#1 Edited by rachelepithet (1391 posts) -

Anyone here use em? I remember about ten years ago when they got sort of a big push at places like Best Buy. I guess they finally made ones that let you transfer MP3's from your PC to 'em (converting on the fly to Atrac I suppose). Eventually, they flat out worked with MP3's and operated like USB thumb storage. Before the 2000's, they operated only like cassette tapes, requiring you to straight up play an album in its entirety off your stereo and into the MD recorders auxiliary input.

In '03-'04, they seemed like a viable alternative to the expensive and still low capacity iPod (and might have had better DACs/amps in them), and the hassle of burning albums to CD-RWs or replacing all your CD rack equipment with "MP3 CD" recognizing models.

But then the iPod got better, bigger storage, smaller bodied, video, a far better program than SonicStage, one with a store to actually buy songs from, a file format that didn't require you to own Sony EVERYTHING, and of course, cheaper, with Shuffles & Nano. Meanwhile, Sandisk, iRiver, Archos and Creative finally put out MP3 players that lived up to the standards of the iPod, at lower prices. By like 2006, MD was essentially dead.

For loyal collectors, what model was the best ever made, both portable and home? In terms of sound quality, features, design. Where should I look for one today? And what about blank media?

What other failed formats have you ever made a serious investment in, only to be screwed over? I almost got into "slot media" cards, at the time, nearly all cell phones had microSD slots, and SD cards would handle any file format you throw at em. It wasn't like buying into one corporation, like Sony. No matter what phone you were interested in, there'd be compatibility. MicroSD is what you'd be saving college essays to bring to school on anyway. And my favorite MP3 player, the Sansa Clip, which had great sound and equalizers, a tiny size, and played FLAC files, took MicroSD. Heck, Android tablets and phones still use them for expandability (to justify selling 8GB models at lower prices than iPads). They even sold records themselves on the cards, quicker and simpler to transfer them to your PC than ripping a CD, and even sold genre playlists with like Top 40's on them. But, behold, shortly after 2008 all cell phones now have decent storage, and people use the cloud to have their homework at school. SlotMedia faded quickly.

I sure am glad I never bought a UMD or HD DVD movie. I did at some point own a PSP for like 6 months, loved Lumines, but the load times we expect from Sony platforms were at their all time worst there. WWE games took like two minutes to get from clicking "Accept" (opponent and match rules) to the bell ringing.

Studies showed that SACD and DVDA were indistinguishable from CDs in blind listening tests by record industry workers.

I remember buying (I think) a Van Halen "HDCD" which were (20-bit, 48kHz?) instead of 16-bit, 44kHz. It only worked on computer software like Windows Media Player, not shelf systems to AV receivers. Speaking of WMP, I also had that version of Terminator 2, that was essentially a bluray file on a DVD-ROM, that could only be viewed WHATSOEVER via a live internet connected (Ubisoft style DRM) Windows Media Player program. I reacquired it last year as a clearance bin gag gift only to find the website to check the DRM no longer exists, rendering the movie itself permanently ended like an MMORPG.

Someone made a thread about DAT and how todays cassette tapes can hold the equivalent of 320GB of data. That'd be a neat experiment for me, to have an SSD and spend money on such tapes for long term storage rather than the constantly troublesome and recently very expensive external 3TB hard drives.

And is anyone here old enough to have had a Beta?

#2 Posted by Cook66 (227 posts) -

Sorry, are you from the past?

Failed formats I've invested in? Anything I have which isn't DRM free digital I consider to be a failure or soon to be so. The possible exception being Steam games.

It's not long until all media is digital only, if it's not then I'm not going to keep it around, if it's DRM protected in a way that makes it useless down the line then its doomed as well.

I've had MiniDisc, Walkman, CD Walkman, VHS, DVD, CD Players Casette players and a bunch of other junk. The result is at some point I either had to rip it or toss it unless I wanted a huge stack of junk collecting dust.

Today all my media is digital, with the exception of console games on discs. I stream music and video from to my phone, computer or anything else I might use.

#3 Posted by michaeldim (83 posts) -

I was the dude with the DAT drive thread which got evaporated in the inter-site void. I have a stiffy for old storage formats, it's true. I'd love to get my hands on a MiniDisc device.

Digital Audio Tape was cool because it stored 90 minutes of audio in the same exact way (PCM at 44.1 kHz, 16-bit) as a CD. It was used to store digital audio for mastering to a CD before hard disks became useful enough. It was only ever used in the professional industry and never for consumer stuff which is a shame, because it's cool to have a tape that had better quality audio than, but was smaller than a cassette.

DAT was evolved into Digital Data Storage, which was a method for storing computer file data on the same tape. An original DAT tape could store 2 GB or so. They increased the capacity on these tapes with later revisions (eventually reaching 320 GB), but this made them incompatible with audio use. They kept calling them DAT, which is really misleading.

#4 Posted by Fattony12000 (7270 posts) -

I still like them from a physical design perspective, but as a format they are pretty much garbage. This was my model of choice in the early 2000s, the Sony MZ N707, in sick blue.

#5 Posted by chrismafuchris (1088 posts) -

Doe any of you guys have that album Minidisc that was released exclusively through minidisc?

#6 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

RIP, sony stopped making these