an even break: Hetz Ben Hamo finds Slashdot coverage of DataPlay, the little consumer gadget that only a record company could love.
my-minidisc.com notes that Audiograbber 1.81 now supports ATRAC3.
They also point out (in translation) a Sony page for downloading M-Crew V2.01 (Japanese Edition) that comes with the PCLK-MN20A kit. New features include WinXP, CDDB, and Group Function support.
4/20:Minidisc is the topic of an article (PDF) in the April/May issue of Relix.
Simon Mackay shows how to connect a Sony RM-X69RF controller to your car stereo.
Minidisc Australia freshens up with a new look for Spring (or is it Autumn?).
4/19:Tao Pan finds Wall Street Journal coverage of the DataPlay device. The WSJ is not crazy about DataPlay's prospects either, saying "... the benefits of the small size and high capacity of the DataPlay format don't outweigh its downsides. ... And anyone using it as a music medium is giving up most of his legal rights to copy music for convenient use. DataPlay may be a record label's dream format, but at least in its first iteration, it's not great for consumers."
Bob Berardino points out further coverage of Dataplay at MSNBC, including the comment that "analysts say getting consumers to adopt it will be a tough sell for consumer electronics and record companies". If you notice an anti-DataPlay bias in our reporting, it's only because of the format's copy-prohibition-up-the-wazoo approach to life. Were it an open format, it would be quite cute.
4/18:Ben Chapman finds a USA Today review of the Evolution Technologies EV-500 DataPlay audio burner/player. Not wanting to jinx it perhaps, they have avoided any comparison with Minidisc. Frankly, with a US$370 price tag and an initial launch of 50 content-protected (i.e. unreadable), pre-recorded titles at US$16 each, it will need all the help it can get!
Wouldn't a similarly unfettered audio/data Minidisc be lovely too? Peter Ravn points out the Imation RipGO Mini CD-R Burner/Player that operates as USB connectable 80mm CD-R reader/burner by day and a portable MP3 player with 6 hour battery life by night. Imation is offering a $50 rebate, bringing the price down to around US$220.
More details emerge for the ProAudio MD Organizer spotted yesterday.
4/16:Ian Birch points out the Cunnings Radio Associates £85 MD Organizer Kit, providing XLR connectors and a rugged case for professionals using today's tiny MD recorders. He reports that his radio station has recently started using them.
The Sony MDS-JE470/JE770 user manual appears, courtesy the Sony New Zealand user manual email service.
Peter Ravn finds a fine selection of MD blanks at Digital-e (UK).
Noah Aklilu recommends the Audio-Technica ATC-H5 "iCool" portable headphones (available from J&R and Cunnings, above). He reports that they sound great, having good bass and a nice range, and are comfortable as well.
4/11:Massimo gets the lowdown on ATRAC "Type-S", found in Sony's MDS-JB980 and JB780 MD decks: it involves [decoder-side only?] improvements to the ATRAC3 codec combined with a normal ATRAC Type-R codec.
Several readers point out the return of a NetMD promotion on AudioGalaxy's top page.
Et tu Sony? Peter Ravn finds a CD Media World report indicating that CDs with Sony's key2audio copy-prohibition system are SCMS-uncopyable as well. Time to dust off those analog cables!
Dale Greer notes a US$130 Sony SBD30 Optical Digital Selector box at Crutchfield.
This year's hot model, by region: Michael Jaron reports from the Czech Republic that Sony has just released the MZ-R909 portable MD recorder there.
Video Direct posts Sony's offer of a rebate on the purchase of a 5 or 8-pack of MD blanks when buying a NetMD machine.
Spanish MD site Quesabesde reports on Sony's NetMD press conference in Barecelona: all of Sony's NetMD portables will be offered in Spain. Quesabesde now offers a Spanish language MD forum as well.
Minidisc-Online (HK) offer the Sharp MD-MT770 MDLP recorder for US$240 w/shipping.
Bischoff finds NetMD gear at Alifax (France) at prices 90€ less than FNAC.
4/9: Hi-Space leaves North America: J�r�me Keller (MPO Hi-SPACE International Sales and Marketing Director) reports that MPO closed their subsidiary in Canada last September and are looking for a distributor. Meanwhile, products can be imported directly from Europe. MusicMixersMall offers a special on their remaining Hi-Space blanks (as low as ~US$1.50/each).
Did you know the SoundBlaster Extigy USB audio I/O box strips SCMS and can run standalone (i.e. sans PC)? (Courtesy Allan Mawdsley)
Mark Bausch spots a report that Sony's European release of Celine Dion's new CD has copy-prohibition that causes PCs to crash. Perhaps realtime CD->MD digital transfers are destined for popularity after all.
More ``better'' sound: TapePlus.com offers a variety of blanks, including ones from SAVIT and HHB, but the Sony Premium Gold's have a "20% thicker shock-absorbing shell and frame, which result in fewer data errors and better sound."
NetMD Heating Up in Retail: Jason Howlin finds the Sony MZ-N505 and MZ-N707 at CircuitCity.com (search for the "mz-n505" and "mz-n707" -- while there you can check whether they are in stock at your local store). Shai discovers the MZ-N707 at CompUSA. (Any other sightings of NetMD gear at brick and mortar stores?)
Farrar scouts NetMD gear at Crutchfield.com (search for "mz-n" to see their line-up).
Andy Owen points out signs of NetMD's arrival from Sony Australia.
Likewise, Valmore reports NetMD units at FNAC in France (search for "mz-n505", "mz-n707", or "mz-n1")
Dor Shahaf comes across a nice NetMD Animation at Sony Singapore that includes a 360° view of the Sony MZ-N1.
4/3:MD Boomboxes, Finally! Minidisco imports 2 Kenwood units: the retro-look, world-band FM equipped MDX-G1S and stylish MDX-G7 (sadly Japanese FM band only).
KVE finds Sharp USA's MD-MT180 page. Different from Sharp UK's page, Sharp USA reports a backlit LCD (we suspect a typo).
Minidisc T-Station's MD Screensaver contest has ended -- they'd like to have your votes for the winner.
James Brodsky recommends antique cream-cheese boxes for Minidisc storage (they'll hold 35 MDs perfectly and they're available on eBay).
Bluetin has some interesting MD blanks for sale (look under "Top News -> New Discs"). The Axia animal series are particularly nice.
Rob Hardin points out flash anime and Japanese info for the Panasonic SC-PM57MD 5CD/MD bookshelf system. (Minidisc T-station's English page for the unit reports a 5X CD->MD copy function).
Dorian Staps finds Japanese pages for the Bose MDA10 and MDA12 home MD decks.
Minidisc T-Station snoops out the Sony CMT-M700DVD DVD/MD bookshelf system as well as Sony's MDLP version of their 6-MD in-car changer: the Sony MDX-66XLP.
4/1:Russian hackers reverse engineer Sony MZ-N1, adding MP3 capability. Exclusive interview with Sasha Breginski Sorry Folks -- April Fools!.
3/29:Morelle, Letzenberger, Christensen and others point out a Sony NetMD Flash animation that was highlighted on AudioGalaxy.
Mark Bausch discovers the Sony MZ-N707 in stock at Etronics.
Sean Kang finds Sony, Panasonic, Shure and Canon Service Manuals for sale online.
3/27:NetMD units appearing in Germany: my-minidisc.com has the MZ-N1 and MZ-N505 in stock.
Little Robots, fed up with cameo role at MD retailer, open own store: Paul Budnitz passes along word of KidRobot.com.
3/26:Minidisc's Odd Ducks: Did you know Sony makes a Minidisc-based courtroom recorder and playback-only transcriber? The MDCC-2000 "Court Confer-Corder" records 2 or 4-channels onto normal audio blanks in a new and hitherto incompatible 10kHz bandwidth audio format.
3/24:Senator Hollings has introduced the CBDTPA Anti-Copy Bill (née SSSCA) and Howard Chu points out a petition against it with 70K+ signatures. If you don't fancy the idea of Recording Industry padlocks built into every new piece of digital hardware, we invite you to sign it and read or submit comments to the Senate Judiciary.
Peter Ravn finds Aiwa's English page for their XR-V10MD DVD/MDLP bookshelf system. (External TV required for DVD playback)
Peter Rick has a handsome page detailing his DIY hardware/software titling solution for the Sony MZ-R700.
Sony MZ-N1 popping up all over: Peter Quodling finds Sony indicating that the MZ-N1 is coming to Australia.
Minidisc-Canada offers the North American MZ-N1, with full Canadian warranty. They also have the Sony MDX-CA680X in-dash AM/FM/MDLP receiver for US$243.
HomeTheaterDiscussion has a forum devoted to Minidisc.
My-Minidisc (Deutschland) carries English user manuals (PDF format) for the Sharp MD-MT180, SD-NX10, SD-CX1, and MD-E9000 MD units.
3/22:Hard Disks: Defacto Audio Medium of Tomorrow? Daniel Laffien finds a Sony in-dash AM/FM/CD/10GB HDD receiver at CeBit that stores up to 165 hours of [132kbps] ATRAC3 audio (loaded from the internal CD player at 8X) and sports a Memory Stick slot to boot. Currently available in Japan, the unit is slated for introduction in Europe this Fall. (The Japanese unit's USB port may be omitted on the Euro model.)
Final UK MZ-N1 low price point? Ralph Ferneyhough spots the Sony MZ-N1 at EmpireDirect (UK) for £207 (plus shipping).
UK low price point for Sony MZ-N1? Phil Brown comes across the MZ-N1 at Dabs.com for £233
3/21:Max finds a Sony MDS-JE480 photo, indicating the new entry level MD Deck is only ATRAC Type-R. So then how is it different from the MDS-JE440, besides the [admittedly good] styling?
Low prices with a 7-10 day lead time: Video-Direct offers the MZ-N1 (US$270), MZ-N707 (US$190), MZ-N505 (US$132) and MZ-S1 (US$160) NetMD units (plus ~US$8 ground shipping). They also have a convenient NetMD portable feature comparison chart.
MusicMixersMall now offers Tascam and Denon Pro-MD decks .
3/19: Further ATRAC Type-S happiness: AVLand (UK) has a few details (but no photos) for the upcoming Sony MDS-JE780 and MDS-JE480 MD decks.
Matthew Milley gives his impressions of the Sony MZ-N707 NetMD recorder.
Shai points out a SonyStyle NetMD help sheet. You indicate the equipment type and desired action and it returns step-by-step directions.
go.to/Minidisc finds a multilingual Sony Europe NetMD FAQ oriented towards troubleshooting.
Dan Morelle sells Sony remote connectors for US$17 (£10).
3/18:Sony MDS-JB980 Spyflash! Tam�s Kov�ts snaps photos of Sony's ATRAC Type-S NetMD deck at CeBit.
3/17:Tuomo Kaikkonen deciphers the Sony MZ-R30 portable remote's LCD signalling protocol. Different from the MZ-R3's LCD signalling, the protocol is likely a standard across all modern Sony portables.
3/16:English NetMD Manuals: Patrick Phutthavong spots English (PDF) manuals for Sony's MZ-S1, MZ-N505, MZ-N707, and MZ-N1 at SonyStyle.com.
3/15:Sharmilan points out a review of NetMD and OpenMG Jukebox on IGN.
AV-Land has made a video presentation covering the Sony MZ-N707 (22MB DivX).
3/14:A New York Times article reports on the squabbling between the electronics and entertainment industries over copy-prohibition and the looming SSSCA legislation.
Mick Gardina shares a few tips for using NetMD and the Sharp IM-MT880.
Michael Chiaramonte sends in his initial impressions of the Sony MZ-N505 NetMD portable.
Pass de MD pon de left an side: Adam finds a lovely Hemp Minidisc carrying pouch from Crest Electronics (Aus).
3/13:Sharmilan Rayer points out an MZ-N1 review at IGN.
Farrar finds the MZ-N707 at Crutchfield. But out-of-stock unfortunately
3/12:Minidisc, Weapon of War: Peter Granaldi finds an MSNBC report mentioning the use of Minidisc in Psychological Warfare Operations over Afghan skies (search: "minidisk").
Simon spots a PalmInfoCenter report of two new Sony Clié with tiny screens and keyboards, and capable of playing back 7 hours of ATRAC3 or MP3 audio.
3/11:Shawn Lin points out the AudioExcel AV515M digital optical I/O soundcard for $32 (w/shipping) from Directron.com.
3/10:AV-Land (UK) and MDCenter (NL) have posted real photos of the Sony MZ-G755 AM/FM/MD portable recorder. Sadly the unit does not offer NetMD capability.
MDCenter also posts a report (in Dutch) covering the Sony Spring Show 2002.
Michael Halberstadt finds Taiwanese made Nashua Brand MDs at a buck a blank from Soundtract (a Yahoo store). He reports that their quality seems fine.
Peter Ravn updates his MD SP/LP2/LP4 mode planning calculator.
JF L�ger learns that NetMD gear will be available in Canada within a week.
GoMiniDisc.com offers a wide variety of MD gear, including home and pro-use equipment.
3/9:Sony ATRAC-S on the way: Barney points out the AV-Land (UK) MDS-JB980 page indicating the ATRAC-S, NetMD equipped unit is due in August.
US NetMD Portables Arriving: Michael Duff called his local Tweeter Etc and received word that Sony NetMD recorders will begin appearing on March 19th. Minidisc T-Station reports that the Sony Style MZ-N505 page shows the unit available for purchase.
OpenMG without the JukeBox Sam Chan discovers photos and Japanese info for the Panasonic SV1 (flash intro, mech. trans. 1 2), a NetMD HiFi component system that uses Panasonic's BeatJam software for library management and downloading. Minidisc T-Station posts an AV-Watch (Japan) page for the unit, and its translation.
Sam Chan also spots photos and Japanese info for Sony's MZ-E505 MD player (color variations) to be released March 8. Featuring the first use of a 9-character LCD remote on a basic Sony model, the MDLP unit sports 120 hour battery life (rechargeable+AAx1). Specs: 74.5x81x17.6mm, 76g (body only), 100g (w/batt).
Not quite finished, Sam also points out the Panasonic SV-SR100 portable CD/MP3/AAC/WMA player (mech. trans. 1 2), capable of standalone recording of CD tracks and analog sources to internal 64MB SD RAM.
Doug Adams posts an iTunes script for inserting 2 seconds of silence, useful for producing track marks when making analog recordings to MD.
Adam Casperson has updated his $10 PC-2-MD audio transfer package with color schemes and interface improvements.
New PDF Manuals: For the Sony MDX-C7900 Car MD (Courtesy Otto Barea) and MZ-R500 portable MD recorder (Courtesy Adam Bumpus).
3/6:Efraim Plotkin forwards further Copy-Prohibition articles from Wired-news indicating sales of copy-prohibited CDs will continue in the US, but that the US House of Representatives is cool towards mandating copy-prohibition in all hardware as the SSSC would require.
Minidisc T-Station is running an MD Screensaver Design Contest with a Sharp MD-MT877 MD recorder from Minidisco as first prize.
Zach Zaletel comes across MD-Blanks from STI for about $1 each (plus shipping).
Mark finds Yamaha's CDR-HD1000, an unusual CD Recorder/Home Jukebox that records uncompressed audio to an internal 20GB hard drive.
Steve Jess discovers the Orban Sountainer, a solid-state (32MB built-in) audio recorder for reporters. Available in May for $450-$475, the unit records in MP3 at bitrates from 32 to 128kbps, and allows direct uploading to PC via USB (appearing as a filesystem when connected).
Dominic Law spots the Sony MDS-S9 compact MD deck at Sony HK. This unit is internally similar to the Sony MDS-S50, but seems to be available only in Asia and Europe.
Shai points out a glossy SD-NX10 brochure (PDF) from Sharp covering their 1-Bit stereo systems. (Big on snazzy photos, short on interesting details, download it only if you have a fast connection)
3/2:Eric Brown points out a fascinating New York Times article (free registration required) on the controversies arising from the release of copy-prohibited CDs. The report even mentions that Sony Electronics objected to Sony Music's release of about 70 such titles in Europe.
Sharp's Portable Solid-state Audio/Video Recorder/Player: Dorian Staps finds the Japanese product page and press release (trans. 1& 2) for the MT-AV1, a backlit, hand-held, Audio/Video walkman. Using 64MB built-in plus 128MB SD memory card, the unit can record and play from 30 minutes (15fps) to 2 hours (7.5fps) of video, or over 2 hours of audio. With 3 body and 10 cover colors to choose from, the device is apparently targeted toward young women. Battery life: 1 hour of video, 3.5 hours of audio. What a delight an MD-based version would be! And were MDs' 2.7MB reserved area for images ever exploited, the MT-AV1's screen would solve the album art problem nicely.
US-bound High End bookshelf system: Gaurav Vij notes Sharp USA's page for the SD-NX10 MDLP system stereo. (MSRP: US$1800 [courtesy Shai])
Sound Professionals has several new items: $180 pre-amplified microphones (useful to MZ-R500 and MZ-N505 owners), "low cost" cardioid mics for $70 and $80; small, high-quality mics from AT in cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and omnidirection pickup patterns; and the Canadian-import Sharp MD-MT99.
my-minidisc.com posts PDF manuals for the Sony MZ-N1 (German), and the MZ-N707 and MZ-N505 (German, Italian, Dutch). (English ones reportedly coming soon)
3/1:AV-Land (UK) posts rotated and zoomed MZ-N505 recorder snapshots. Note the built-in USB port for the 'N505 and 'N707 models.
2/28:Kieron Haywood finds refurbed (or new?) Grundig MDP-1 MD players (Casio XG-3 clones) at QXL.com (UK) for ~£35. (search for "grundig mini")
2/27:Sony's finest explanation of Minidisc technology: In 1993 Sony offered a training course for service technicians that included a splendid Minidisc "MO" Tutorial (2.7MB scanned PDF). Fortunately Michael Schrody found his old copy and kindly scanned it in. This document is the direct antecedent to Jan Maes' book The Minidisc (currently out-of-print).
Dominik Jaworski spots an even better (UK) price for the Sony MZ-N1: £219 w/shipping from QED.
2/26: A reader finds Sony user manuals in PDF format available from Sony New Zealand. Fill in the form and the manual arrives by email, just as this Sony MZ-R909 user manual did.
Dor Shahaf discovers the Sony MZ-N505, MZ-N707 and MZ-N1 at reasonable prices from Amazon UK.
2/25:NetMD AM/FM Walkman: Gaurav Vij finds AV-Land (UK) coverage of the Sony MZ-G755 NetMD portable recorder, apparently an MZ-N707 fitted with the MZ-G750's remote.
2/23:Sony NetMD gear comes to Canada: Shaun Dergousoff and Jeff Chen point out FutureShop (Canada) pages for the MZ-N707 and MZ-N505 NetMD machines, indicating they will be available February 26.
According to a Sony Canada press release (courtesy Kanwar Sandhu), the NetMD units were introduced Feburary 21 and come with a "Simple Burner CD dubbing application that allows users to quickly transfer music files from their CDs to MiniDisc without having to first store the files on a hard drive". They additionally state that MiniDisc sales in Canada more than doubled last year.
Further Mac/PC/MD audio options: Mignda notes the $35 Aopen AW744Pro PCI Soundcard (line, mic and S/PDIF [0.5V/TTL] input, line and S/PDIF [optical] output), and Rene Borst finds the $80, Mac compatible Edirol UA-1A analog variant of their UA-1D offering line level I/O over USB.
2/21:Read the review that MD manufacturers read: Brian Youn contributes his down-to-the-last-detail review of Sharp's IM-MT880 NetMD recorder.
2/18:AVLand (UK) posts rotatable, zoomable Sony MZ-N707 images, along with further info on the unit.
Ted Rees and Barney point out Edirol's USB based Mac/PC<->MD links: the UA-1D ($100 digital only (coax/optical) I/O), and UA-3D (price?, digital (optical)/analog I/O, mic input).
2/17:MDCorea acquires a real Goldstar MD-R1, indicating that a Minidisc launch was attempted in Korea in the early 1990's.
2/16:Philip De Jonghe points out a quicktime movie clip of Sony's "S2 Sports" lineup that includes the Sony MZ-S1 sports portable MD recorder. (The film shows a mockup of the MZ-S1 badged "MZ-0000").
my-minidisc.com finds brief coverage of the entire Sony S2 Sports line, indicating the MZ-S1 will be available in April.
Like the old days: Jason Arebalo offers to purchase and ship from Japan the top NetMD recorders from Sony and Sharp for US$380 (w/shipping).
Likely to disappear quickly: Paul Kerl finds a refurbed Philips portable CD player with optical output and US$20-off coupon at Overstock.com, yielding a US$44 digital CD to MD solution.
2/15:Parteek and Steve discover SonyStyle's MZ-S1 Sports NetMD Recorder. The US$180, AA cell powered unit lacks a remote but provides a one hand joystick and backlit LCD on the main body instead.
Anthony Moy finds a San Fransisco Chronical Q&A entry on the merits of MD vs. MP3.
my-minidisc.com notes a flash animation of the Panasonic SJ-MJ50 MD player. (Click "Flash&3D View" on the left hand side).
Steven Wildermuth spots NPR's mention of gold-medalist snowboarder Clark's use of music on Minidisc to help her concentrate.
Philip De Jonghe finds a PC Magazine article mentioning the Minidisc in Sony's Vaio, a format that ``hangs on among impoverished college students'' in the US. (They misunderstand the proprietary nature of Sony's Minidisc as well).
Simon Taylor has updated his Open Source (Visual Basic) MP3 to Sony MDS-PC2 audio transfer and titling package to include WMA support and easier installation. Not your usual titling package -- by reverse engineering the Control-A1 interface Simon provides one of the few alternatives to using Sony's M-Crew software with the MDS-PC2.
2/11:Audio Format of Champions: Edward Wong points out a New York Times article reporting that US snowboarding gold-medalist Kelly Clark made her victory run while listening to music on Minidisc.
2/9:Minidisc Online (HK) points out Sharp's Japanese MD-ST700 MD player page and press release (m. trans: p. 1&2). The unit sports a 155 hour battery life (AAx1 plus internal NiMH).
Nguyen, Khayat, Ortega and Scorvo find SonyStyle offering Sony MZ-N1 NetMD portable pre-orders for $350. Khayat confirms that the American MZ-N1 comes with the RM-MC11EL/S remote, the one provided with the MZ-R900.
The perfect MD changer, if only NetMD offered audio upload: Peter Ravn spots a photo and Japanese info for Sony's HAR-D1000 (machine translation), a home HiFi deck based around a special low-noise 40GB hard drive, storing up to 500 CDs of music in ATRAC3 format (132kbps only).
Dutch MD site MDcenter.nl now offers an MD discussion forum.
Trucki makes a beta release of Titleaid 4.0, a hardware/software (Win 9x/Me) solution for titling on Sony MZ-R90 and Sharp MD-MT15&-MS7xx portables. The latest version uses Winamp playists to automatically title MDs. Did you know these folks have been soldering away inside Sharp portables to simulate the ENTER key (necessary for fully automatic titling)? Christian also offers Labelaid for printing MD labels from Winamp playlists and Testaid for checking homebuilt interface hardware.
2/6:Linux-based CD rip, download and title to MD: Opensourced YAMDager 0.4 is ready, now with CDDB support.
Nassib Khayat points out Sony's non-Xitel USB->TOSLink adapter, dubbed the PCLK-U5. (a Sony-built unit?) A PDF User Manual is also available.
Nassib also spots the Sony MZ-N505 NetMD unit, pre-orderable for $150 from Sonystyle USA.
The Equipment Browser gets a revamp; formatting is improved, clones are handled properly, and we have almost learned to sort.
2/5:Philips fights the Power! Mark Bausch finds a Wired News article reporting that Philips may be preparing to sue makers of copy-prohibited CDs, saying their discs violate the Red Book standard.
2/4:Linus Sweers points out the Behringer Ultramatch Pro SRC2496, an update of their Ultramatch 2000 that provides control of the SCMS and emphasis bits in a digital audio stream as well A/D, D/A and sample rate conversion. Price and availability unknown.
2/3:Polar expedition necessities: Stefan Ferenczy spots word of two Minidisc units being taken to the South Pole (scroll to the Jan 13th entry, or search for "minidisk" [sic]). Their expedition equipment list (search: "MD") indicates that only 4 of their Minidiscs hold music, the remaining 28 are apparently devoted to literature.
NetMD in your car!? Philip Shalhoub points out the Sony WX-7700MDX car MD receiver at Melting-Pot. A 2 DIN unit, it is Sony's first in-dash NetMD offering.
Gary Bingner finds Sonystyle taking preorders for the MZ-N707 NetMD portable recorder.
1/31:Adam Casperson releases PC-2-MD, a $10 PC to Minidisc recording program that handles MP3, WAV and CD audio as well as M3U and PLS playlists (a 15 day free trial is available).
1/29:Old User Manuals Day: Anton Zandbelt scans the entire Denon DMD-1000 manual and Guy Lambert passes along the Sony MDS-PC2 user manual (clean PDF).
1/28:AVLand (UK) has images and further info on the Sharp MD-MT170 and MD-MT190 cost reduced portable MDLP recorders.
1/27:Japan-Direct posts several closeup photos of the Sharp IM-MT880 NetMD portable. Did you know it ships with Sony's OpenMG Jukebox software?
1/26:The Minidisc T-Station points out Sony's MD Walkman Sweepstates, giving away 50 MZ-R500DPC recorders over 50 days (it ends in 3 days). You must watch the commercial and answer the question correctly to win (hint: d).
Bruce Morris finds a TechExtreme story about Toshiba's 30GB, blue-laser, next-generation DVD.
1/25:Brian Youn spots the Sony DAN-Z1 (machine translation), a 6GB hard drive equipped bookshelf system that records CDs at 8x into ATRAC3 format. It has interfaces for high speed downloading to NetMD and Memory Stick devices.
The Minidisc T-Station covers Sony's CMT-P555DVD, a DVD/MDLP bookshelf system that can be linked to a PC with the upcoming PCLNK-MN20A kit.
Matthew Leo finds a portable audio device poll at IGN for Men, where you can choose among several leading formats, including Minidisc (it's the final choice).
1/24:Matt points out RME-Audio, offering the Digi96/8 audio card (US$400!) that allows recording of all 32 bits in the digital audio stream so that MD/CD/DAT track markers can be recovered.
Pages 23-45 of the Sony MZ-R90 service manual reveal the Minidisc recorder in your pocket to be a tiny, 22MHz computer system and integrated MO disc drive that runs for hours on a single AA cell!
1/23:The Sharp MD-MT877 (aka MD-MT77) service manual appears. Page 42 makes interesting reading -- did you know pin 66 of the System Microcontroller is the flash write enable? (But don't try this at home kids!)
Minidisco says "The Future Belongs to Minidisc," and they are giving away a Sony MZ-N1 to prove it.
Minidisc Passion is having a moving-in sale, with Sony blanks in bulk for US$1.55 each.
1/22:Dave Bucklin points out Sony Europe's Minidisc Island animation.
Dan Morelle's MD-COM titler is now available commercially, an evolution of the MD-COM project.
My-minidisc.de (Germany) offers pre-ordering, hi-res photos and (some) manuals for the Sony MZ-N1 (preorder, silver, blue, manual), MZ-N707 (preorder, silver, blue), MZ-N505 (preorder, silver, blue, yellow Note apparent late badging change, units are labeled "MZ-R550" in publicity photos!), MZ-R909 (preorder, silver, blue, manual), MZ-R501 (preorder, silver, blue, manual), MZ-E909 (preorder, silver, manual), MZ-E501 (preorder, manual), Manuals (MZ-R500, MZ-E900, MZ-E500, MZ-E300)
Minidisc T-Station covers the Panasonic SC-SV1, a NetMD compatible home MD system.
1/21:Grant Marais points out a South African news article discussing Minidisc's strengths compared to MP3 players.
Minidisc Online (HK) opens shop, offering the SJ-MJ10, Panasonic's light and tiny MDLP player, for US$180 (w/shipping).
Mironics' PC titling solution for Sony MD portables is now compatible with the MZ-N1 & MZ-R909.
Gavin Fenton spots the Sony MZ-N505 NetMD portable in-stock for £180 at Argos (UK).
Luke finds the JVC MX-S6MDR (MD bookshelf system) user manual (PDF) on the JVC (UK) download page.
1/20:Oded Noam offers unique, ultra-simple IR remote plans and software for controlling Sony decks from a PC with nothing more than an LED attached to the serial port. (Local copy available until Yahoo/Geocities page returns)
YOUNG ASIAN MODELS SHOW ALL!!! Arthur Aiguzhinov points out videos of Sony's Japanese showroom team presenting the company's entire NetMD lineup: the MZ-N1 (256/56kbps), CMT-C7NT (256/56kbps), and LAM-Z1 (256/56kbps).
1/19:Steve Jess points out the Sony MZ-B50's two views: (from Radio World Jan/02) Lindemann says it soars, but Beacham finds it bombs. Did you know this is Sony's first machine in 10 years without an END-SEARCH button? It behaves just like every other brand recorder, appending new recordings to the end.
William Roman spots the Sony MXD-D5C, an MDLP deck with 5 CD changer and PS2 keyboard port for $200 at Advantage Superstore.
1/18:Gary Bingner points out rather cool looking new XS-iV and RXG series blanks from TDK. They still fantasize that "Crisp, transparent high-resolution sound" is somehow a property of the discs, however.
1/17:AVLand (UK) has photos and brief info on the Sony MZ-R501, an updated budget model recorder sporting ATRAC Type-R. They also post new images of the MZ-N505 and MZ-N707 NetMD machines.
Steve Garnett points out Optibits.com (Europe), supplying a range of Minidisc-related items, including harder-to-get items like Toslink transmitters and receivers at reasonable prices.
1/14:Brian Youn updates his Sony MZ-N1 review to clarify that Kanji titling is possible with the unit, but only when running the Japanese version of OpenMG Jukebox.
1/13:Marco Rossen points out the €200 HE 8964 (?) CD/MD combo deck at the Dutch e-tailer Shop.nl. Any details on this machine would be appreciated!
We find the complete Sony MZ-N1 manual (Japanese/English in PDF) at Sony Japan's excellent user operation manual download page. (If Acrobat reports "Object label badly formatted" when opening it from your web browser, try downloading it and opening it from a standalone Acrobat Reader.)
1/12:MD Passion will shortly be moving to NYC and hence offers a moving sale on MD blanks, with a flat $5/order shipping fee.
1/10:Javier Anton finds the Soundblaster Extigy, a USB to digital/analog/mic-level audio I/O adapter. Several readers kindly point out Creative's Extigy press release, stating an MSRP of US$150 (AU$400). It's already being listed at various etailers for US$134.
Pioneer updates their deck line with the MJ-L11 MDLP capable unit. Sadly, optical output is still missing.
Linus Sweers' page for Sharp brand TOSlink optical transmitters and receivers has moved to toslink.homestead.com/files/index.html.
1/9:High speed USB audio upload to PC and Mac, from everything but Minidisc: Mark Bausch points out the Olympus DM-1, a high-speed uploading solid-state voice recorder by day (with an "SP" mode good enough for speech recognition use) and a high-speed downloading MP3 player by night. Sony Minidisc Team, kindly take notice!
Peter Ravn updates his MiniDisc calculator to incorporate LP4 mode. You specify the total duration of your recording, it gives you the minimum amount of LP2 or LP4 mode audio required to make it all fit.
1/8:Clay Schneider notes a ZDNet report of Congressman Boucher's plan to amend the DMCA to decriminalize home file copying. Perhaps a few words of encouragement to Congressman Boucher would be in order.
KVE finds Sharp's CES announcement: the MD-MT180 portable recorder will be released in the US in March (see photo), and optionally with a (non-NetMD) PC-Link kit.
CDCovers.cc has added a Minidisc covers section. Skipper reports that the collection of covers is small right now (small, as in "none"), but rapidly growing. Do beware of all the pop-up ads on the site.
Cassette House Plus carries Minidisc labels, and audio* and data blanks. (*On sale until 1/15/02)
1/7:Dan Katz notes a ZDNet News article reporting that at least one Congressman has noticed an apparent contradiction between copy-prohibited CDs and the Audio Home Recording Act.
1/6:MD Australia posts a slew of Sony MZ-N1 photos.
1/5:Brian Youn discovers that though the MZ-N1 can display Kanji titles on its remote, it is apparently not capable of writing Kanji titles onto a Minidisc, even when titling with OpenMG.
1/4:Mark Bausch points out the D-Link Roq-it, a USB 1.1 compliant, 10GB hard disk based MP3 player that doubles as an external drive and costs US$230.
Roger Boix finds Panasonic's (scanned, PDF) user manuals for the SJ-MD100, SJ-MD150, SJ-MR100, SJ-MR200 and SJ-MR75 units at Panasonic UK's support site.
1/2:Brian Youn contributes another exemplary review, this one a detailed look at the Sony MZ-N1 NetMD recorder and OpenMG Jukebox. He also kindly scans the English section of the MZ-N1 manual. Did you know that NetMD downloads produce uneditable, Track-Protected recordings on the Minidisc? This is the only way we know of a creating such tracks, despite routine mention of their existence in coverage of the TrProtect Error in MD equipment manuals.
New Sharp Recorders (for Europe only?): The French site MD-21 posts English info on Sharp's MD-MT180/190/200 MD recorders, low cost MDLP units due to launch this month in Europe.
Riccardo Covino finds the (handsome!) Sharp MD-MT180 for sale at my-minidisc.com (They've also got a high-res photo of the unit, and except for the cockeyed buttons [get a spirit level guys!], this seems to be Sharp's most refined looking portable to-date).

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