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New Member - Kinda New to Minidisc

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Hi, everybody.

I'll keep my profile short and sweet. I like most people have a smartphone and an MP3 player...until the battery becomes crap and you remember that you can't remove it, and the warranty is long expired. Last summer I got something interesting from Japan - A small Minidisc player with some minidiscs with J-Pop on it. I've loved J-Pop for years, but I was never really into Minidisc. I guess because for most of its run I couldn't afford the gear. Lately I really miss having my music on something physical with a battery that I can replace after a quick trip to the corner store. So, looking at some of those discs, a couple of them had some stuff I didn't care for. Now that I have a job, I just decided to try to go into minidiscs to see what I can do with them.

I must say, it has been really fun being able to record and re-record on these. As "Obsolete" as these are, they are really good for me, because they don't a lot of space, and I'm strangely reassured when I hear those discs jangling in my bag going to work. Since I've started I have a few recorders, such as the Sony MZR30 and R50, but also (Hope it's okay to mention other brands) the Sharp MD-MT77, which is really tiny but is really good. The first and most expensive one I have is the MZ-M200 (RH1). It works well, but I can't really get into it like I want because the battery for that is crapped out. DO you guys have any suggestions on alternatives or any other MD tips?

I have Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium and I want to try SonicStage, but I love my computer so I'm nervous, reading the various posts about its errors. I have already downloaded it from the 'downloads' section, do I need to download anything else?

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well welcome to the minidisc community here. better late than never.

Regarding the MZ-M200 (RH1). I suspect most people here who have one only use it for transfering stuff ( Standard & LP2/4 recordongs) FROM minidisc to pc - as it is too rare, fragile & expensive a beast to use for other things. It is the only device that will do that. It dont need a battery for that as it will take its power from the PC.

Like you I like the AA battery players -I wouldnt bother with those that use the special lithium batteries. I think I prefer the earlier Sharp players like the Sharp MD-MT88 & 99 which are made from thick aluminium - feel really good and solid. I have a number , but still on the first one - they last so long.

Regarding Sonicstage, I still have an old ( 32bit) XP machine that quite happily runs Sonic Stage with no problems - a good reason to keep an old XP box. Since you are now into retro stuff maybe pick up an old XP box really cheap to play around with Sonic Stage. ( prob get it for free from Freecycle ). Most monitors have more than one input ( vga, divi or hdmi), use one for the 7 box and another the XP box ( I do that) I also have a usb switch so that I can switch the keyboard and mouse from one pc to the other. In this way u can leave your good pc clean.

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No need for real XP box.

The driver for 32-bit windows I updated recently, as well as the 64-bit driver, will work on Windows 7 and 8 without much difficulty. This allows Sonic Stage to use the much bigger drives typically associated with more recent Windows versions.

Hope this helps.

PS. Make sure you get the SonicStage from our downloads section, it will give you the least problems.

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Definitely worth giving SonicStage a go. I, like you, was apprehensive about using it due to the bad press I'd seen but I've been using SS 4.3 on both XP and Windows 7 for over a year without a sniff of a problem. I really like it. It sure beats the hell out of that Apple nonsense. :yes3:

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Hi, I'll second that. I've been using the latest SS for a while on 64 bit Windows 7 with an Aiwa NX9 and I've not had any problems. I had also read all the horror stories about what rubbish software it was supposed to be but once I'd started using it I was beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about.

If you do run in to any difficulties shout up, there's usually somebody on here that will be able to assist. They're a helpful lot you know!

Have fun

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I have Windows 7, Sonic Stage & RH1 with no issues. Didn't do anything special. Just downloaded the latest version and worked first time.

I have quite a few J-POP discs. Send me a PM if you are after anything in particular.

Cheers Z

Being recognized as a Windows compliant Mass Storage Device, I think any HiMD units set to HiMD mode typically work without any tweaking of drivers. The first time you pop a standard MD into the unit and close the lid it will switch to NetMD mode and Windows will no longer recognize it. You will have to install the NetMD drivers from the package in downloads prepared by sfbp.

If you never use MD mode, you don't need the NetMD driver.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there!

I guess it is "horses for courses" on how you choose to use the MD format.

For "mobile/foot" use, I have acquired three Sony MZ G750 players. They were laughably cheap off a 'certain auction website', have the facility to play FM radio whilst I'm out walking or hillwalking, and use a traditional AA battery, making power a 'non-issue' when away from home for extended periods.

As far as reliability is concerned, In 2005 I used one for 6 months when I was serving in the military out in Iraq. It got bumped, knocked, sand-blasted and squashed, and it never missed a beat! It also ran forever on one battery! You can pick these up now in immaculate condition for as little as £20 to £30, and there are plenty about. Well worth a look!

For "driving" use in my [unfortunately now sold] campervan, I used a front-loading Sony MDX head-unit, with a 6-minidisc autochanger in the glovebox and control-stalk on the steering column. Again, purchased at a ridiculously cheap price from 'e***'. I kept a collection of about 50 to 100 'gash' minidiscs in the camper, and part of the fun before going on a tour was to produce fresh 'mix-tapes' for the holiday!

For "home" use, I have a few decks (MDSJA50ES and three MDSJB940's).

This is where MiniDisc comes into its own for me, and where I have a specific use for it. I have a dedicated custom-built hi-fi in the lounge, the centre-piece of which consists of a two-stage valve amplifier and turntable. The reason is that, over time, I have built up thousands of pounds worth of collectable vinyl. Around every 6 months or so, I connect up one of my decks and using brand-new minidiscs, will copy each new purchased LP onto one disc using the phono-stage in 'real time' on the lowest compression setting. I also back up any CD or HDCD's that I have bought.

I do not use 'Soundstage' or have any computer-input to my recordings. The only 'computer' use I have is to use Microsoft Office 2010 to print album artwork onto glossy photo-labels for each completed disc (I'm a bit of a perfectionist that way!).

The decline of MiniDisc as a format is our gain!

I have purchased literally hundreds of brand new minidiscs, which sit patiently in packs of 10 in my loft, just waiting for their turn. Equipment is plentiful, cheap, reliable, and usually has clocked up very little 'running time'. It provides me with the opportunity to listen to some of my most treasured music 'on the go' with near-CD quality, and is still hugely underrated.

So.......Why did I not move to 'ipod'?

Well, actually, I did.

In order to copy my entire music collection in lossless format, it took TWO 160gb ipods (so theres £360 right there!).

They are fragile, and have no radio (I know they have an add-on option, but I cannot use that for a reason I'll explain in a bit). They also have an internal-battery, and comparitively low running time. I found that the ipod has (I consider) a comparitively poor headphone amplifier (I run AKG HD720's when in the house, and Klipsch X-1 earphones when our walking/running) so in order to compensate for this I bought a 'Fanboy' in-line amplifier which (you guessed it!) plugs in at the base-port, preventing the use of a radio loop!

The addition meant that it also just got bulkier, and needs yet another internal power source. Difficult to charge when on the move. Meant the carriage of TWO additional chargers. Suddenly, not quite as 'compact' as a first thought!

Then came the problem of 'syncing'. Not always possible if you are thousands of miles from home! When I did 'sync', I would have problems with missing titles and album-artwork, altered playlists, and duplication over both ipods. They permitted me to carry my entire collection, but RARELY was it reliable and without fault.

So, it was back to "what I know" and more importantly, "what I ENJOY".

One last "musing" about the Minidisc.

Because I have to spend so much more time and effort copying each disc, preparing and printing the artwork, and afterwards having a much more limited capacity for music "on the go", I found that I became much less of a 'lazy listener'. I no longer just skip from track-to-track, album-to-album. I listen to each track, in the correct order, on each album, IN FULL, the way the artist intended. I 'appreciate' the music more. The format itself is tactile, tangible. It 'exists'. You can hold it in your hand. A quality which it shares with vinyl (although admittedly to a lesser extent).

Anyway, bit of a convoluted rant, but that is MY reason for returning to the format, and the way in which I use it. I'm very 'picky' about music-quality and I can honestly say that even though the technology is dated and quality no longer up to hi-fi use, absolutely NOTHING comes close to minidisc in the "smiles for pennies" catagory!

I'll be using it for many years yet!

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Because I have to spend so much more time and effort copying each disc, preparing and printing the artwork, and afterwards having a much more limited capacity for music "on the go", I found that I became much less of a 'lazy listener'. I no longer just skip from track-to-track, album-to-album. I listen to each track, in the correct order, on each album, IN FULL, the way the artist intended. I 'appreciate' the music more. The format itself is tactile, tangible. It 'exists'. You can hold it in your hand. A quality which it shares with vinyl (although admittedly to a lesser extent).

This is how I feel about music too. Thanks for putting the feelings in words. :)

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