Sing to me the praises of MD (iPodders please read too)
post-157156
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 28

Ruahrc

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Messages
289
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
Posts
289
Likes
10
I currently own a Rio800 Flash based player and it's the most worthless POS I've ever spent money on. So is the company that makes it, but that is all a different story. What matters is that I'm looking to upgrade my portable music to something truly worthy of my hard earned dollars.

I'm down to two choices- either an iPod (Rumor has it that a 20G version is coming out, which should drive the prices of the 5 and 10G versions down whee!) or a Sony MD Player. I've read around on the iPod a bit, and it appears that aside from the cost and the fact that I need to buy extra software for my PC- it's a great player. MD, however, I have little knowledge on. I was wondering if you guys could help me out in this area.

First of all are MD Players are basically mp3-cd players? From what I gather of them, they're basically little mp3-cd players that also burn their own cd's. The only difference is that the CD's they use are little minisics. Same capacity as regular cd's (80mins/700MB) but smaller size, right? So I can record 80mins worth of audio cds onto MD's, as well as compile 700 megs of mp3s or wmas onto a MD?

Second I was wondering on how this all works. I looked at the box at the store and I guess it's all done via USB? Is this pretty speedy- they claim 32x transfer rates. Can I record onto MD via a line-in from say a stereo or PCDP? I also read about Optical-TOSLink stuff???

Thirdly- the box (and the website) claims 56hrs of playback with 1 AA (or on some models an AA NiMH). Is this true? 56hrs seems like an enormously large playtime off a single battery. If this is true, it could be a big weighing factor for an MD.

I have pros and cons of each player, i'll just list them real quick:
iPod
Pros:
*Small
*FireWire Connectivity
*99% of my music is in digital form (I ripped all my cd's so I don't need to lug them to college) so having a digial player makes sense
*Not very susceptible to vibrations (I can go jogging with it just fine?)
Cons:
*Expensive (As of now, i'd get the 5G for $400)
*Needs additional software
*11Hrs battery is still great but pales in comparison to 56hrs.

MD Player:
Pros:
*Cheaper (I saw a good one, the blue one, at the store for $230: almost half of an iPod)
*56hr playback? wow
*Can record, not just play digital files
*Virtually infinite storage
Cons:
*99% of my music is digital
*Bigger than an iPod
*If I want the capacity of the iPod I need lots of MDs which is a lot of lugging
*It's still a cd-based player which means vibration sensitive?

If anyone with experience with either of the two devices would please post them, that would be great. Also, how is the output quality of each? I guess they're both (with good headphones and maybe amps) very satisfactory, solong as the source is good? (good bitrate files or cd-audio)

Thanks a lot!

Ruahrc
 
     Share This Post       
post-157202
Post #2 of 28

Mystyler

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Messages
657
Reaction score
0
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
657
Likes
0
Ruahrc,
Minidisc is not simply a "mini-CD". It has a storage capacity of 160MB, or 74-80 minutes. You can, however, increase this capacity to either 160 or 320 minutes using the new MDLP modes on newer recorders, but at a degradation in sound quality.
Only the newest recorders can "download" to MD at a MAX transfer of 32x by USB. This only occurs in LP4 and using a decent PC. They can also record in "real time" via an analog line jack, mic jack or by a digital-optical connection.
MD also uses its own encoding method of ATRAC, which is pretty much equal or superior to MP3 encoding.
Also, the stated battery life is only under certain conditions, the figure quoted would be in LP4. Some units have longer battery lives still. Also, MD units tend to have a lower amp than the iPod, which is a factor in MD having a longer battery life.

If you have more questions, I suggest you take a look here:



MiniDisc T-Board
 
     Share This Post       
post-157206
Post #3 of 28

aeberbach

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
11
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Posts
1,807
Likes
11
I really doubt there will be a 20G iPod any time soon. The 20G from Toshiba (who supply the 5 and 10G disks) is physically larger and would require an iPod redesign.

The worst thing about the iPod is that it's too popular. People will stop you in the street to ask about it. My wife won't give it back.

(Anybody who owns an iPod will tell you to get one, it's much better than a MD. Anybody who owns a MD will tell you to get one, it's much better than an iPod. Better try both yourself.)

edit: Oops. There is a 20G iPod. Works on Windows. $499.
 
     Share This Post       
post-157231
Post #4 of 28

shafu

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
513
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Posts
513
Likes
10
Cons:
*99% of my music is digital
*Bigger than an iPod
*If I want the capacity of the iPod I need lots of MDs which is a lot of lugging
*It's still a cd-based player which means vibration sensitive?

Actually, some MD players / recorders are really small! Much smaller than the iPod. Also, these typically have better anti-shock protection then PCDP.
 
     Share This Post       
post-157322
Post #5 of 28

redshifter

High Fidelity Gentility• redrum....I mean redshifter• Pee-pee. Hoo-hoo.• I ♥ Garfield
Joined
Aug 12, 2001
Messages
10,217
Reaction score
17
Joined
Aug 12, 2001
Posts
10,217
Likes
17
why do i like my md player?

- record from any source, even copy protected and live
- better codec (atrac r)
- super build quality
- line out
- line out
- line out
 
     Share This Post       
post-157337
Post #6 of 28

Braver

Will upgrade headphoneswhen there's a MX600.
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Messages
2,427
Reaction score
24
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
2,427
Likes
24
about the MD. storage capacity is by minutes only. SP is high quality and one MD can take one CD (74 or 80 minutes). LP2 is lower quality, can take twice as much, LP4 is even worse but can take 4 times as much. LP2 and 4 also give more battery-time and shockresistance as their memory can hold more music (40 secs SP, probably 80 secs LP2).

the most interesting models for someone who only has MP3s (with people like that, I always wonder where they left the CDs?!) are the NetMD ones (Sony if you're interested in the cheaper ones, Sharp and Panasonic also have more expensive models). you can then record LP2 quality at higher speed (not SP tho). better have high-quality MP3s, cause compression on compression is no good. and theres always high-quality 1-on-1 recording through an optical connection with your CDP.

but if you only want to record from your comp, and can swing the dollars, I'd say go for the Ipod. if you want to go jogging with it, want to record from anything else than a comp, and don't want to spend a fortune, get MD (Sharp, or Sony when you want NetMD).
 
     Share This Post       
post-157363
Post #7 of 28

hokiefritz

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Messages
146
Reaction score
10
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Posts
146
Likes
10
Just more or less echoing what others have said.

With one of the newer Minidisc recorders you can transfer files or burn from CD to MD at LP2 compression (which is pretty decent quality really) at about 16x faster than realtime, not just LP4 (which is not so good) which is 32x. If burning straight from CD to MD (requires NetMD model) at LP2 this is pretty fast, maybe a little faster than encoding high quality MP3s.

Battery life with the addition of one AA is over 70 hrs for my unit and it is still *tiny*. Amazing! I use it everyday for several hours and only recharge the NiMH battery every 2-3 weeks.

If the majority of your music collection is MP3 an Ipod would be better. When you burn lower quality MP3s to MD you degrade the sound because you're processing it through another level of compression as Braver mentioned, although it's still very listenable for portable use. I have MP3s that I've burned to MD and I enjoy them. Transfering your files to an Ipod would be much faster.

If most of your collection is on CD then Minidisc would be an excellent choice. With the new models of MD recorders, you can choose to burn CDs quickly and have 160 minutes of music per disc or go for very high quality optical recordings at realtime. You'll still have 80 minutes of music per tiny disc. This is where MD really shines above MP3 players regarding sound quality.

Being able to make live recordings is a nice bonus, as is being able to record from nearly any source e.g. radio, CDP, turntable, even if you only will do it infrequently.

The sound quality of MD is excellent. I haven't heard an Ipod so I can't compare the two.

Good luck!
 
     Share This Post       
post-157443
Post #8 of 28

williamgoody

Banned
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Posts
2,001
Likes
10
Hey Ruahrc, I have both the 5GIG ipod and a sony mz-r 900. I really think your situation depends on your gear. Appearantly at the Mac conference in NY, They've announced a new 20Gig ipod, and that all 3 sizes (5, 10 ,and 20gig) are all compatable with pcs now, all you nees is a firewire card. One thing about this is that they supply musicmatch software for the pc with which to load yous songs on the Ipod. I'm not a fan of propriartary software, I have a Mac and itunes is excellent.

The ipod does have more output in it's headphone amp, so again depending on your headphones this may matter or not. There's 20 different equalizer presets with which you can use to change the sound. Navigation is a breeze and reletively instant, good shuffle play ability, and you don't have to type in the song titles for the songs, which you have to do for a minidisc depending on how you record your songs and what model you have.

With the minidisc, I don't have netplay capability, and from what I understand the software is a bit of a pain, as well as not as fast as firewire. However I do still enjoy my minidisc, as I can hook it up to my computer via usb and record (in realtime) my mp3's digitally as they play. If you have a portible amp, many minidisc models offer a straight lineout option to enhance the sound using the amp, where the Ipod doesn't have this. Another nice advantage of the minidisc is that, again depending on your model, you have individual bass and trebel settings to use so you can set your options as you wish (not preset like the Ipod) The sound technically isn't as good as the Ipod when you record in LP2 mode (with my ety 4p's, the ipod does sound better regardless), but you can have an unlimited amount of minidiscs, where you're limited by the Ipod's capacity (although 1000 songs is 1000 songs), plus with the md you can change the battery if your on the go, with the ipod and the internal battery that's not happening.

What bitrate did you record your mp3's at? If your considering MD for netplay, I believe the ipod is the way to go without a doubt. For actual recording from the source, Sp or Lp2, you'll find the Md to be a little more versatile (you don're need the pc and you can record live from a mic, plus you can record from any source (radio, lectures, etc. it all depends on what's important to you.

It is nice to have both though.

If you do have a good set of headphones and a portable amp, soundwise IMHO you're better with the MD. I'm a big fan of the MD versatility (you need the model with a lineout option though)
The ipod with a mac is fabulous. With a PC I'm not sure (I also have a PC and never liked musicmatch software.)
 
     Share This Post       
post-157955
Post #9 of 28

fredpb

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2001
Messages
1,405
Reaction score
0
Joined
Dec 8, 2001
Posts
1,405
Likes
0
Gawd, I am sick about hearing about the Ifart, or excuse me, IPOD.

MD is an analog device really. If all your music is on computer, maybe NETMD based unit will work. But I would not recommend it.

You need and MP3/CD player or MP3/Jukebox.

Cheapest and good for the money is the Treo 10 (now the Treo 15). This is an MP3/Jukebox sold in COMPUSA for just $260.
I have one. It's pretty nice.

As far a the magical firewire,.....whoopie,,,,thud.
You don't spend much time downloading. Just once in a while.
You need that extra few minutes in you life that bad? Most of new music time is in the ripping.

IPOD? Nah. PJB100----YEAH!

I would say Creative Nomad Jukebox 1 10gb for $240, or the NJB3 for $400, but I have gone through months of their games with firmware updates that cause MORE problems, etc. The NJB3 is prettier, but lost a LOT of functionality over the NJB1. They say they are going to put this back in. I am pretty pissed at NJB's right now.

Where do you store your music now??? PC....what happens when the disc crashes? and it WILL. Get a MP3/CD player with a good display on it. Move all your music to MP3/CD data discs, and make spare copies for backup.

I am heavily into MD, MP3 hardware players, MP3/CD, MP3/Jukebox. They all have their place. I have one JVC MD player that sounds like heaven with Grado SR60's. Really high end. I don't nkow how they do it, their ATRAC playback is great.

But if 99% of your music is digital, you need NETMD from SONY, and they do nasty things to copy protect things....SONY is user hostile, you know, to you and me.

Treo 10 link that does not seem to work sometimes:
http://www.edigital-store.com/ .

PJB100 site: can't display it now.... think my provider is dying...
http://www.pjbox.com/ .

Rio? Yech.

Creative ? Yech.

Archos? Puke.
 
     Share This Post       
post-157986
Post #10 of 28

aeberbach

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
11
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Posts
1,807
Likes
11
USB vs Firewire doesn't matter? Yeah, right. I got rid of my PJB100 partly because its 30G hard drive took THREE DAYS to fill via USB. Same speed on a Thinkpad, Soyo Dragon+ and Abit KT7A-R mainboards - so don't tell me I had slow USB. Then there's the random lockups and the quality of the tech support from a Korean company who doesn't care, they just bought it off Compaq and want to milk it for all it's worth. And then there's the small matter of the PJB having the same battery life but being twice the size of an iPaq. You don't have to fill the whole thing at once but if you have way more songs than space on your MP3 player you need the flexibility of loading it fast.

As for the Creative Nomad Jukebox, clearly you don't care about time. You have to wait thirty seconds between switching it on and being able to use it! How they released that one I'll never work out.

What happens when the disk crashes? IF it crashes you restore from your firewire external drive. And it didn't take long to back up 45G of MP3s because it was done with firewire in the first place. A month ago I bought a 120G 8M-cache WD drive for under $150 - why not back everything up?
 
     Share This Post       
post-157991
Post #11 of 28

williamgoody

Banned
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Posts
2,001
Likes
10
Fred, if his music is on the PC already, and he uses MD, he doesn't necessarily need Netmd, He can record digitally from the pc with an optical cable.

Being a former Archos user, I agree, but the Archos does have it's place. Are you not a fan of the Ipod because of all the propaganda generated from the mac/pc feud, or do you really think it's not a great machine? I've heard the pjb and the treo, and I think the Ipod sounds better than both. And firewire really gives you an advantage. I definitely see your point about "those precious few minutes", but why give away the time either?

I'm not really trying to defend the Ipod, but I'm interested in why you feel the pjb is a better machine.
 
     Share This Post       
post-158054
Post #12 of 28

Voldemort

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Posts
18
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally posted by williamgoody
Fred, if his music is on the PC already, and he uses MD, he doesn't necessarily need Netmd, He can record digitally from the pc with an optical cable.


I have the same mz-r900. How do you record digitally from the pc with the optical cable? Do you have a soundcard with optical out on it (Creative Audigy platinum etc)? On earlier post you mentioned something about getting the music from usb port, ok, how?
 
     Share This Post       
post-158080
Post #13 of 28

williamgoody

Banned
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
2,001
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Posts
2,001
Likes
10
I have the mzr900dpc, with the setup where you can connect the usb cord from the computer to the line in input on the recorder, and have the sound record on the md in realtime, as if you were recording from a cdp. And yeah, my soundcard does have an output to use the digital output cable. I don't know what kind of soundcard, or whether it was modded or not, as it was already installed in the computer when I bought it.

Sorry if I used the wrong words, I'm still trying to get the terminology straight.
 
     Share This Post       
post-158235
Post #14 of 28

Voldemort

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Posts
18
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally posted by williamgoody
I have the mzr900dpc, with the setup where you can connect the usb cord from the computer to the line in input on the recorder, and have the sound record on the md in realtime, as if you were recording from a cdp. And yeah, my soundcard does have an output to use the digital output cable. I don't know what kind of soundcard, or whether it was modded or not, as it was already installed in the computer when I bought it.

Sorry if I used the wrong words, I'm still trying to get the terminology straight.


But the main unit, the actual player, is the same right. Is the thing what you connect to the usb port, this kind of cassette sized grey box with line out and optical out that you can connect to the player. I saw a unit like that once on a shop, but the dealer said it doesn't work with portalble md recorders.
 
     Share This Post       
post-158248
Post #15 of 28

Loud_TIGER

Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Messages
90
Reaction score
0
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Posts
90
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally posted by Voldemort


But the main unit, the actual player, is the same right. Is the thing what you connect to the usb port, this kind of cassette sized grey box with line out and optical out that you can connect to the player. I saw a unit like that once on a shop, but the dealer said it doesn't work with portalble md recorders.


before NetMD was released all the MDs used realtime recording. if you have a soundcard with optical out you can record using that. one end of your optical tos link goes into the computer, the other end goes into your MD. you play back songs (say, in winamp for example) or any program that outputs sound and hit "sync rec" on your MD to record it. in a way, it's working like a digital tape recorder complete with split tracks and everything. another option is using a usb to optical box, in case your sound card does not have an optical out. Sony bundles one with their "DPC" machines, such as the "900DPC" or "750DPC". There are lots of companies who make these boxes. one end is usb and the other is optical. Xitel's pc-link comes to mind: http://www.minidisco.com/minispecs/xitelmdportdg2.html
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top