Friday, July 28, 2006
I’ve had more than one person ask me about my choice of MP3 player. Many people don’t even know about MiniDisc, and many of those who have heard of the format assume that it went the way of Betamax and DIVX (no, not the new one, the old one). Actually, I didn’t know until I started considering a MiniDisc player, but the format still has quite a strong following among musicians who find its features and capabilities suitable to recording concerts and practice sessions.
My introduction to the MiniDisc came sometime around 1994. I saw the Sony MZ-1 at the Incredible Universe at Gwinnett Place Mall (there’s another blast from the recent past for you technophiles). If you don’t remember, Incredible Universe was like Best Buy on crack and anabolic steroids. It was owned by Tandy (of Radio Shack fame, which ain’t doin’ so well itself these days) and was huge-most of them were over 100,000 square feet of electronic bliss. For readers in the area, the location I frequented (when my mom would take me) was where the Dave and Busters is at now over at Gwinnett Place-except Incredible Universe took up the whole building. D & B has only about half of that space leased out now, if that gives you any idea of the scale.
Well, now I’m fellin’ all nostalgic. Have you ever had the feeling when you see something at the store and, even though you can’t use it, you think “Man, I should buy this anyway”? That’s how I felt when I saw the pre-recorded MiniDiscs at Turtles and BestBuy and Circuit City around that time. When you can find them on eBay, they will cost you about fifteen dollars plus shipping-not a bad return on a piece of electronics that cost between nine and fifteen dollars fourteen years ago!
Anyway, the picture above is my model. It’s a “Hi-MD” recorder/player, which means that it accepts a 1GB Hi-MD disc instead of the original 160MB disc. It has a mic input, so I can record analog audio. With USB and digital (“TOSLINK”) interfaces, it also has the ability to record digital audio. It also works really well as a USB data drive. When I got the player (a little over a year ago) 1 GB flash drives were way expensive, and you couldn’t even think about expanding the size of the memory.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I would love to have an “80’s/90’s” room in my house full of technology from that period-a MD deck, a DCC deck and a portable player, a Videodisc player, and of course the game systems from that period. You may think it’s dorky, but that’s just fine with me.
Posted by Veritatis Amatori at 2:50 PM