MD Player?
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acs236

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Right now my portable rig is an Iriver SlimX Mp3/CD player, Airhead (META42 on the way, woohoo!) and the Etymotic ER-4S. I use it mainly for listening to music during my crowded commute. It's keeping me sane. My question is, and really I would prefer to be talked out of it, is whether you think I should switch to MD?

What's (not) important me to me, you ask?
1) I'd like to be able to get at least 4-5 hours of music per disc, I don't want to have to swap that frequently. Right now I'm encoding my mp3s at 320k vbr
2) battery life is not much of an issue to me
3) size is not super important either, I carry everything in a bag anyway


I'm really just concerned about sound quality, and I'm sorry that I don't know much about MD, but I'm reading other threads to get acquainted with it.
 
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coolvij

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No way, to compete with MP3 at 320K you need SP recordings - and the most is 80 minutes on a disc.

That said, SP will sound *better* than 320K, most likely, but - 1 1/3 hr. per disc.
 
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Magicthyse

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320K and SP sound similar. Not different enough to make the switch based on sound. However the SlimX is know to be slightly 'hissy' so the switch to an MD might bring higher percieved quality (but so will the switch to a D-CJ01). However this is offset by the truly weedy outputs of Sony MD's. Sharp units are better in this regard.

The main problem is the speed of transfer: Whereas transfers from PC -> MP3CD can be done at more or less 10 minutes per 4.62 hours of music (i.e. 650MB at 320K CBR), with SP MD you're talking about 74 minutes transfer time for 74 minutes of music, unless you're using a high-speed dubbing deck like the MXD-D40. (Forget NetMD. It doesn't properly support files of more than 192K CBR/VBR)

If you have time to kill, or the cash to buy a portable AND a high speed dubbing deck, it's quite a practical , portable and high quality way to listen to CD's. Otherwise it's Wait City and with no earth-shattering advantages over your current situation.
 
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paulj

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I have the MXD-D40 deck and a minidisc player. Recording is a lot easier with a deck. Whenever I get a new CD, I immediately make a minidisc copy.

The portable minidisc player is great for convenience if you just want to walk the dog, go to the pool for a couple of hours, go to the gym or whatever else you might do. The problem comes when you want to take more than half a dozen discs with you. Although a minidisc disk is smaller than a CD, it's a lot fatter.

I use my minidisc with a pair of KSC-35's. The sound is fine for the situations above, but if I'm travelling or away for the weekend, I take my PCDP, my Sennheiser's and a case of CD's.

So the bottom line is: a minidisc is a great 'ultra' portable solution, but *not* a replacement for a PDCP.

But that's just my opinion.
 
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Magicthyse

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I'm not sure if it'll interest you acs, but if you click on my www link and go to the first option page, you'll get a clearer comparison of a D-CJ01 MP3 CD player and a N707 - a NetMD unit.
 
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acs236

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thanks for all your comments, they were quite helpful. Also, Magicthyse, your website comparison helped a lot. Thanks!
 
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teucer

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If you haven't checked it out yet, go to www.minidisc.org

Especially useful are Brian Youn's VERY extensive reviews:

http://www.minidisc.org/brian_youn/


For the record, I use a Sony MZR-700 and e888 buds for portable. Went for minidisc because it was cheaper than the ipod, which is the only mp3 player I'd consider. Battery life was also important, and with a single 1600mAh nimh AA I can get about 26 hours of play time.

Generally md sound quality is better than what you'd get out of a cheap pcdp, but then the cheapest md recorder is about $200, and I'm guessing a $200 pcdp is the same quality sound-wise as an md unit.

The ATRAC compression has been refined so much over the past 10 years that it's now indistinguishable from cd (there have been acoustic studies that confirm this). This is at SP, which is roughly 292kbps and was the only level before MDLP came about. LP2 to me sounds about the same as 128kb mp3, and LP4 is very bad to my musically trained ears.

The real time recording thing is huge. I don't have a high speed deck, so copying a few albums is an all day thing. Whoever said NetMD isn't worth it was right, in SP mode it only transfers about 1.3x max. Also the software is absolutely horrible, but there are efforts being made to get around that, most notably Open/NMD.

Only other advantage over mp3 players is that the md players are generally more durable than hard-drive based players. They'll take lots of abuse. Also the technology is quite mature, whereas hard-drive mp3 players have yet to mature fully imo.

But you have an mp3 player already, and don't care about batteries, so I'd recommend you either keep what you have or spring for an ipod.

If having a pc is stopping you, there's software called XPlay that lets a windows box interface with an ipod.
 
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Mystyler

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I like MD for its total versatility.
File formats don't matter, as long as you don't mind real-time recordimg (I don't, its half the fun!).
 
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hokiefritz

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If you need some more convincing not to switch, here an opinion from a very satisfied MD user.

The pluses for MD include; small size, long battery life, ability to make live recordings and record off nearly any source, cheap media, good to excellent sound quality.

From reading your post, you don't appear to be concerned about any of these things except for sound quality. It sounds like you already have a good setup for your wants and needs. If I was going the MP3 route I would seriously consider the PJB or especially the Ipod for convenience though.

If you're already encoding your music to the MP3 format or already have a big MP3 collection forget MD, that's what MP3 players are for. You'll be able to transfer the files much faster than with any MD solution available, as stated by others. Even with a special PC-link deck, you'll still have to convert the MP3 to Atrac3 somewhere in the processes, either before or during the transfer process which can cause a noticeable loss in quality, depending on the quality of the MP3. Real-time SP recordings of *MP3*s are too slow compared to dedicated MP3 machines.

On the other hand, if you record mostly from CD then Minidisc is great using NetMD, in my opion. LP2 recordings using NetMD are about 16X faster than real-time and sound very good on my unit - not the absolute last word in detail (that's what my home system is for) but we're talking about portable use while commuting. It certainly is not lacking anything a PCDP could provide me when on the go or in a noisy environment, and sounds better than a lot of 192 bitrate MP3s I have heard, although admittedly the way MP3s are recorded make a difference in their sound quality.

I use my Etys and other 'phones with my MD when commuting and at work and I love it! My recorder is tiny, I get over 70 hours use per charge with the attached 1 AA baterypack (also tiny), 160 minutes of music per minidisc, recordings from CD are a snap, I can do live recordings; all with great sound. I don't miss my Panasonic CT-570 PCDP at all. Not one bit.

Note: The OpenMG NetMD software leaves a lot to be desired. I use the NetMD simple burner program when recording CDs instead.
 
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gloco

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I personally use a Sony MD deck that is a 5 cd changer/1 MD deck. So i pop in 5 cds and one blank 80 minute MD, select the tracks i want to program and hit hi-speed dub, within 20 mins i have myself a nice mix of tracks to bop around to. This deck also supports MDLP and Type R recording.

If you have the cash to splurge look into a deck like this one and a portable that supports MDLP, and you'll be all set.
 
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LTUCCI1924

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HI: I have a sony mdr-700 mini disc and in lp2 mode I get 160 min. from a 80 min. disc. Thats over 2 1/2 hours of music on one mini disc. And the lp2 mode sounds great. So yes I think that you could think about getting a mini disc and would be very happy with it.
 
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fredpb

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I use MP3/CD, mp3 jukebox, cd, and MD. MD's, with decent sound quality (they are usually about 5:1) have only 74 or 80 minutes of sound on them. If you something different than what you have, and want 5 hours, then your only other option is MP3 Jukebox. The Treo 10 (COMPUSA) is about $260 for 10gb, which is over a hundred albums in one small size.

MD is nice. I love all the toys. But a good MP3/CD player with an Airhead is difficult to beat. Plus you can use regular AA batteries there too.


Then there is recording your minidiscs. You might end up with a home deck, easily $200. Then for each minidisc, you have to shell out about $2.

So the Treo 10, or devices like it, are pretty competitive. 150 or 200 albums on a Treo 10 for $250 (assuming you have computer that can load it). For 150 minidiscs the cost would be $250, plus the cost of the player, then maybe the home deck.

Toys can be expensive.
 
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