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Hi-MD, Bye-MD?


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quote"MD is old technology, it'll be phased out sooner or later if not now. I bet none of you would buy a car with a design that dates back to 15 years, would you?"

Actually, my last car was exactly 15 years old (1990 Vw Polo - £300) and the actual design dated back to 1982. All it ever needed was a new clutch (£50 including fitting).

My new car a 1999 Nissan cost over £2000 and after 2 weeks of ownwership required a new door lock (£90 because modern stuff has to be computer coded with the immobaliser).

Not all it's cracked up to be this new technology........


Edited by MDGB2
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Right, so it's suspected Hi-MD is already receiving it's death rites?

This is worrying, not only because I've been using the format only very shortly, but because I fear that the Hi-MD media is going to become very hard to find.

If it does happen, would I be right in thinking that the prices of blank Hi-MDs will shoot up, or do you think they'll still be manufactured somewhere? Are TDK ever going to make Hi-MDs?

Hopefully none of this is true though.

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Here's my take.

1) Sony engagement is due to their financial lost, and the lost is not permanent, in a few yr., after they done their cut back, they can expand in the future. Having back the MD.

But what is more important is, can we buy blank High Density MiniDisc? If so, my last MD is still functioning and last me 9 yr., this new one I just bought should last me 9 yr. Who's to say what will happen in 9 yr.?

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I am a musician and could never afford any fancy recording equipment but was lucky enough to have use of a recording studio at my university. I am now out on my own so decided to buy a MD so I could be self-reliant in my music recordings. I have found the MD really easy to record on (you just press record) but a bitch to use oherwise (all this group stuff...? what is that about). Sonicstage was useless and I went to a lot of trouble to get the damn recording onto CD by paying a sound technician. I say Sony is stupid for keeping this product on and saying that it is great for musicians. I am not a technolgical buff but why can't they make a product that writes straight onto a CD (in walkman form) as they have done with the new DVD handycam product for god's sake. Lets just make it easy for a change.

From disgruntled MD owner.

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Shit! Look how many ppl r reading this topic 1st of all!

2ndly - THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I don't think Sony realise how disaterous their decision will be, if they decide to cut the MD's completley!

I think we need to get into contact ASAP with a major Sony exec or some1 who has major influence in Sony... and let them know how we feel and why!

I am not trying to sound nasty by saying this... but for all the recordists who use MD's (including me) If MD's were scraped... then we would have nowhere to go! It is saught of ok for the people who use MD's JUST as players, as they can always go to mp3 players... but for the recordists, there is NOT A SINGLE product out there that would compare to an MD in recording quality and flexability!

Please correct me if I am wrong.

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but for the recordists, there is NOT A SINGLE product out there that would compare to an MD in recording quality and flexability!

Hi...I am pretty sure you are correct on this....certainly at the moment there isnt anything I can think of to replace MD for recording...maybe somewhere there might be something...but I bet it wont be as cheap as a MD recorder....This is why I am so suprised that we are expecting a complete axe of MD....surely not...there is still a fair sized market surely ????

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What if.....

Sony brought out a U-MD recorder unit with all the same facilities as our usual Hi-MD recorders. It would offer 1.8Gb of storage for music, video or data. We could record music or video directly onto it using digital and analogue inputs and we could transfer data via firewire or USB 2.0 to our computers. I think this could all be done and fit inside an enclosure the size of the current Hi-MD camera unit....

It might have a colour OLED display (or equiv) for playing video back directly or we could simply place the disk into our PSP (assuming you have one) or maybe we could simply plug our U-MD unit straight into our TV's in the same way we can with any Sony Camera.

There could be models with or without video camera for recording video directly to U-MD or Duo Memory stick.

However this NEW product might look it helps Sony capitalise on all previous developed technologies and does not squander any invetments in media fabs or partnerships with other companies.

With Sony's BlueRay DVD format taking a kicking maybe this would be a good niche for them to move into. Anyone remember Betamax and VHS? It's all about standards and Sony seem unable to compromise with Toshiba's team effort on high capacity DVD. Why do they do this? Did they never learn anything?

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relax people.

1/ discs will still be manufactured for some time.

2/ sony knows it holds a small but significant marketshare for recorders of live music & such. the phasing out of an old technology will be of no consequence if there is a similarly feature but more advanced replacment. c/f recorders with batt. time of 3-8 hours isn't there yet imo.

3/ this place is going well & will continue, don't say goodbye to mdcf just yet...

don't take this as gospel,

IPB Image

i know nothing, nothing!

but seriously consider where you think sony could head on this one, don't go all blue sky, but think about what you'd do bearing in mind current-ish level tech & a new corp. strategy to tie all those various arms into a coherant body.

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I just wish Sony had looked into MP3 compatability way back when they developed NetMD....

Sony should have seen the writing on the wall in 1998 when Diamond Multimedia introduced the first portable MP3 player the Rio PMP 300 with a whopping 32MB of removable smartmedia memory. Since that innovation there has been a major trend away from removable storage for portable audio playing devices, Minidisc is at a point now because Sony has failed miserably to adapt to market changes and has been simply a bystander instead of a market leader for quite a long period now. The introduction of NetMD and Hi-MD only came about because of the explosion in popularity of MP3 and other compressed audio formats from the 'PC' world into consumer electronics, that cross-over from the realm of nerds in their bedrooms encoding MP3's from 1996 onwards into soccer moms out jogging listening to their tiny MP3 players, that promted Sony to introduce the facility to download audio to MD using a PC in the first place, but of course by then it was too late, the horse had bolted and not even Sony could slam the stable doors shut again. I can remember discussions back in 1999 on the forums at minidisc t-station (now just t-station.net) where MD users were crying out for a download feature to be introduced immediately in new MD recorders, Sony wasn't listening then and isn't listening now, Sonicstage was buggy bloatware from day one all the way up to v3.2, and their draconian DRM efforts only turned more users and potential users off in droves. I will be sorry to see Minidisc go, if it does, but I'm not in the least bit surprised by this speculation. MD is a testament to wonderful Sony engineers, but the marketing executives should be taken out and beheaded if the format is actually axed. My 2 cents.

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hi being newish to these forums i thought id better add my little bit .Being introduced to mds about 6 years ago by a freind of mine i got the md bug very quickly and had bought a couple of md recorders ( portable) in a small space of time and i thought they were absolutley great especially liking the excellent portable recording capabilities and then i got a net md version (an mzn1) and i thought wow this is brilliant on my pc, last year i went to hong kong in september and i bought myself an mznh1 ( in gold of course) and i emptied the shops shelve of the 30 himd blanks they had in stock( paying virtually nothing for either of them compared to prices over here ( which by the way are still even more than i paid back then) and when i got home and plugged it in to my pc it was like the jump that 8-track cassette was to cd , it was like another level of music had been born and as an extra you could use it as a removable disc for storing files from youre pc ( which i have done on a few occasions after recording a cd from my freind who also had a himd and the putting on the scanned disc cover as a pc file aswell as the music on the same disc ( which by the way i dont think any other typ of removable media can do) . another thing that i think sony has only just released which i think is far overdue is a backup for youre digi camera memory catds onto himds cos you name me any 1 gb memory that costs you a fiver ( NON), so as for removable media prices nothing even comes near which i see sony have only just got a camera-himd combo out and unless they get going on this concept very quickly they will miss out on a very very great chance for themselves. One last point i have a freind who is a proffesional sound engineers who does concerts and shows for very major artists and actors ( he does pantos and travelling shows etc, etc) and they use mds because as he says they are the only digital recordable media that is removable and is of a universal format and if these go people like him and as far as i understand from him a lot or the radio stations will be lost without it, anyway i will be carrying on as much as all my setup will let me untill it packs up cos i have my himd in my car aswell as a multi md in there aswell and i will be most upset the day i cant use it anymore. LONG LIVE MINIDISCS.

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I got sick or reading after page 7!

Just some random thoughts that have popped into my head thus far.

1. Sony, get your head out of your arse. You are not Steve Jobbs. You cannot expect to DICTATE to the consumer what you think they want.

2. Learn to Listen to your customers. They are the ones that fork out cash for exhorbitantly priced products with limited range in functionality.

3. It would seem more of the ire of Sony Music and Pictures is telling Sony Electronics how to do things. interesting that Sony is suing many for copyright violations and not having the music connect store in Australia at least. Time to dump everything and go back to what yu do best.

4. How can you sell a PSP for the price you do then turn around and overprice the MD range? There is no logic and is it any wonder they don't sell.

5. If any one lobs an 'Australia is a small Market' crap on me again I'll smash 'em! We are still a market and this ignorance by Sony is at it's own peril.

6. I think I saw soneone mentioning how much Sony would lose per unit if they dropped prices (around $100?) Well tough. When you can by an ATRAC enable mobile phone for less than a high end MD player then something is going wrong.

7. Sony is one of the most secretive electronics companies I know compared to others out there. They tell you nothing, no department knows what the other department is up to. 'Secret' sources are rife- like there's some big secret about minidisc? puhhlleeaasse. They listen to noone. ANswer we don't know then two days later spill their guts.

Look how long it took for their flash players and even then they didn't listen to the market and devloped their own with less functionality than any other unit.

I think this is my vent at SONY post, but it just seems typical or their recent behaviour. Overpriced products without the quality and stillexpecting to dictate the market. They should have learnt with Betamax that you can't have it your way. The quality of Beta max made it a broadcast standard despite the public favouring VHS. The same will happen to MD becasue Sony wanted to be the big kid on the block without the hard work.

Shame Sony Shame (no that they'll listen)

Edited by Stretcher Bearer
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I feel betrayed. It's a very sad day for all MD fans.

I just hope some other company will "adopt" and further develop MD.

All what's left to do is wait, wait, until my NH1 dies a slow and painful (for me) death.

In reality, MD is light years ahead of competition, if you could even call it that, at least for pro and semi-pro uses. Basically, MD is dieing before it reached maturity, before the days of glory it deserves without a doubt.


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I am not a geek, MD buff or electronic whiz, I am just a mom. I bought a HI MD for one reason only...to record my children's piano recitals, band concerts and choir solos, take the recording home, upload it and then burn cds to give to their grandparents (Which they rave about to their cronies). It is so easy to do! What a miracle! There are over 200 kids in our high school band, and if every one of their fanatic "band-o" parents knew how easy it is to burn their own cd of Johnny's music, EVERY single one of them would want one....I guarantee it. Talk about Sony missing the marketing boat!

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Well, as far as MD becoming extinct, blame SONY. Their arrogance and stupidity.

1) Crappy software

2) Dedication to copyright protection, to the extreme.

3) High prices.

4) Hanging on to their precious ATRAC, not giving full MP3 support as Hard drive players

or solid state players, at least not until some form of it recently (too late).

5) Poor advertising and product visibility. The vast majority of Americans don't have a clue

to what MD is. Why would they buy something that they do not know exists??????

Sony slit it's own throat with it's managerial incompetence. HiMD and MD is a great format. But now

I relegate it to uses that need long battery life, like emergencies (long term power outages). I use

solid state players with MP3 and MP3 jukeboxes now. I have external battery packs that can recharge my

jukeboxes with AA batteries, making even the above reason for keeping MD a non reason.

Sony has always tried to create some new product it has total control over. Like the Memory Stick.

With all the other good flash memory out there, who needs it? I would never buy a product that uses

Memory Stick. Same mentality that doomed MD.

An based upon my experience with other Sony products, I just don't buy Sony stuff anymore.

The problem with Sony is their high level decision making. They are morons. And cutting "non profitable" products lines won't help the company. The same morons are there making the usual moronic decisions.

Just differenct products will soon become "non profitable" after this batch.

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I barely use my Net-MD portable player these days, except for transfering music to disk for listeing to in my van ( I have a Sony MD/Radio unit).

After serious problems with various versions of Sonic Stage (no surprise there, but most of it was down to a codec pack) I had become somewhat disillusioned with the whole process, but now I have 1.5 working again it's all sunny and to be honest I care not for further development of this format. What I have works fine and as long as the blank media is available then I'm sorted.

Given the explosion in solid state media and the ipod in particular, this development was to be expected. MD will likely go the way of the laserdisc, incredible technology at it's inception, but quick to be outdone.

I like what I've got and I'll continue to use it until it breaks and needs to be replaced.

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I've not read this entire thread so forgive me if I cover ground that has already been covered. The bottom line as I see it is this. Sony shot itself in the foot with MD years and years ago. They had the product that could have owned the market and they hamstrung it so badly that no one wanted to bother with it.

I have been a huge fan of MD anyway. There just weren't any other types of devices that would do what MD can do. Until now anyway. Have you looked around? It is already possible to buy a small, multi-track recorder that is either hard drive based, solid state based or CD based. Yes MD has some advantages over all of these formats. But it has some things it doesn't do as well too. Sony could have eliminated these obstacles years ago but they didn't. Why should I now be loyal to Sony after they have treated us so badly over the years.

So who cares if they kill off MD. It's only a matter of time anyway. Technology marches on and the chances of another 100 year run are almost nil.

Prices are already down on high quality, portable recording devices that use compression free recording and transfer uploads over USB2 or Firewire and can record on the overwhelming standard of CD or on motor noise free memory chips or on huge capacity hard drives. I can buy NOW a hard drive recorder that will do multi-track recording without Sony's stupid legal hassles over copyrights.

I don't think I would buy another MD now. MD has some serious advantages for sure. MD can be recorded in rough conditions. It has a very small form factor. Data can be stored for a very long time on cheap media. But those advantages will grow smaller and smaller over the next few years. Memory chip recording can be done in even the roughest conditions. Hard drives can record huge amounts of data and can transfer it quickly.

Why should I be shackled to a dying technology? It would never have died if Sony hadn't stuck their head in the sand and denied the future. The future is now. Look at the recorders on this web site. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you want a walkman type device get an Ipod type device. If you want to record, which is what most MD fans are doing with their equipment, get a CD recorder or a hard drive recorder and skip the Sony hassles. I'll keep my MD for quite a while because it really works great but it has it's limits. There is a new wave of technology already being produced. The prices will come down and the quality is already up. The king is dead already. Long live the new king.

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Hi everyone,

I've come to this forum from time to time but I don't think I've ever posted here before. I have been a Minidisc enthusiast since I got my first unit in 1996. The format just suited all of my needs. Of course it could have ben a LOT better if Sony had opened the format up and given people what they wanted -- good software and no silly DRM limitations.

I've seen the format through its boom years and now the present. Heck, back in 1996-1998 Minidisc owned the portable music world. You probably couldn't buy anything else if you wanted to. Every company out there was falling all over itself to produce hardware for it.

Thiose were the times that Sony should have been giving people the things they wanted -- native MP3 support, a recorder that fits into a computer drive bay (instead of trying to force people to use "MD-Data"), and good software. Instead, Sony blew it big time.

I really don't want to see this format die. But ranting about it on this board isn't going to save Minidisc. It really worries me to see the administrator of this forum tell everyone to just sit back and wait for Sony's final decision. Is that really all we can do?

What we need is some kind of petition or write-in campaign. We need someone to get us the RIGHT person within Sony that we should direct our enquiries to. Heck , it's worth a few bucks to me personally even if I have to make a phone call to Japan to do it!

I really don't want to lose MD! Can't someone find us the right contact so we could start getting organized? Remember, this worked once before! That's how we got rid of End Search! We should at least try to do it again, rather than just sitting around watching the format die!

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I haven't had time to read all of the several hundred posts in this thread so I don't know if this has been touched on already. Part of Sony's problem with the minidisc involves digital recording on portable media. This is something the music industry (of which Sony itself is a part) does not want. This is why you don't get an open format, no optical line out or software like Sonic Stage with the check-in/check-out nonsense. Sony has to intentionally cripple the device and then put up with the complaints afterwards. Also, as has been pointed out, people have become used to and accept the lower quality of mp3, it's all relative if they don't know of anything better.

I just bought an MZ-M100 and I'm going to stock up on HiMD discs over the next year. It's not the end of the world. I drive a 30 year old Alfa Romeo. There hasn't been an Alfa dealer in this country for over ten years and no, I can't get parts for it at the local Kragen but I've had no trouble keeping it running. It's a world market these days. I don't buy blank minidiscs at the store anymore, I didn't even buy the MZ-M100 in a store, just ordered it of the internet. Eventually your player will go tango uniform on you and that will be the end. Part of the reason I got the MZ-M100 is so I can copy my extensive MD collection into WAV files and store it on the computer or load it onto my ipod if the market eventually forces me to go that route. (I don't own an ipod yet)

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What we need is some kind of petition or write-in campaign. We need someone to get us the RIGHT person within Sony that we should direct our enquiries to. Heck , it's worth a few bucks to me personally even if I have to make a phone call to Japan to do it!

I really don't want to lose MD! Can't someone find us the right contact so we could start getting organized? Remember, this worked once before! That's how we got rid of End Search! We should at least try to do it again, rather than just sitting around watching the format die!

.....my sentiments EXACTLY

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I don't think Sony is stupid or moronic or anything close to that. I think Sony is simply conflicted. It's got gobs of content that it wants to protect from illegal copying, hence the DRM that we all hate. I do not think Sony will retreat from that position.

So what is it that we want? If we were on the phone with the right Sony executive, what constructive advice would we offer after we finished venting?

If it's an open MP3 player, forget it. I can't imagine that happening.

Digital recorder? Now that I've been corrected about uploading non-protected recordings (i.e., my content), it looks like Hi-MD is exactly that. Personally, I'm happy with DRM as long as it doesn't affect content that I own. Is the market for a disk-based recorder big enough to support the business? Apparently not.


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Well it won't be the first time that I was left holding the bag with a SONY recording system ! Remember BETA and DAT. (Did Sony invent 8 track endless loop cartridges?)

I held back from this format for a very long time because of this very reason. When I finally attained my 30 years at DaimlerChrysler I was given a catalog to choose a "gift" from. I chose a SONY NetMD.

The way I see it, now the biggest threat to MD technology is MEMORY BASED mp3 players and Apple IPOD.

I hope I can get some support for this format for a few more years.



Edited by techristian
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This information hit me like a ton of bricks, and thank you for the e-mail heads up concerning the possibility of Sony dropping the MD format. A fellow I know, a professional audio voice and project producer who converted to MD from DAT several years ago may not be too concerned since he isn't involved in the Walkman style unit, but I am still in the learning curve with recording as well as playing podcasts through the unit on long bike rides. This really is the ultimate portable audio and now video solution, it is evidently quite entrenched in England and Japan and to some extent worldwide so one does wonder what Sony is thinking. I'm not too worried about stocking up on disks, I don't use it as a destination storage device, rather it is faster and cheaper to burn the files to CD and simply load the MD with what I am taking with me on the bike trail.

Enough rambling, the video units look enticing, podcasting is certainly not an exclusive item for the IPod and is on it's way to becoming a major social phenom, I prefer Atrac 3+ anyway, and now that I am getting somewhat comfortable with sonic stage I have no problem converting the material before transferring it to the Walkman. I hope Sony figures out what they have spent so much capital on developing and starts competing head on with Apple.


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As someone who bought their first MD/HiMD earlier in the year I'm somewhat disappointed to be hearing all this.

I bought an MD because I wanted to be able to record things in wav format, and play music. My NH700 does this better than any of the cheap mp3 players my friends and even my sister have bought. Why? Well I'd say that the DAC's on the Sony units are probably superior. An mp3 that sounds terrible no matter what earphones you use isn't something I want [we're taking CD ==> mp3 128kbps at least]. I can put up with ATRAC and other things so long as it sounds good and doesn't cost 10 x as much as anything else.

The other thing with MD is the recording business. MD was the cheapest thing I could buy into that I could strangely, more easily buy than other items, well at least at the time.

Failings of Sony:

Problems with Sonic Stage. I found reviews that said it was good and bad

The whole DRM thing with personal recordings. After reading these forums I became a bit paranoid about how I'd go about uploading my tracks back to my PC. But that stopped being a worry with the new version and I've never had a serious problem with it ever. My interest in bootlegging things with my MD is NIL. My want of recording ambient sound etc, is not however.

More problems with Sonic Stage. When I first bought the thing I could never get Sonic Stage to download completely. The process kept stalling, no matter what. Till I visited this place I couldn't get any further, till I downloaded the version you guys put up.

Why in the heck can't they sell a decent stereo microphone for MD's???

My friends don't really know what an MD is. I had to explain why I bought one rather than an mp3 player, and why I like my MD better and what I do with it etc. Over 6 months ago an MD was great compared to things like flash memory based solutions with such small amounts of memory, and in many ways compared with many products still is [battery use has always seemed excellent compared with my sister's static state player, and that player of hers doesn't come with a recharger/NiMH batteries either].

Other stuff

I've been thinking about taking my MD to the gym with me, but now Australia seems to be going into limbo I'm not sure I want to take the risk of doing something to the laser servo, as I can't go to the store and buy another obviously and I'm frightened that my warrentee repair opportunities may have gone out the window to [not that I intend to soak it in water or stand on it, it's just so far the thing has been mollycoddled [partly to reduce the sound of recorder noise when recording] and I'd rather not find out if there are any issues with it the hard way. More money to be spent on something else I guess in the end.

I've been trying to save up for an RM40ELK remote [i didn't realise how irritaiting it can be not to have a backlight on one of these], and now this is going on I wonder if by the time I have enough if I'll actually be able to buy one.

Why I want to keep my MD

  1. The discs are cheap. I can afford to have a few GB's of wav in my hand. I can't do the same with a flash player at the moment. If a HIMD discs stuffs up I can throw it in the bin. I loose $4. That's so small an amount.
  2. It sounds good!
  3. It does what I want [except for the DRM thing, but now SS allows infinite personal recording uploads I'm not bothered anymore].
  4. It records wav.
  5. It's easy to use. Another thing I can't say about every other device on the market.
  6. It's small.
  7. I'm into photography and if I take my Sony camera somewhere I can crossload my images into my MD if I need to.
  8. Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I would probably buy another MD of some description in the future if the concept was advanced further etc.

Reality Stuff

I used to own a Superdisc, from Imation, and my Dad still owns a Superdisk 240. Laser-Servo-Magnetic recording is pretty much dead in the consumer arena to the best of my knowledge.

Sony feels bad about the whole iPOD thing and is probably heavily concentrating on busting that bubble.

Sony has a fight on their hands in the realm of digital phones and digital device convergence

I expect my gear to go out of date etc. I just think from buying something less than a year ago, that I'd expect a little more life out of the product in the marketplace, considering it is a pretty nice reliable and not incredibly expensive product. The other week I cleared a store out of its stock of HIMD disks as they had been slashed in price. To think before I was happy with owning two 1gb HIMD discs and a normal ones!

Ultimate Worry

Windows Vista is not all that far away really, and I'd like to know that there is a chance that my MD will still be able to transfer on windows using SS in the future [or some other program]. If Sony dump the whole MD concept entirely I'd hope that there is some kind of software out there that will still function properly for as long as I have a device that works.


I can understand much of what people have been saying in this thread, and I can but suggest a few things:

  1. Don't go OTT till we know a bit more.
  2. If you see HIMD things for cheap etc, it's in someways a good thing, a few extra discs or accessories you wouldn't normally be able to afford isn't a bad thing.
  3. The players will continue to operate irrespective of what Sony does (it's not like there's a worldwide kill switch which the devices will respond to).

Stratman ;)

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I am not a geek, MD buff or electronic whiz, I am just a mom. I bought a HI MD for one reason only...to record my children's piano recitals, band concerts and choir solos, take the recording home, upload it and then burn cds to give to their grandparents (Which they rave about to their cronies). It is so easy to do! What a miracle! There are over 200 kids in our high school band, and if every one of their fanatic "band-o" parents knew how easy it is to burn their own cd of Johnny's music, EVERY single one of them would want one....I guarantee it. Talk about Sony missing the marketing boat!

What a lovely idea! Go you!!


Wish these things had been around when *I* was in high school!

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Well, I just read my copy of Kurisu's email. I had already read an excerpt of it on the T-Board so I knew what it was going to say, but somehow seeing it in my own inbox had more impact.

I've never been an active poster on this board, although I come over to read it every now and then.

All I can say is, if Sony really is going to kill off Minidisc once and for all, I hope blank discs will still be available for a long time to come. I have quite a few MD units, and I intend to keep using them until they are all dead. I have loved Minidisc since I bought my first equipment in 1999, and I can't imagine any other format that could offer the same combination of benefits that Minidisc does.

Edited by Tull Fan
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As someone who does production work and is working to be in the media industry (TV/radio), Minidisc was one of the things that had been highly recommended for usage to make work much more efficient. With the advent of Hi-MD, uploading to ouir systems became a no-brainer. It would be a complete shame to let this go to complete waste. Nothing records better than minidisc, and Sony has to see that musicians, broadcasters and the like will still support the product, in fact I think they should see more units (on a limited basis) in America. It has been long enough, we should have seen home-based Hi-MD units for the home studio.

Sony needs to realize that the bread and butter of minidisc users are professionals and semi-professional folks wanting to record live events. They need to stop focusing on the music end of things. Stop selling Net-MD products and focus on how Hi-MD can save your files and record your projects faster, with better sound and ease for the end user, along with coming out with larger capacity Hi-MD blanks. If they continue focusing on the music end, then they need to add video capabilities as well.

If they decide to get rid of this great format, maybe we need to tell Sony to sell the trademarks of Hi-MD and minidisc to someone who is willing to continue and expand its format. I kinda thought Hi-MD was dead when a similar format the UMD was being used in PSPs instead of Hi-MD. Why not use Hi-MD with PSP, right?

Maybe someone on this board can collect signatures to get Sony to sell its Hi-MD/Minidisc trademarks, etc. to another company.

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(Sorry if I repeat something, but I could not read the whole thing)

I don't get it!!! Why does Sony come out with Mac compatible "professional" recording bla bla and then decide to kill the whole thing?

It doesn't make sense. The tecnology is good, it doesn't nned too much investment if not in good marketing.

An example: I was talking to a friend that moved from EU to the USA recently. We were talking about technology and he said "Ya, like that Minidisc thing I was used to have in 1995, now completely disappeared...." and I am there, looking at him thinking about my two MD recorder sitting just behind him.... He asked if you still have to do the realtime recording.

I bet 90% of the world thinks that MD was defunct 10 years ago. Would you blame them, though?

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The only thing this means for me is... the temporary death of the compact portable audio device.

I'm sad to see MD go. I still think it is a superior format to HDD players.

Losing MD means no more portable gadgets in my pocket except an NW-E99 which I go to work with (that play/stop button is really well positioned when the player is in your pocket).

MD had everything I never cared for in HDD based players:

- if a truck runs over your player:

MD: you lose the player and the disc inside, but not your other discs

HDD: you lose everything - even the stuff not on your PC

- battery life

MD: on 1 AA battery I can play twice more music than an iPod (or similar non-Sony device) can.

HDD: not really portable is it? You're stuck to an electric plug every 10-12 hours.

- media life

MD: I only bought my first MD five years ago. But I have a couple of 10-year old MDs from friends. Still work perfectly.

HDD: In the past 10 years, I've dealt with 9 broken computer hard drives. The current Maxtor drive on my Gateway desktop is the longest-lasting of them all... a whopping 2 years without failure... knock on wood. I just don't trust HDD players: losing 20GB of music is a lot. My RCA Lyra hold some 35GB of radio recordings... if the HDD fails... I can only hope the CDRs I use as back ups won't do the same... but I've encountered quite a few dead CDRs too.

- cuteness factor

MD: No, there will never be a Neige mp3 player. There's a cuteness factor about the different blank media models that is absent from most mp3 players.

HDD: Most aren't much different from cell phones. Rectangular shape. Screen on top. Controls on bottom. Yawn.

- unlimited storage

MD: as long as there are blanks...

HDD: Oh sure, you can get another newer model. For twice the price of 20 blank 1 GB HiMDs.

Flash: fantastic... except when it's so small you can neither label it nor see it. That Memory Stick Micro thing? It needs a box three times its size so you can label the contents. No more than five letters please! I think regular memory stick is the lowest size that practical removal media can drop to. Anything smaller is too small. But yes, I'm excited by flash cards as a replacement for MD. It's the only thing I see myself replacing MD with.

HDD has too many disadvantages. Flash players with internal memory are too limited. Flash cards are the only alternative that I find appealing. But so far, players have been few, cards are expensive and transfer speeds are pathetic.

The other alternative will be a large capacity flash drive. Something like a 100GB flash player. I'm sure Samsung will come up with it soon enough. Hopefully by the time my last MD unit dies permanently. Then maybe Sony can take the NW-A1000 and upgrade that cute thing to 100GB of flash. Then I'd buy one. Until then, OLED screens look fantastic, but gigantic players like the NW-A3000 that don't do anything are totally retarded. Replacing HiMD with that, and going after the iPod with it is totally nuts.

MD is the only thing that set Sony apart from the crowd. Its death is perfectly understandable. But Sony as a company may easily follow. They're already making crazy decisions, so what's to stop them from continuing? Stringers' big plan was a load of hot air. SACD was doomed from the start by the twits at Sony Music. I'll enjoy the SACDs I have so far, but I'm not crazy about buying new ones (thus contributing to the death of that format as well).

In the end... the best thing Sony can do at this point, after dropping MD, is dropping ATRAC, dropping Memory Stick, Blu-Ray and everything else and just forming a joint venture with Samsung.

Samsung ideas.

Sony engineering.


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OK if you buy your discs at street stores in France, you pay 10 € (12 US$)

But we can find HI-md for 3,82 AUD (2,9 US$) at this shop:


this signifies that Sony can produce discs for less that 2 US$ each, and mass production can provide great reduction (at the beginning tapes weren't very cheap; 2 years ago dvd-r blanks were commercialised at 10 USD each)

Considering that prerecorded CD are sailed 15 US$, hi-md prerecorded shouldn't cost more that 17 US$, which don't make many difference...

Minidisc are discontinued in Aust. It's more than likely these are being sold below cost to clear out warehouse space. Once they're all sold, there'll be no more himd media in aust. or they will be even harder to find and the prices will go back up.

Edited by shione
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hey ppl, i remember commercials on tv in australia advertising the net-md format as they go through a drive through and get an md disc back although i havent ever seen a hi-md ad. Surprising? no.... i thought in the back of my head that this format wouldnt last ever since it came out. Even then not many people knew about it. So it is not suprising if Sony wants to cut down on this as even if they have spent a tonne of money trying to reak a profit, they have lost much more without ads and whatnot. I will probably stick with hi-md until it becomes obsolute or unusable. But the main problem that i have heard from friends was that the actual program (sonic stage) was the downfall as it was not user friendly (in my opinion) and nothign really worked. I had a lot of problems trying to even install it and then to transfer was a whole other story. If they did change or 'redo' the sonic stage to make it more usable possibly more people who had the md and sold it straight away may have kept the md and went through the net md and hi-md. My opinion anyway...

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The thing is this,

Sony screwed up when they included the DRM. Sales and popularity would be sky high if this was a much more user friendly format. The only reason i don't have an I-pod is because of the ability of the minidisc to record high quality now with hi-md. Here is my solution: re-package the format without the DRM, in a user-friendly format, with higher capacity capability and actually market it in some way. the I-pod is running the show because it is easy to use, and is fairly no-hassle. Giving up on a format that a bunch of us like a lot just because you dont want to take the steps people have been pleading for you to take for years is ridiculous. Why quit on the only people who have been loyal to a fault just because you dont want to go the extra step? i am not happy with this, and if this is what the future holds, then the minute they quit on me for being a loyal supporter of their product, then i will quit on their company.

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Losing MD means no more portable gadgets in my pocket except an NW-E99 which I go to work with (that play/stop button is really well positioned when the player is in your pocket).

No Cell phone??? For real???

MD had everything I never cared for in HDD based players:

- if a truck runs over your player:

MD: you lose the player and the disc inside, but not your other discs

HDD: you lose everything - even the stuff not on your PC

But the idea with MP3 players is you use them in conjunction with a computer. 0% of MP3 users actually keep their collection on their player. For most people, MDs are the same way. Nobody would be complaining about Sonicstage if people just wanted to build up a closet-full of shiny disks, one disk for every album they might want to listen to. Personally my music collection is large enough, the idea of keeping one disk/album would be expensive, inconvenient, and generally foolish.

My hope for the MD is that it continues on like DAT, a niche item for people who want to make recordings. Although to be honest, for purpose as a semi-pro recorder, I don't think the MD format can do all that much better than the RH910.

The MD is NOT a good music player. I prefer to use my PDA for playing music, even if it's slightly larger and has lower-quality sound, just because the interface is so much better and copying to an SD card is so much quicker and easier than copying to an MD. The PDA wasn't even designed as a music player, and it's still better than Hi-MD!

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I believe this (possible) decision is not about MD. It's about politics and money.

Currently there are 2 formats under fire: MD and mini-DV.

Both formats have one thing in common, they are the best solution for consumers and offer near professional results. They also lack something: DRM ( leaving out the MD-copybit as it is to easy to crack to call it a form of DRM ... )

-On the technical side it's hard to improve on both atrac and dv without losing quality. No new development means no new money. So push mpeg and there's a whole new market!

-If you can't beat the p2p guys, fight back with equipment that does not allow downloaded content.

Let's face it: after the introduction of the walkman and the first (data!) MD and DAT, Sony has never regained it's leading position on the market due to it's DRM-policy. Sony has been slowly dying for over twenty years.

It's not MD that's dying, it's Sony!

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I think we have all known this was coming. Remember Apple's Japanese ad campaign from around 2003 "hello Ipod, goodbye md". Well, Apple may have been on to something there, but who cares. I have been spinning minidiscs for years now and I still love them. All forms of media are forgotten eventually, but that does not mean we have to. Some people are still into wire recorders. I just recorded a whole album of songs onto a 1/2 inch reel recorder made in the late 1970's, and it sounds totally bitch'in. Given it cost me $200.00 for 4 for rolls of 15 min tape. I still did it becouse I like it. So if you like the minidisc keep on using it. Im sure we will always be able to buy the parts and accesories needed to do what we do.

hello ipod, goodbye md

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Consider this - while Sony may drop MD, perhaps in the long run MD will be better off.

Sony may have invented the format, but they have left it stunted and unnoticed by the general public. The vast majority of this thread bemoans the many, many, many ways Sony has mismanaged MD. Yet most post's assume Sony is the only possible maker for MD equipment. I hope Sony drops MD - it's time for MD to move on to greener pastures.

If Sony no longer competes in the MD/HiMD markets, new innovators may take MD to new heights. It has happened before. The audio cassette was invented as a low-fi dictation format and Nakamichi made cassette recording an artform. Eastman Kodak only made 35mm film for studio motion picture cameras then Leitz developed the Leica and invented 35mm still photography. Edison invented the phonograph, yet over a 100 years later a new vinyl record played on a quality turntable is an audio wonder. The many inventors of the automobile are long gone and buried, but the car lives on AND continues to improve.

MD won't die without Sony. There are still MD blanks from TDK and Maxell. Sharp already makes an excellent MD. Onkyo has a couple of HiMD models. New competitors will follow. MD may never be a mass market phenomenon, but it will survive. MD may even thrive.

I suppose we should be a little sad when Sony pulls the plug. After all, they did invent MD. But then get over it and rejoice. MD will be better off without Sony's mismanagement.


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