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MiniDisc? You are living in the past!

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That was a sensationalised title, designed to get you to read this post.

It has worked.

If you are reading this, then you (just like me) are likely to be an avid collector and user of the 'MiniDisc format'. There may be many reasons for this.

'Cost' may be a factor?

Perhaps the 'practicality' of sticking with a familiar and reliable format?

Perhaps a 'sentimental attachment' connected with your youth?

Whatever YOUR personal reason for continuing to use MiniDisc, the fact that it is no longer in production and has been superceeded by technology, indicates that it is an 'obselete consumer product'.

Where am I going with this? I'll get to the point...

I'm 38 years old, living in the UK, and am a Police Officer currently studying for a degree in Psychology. One of the areas of interest for me is how we as human-beings interact with objects.

These objects can range from 'disposable products' to 'high-value consumer items' to obselete but desirable 'antiques'. The reasons we interact differently with these objects, relates to the different 'values' we place upon them.

I bought my first MiniDisc recorder in 1995, not long after joining the military. At the time I was on a comparatively poor wage, and 'MiniDisc' as a format was still comparatively expensive. This was a 'high point' in my life, and I placed a lot of 'value' in my desirable, new, item.

I freely admit that the 'MiniDisc' items that I buy today far exceed any practical use I may have for them, and has moved into the realms of "the collector". I admit to getting a "buzz" from being able to go out and easily purchase an item that was expensive and massively coveted in my youth.

Some Psychologists refer to this as the "Train Set Effect", where middle-aged and retired people indulge a desire to acquire objects from their childhood, be it "Train-Sets","Dolls" or "Teddy Bears".

What I would like you to do, is take part in a 'thought provoking exercise'. If you want, give a reply to the question. The more honest you are with yourself, the more accurate the exercise will be. The question is:

What is YOUR attraction to the (now technically obselete) format, Minidisc?

You may wish to consider the following factors in your answer:

1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format?

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player?

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'?

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'?

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'?

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date?

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration?

I'll be most appreciative of your answers. There are NO 'right' or 'wrong' motivations! I am massively interested in how different musical formats are received (from cassette-tape, vinyl, CD and MP3) and how they are individually "valued".

Something for you to "think about"....... :-)

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? 39
2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? No (stolen)
3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? Yes, or Yes :imsohappy:
4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? No, I live in the past for that question
5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Yes
6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? Yes

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? Yes & No

Next member : PhilippeD :crazy:

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1. 23
2. No
3. I give them a go every once in a while to check on their condition. Most units are solely bought to become a part of my collection.
4. I record every type of music onto Minidisc (new and old)
5. Yes
6. Never used Minidisc before I started using the format 2 years ago
7. I associate Mindisc with the time when I was able to organize my music by hand instead of going through my harddrive

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format?

No idea ... 15? 16?

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player?

No, but I do have one I aquired recently.

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'?

I use them, yep

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'?

Very much music that I listen to now.

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'?

Probably, as far as portable players go, but I can swap between them.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date?

I suppose so.

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration?

Both.

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? 38
2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? stolen but i ve buy onother equal
3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? yes, yes
4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? yes , no
5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? no
6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? yes
7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? yes yes

May all be happy!
We have become objects of study!
The next step is the WWF.
greetings to all
Sergio
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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? First MD dream : 22 ; First purchase : 27
2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? Yes
3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? I use them, yes
4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? New & old
5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Yes
6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? Yes. Went to mp3, then iPods, then smartphones, then... MD & cassettes

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? Both

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What is YOUR attraction to the (now technically obselete) format, Minidisc?

I like the looks of the MD decks, their abilities and ease of use, the fact that I do not need a computer to use it, and having actual media to fondle. I think MD sounds pretty good, too.

You may wish to consider the following factors in your answer:

1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? ~50
2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? It died long before I have, and deservedly so (MDS-JE510).
3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? Mainly use them all, except for the few 60-minute MDs I have . I just like to look at those...but may yet use them.
4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? All over the place with that one.
5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Not really.
6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? I am among the faithful.
7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? Both.

All power to the Minidisc! ;-)

I'll be most appreciative of your answers. There are NO 'right' or 'wrong' motivations! I am massively interested in how different musical formats are received (from cassette-tape, vinyl, CD and MP3) and how they are individually "valued".

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1) 24, in the mid-1990's. People used the word "extreme" a lot, and the X-Files was still catching on.

2) No. In fact, I recently gave it away.

3) I use MiniDisc for recording on a regular basis, and as a playback medium about half the time.

4) I listen to new and old music.

5) Not really. I have a couple of units I don't use much, but most see regular use.

6) Yes. I've enjoyed the convenience of other portable formats, but I still prefer MD for serious listening.

7) It's still a practical situation. I'll take audio fidelity over the convenience of mp3 most times.

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? 21

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? Yes

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? Some of them : yes. But others are rarely used.

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? Yes

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Yes

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? No

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? practical

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format?

Wanted MD when 17 and reading 'bout it, got one for myself when 21 (MZ-R 30, 1997)

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player?

No, it broke in 1999.

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'?

I use 75% of my MD units regularly but some were purchased out of interest only. I have three units I use more than all the others

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'?

I listen to all kinds of music on all kinds of media

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'?

Definitely

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date?

Yes. Went away in 2003, came back in 2011

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration?

I cannot think of examples for both right now, so no.

I admit to getting a "buzz" from being able to go out and easily purchase an item that was expensive and massively coveted in my youth.
I can relate to that.
I am massively interested in how different musical formats are received (from cassette-tape, vinyl, CD and MP3) and how they are individually "valued".
Will you be asking for tape, vinyl, CD and mp3 here too?
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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format?

22 - in 1997 - i bought a MZ-R30 portable.

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player?

No. Funny story really. I got my first portable whilst at University, and used it everywhere I went. Once I graduated a year later, I started driving everywhere so my MD was consigned to a drawer. I saved up for an in-car unit, and the R30 found a new purpose (recording discs for the car). Then the R30 died, so I replaced with a R90. Unfortunately, pretty soon after, my car was broken into and my in-car deck was stolen, along with the wallet containing all my discs. I couldn't bare to go through it all again, so I sold the R90 and replaced the in-car deck with a cd player. My MD days were over...

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'?

I've just bought a MDS-JB940QS deck, because I miss MD, hate invisible music (ie mp3s), and love tangible formats (vinyl is my primary source of music). So not a collector, but hoping to become a regular MD user again (hence joining this community).

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'?

It'll be both.

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'?

In general, yes, but MD is a no.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date?

Yes, about a 13 year gap.

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration?

I'd say in all honesty my return is more a nostalgic trip than a practical one, but I adore the tangible. My 'at-home' listening is always from either a vinyl record or a CD, and whilst I use my phone in the car and at work for music, I use my Spotify subscription. The sound quality is awful, even though I use a DAC.

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What is YOUR attraction to the (now technically obsolete) format, Minidisc?

I'm usually living in the past with many retro items and my old fashioned thoughts and ways..

1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? over 50..minidisc has been with me for years via family members-and had an old play-only model with half dozen discs-no recordable options-but have only recently bought my own net minidisc player(s) now learning sonic stage ATRAC and sp and Lp2 etc.

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? yes.

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? both..but like to think i'll use most of my 'legacy' equipment.

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? i will play both.

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? yes-definitely.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? no.

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? well..i plan to use minidisc practically-and like others have mentioned-it's good to handle actual media..why i also keep and sometimes play cassette tapes.

3x sony net minidiscs (now) a newly acquired mz-r55 and an old player-only ez basic! lots of retro hi-fi seperates to connect to...specs

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? 44.

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? No, broke.

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? Bit of both, couple of models have become favourites so they are used all the time. Those with peculiar obsolete batteries (e.g. Aiwa AM-F70) just sit on a shelf.

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? Any music.

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Yes.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? No, stuck with it ever since my first one.

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? Practical, if I use my MP3 player for a few days then go back to MD the improvement in sound quality is like a breath of fresh air.

I've often wondered where the majority of regular MD users are located and it wouldn't surprise me if it's here in the UK. As a nation we traditionally tend to be more resistant to change than other countries so therefore hang on to old technology for longer.

Good luck with your research.

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You can see how my adventure with MiniDisc began here:

1. 22 years old (in 2013).
2. Yes.

3. I use all of my MD equipment.
4. New music and the greatest hits of 70s, 80s, 90s.
5. No.
6. No.

7. Practical.

For me MiniDisc is a combination of digital CD-like quality and the editability of analog Compact Cassette. A device that can be used completely without computer unlike other digital formats - if you want to record something simply plug in the cable and press the button.

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? 42 in 2002

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? No, it broke but I can't throw it away. I'd like to know why.

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? User

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? I have MDs for old music & MDs for new music (all appropriately labelled)

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Yes but this is purely insurance against breakages over the next 20 years or so.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? No.

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? It's practical but my MDs always accompany me on journeys/holidays and I equate the music rather than the player to those times.

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Thank you for all of your replies, folks!

It's looks like the majority of you own more MD equipment than you can practically use, although the motivation (again, like me!) is to 'stockpile' usable items whilst it can still be sourced.

A couple of interesting comments about 'interaction'.

From a consumer perspective, convenience is usually considered desirable. However, people seem to enjoy the investment in time and effort making-up discs. A bit like vinyl, they like the feeling of something tangible, unique, substantial. People prefer the object, the artwork, the liner-notes, in preference to the convenience of a 'file'?

Interesting that some of you enjoy MD because it DOESN'T involve 'computer use'!

(I wonder what 'Apple' would make of that?)

I'm surprised how many people say they stay with the format for 'practical' reasons, yet who are comparatively new (or returning to) the format.

(I wasn't expecting that. I thought those who had been with the format for many years and amassed a music collection would cite 'practicality' over 'nostalgia', and that 'nostalgia' would be cited as the reason for returning to the format!)

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Hi there Tapps,

"...my MDs always accompany me on journeys/holidays and I equate the music rather than the player to those times."

They say that music is "the soundtrack of our lives", and we equate it strongly with emotion and memory.

(Drifting a little bit "off-topic" here, but music and its effect on memory is amazing.

Think about your favourite songs. Think about the lyrics. Think about the tones and tempo.

Now, think about all that massive, MASSIVE amount of information that you are able to accurately recall, in sequence, without much mental thought!

If only we had the ability to absorb and recall 'general' information in the same way....)

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1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format? That would be my current age, only looked into it this summer thanks to a guy who had a nice collection of J-pop on a bunch of minidiscs, and he had a player to go with it.. When it was more common, the gear for it was well out of my price range (i.e. I didn't have a job).

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player? That would be the MZ-RH1 and I'm using it right now.

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'? Both, if I collect gear, I want it to actually work.

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'? Again, that japanese guy and his mix MDs are as much of 'the era' as I have now, mainly stuff from the late 90s. What I add to it is a bit of old and current stuff.

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'? Maybe so, but only because a lot of these were in lots that were pretty damn cheap, haha.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date? See my answer to Question 1.


7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration? Since I never owned one back in the day, I can't really say it's for fond memories. Most of my music is either MP3 or CD. As much as I like using Mp3s on my smartphone or MP3 player, I am sick of having to go through constant players with irreplaceable batteries or with the worry that the music I have can be lost if the cloud goes down. I missed touching the music I own, but I've been so busy with the job I have MP3s saved time. But last night, I made a mix MD for the very first time. It was a painstaking process titling every song (made somewhat easier by the jogwheel on the MZ R50 I also own), but yet I enjoyed every minute. Hearing the finished product was pretty great too. I used to make mix tapes all the time before I got busy with other things, so it felt great to try it on Minidisc for the first time.

Hope my answers are helpful to you..

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I want to add to something about the tangible point.

I don't like the invisible - I like to interact with my music - which is why I don't really have any music stored as mp3s - rather just CDs and vinyl. But ironically for me it doesn't just mean physical - as peculiar a concept I think of duration and the time spent in the moment as a tangible concept as well.

You hear a lot these days about the lost art of the mix tape. I had a discussion about it with my significant other last night, as I heard yesterday Billy Joe Armstrong (Green Day) recently bought a cassette recorder to return to the format. I suggested that making a mix tape meant more because it took 90 mins to make. That it wasn't just about the song choice, but those 3.5 mins it takes to record each song. During those moments, you're both thinking about the next song, but also imagining how the recipient will feel when listening to it - there's so much more time to get wrapped up in all the emotions that go with a mix tape. Obviously the words tape and minidisc are interchangeable here - if they're both being made in real-time.

She argued, rightly so, that you can replicate that experience with playlists - e.g. on Spotify or in iTunes - and that it doesn't just have to be a silent experience of dragging song titles into a playlist without listening. Whilst it's inarguable, I just never find myself doing that.

It's funny, when i had my R30, I was the only person I knew who had one. I made mix tapes for people, but I'd actually "master" them on the R30 - much easier to reorganise after the fact before committing to tape.

Tape does get a bad rap though. Obviously not up to the standard of MD, but a good deck with a good tape could reach pretty great heights.

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Thank you for your reply Damnspynovels,

Yes, there is definitely something in the extra 'investment' in time and effort, compared to the convenience of 'drag and drop' MP3.

For me, I find the LACK of choice when out with my portable MiniDisc Player an asset. With the iPod, I became a "lazy listener" and would skip from track to track, album to album without much consideration OR concentration.

With MiniDisc, I would select two or three carefully considered discs (usually albums) and listen to each track, in full, and in the sequence which the artist intended. The fact that the audio-quality is better, is another bonus!

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For me, I find the LACK of choice when out with my portable MiniDisc Player an asset. With the iPod, I became a "lazy listener" and would skip from track to track, album to album without much consideration OR concentration.

It´s the same here. A few months ago I got a FiiO X3 (portable HiRes player) which easily beats every MD device in sound quality and also includes a very good and powerful headphone amp... but despite this I´ve started again to skip tracks or albums. Just because I can do it and the process of changing an album is so fast. I wonder... when listening to music with the PC, the situation is the same, yet I listen to albums in full without skipping around.

On the other hand: having a choice when for example riding a train is good too. When taking MD along the ride I have to be very strict on what album to chose (because of space constraints)... and it happened often that I´ve wished I´ve taken another album. With the FiiO X3 this problem has become moot again.

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Hello!

1. How old were you when you first 'bought into' the format?

I was 17 and it was 1997. I replaced my cassette walkman, that someone stole from me in the library, by a MD player/recorder

2. Do you still regularly use your very first player?

No, it broke after years of dedicated service

3. Do you regularly 'use' your items, or are some purely of interest as a 'collector'?

I use regularly some of my items but have indulged myself in some sort of reasonable collecting of items.

4. Do you listen to 'new' music on your discs, or prefer to keep the format for music 'of the era'?

I do listen to new music, by new I mean music I didn't listen to before, being the last Daft Punk album or Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, that I decided to listen only when I finally recorded it on a MD.

5. Do you own more items than you can 'practically use'?

Yes I do but, like stated earlier, I am keeping my collection reasonable.

6. Did you 'go away' from MiniDisc', only to return to it at a later date?

Yes. My first player broke circa 2003 and I only returned to the format in 2010

7. Do you associate use of your player with 'fond memories', or is it a purely 'practical' consideration?

I do associate MD format with fond memories of friendships and music discoveries.

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