has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

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Y888099
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has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby Y888099 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:10 am

Do you remember the first episode of The Matrix? The computer screen was telling that someone would knock the door with the advice of - follow the white rabbit - a few seconds later DuJour and the druggies punks that came knocking at his door, and Mr. Anderson (Neo) gave a SONY MDD disc to Choi.

Finding these devices today are proving to be impossible yet I know somewhere on this vast planet they are selling them, but for the records: November 1994, the Minidisc, 2.5'' diameter was *the* only consumer medium sold in a plastic cartridge with a metallic shutter!!!

There was a - recordable by the user - type of MD, thanks to the ad-hoc recorder/reader. The technology is then magneto-optic, and offers the capability to erase and record a high number of times (1K? 10? 100K? mumble). It's designed both for consumer and professional uses, and this kind of unit takes place in Personal Computers for digital data. Just like a 2.5"MO-Disc.

It was announced in 1993 and initially you could purchase two different models of drives. An internal model and a portable model. Sony MDM-111 was the first released by SONY as internal SCSI MiniDisc drive.

First released by Sony in the mid 90's .... yet noone has one in France, Denmark, Spain :lol:
What about UK? USA? Canada? etc?

There is also a MDM-10, an external MD drive more attracted, it connects to your computer via PCMCIA. You need a PCMCIA-SCSI card. Damn slow 150Kbyte/sec, and each MDD cartridge could hold up to 140MB. It should be more popular in Japan, I suppose.

BTW, no matter how cool the idea of storing data on small MO cartridges looked good in The Matrix, flash drives (CFs, USB-pendrives etc) were on the horizon (with a best ratio MB/cost) and the era of magnetic removable medium on the whole was about to its bitter end.
Last edited by Y888099 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby Trippynet » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:07 am

I've never used MiniDisk Data, but I did have a portable MiniDisk player, and a NetMD Minidisk drive for my old PC (to allow me to transfer songs via USB).

For me, MiniDisk was a missed opportunity. Sony was too restrictive (awful DRM, no way to easily copy files off a Minidisk), and enhancements to expand the usefulness of the technology were just too slow in coming - Minidisk Data was incompatible with audio Minidisks, and when Hi-MD finally came along to allow audio and data on the same disk, it was 2004, and everyone was using USB flash drives instead.

Overall for my system, what I remember is: Slow to use (songs had to be re-encoded into ATRAC before being transferred), Sony's software was just awful. Like, REALLY awful, and it tried to implement DRM to restrict copying (kind of pointless as I had all the songs in original DRM-free format, so it was just annoying). Still, in the days where MP3 players were around 64MB-128MB in size, it did offer a small and portable player that could play more music.

It might have done a lot better too if Sony hadn't cocked it up.
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Re: has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby Shiunbird » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:51 am

Fresh video on the topic.
Very long, but I recommend every second of it. I watched it yesterday.

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Re: has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby guardian452 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:37 am

Y888099 wrote:BTW, no matter how cool the idea of storing data on small MO cartridges looked good in The Matrix, flash drives (CFs, USB-pendrives etc) were on the horizon (with a best ratio MB/cost) and the era of magnetic removable medium on the whole was about to its bitter end.


I remember the early USB flash disks. I had a 64MB, cost about $150, was a gazillion times better than a floppy disk. I joked about my friends that someday they would be able to fit an entire PC in such an enclosure which they declared impossible (you couldn't even fit in a RAM stick or power supply!). See: compute sticks, chromestick/chromebit, etc, etc :lol: all of which are about the same size as those old flash drives.

My phone has a microsd card... 200GB, $40, would have been impossible 15 years ago to even conceive of such a thing.

I had an ATRAC player (NW-HD1) and used it for many years. I didn't find the software particularly cumbersome to use... it was annoying, but no more so than an ipod. IIRC it copied my entire collection overnight and that was that, when I added a new CD it only took a couple minutes beyond the actual ripping process. I would have had one of the original turion laptops at the time, I used that thing for many years. It was not a high end computer even when new.

Looking back, I should have paid the extra $ for an ipod (I think it was like $300 or $350 sony vs. $400 ipod, or something like that). At the time I thought I was coming out ahead. Sony brand still had cachet in the audio world and it was an easy sell. The sony also had a cool VFD-looking display, whereas the ipod had a dingy monochrome LCD.

I still have some jam sessions on minidisc tho, the recorders were too convenient to not use. You can get a player at half price books or goodwill for $10-$20 nowadays, if you really need one.

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Re: has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby Y888099 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:37 pm

Sony MDM-111, the only internal MDD SCSI unit made by SONY, I wonder if someone has ever used or seen it :D
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Re: has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby ScutBoy » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:45 am

I have 8 or so MD-80 disks I picked out of the "free pile" at the Free Geek if anyone wants them. I think 4 have stuff on them, and 4 are new.

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Re: has anybody ever used SONY MiniDisc/Data?

Unread postby Y888099 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:20 am

I wonder if someone has ever though of using MD like tape cassettes, puting a FSK modem in the middle so you can fool the algorithm used in psycho-acoustic rules (ATRAC audio data compression?) to deal with frequency sub-bands like a loss filter, since the FSK uses just two tones, two frequencies, one tone for '0' and one tone for '1'.

PC ==serial== FSK modem ==audio== MD
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