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Is it time to worry?

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Guest MeanieDix

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Guest MeanieDix

Just read on ABC news Apple's domination in only 4 days in Japan. They opened iTunes to Japan, where minidiscs were once king. Sony actually had been giving Apple a decent run for their money with their hard drive recorders selling decently close to Apple's (unlike here). But, little did I know with all the spin, and that no one ever mentioned that iTunes wasn't even available in Japan; so, we all collectively sighed a bit of relief thinking "well at least Sony's selling something somewhere". But, what scares me is the following. Apple sold 1,000,000 songs in only FOUR days in Japan only. Sony sells about 470,000 a month worldwide. Ouch.

Also, I noticed that Sears only sells the Psyc NetMD player now, so does Best Buy. Best Buy has some first gen Hi-MD on clearance. I remember at Xmas time, there were Hi-MD promotions everywhere in the big chains, much to my surprise (not that anyone cared or paid attention to them). Circuit City had mid-aisle kiosks, Sears had the ends of two rows dedicated to Hi-MD, and Best Buy carried 3 recorders here. Now, its disappearing faster than home decks did.

I'm scared.

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I agree.

The issue though is that HDD players have teken over.

I have an MZ-NH900 and love it and wouldn't be parted from it but I use a VGF-Ap1 (VAIO Pocket) 40 GB HDD player to listen to music

I have 9000+ tracks with me at any one time.

For recording however the MD can't be beat.

I miss that sometimes.

If I am going to do some recording I generally have to have 2 machines with me.

re: Japan - It was always gonna happen.

Itunes is easy - if sonicstage was 1 tenth as easy to use the slide could have been curbed.

Sony = Superior hardware + very inferior software.

Apple = Improving (but still inferior) hardware + superior software.

Apple has to win!! They almost have no choice yet they market perfectly.

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Guest MeanieDix

Yes, that's all good and well. But I just hope (although I think it will) that it doesn't mean that Sony washes their hands completely of MD.

Some have posted that MD is "doing well in the pro market". BS. No one uses it except a handful of field recorders, and the main reason is that there is absolutely no support from Sony. They don't even make any pro-md stand-alone units (or any basic DAT or CD recorders anymore). No one will touch MD if they can't pop it in a rack-mount player to do whatever they wish with it.

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Yeah it's pretty good.

As for iTunes...I still hate that software, it's a POS as far as I'm concerned. The lack of a stop button is what killed it for me, I know if you switch screens it has a "stop" feature, but w/e it's a load of POS and I don't feel like using a million apps, foobar and ss are enough for me.

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I'm not surprised in the least by this news, but I'm not sure this will have major ramifications in the short term for MD. For one, MD has a huge installed user-base in Japan, having reached critical mass long ago (unlike here in the US, where to most people, it was never more than a mere curiosity). Not everybody is going to have the money, need, or desire for a HDD player right away. I'm also sure there will be others who find the 128kbps MPEG-4 AAC encodings offered on ITMS pretty abysmal for 150 yen/song. (Apple obviously used a much older encoder to encode tracks than it currently offers, because ITMS songs have very obvious ringing and pre-echo artifacts that usually aren't heard at that bitrate with AAC).

Give it about a year or two - then, I'll be "scared." I just don't see everybody dumping MD en masse for an iPod overnight because ITMS rolled into town like some noisy circus. Will it happen eventually, though? Almost certainly.

My beloved blue MZ-R700 will see use as long as I can buy media for it, and I'm sure that somebody out there is still using the other 10 or so MD recorders I've sold since the 90's. MD is a niche format, and as long as we continue to use it, it will stay alive. Will it ever be "popular" again? Not likely, but who cares? If we like it, that's all that matters. Discs and units will be around, albeit used, next to forever; some people still regularly use 8-tracks, which slowly vanished from the public eye after the record stores yanked them from the shelves in 1983.

My MD recorder and HDD player can happily coexist because they each do something well that the other cannot. MiniDisc is for music and sounds yet to be captured; MP3 is for that which already has. I hope that others will come to this conclusion as well; until there is a cheaper, better way of recording sounds, MD has a future.

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To be honest, I really don't see what's so easy about Itunes. Windows Media player seems easier to handle to me. And we're talking about one of the lamest apps around.

it's the sort of s/w that when things go well they work well. any hardware conflicts, software conflicts irq errors anything the helpfile make sonys look encyclopedic but it's very well designed. apple support & fabnsites like ours are useless - typical response 'it's because you use a pc' yeah thanks so do most ipod owners these days.

it's no surprise that most people i know who own an ipod use ephpod - yet most of them know nothing about encoders & will convert cds to 128kbs because 'that's cd quality isn't it?' yet they've worked out that itunes is primarily pretty & little else.

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Fry's has just restocked the Hi-MD recorders here. One RH-10, 4 RH-910 units left, 5 blanks on the shelf.

There may be some true audiophiles left after all. Lack of recording aside, even the iPod players' output simply cannot compare. I'd rather listen to a good analog cassette deck or a top quality CD player, and don't get me started on DAT.

This is coming from an Apple fan. I'm typing this on a newer Powerbook, and love using iTunes.

However, I do believe that the marketers in league with the trash media industry ("it's CD digital sound!") have won and too many shoppers are used to the sound of overpriced, cutesy junk merchandise masquerading as hi-fi. Many younger consumers have damaged ears and thus equate sound pressure with fidelity.


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