Monday, March 9, 2009 9:20 | Filed in Life, Music

Wandering through the house the other day, I discovered this sitting on a shelf.

Mini Disc Player (flickr)

It’s a Mini Disc player. More specifically, it’s my Mini Disc player.

Even more specifically than that, it’s my Mini Disc player which I got some time ago, only for Mini Discs never to actually take off, and everyone to continue to stick to CDs, only now listening to them on iPods and other MP3 players.

I only ever bought one album on minidisc — Rage Against The Machine’s Evil Empire, and although I did have a handful of ‘compilation’ discs that I had put together, that was about it for the Mini Disc.

The problem was, I actually liked the minidisc player. It was nice, light, portable, allowed you to skip forward and back amongst tracks easily, in a way that tape players didn’t. It also didn’t jump about erratically, like most portable CD players would. The mini discs were small (hence the name) and so were easily portable, so you could carry around several without having your pockets stuffed full.

It’s just rather a shame that when MP3 players came out, they could do all of that stuff plus a hell of a lot more.

But arguably the important point is not why Mini Disc failed as a medium, it’s how do I make sure I don’t buy this Betamax crap any more?

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8 Comments to Betamax

  1. Stuart Harrison says:

    March 9th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Yeah, the Mini Disc was great, but remember the NetMD? Sony’s ‘reply’ to the iPod?

    It took hours to encode music in the proprietary ATRAC format (I remember the pain that I had trying to get stuff I’d downloaded the night before onto the thing in time to catch the train to college), the (again, proprietary) software was buggy and memory hogging and I loathed it to death. It’s permanently stained my memories of Mini Disc forever…

  2. Mike says:

    March 9th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    This reminds me of my first mp3 player; I got it in 2000 as a leaving gift from work and it played mp3 CDs! It was orange and silver and so bleeding edge I never saw anyone else with one. I think the iPod probably came out not too long after and no-one else ever *did* get one. For that briefest of moments I had the coolest bit of tech on the block; now I have to spend time arguing with pub quiz hosts who insist that ‘mp3′ is short for ‘music player 3′, things just aren’t the same…

  3. chris foreman says:

    March 9th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I have an Aiwa MD player somewhere…bloody loved it at the time. I think I still have a few discs as well.

    people always say Star Trek predicted the futute of tech (floppy discs etc) but they forget that it also “invented” a lot of rubbish which fell by the wayside and never happened for real.

    The trick is to

    Buy everything.
    Sell wot is crap before anyone realises
    Claim to the world you can predict the tek future
    Take the credit and be called a guru.

  4. Gill says:

    March 9th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    You are not the only one. I bought a Japanese import car which came equipped with a 6 port MD player. Impressed or what! No jumping, no piles of cassettes rattling around.

    Then came the downside, I couldn’t actually find anywhere that sold pre-recorded MDs so, undaunted, I rushed out and bought a pile of blanks so I could make up my own.

    Of course you then need a way to actually do that, so an Aiwa MD/CD system was duly purchased, various tracks recorded and I happily swanned around listening to good quality, non-jumping sounds.

    Trouble is, I’ve now sold the car.

    Anyone want to buy a hardly used MD/CD system and a pile of blank MDs?

  5. scott says:

    March 9th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I just had a quick look and sure enough my Sony MD player is still sitting there with about 40 mini disks. It’s in the shoe box with my Sony Walkman, just can’t bear to throw them out!

  6. Masklinn says:

    March 9th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    how do I make sure I don’t buy this Betamax crap any more?

    Well start by not buying anything from Sony.

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  8. Cheka says:

    September 5th, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Review by Joseph L. Rodriguez for Rating: The Sony 1000ES is an excellent Blu Ray plaeyr. It has the same Crossbar GUI the PS3 ha and also nearly the same load times. I have about 300 Blu Ray titles and it plays all of them! The Super Bit Mapping really does work. I am seeing an image that rivals my 2K plaeyr! Standard DVDs look very good and that’s because the 1000 ES uses the same Marvell chip as the Pioneer 09FD. Sure 700 msrp seems a bit steep but if you want to squeeze out every last drop of picture Q then the 1000 ES is a steal! Oh and I almost forgot to mention the excellent remote that comes with it. That and you get a USB stick to! If you can find this plaeyr for somewhat less then MSRP don’t walk, run!!!

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