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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Latest CD & Mini Disc Players (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lou Hilario
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I need to replace my CD and Mini Disc portable players. I want to get the latest and most reliable ones. I am getting confused on which brands to choose from. Can anyone recommend some brands and latest models they are using or have recently bought? Or should I shift to these new digital players like Sony or Ipods? Keep in mind these are to be used for shows. Many thanks in advance.

Lou
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
chmara
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Tucson, AZ
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Hi Lou -

My Sony Minidiscs are still going. But in Arizona we do not have the humidity problems I suspect you do. Particularly with care of the media itself. Kerry's rig is great (ShowTech.)

I-Pod is not ready and instant cue is not there in the unit as access times for line-up/start are not yet controllable.

I know nothing og the cue time on the Sony digitals -- but suspect it, unless truly digital in RAM -- has the same problem.

Your picture looks as young as ever. How's your dancing hank???


Gregg Chmara
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
glassbox
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Hey Lou,

You might want to check out http://www.minidisco.com they have a lot of stuff for what your looking for.

Out of my Glass Box
Majiloon
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Hello- Lou,

I am actually an expert on the topic- and would be glad to conduct a conversation that might benefit others here.
I have purchased 29 machines since the very first Mini Disc. I currently still own some 22 Sony brand, 4 Sharps, a couple Aiwa's, a Panasonic, the latest iPod, and the latest Sony HD player NW-HD1.

I am not a collector but have made it a point to keep up to date on every aspect of the Mini disc technology so I can make the VSM compatible.

No- I won’t try to sell you on one- but I think it would be a good topic to kick around- Especially now as the Mini disc format has been re-engineered-(now HiMD) and the iPod and Sony’s NW-HD1 are fighting a bloody battle right now.

To answer your question in short- buy the player for it’s easiest format- one you may already be comfortable with, for example- burning CD’s…

It is a very interesting time right now- i.e. fall of 2004. For the first time we are seeing the most diverse array of machines and new formats (compressions). I know the what & why, if you are interested… We will see some interesting things come in the stores in the next few years.

In any case- the access times from one player/recorder do vary- depending on what year and model you are looking to replace. These things and many others- I am acutely familiar with.

If you are thinking about a HDD (hard disc drive) player then the Sony is the only thing to consider right now-- I have one as well as the iPod- and the Sony is far superior. But you must have a good reason to bring a $400 machine to your shows. The HiMD are more reasonably priced, and will play your older MD discs. But the older machines will not play the HiMD recordings. HiMD will record 1 Gig of music, instead of the 120 mb of an 80 minuet Mini disc.

Right now- Sony (and I would only recommend the Sony brand) is closing out recorders that have Analog/optic inputs- this is important to know because it gave us the freedom to record analog direct from any source other than a computer.
These recorders may be closing out but they can still be had on-line see my link below:

http://www.majiloon.com/sonylinks.html

The important thing to consider before you begin asking – “what do I buy” is that the Digital manufactures are (and have been) moving to make us download music from our computers only. This to keep piracy down to a minimum- as Sony owns a major music label- and is already double minded about selling a digital recorder in the first place. Downloading from a computer puts tags on every action you do – and you are being regulated so as not to share music so freely – as we used to with analog dubbing.

So – now is the time to get the best machines ever made, before they are all sold out- and they may never have these analog recording features again.

I hope that helps, and sets the ‘stage’ for discussion…
Cheers,
Kelly Duro
No longer taking Private messages , thank you.
hugmagic
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Thanks for the input Kelly.

I think I will stick with my $100 sony mini disc. I do not need to record more than 80 minutes of music nor do I need to worry about losing a $400 unit at a show or dropping it.

I still carry cd rom, cassesttes and mini disc, just in case the house system cannot handle one or the other. And I have my patch cords so I can plug in my mini disc player if all else fails.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Lou Hilario
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Thanks guys for your input on this matter.
Kelly, my problem is that I keep on burning CDs for every special show I make.
With the Mini Disk, I can re-arrange or move my music depending on which act I plan to do.
The old mini-disk has only a capacity of 80 minutes. I do several acts for different shows. I use about a hundred songs right now. How I wish I can store this in one disc.
If the new HDD mini-disks can store a quantity of songs, can the songs also be moved just like the old mini-disk formats?
Can you suggest a Sony MD model?
Thanks for your much needed expertise on this matter.
Lou
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
Majiloon
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Hi Lou-

The beauty of Mini disc for the average performer is that you can actually re-arrange the physical order of the tracks- last minute- right there in the wings of the theater! It is not the same as "program", or play-lists as in CD players. The Mini disc recorder has a disc burning mechanism that actually transforms the music within the Mini Disc recorder itself. And the order of the tracks - once assigned can be changed- but wont "dump" once the disc cartridge is ejected.

As to your huge number of tracks- You referred to “HDD Mini Disc” - - HDD and Mini Disc are two completely different things. HDD stands for Hard Disc Drive player (a miniature computer downloading Hard drive dressed in a music player device).

However- if you want to get more out of your Mini disc format now-a-days, you can now go to the HiMD. Which will record 5-7 times more music than you are used to. The HiMD is the newest development from Sony (they invented Mini Disc in the first place). The HiMD recorders can record onto a HiMD disc- and give you 1 Gig of music space as compared to the Mini Discs you were using that only gave you about 120 Mb.

With HiMD- You can use the same $1 Mini Disc cartridges as you have been from your older Mini Disc recorder- but in order to get the 1 Gig- you have to use the special HiMD discs for this HiMD recorder. They cost about $7 each- but you get one with your purchase of the Sony MZ NH600D which is available at Best buy now for about $189.

However- the 600d HiMD is not what you want if you want some of the same editing features you have come to expect from a Min Disc recorder. The 600D does not have “Move”- nor can you edit the order of the tracks on the machine- but you must have your computer do it for you- by re-arranging the Play-lists. The 600D is not much more than a stripped down –“downloader” recorder device. This is not a good thing- and is not flexible for performers who have come to expect this flexibility with the older Mini Disc recorders.

In order to have the “Move” feature- where you can move tracks around you must step up to the MZ NH900 or higher. The description page is here:
http://www.minidisc.org/part_Sony_MZ-NH900.html

You an buy it here:
http://www.minidisco.com/mz-nh900.html

It sells for $279 before tax in California and shipping..

Now- With the New Sony HDD NW HD1 Network (Hard Disc Drive) Walkman- you get more capacity than the NH900- (about 19 Gigs more) – but- you don’t have the “Move” feature that you have come to expect with the MZ NH900. The NW HD1 must have all it’s music –“Play-Lists” assembled beforehand. But with the NW HD1 you can make a play lists for every conceivable show order that you could imagine- with it’s 20 gig size Hard Drive.

Lou- For what you want- I think you should go with the MZ NH900- this way you have the flexibility to move your tracks around from one play-list to another. Much like you have become accustomed to- but you have 1 Gig to play with- which is 5-7 times more than what you are used to. (This amounts to about 200 very high quality songs- in the low compression, - SP mode)
You will have a learning curve to overcome- as it is somewhat operationally different. If you go with the NW HD1 (Hard Disc Drive Player) then you will have to spend weeks arranging your music in every conceivable play list order to cover every show order that you are ever likely to run into. All this before you ever start using it in you shows- because once you get there- you can’t move tracks around- unless you bring your Lap-top with you – to do it…

For Me—I don’t have nearly that many songs to deal with- and I have a very good idea how many different play-lists to create- so I am going with the NW HD1- But – then again- I love tiny new gadgets… and this thing beats the pants off the iPod- performance wise!

Now- the other thing to consider is what format do you have all your music compressed in right now? If you are using Sony brand devices- MD or CD- chances are you have you music in ATRAC format and this is how your music is compressed- before you burn your CD’s. If this is the case- then Stay with the Sony brand.

If you need an explanation of compression formats- I can give it to you if you ask…

Hope that maps it out for you,

Cheers,
Kelly Duro
No longer taking Private messages , thank you.
MAGICBYTIM
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Louisiana
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Kelly,

I have the VSM7.5. Will the new players such as the MZ NH900 still work?

I hope this is not off subject too much. I am not trying to get into the different music control devices out there. I just want to know about this particular issue because if the newer units do not work with the VSM I will need to go an buy a back up to my current MD player.

Thanks,

Tim
Lou Hilario
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Thanks Kelly. I will get the the Sony MZ NH900. Right now most of my music is in my Media Player files and is organized in various "playlists" for my different types of shows. I hope I can transfer all these files in this new player.
My assistant controls my music during my shows. He prefers using the Mini Disc as compared to CD players. I use both MD and CD players during my show. The latter serves as a back up.
Thanks again for your expertise on this matter.
Lou
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
MAGICBYTIM
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Louisiana
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Lou,

Another problem I have had with the sony software is that it always tells me that the copyright information is not available. I have some tracks that were custom made for me and I have to record those straight from a CD player. I am not sure what I will do when I can not do that any more.

Kelly, do you have any input about the software that comes with mini disc players.

Tim
Majiloon
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Ho Lou & Tim-

Keep in mind that Sony's software (which is more finicky than other downloading software programs) are to be compared to the Security of Airports-- they want to have everything checked, even if it means that it holds up the boarding customers. It makes for longer lines- but it is done for safety-
As for Sony they are training you to make sure that everything is accounted for- that means that all music that is generated- it must complete its check list- that means that you must include the 4 lines of information when you enter it into the computer (software 'gates’)- but for preventing piracy issues primarily.

You must include the Music title- the composer- the Genre- and the time of the song... This is what the software is looking for- so it can latch onto the copyrights- if any...

This is the only thing that I can explain as to what Tim may be experiencing right now- without seeing exactly what he is confronting...

Tim- If you are experiencing these problems while having someone creating the music for you- you may want to ask him/her to label the music tracks in such a way as I just described above in order to prevent the "Uploading problems" you described.

Let me know if that helps, as I too am curious,

PS—I still record my show stuff – analog style- so I can avoid this software monitoring. But then- that’s me- I hate giving big brother an excuse to invade my privacy whenever I can avoid it… That’s why I stick with recorders with analog /digital inputs for the most part.

Cheers,
Kelly Duro

Tim-

The MZ NH 900 is compatible wit the VSM 7.5- but the Pause signal may not be recorded into the 900 adequately enough. It is tricky- but you can play your older Mini Discs in the 900 and it should be fine.

The HiMD incorporates a new ATRAC compression called ATRAC 3Plus--- which has to be incorporated in order to accommodate the new laser pick-up method.

(The older MD’s operate with a 1 dimensional media reading to pick up the music info from the laser off the disc. The HiMD recordable disc is different as it is manufactured in 3 layers- and the laser is changed in higher intensity to read the 3 different layers. One layer is revealed when the light intensity is too high or too low for the other 2 layers- the specific intensity will make the other 2 layers translucent until it reads one remaining layer….sorry- it’s just too cool—you will see this come into play with the computers of the future—so mark my words)

Anyway- back to ATRAC 3Plus-
Because the compression has changed slightly- the integrity of the signal is compromised somewhat when transferred while downloading into the HiMD disc.

Give me a call and I could walk you through it before you buy the 900.

Cheers,
Kelly Duro
No longer taking Private messages , thank you.
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