Christopher

Hi-MD, Bye-MD?

501 posts in this topic

I have been totally devoted to the format since the mid 90's. I'm on my second MDS-J510 deck and my 4th I love the MD format and it served me very well for a decade, but it may be time for me to move on. There is something to be said for having 4gb of instantly accessable music on a player not much bigger than an md disc and can load at about a 3 sec per song transfer rate. I would have to keep over 60 MDs in the car to have the same capacity as one tiny Nano.

If this is the end, I have no regrets. It was a damn good run.

4gb = 4 HI-MD 1gb only! do you know??

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They already do Moose. And this is just one of many to come. MD can't do what these things will do right now. And the technology is just getting up to speed. In 5 years we will look back at MD like we look back at cassettes right now.

I've posted on this twice in this thread already. It's amazing how many people just aren't looking at the future. It looks like me and you and not too many more.

Ah, I knew about those pro level recording devices, but I was thinking something more aimed around the MD pricepoint, yet still has all the bells and whistles of a "mp3" player.

The samsung mp3 player I own does have line in and FM recording, but the quality is um.. rubbish. I suspect alot of other mp3 players on the market arnt much different and have a long way to reach the quality of MD recordings. But its not a technical issue, its one of cost and market and im sure a company will come out soon with a device, that isnt pro level price as featured above ;)

Please correct me if im wrong if there are mp3 players out there that do indeed do, quality line in recordings.

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I got ahold of one of these Edirols and it's horribly overpriced and just feels and looks cheap. It misses the mark. Aside from being 4 track, it's not even on par with Creative Labs first recorder (digital and analog i/o) of 5 years ago! Comes with 64mb of flash? You will not even be able to record ONE song using all 4 tracks at 24bit/48khz! To do any bit of field work (and if you taking advantage of all 4 tracks) a GIG is about the minimum you would want. CF is getting cheap, but a 1GB hiMD cartridge is cheaper. Yes the concept is here with Flash and microdrive, but nobody has YET to get it right:

So if I wanted a pro solution with Digital and analog I/o and USB upload and download capabilities.

1. Sony HiMD with 1GB cartridge $300. Pocket sized. Rechargeable.

2.Edirol with a 1GB CF card (so that you could actually USE the thing) $530. NOT pocket sized. Not rechargeable.

3. Creative Labs Nomad with 20 GB. Thats over 50 HOURS of nonstop recording in 16bit 48Khz .WAV About as big as an Edirol. The last of them sold for $229. Rechargeable batteries. I got drunk one nite and left it in live record running on batteries overnight and it was still recording at noon the next day.

I agree on the fact that HD or perhaps a 4GB CF card based machine with digital and anaog I/O is the future-and it has been for about 6 years now. There were ones on the market! For pocket recording solution, HiMD is the best solution currently, has a rechargeable battery that LASTS (unlike the Edirol, which takes alkalines)and will be until somebody makes a pocket sized one that has ACCEPTABLE storage capabilities. The technology is there. It has been.

Edited by g52ultra

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Sorry, I am slow on catching up with all the posts... The news is overwhelming...

I found and started using MD since two years back and really loved it...besides the unique look of my MD unit among the Pods all over the streets, the recording/editting capability is what I like most. Like others said, MD is bad as a portable music player for the 'mass' today. Well, maybe it really IS!!!

Here is my wish list for Sony:

1. Most people said it, admit the DRM junk is the worst thing happened to MD, and get rid of it!

2. Position MD as a portable device for people who love (live) recording/editting of their music/lecture/etc. (and listen to mp3s as well :)). There IS a market for that, it is us!

3. Reduce MD models to just a few that do the above job, and do it well.

4. Improve MD models to make them easier to use (upload/download w/o SS, drag&drop, etc.)

5. (Depending on technical possibility) Improve media capacity to 2gb (or even better 4gb) to allow longer live recording time in PCM mode.

Edited by duancg

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Pants! Well that's just typical!

I bought my first MD recorder only a few months ago and I think it's great. It's definitely dual purpose - for good quality recording line in or mic in with adjustable compression as well as the now more common jukeboxy application, especially with HiMD.

I spent a lot of time researching possible applications and MD, with nice removable media that you can give to other band members and duplicate for them etc. (can't do that with an ipod), was the ideal choice. Bet there's a larger choice of compression protocols than your typical ipod type device too. I mean what else would give you that that multi-faceted value for money? The emphasis with the flash and HD players seems almost purely jukebox with the emphasis on personal and playback rather than communal and play/record. People seem to be content with non swappable media and grotty recording possibilities. Consumers win over quality again!

Maybe I'll go back to my chrome cassettes...

Edited by fredthesecond

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Maybe it's time for Minidisc to go? Let's see an UMD portable music device! That way all music can go on UMD's rather than on CD's, which really suck.

So my wish list...

A UMD player with built in FM radio, Line out/in, mic in, and 50 hour battery life with a color screen.

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Maybe it's time for Minidisc to go? Let's see an UMD portable music device! That way all music can go on UMD's rather than on CD's, which really suck.

So my wish list...

A UMD player with built in FM radio, Line out/in, mic in, and 50 hour battery life with a color screen.

UMD player/recorder....

I'd buy that in a second.

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I know the Edirol is an early adoption of a technology. When MD first appeared it wasn't recordable at all. The Edirol is just one of several devices I've seen lately. And the price isn't $600. It's around $440. Yes you have to buy a card but the price on those drops every day. This is just one example of what is to come and the price is on the way down.

Then there's this Korg which is $350. No it isn't pocket size but it sure is powerful for an entry level recording device.

And what about the Archos line? Add a pre-amp to a 20 gig hard drive Archos and you have a dynamite setup that will fit in your pocket and doesn't cost much more than a Hi-MD setup.

Then there's the Tascam on this web site. Obviously it won't fit in your pocket but what do we really want, a walkman or a recorder. Look at the power of this machine for less than $700. It's a portable recording studio and it doesn't cost that much.

And we all know there are portable walkman type players coming that will accept a mic. I saw one recently but I can't seem to find the link for it.

If Sony really does get out of the pocket recorder business that will leave a huge gap and someone will fill it quickly. It's a popular item and when combined with the new technologies it will be awesome.

If Sony is getting out of the MD business it's because they see the writing on the wall. Let's face it. A 1 gig disc has advantages. But a 40 gig hard drive has some too. And so does solid state recording. With the incredible popularity of walkman mp3 players there will be a push to build a recording version in the future. I've seen one already as I said. Archos essentially makes one already. I nearly bought an Archos last year but I decided to wait for the built in pre-amp. It will come.

MD's days are numbered IMO. Technology marches on and no amount of nostalgia will stop it. And that is really what we're talking about here.

I expect MD to last a few more years because it really is a wonderful technology. It's just that it's seen it's prime already and the future is coming.

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I know the Edirol is an early adoption of a technology. When MD first appeared it wasn't recordable at all. The Edirol is just one of several devices I've seen lately.

I seem to remember being able to record just fine on my MZ-1 ... ^_^

Come to think of it... it still records just fine to this day :D

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M-Audio has introduced the very small handheld Microtracker, that besides SPDIF input and output, provides phantom power and bit rates up to 24/96 at around $350.00. http://www.m-audio.com/index.php? Early testing has shown problems with SPDIF bit rates and voltages on phantom power coming up to spec, although M-audio has been made aware of these issues and has openly asked for feedback on the problems. This strategy is where I feel Sony has been missing the consumer on some of their products. The consumer/pro recording industry is getting smaller and much more competitive.

Best,

Mark R.

Edited by markrags

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I had a minidisc player installed in my 2004 Mazda sports car. I love minidiscs and am so saddened to hear that Sony may be bailing on them...

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This is a bit depressing, but alas, all good things do come to an end eventually I suppose. I still plan to squeeze every last bit of life out of my Hi-MD units, as I probably won't opt for any of the HD players for the next few years out of spite.

One day some company will come up with the perfect solution to all our problems, and I hope to see all of you on those boards. Untill then, long live MD.

On the bright side (well... if there is one really), we could get like 1000 cool points for our use of "vintage, outdated" md equiptment. How the ladies will swoon. haha.

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I think that is the real issue. The unwashed masses who think that MP3 is the ultimate in audio quality had no interest in Live Recording...they thought that downloading to their MP3 player WAS recording. To them, the ability of their portable device to use a decent quality stereo microphone was unimportant...as long as they could rip the latest tracks ('borrowed' from a friend, bought from a store...and then returned, or stolen off the net) they were happy.

And folks say I am negative! Guy, just because someone uses a HDD DAP versus a MD unit doesn't mean that they are stealing the music to put on their player. :) There isn't anything inherently evil with mp3. This just happened to be the format that was used on the P2P networks. It could have eaisly been something else. I also have a HDD unit now and I also own over 900 CD. I have been buying CDs since 1984. The only time I used a P2P network was to test out music for my wedding and to test out Jpop music. Now I don't even have to do that since the iTunes store lets me hear 30 second clips from japanese artists right through iTunes. Of course I have to import the CD (won't touch DRMed/compressed digital downloads) from yesasia.com or cdjapan.com.

Please don't act like those who use HDD units are all unwashed sheep. THAT is the kind of additude I see on the Mac sites when they talk about Windows users.

Oh, that borrowed from a friend thing is interesting. I grew up with cassette and I cannot imagine how many mixes I gave out and collected. The 80's style P2P. I would have done the same with MD, but the only people I have met who use MD are in Korea and Japan. That type of trading was a godsend as it opened me up to so many styles of music I would never have thought to try...or even have access to with my limited teenage funds. The P2P idea wasn't a bad thing and it could have been used for the same thing as swapping cassettes, but the problem came from peoples' GREED. It is one thing to download a song or two of a new band compared to downloading ALL of their albums!!! :( Also, recently the RIAA admitted that more pirating came (and still comes from) the sale of CDRs. After all the nonsense regarding the P2P networks they admit this...rather funny to hear.

Edited by lamewing

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Well, I say everyone that is a registered member donate a few dollars and we combine it all and purchase all of sony's remaining stock of MD equipment. That should last us a bit... ;)

Alternately, we could all donate money to get an advertising campaign going for HiMD :P

Edited by raintheory

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M-Audio has introduced the very small handheld Microtracker, that besides SPDIF input and output, provides phantom power and bit rates up to 24/96 at around $350.00. Mark R.

That's the one I saw before. Here's the link I couldn't find earlier. This seems to be a very promising technology.

And yes I spaced on the original MD being recordable. Oops. I was thinking of the original portable, walkman type MD's.

Edited by King Ghidora

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I fell in love with the MD format in 1997, Okinawa, Japan. When Hi-MD came out, I honestly thought that it will become more popular; so excited then that I even did a countdown at the other MD board.

Currently, I have about 500 MD discs, 1 MD boombox, 2 MD decks, 2 MD book shelves, 6 portables including the old MDH 10 (MD and MD data). 1 Hi-MD portable and was looking forward to the 3Gen. MD. :(

I am hoping that Sony opens the MD format to all instead of just dropping it.

Just open the ATRAC/MD technology up, Sony..... :mellow:

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I have been reading my way thrugh this thread - not all of it but enough.

I use the MD format. I use the iPod and I even use Aeroplayer on my Palm. I wouldn't be willing to say that any of them is better than the others - they are different.

That said, I wouldn't want to use the player on the Palm as a primary portable music device. For a short flight - it is fine.

I have and use both the MD and the iPod and I like them both. the iPod is certainly easier to use - and very convenient. That said I like the MD, and the "richness" of the sound.

I was going to buy a Hi-MD, really just to have one. Then I noticed that they have vanished from the stores hereabouts, to top it off I saw an ad for the MZ-NF520 at one of the stores here, $75.

I think I will buy one and stick it on the shelf just in case, but I will continue to travel with my iPod, and frankly most of my listening is to the iPod. When I am away for days at a time, the iPod is easier, it is more convenient, and that is the most important factor to most consumers.

Too many here are trying to turn the issue of MD v. iPod into some sort of religious war, that is foolish. The disparaging comments about people who have not chosen MD are also foolish. These are consumer electronics and convenience and ease of use will win out.

As will marketing - and to be honest - Sony have really done a crappy job ( read non-existent) job of trying to market the MD.

I think the MD is going to disappear from the Sony line-up and thatis too bad, but it is Sony's fault, not the poor mis-guided, uninformed consumer.

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But seriously, and I believe I mentioned this in the T-board forum, you'll never buy the perfect electronic gizmo that will last over 10 years, even 5 sometimes, so use what's good NOW. Sony hiMD is the BEST now, in my opinion.

Hmmmm? OK, I agree that electronic gizmos made today, especially MD recorders, are unlikely to last 10 years. But that is not true of all past electronic gizmos. 40 year old Nagra's still work just fine with the occasional CLA and even more occasional replacement of the tape transport parts.

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I still have a working 8 track player. Some things were just built to last. :D

I've only seen those once...

It's too bad that the MD might be gone soon. If they actually advertised, and made decent recording software, SonicStage was the worst Media player I'd ever had, and I've had alot (WMP, Rhapsody, Rio Music Manager, etc...)

But I don't think that Sony would come out with a UMD recorder, because of possibly game piracy problems...

I had a Sony MZ-NE410, it was one of the coolest items I've had, til it was stolen :angry2: and then I bought a Rio Nitrus...

Sonic

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UMD player/recorder....

I'd buy that in a second.

me too....maybe thats what they are moving towards....I cant believe that they will leave a sizeable hole in the market for somebody else to fill.......they will surely replace MD with some kind of recording device wont they ????

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MD has had a great run. It will hold a special place for me for the rest of my life. I will keep using my MD until it just won't work any more. But hey I thought the same thing about my AIWA portable cassette recorder with Dolby. The truth is MD is showing it's age. Technology marches on. It's time to move to the next big thing. MP3 will never be it. Multitrack hard drive based and solid state recording are here NOW. MD won't do what these things will do. I guess there are still people who say we should all be listening to vinyl and they have a point to an extent. But the truth is vinyl is dead. Cassettes are dead. DAT is dead. DCC is dead. CD's are dying. And MD is nearly dead. We just don't need it any more. There are better things available.

They already do Moose. And this is just one of many to come. MD can't do what these things will do right now. And the technology is just getting up to speed. In 5 years we will look back at MD like we look back at cassettes right now.

I've posted on this twice in this thread already. It's amazing how many people just aren't looking at the future. It looks like me and you and not too many more.

ditto here. i bought an ipod photo 60GB 2 months ago and i've filled it with 3000 songs so far. it still has space for another 9000 more. going by my regular usage patterns:

battery life

heavy usage (on and off all day long) i charge once in 2 days.

moderately heavy usage (approx 4 hrs a day) i charge every 4 days.

moderate usage (approx 2 hrs a day - commuting listening) i charge once a week.

the battery life (12-15 hrs depending on backlight frequency) has reached a point where its satisfactory for me (not terrific so they have room for improvement)

sound quality

sound quality wise, nothing to shout about. you can't compare the ipod sound quality to say, a 1-bit auvi sharp. from personal listening experience, a 112kb lp2 on the sharp MD sounds way better than 192kb mp3 on the ipod, especially piano numbers (there's some mysterious ambient ringing which is independent of whichever earphones i use)

but, bottom line, for a full range of music genres the ipod will sound fine.

now imagine if sharp comes out with a 1-bit auvi hard disk based player? :blink:

Edited by plainsman

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Hmmmm? OK, I agree that electronic gizmos made today, especially MD recorders, are unlikely to last 10 years. But that is not true of all past electronic gizmos. 40 year old Nagra's still work just fine with the occasional CLA and even more occasional replacement of the tape transport parts.

Not true. I still have a perfectly working MZ-1. 12 and a half years old. Probably the most reliable toy I ever had (the heads in my pro Sony pocket casette recorder wore out sooner). However, these units will get destroyed if you mistakenly plug them in on a 12V adapter. And I'm NOT the "beginner" here!

Edited by g52ultra

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:unsure:

When MD was introduced, this medium could be used to store/archive music and reproduce music that sounded in almost CD quality when reproduced using a high quality sereo system ( or very good (not Sony) ear phones). Still I remember the advertisments showing von Karajan with the MZ-R30.

I think Sony has made a misstake when Sony already some years ago abandommed the idea of producing MD as to mobile tool for high quality music recording, reproduction and archiving. The first visible signs was the simplied design of recording inputs and the absence of rcording level controllers, later on mediocre ear phones and the introduction of 2 formats of MDLP were other signs

Another misstake is to present and introduve 3 different variants of the same format (Normal speed ATRAC, MDLP, Hi MD) within the short tine span of 15 years , if a medium is expected to be used for archiving

When the MP3-race started, Sony and other companies felt pushed to meet this threat by introducing MDLP resulting in increased storage capacity but with reduced sound quality. I think that was a misstake because on one side less quality is not in the interest of music lovers, and on the other side MD:s might be too clumpsy or sensitive to rough handling (or just too expensive) to the large group of people that are content with intermediate sound quality adequate for listening the music of the day in noisy environements such as streets, trains or busses.

For daily use on transportation to and from work mobiles or MP3 players with an radio seem to be OK and for that reason it is reaonable to stop development of new md models for that marked.

But for the specialized market of music lovers who want a mobile tool of the kind mentioned above there is probaly still a (sleeping) market

Still I am looking forward to a small new MD recorder with an integrard radiotuner - FM and AM (DAB might be introduced in a future but there are rumors from people that had a chance to compare tell that high quality FM-transmissions sound better than DAB 250 MHz corresponding to MP3 190 Mbits)

Hover, if MD:s are going to dispperar in the shops, I have avoided a potentional problem of not beeing able to listen to my 350 MD:s by bying some extra R90 änd R50 that now are sold very cheap secaon hand. My favorates for life recordings are still MZ-R35 and MZ-R50.

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For me what killed the MD format the unwillingness of Sony to push it forward - they put all kinds of limitations on their new designs and music d/load and upload so as to make the technology clumsy and obsolete. I was looking to get one of their new ones and my buddy did until to his utter dismay he found out that he cannot upload recorded music but had to go through the audio inputs. That stopped me from going that route and went HD route instead.

2 years ago I bought an Archos Jukebox hd mp3 player and recorder and haven't looked back on minidisc. My portable minidisc unit then (Sharp) was skipping during recording at loud volumes and it was eating batteries like crazy. I've switched to HD-based recording and I can do at least 4 hrs of sound with my current setup on the rechargeable battery.

As a musician I have many rehearsals and tracking sessions on MD so it doesn't seem like I'll abandon the technology right away, plus I have some music that I listen at home to on MD. I am stocked at the moment with 2 player/recorder decks and one player so for the long run this will stay.

What really ticks me off is the way the MD never really made it as a backup solution until now, or altogether as the de facto portable format. It certainly had the potential but Sony stifled that by what seemed lack of interest in the product. The high prices of the units didn't help much either.

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