Mini Disc is Dead
It was 1998, and the world had not yet been gripped by the new world music order of ‘Napster’. So the only way to get the latest music collection onto a mix tape, high quality was through real time recording, and using mini disc. CD Burners were around, but they were so expensive. Mini Disc was cheap, easy to use and offered great quality.
I had just purchased a brand new smashing Sony sound system, with mini disc. My music world changed forever. I was working for a radio station, filing weekly technology reports and I used to go into the station once a week at the end of the day to record my segments for the week. While there I also recorded a couple of my favourite songs every now and then as often the CD singles had not been released, let alone the albums.
My mates would come over with their CD’s and we would make mix discs.
Then I purchased a handheld mini disc recorder/player and we could even copy mini disc to mini disc without loss of quality, as we went through the optical fibre cable from device to device.
The sound was amazing, and having the ability to skip songs like on CD, program tracks on the player and more was amazing. It was music heaven, with the main thing I really noticed was the low down bass was still present, even when you turned the sound up loud.
I was living in an apartment where some of the neighbours would come by my place and pass notes under the door saying ‘play the disc you had on last night’ or other such requests, it was nice to have cool neighbours!
Alas, mp3 came along and mini disk started to show its age. Sony tried up-dating the technology with the ‘Net MD’ technology a few years later, which allowed more flexibility in the technology, but the writing was on the wall. Why buy mini disk when you could buy an ipod and with a few mouse clicks fill it with thousands of songs at once (that you had already ripped from your CD collection of course!).
The sound quality of mp3 was nowhere near as good. They didn’t have built in crystallisers in playback hardware, and I noticed that playing mini disc sounded so much better. But better sound seemed to make way for music library convenience and volume of tracks, and so music changed.
Sony has announced the death of the mini disc, my question is, I thought it died along time ago – 'not so' apparently. Regardless, rip mini disc, we had some fun times and I still have some old discs floating around the office somewhere, but I can't play them anymore, not since I stopped using Mini Disc many years ago.
About Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown is one of Australia's foremost commentators on consumer lifestyle technology. He publishes, produces and hosts CyberShack, is Channel 9's technology expert, and hosts Life & Technology and 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.
Charlie is able to communicate, educate and inspire a huge audience, without confusing technological jargon.
Life & Technology is on the air Sunday mornings at 10am on 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.