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Pile Of Garbage
May 28, 2007





In high-school from 01-02 I had a Sony Walkman D-E220 ESPMAX but from 03-04 I had a Sony MZ-R700 MD player and it owned.

I never owned any pre-recorded retail MDs (In fact I don't think they ever reached AU) but I did have a stack of blank MDs that I'd record my CDs to, amongst other things (Episodes of South Park and NGE to listen with my buddy in class yeah we were weird).

I even survived having my MD player stolen from my bag when it was unattended during gym. Turns out MD players are unusual things to fence so when someone says they're selling one word spreads far. Got it back the same day.

My mum was the one who gave me the MD player originally as a bday present but I passed it back to her once I got an iPod Mini. She used it for a couple of years before putting it away somewhere (In fact she may still have it, I'll have to check next time I'm back at my mum's place).

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EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



Anyone saying MiniDisc in the 'always wanted one but never had one' camp should be forced to spend a few weeks with SonicStage just so they get the full experience. It's still top of the list of software that gives me actual nightmares.

The format was great though, but man they really did everything they could to screw the consumer with that software.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



Minidisc was an improvement on cassettes which was a branch of the audio tech tree that was doomed from the get go. One of my friends went whole hog on them and other than the players being neat they were pretty miserable. One of the smartest things about CDs is how easy and cheap they are to make compared to something with a ton of moving parts. Anyway, nostalgia is fun but let's not get all Ready Player One by assuming it's a totem with a magic power to make you 12 again by merely invoking its name.

I'm personally cool with the fact that you can get a half a terabyte of solid state storage the size of a fingernail for a hundred dollars.

Pile Of Garbage
May 28, 2007





The Sony MZ-R700 MD that I had was able to automatically detect and mark tracks when recording from CD via S/PDIF. At the time I did think that the NetMD stuff sounded cool but I never bothered with it as recording CDs to MD was just so simple and perfect.

Alan_Shore
Dec 2, 2004



qirex posted:

Minidisc was an improvement on cassettes which was a branch of the audio tech tree that was doomed from the get go. One of my friends went whole hog on them and other than the players being neat they were pretty miserable. One of the smartest things about CDs is how easy and cheap they are to make compared to something with a ton of moving parts. Anyway, nostalgia is fun but let's not get all Ready Player One by assuming it's a totem with a magic power to make you 12 again by merely invoking its name.

I'm personally cool with the fact that you can get a half a terabyte of solid state storage the size of a fingernail for a hundred dollars.

I must say you're wrong on several counts. Cassettes doomed from the get go? They came out in the 60s and were only superceded 30 years later!

MiniDiscs were way more robust and easier to use than CDs. How many CDRs hosed up with a failed burn? How many were scratched and skipped during playback? Sure they were cheap and you could fit loads of songs on, but come on. MiniDiscs were indestructable and could be wiped a million times. They can automatically detect new tracks when recording from S/PDIF. You didn't even need to use software as the recording was so easy, and never failed. If you had the right deck you could copy a CD right from a MiniDisc which you couldn't do with CDRs.

Having a phone with 200Gb+ storage of FLAC files is awesome, but there is something to be said about just having a disc and that's it and that's what you're going to listen to now. Sometimes I just load up YouTube music and I'm like "... what shall I listen to, I can literally listen to anythin in the world" and it takes ages to pick something haha

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



a lot of the nostalgia is about process/practice, and if you got your music initially from CDs and burned/ripped them and/or spent a lot of time curating your iTunes/Musicmatch/WMP library and playlists then that process didnít emotionally/practically change much from the tape era

streaming has virtually eliminated the time sink of duplicating/curating your music, along with having to work to seek it out and/or get a copy. This has been a staple of the culture from the advent of taping/bootlegging through the MP3 player era. Sure, building playlists on Spotify takes some time and effort but the immediacy and cheapness fundamentally change the experience.

my dadís been on spotify for like five years at this point and he uses it daily, but he still gets(got, pre-COVID) CDs (often from friends or the library) and rips them onto his computer. And heíll sit there on a Saturday morning reading sports poo poo online and listening to his new albums while waiting for my mom to get up.

And a decade ago he was doing that and loading everything onto his iPod, and a decade before that he was doing it and burning his own CDs and mixes to listen to in the caróhe made cases and cases of CDs.

And a decade before that he was making cassettes, same as he did in college with his friends. My dad was a big taper in the 80s-trading albums and going to peopleís apartments to hang out and copy music, filling boxes with cassettes.

He was a Latin American on a student visa at the time, taping was often the only way to get music that wasnít being easily sold here (or it was stuff that wouldnít be released on CD yet in 1983, or affordably, or whatever), and a big way for foreign students to bond.

I think ripping CDs that he doesnít need to copy triggers the same neural pathway in his brain that taping/etc has for all of these years. Whatís easy to forget today is how much of a pastime and hobby doing this sort of thing was in the past. You could get home from school or work and spend literally all of your free time making tapes or CDs or MDs or loading up your iPod. You had to put in real work on Sunday night if you wanted to bring a song/album/playlist to school or work on Monday morning.

Itís kind of easy to forget how different it is now that I can be on the bus or at the park reading SA on my phone, find a link to a goon musicianís new album, and start streaming from the Bandcamp page immediately in under a minute, or read about an album/get a recommendation from a coworker and pull it up on Spotify right away.

Anyway thatís my monologue because WFH+paper writing means that I can smoke weed during the day if I want

Pile Of Garbage
May 28, 2007





I still curate my music lol. Never liked streaming services so stuck with Beatport/Juno/Bandcamp, have my own tagging system so I like it done a specific way. Yes I also use Winamp only way to go. This of course is dumb and I'd never recommend it anyone else.

My dad has an enormous CD collection on account of being a somewhat famous part-time radio DJ for a specific style of music. And yet he never listens to them unless he's putting together a show. The rest of the time he's listening to digital radio or mixes put together for his drives down south.

It's pretty neat that all our dumb ways of doing things can live together.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Alan_Shore posted:

I must say you're wrong on several counts. Cassettes doomed from the get go? They came out in the 60s and were only superceded 30 years later!

cassettes were a mainline format for releasing music in many parts of the world pretty much right up until cheap Android phones took over as the primary computing market in those areas and gave people an affordable means of easily accessing and playing back audio streams and/or digital files for the first time without needing a PC

like there are entire genres of popular music in parts of Africa that officially released on cassette, on MP3, and *thatís basically it* as recently as like 2012.

cassettes are also incredibly durable and hard-wearing, and can be recorded and re-recorded using hardware thatís often been built into things like car radios and inexpensive boomboxes. Comparatively, CD didnít get nearly the foothold that it got in places like the US

Pile Of Garbage posted:

I still curate my music lol. Never liked streaming services so stuck with Beatport/Juno/Bandcamp, have my own tagging system so I like it done a specific way. Yes I also use Winamp only way to go. This of course is dumb and I'd never recommend it anyone else.

My dad has an enormous CD collection on account of being a somewhat famous part-time radio DJ for a specific style of music. And yet he never listens to them unless he's putting together a show. The rest of the time he's listening to digital radio or mixes put together for his drives down south.

It's pretty neat that all our dumb ways of doing things can live together.

my dad had to find new hobbies after getting comfy with Spotify

although recently heís discovered that people put concert and live performance recordings on youtube

Yuns
Aug 19, 2000

There is an idea of a Yuns, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.


I use streaming services (I use Spotify and I've set up Volumio and Roon on my home network as well) but streaming services have lost catalogs when they can't renew deals with rights holders. When I look at how Netflix and other video services have winnowed down their less popular titles as well, it makes me concerned about future availability on music networks and I want to have a copy of the music backed up on a drive. I end up using the services like a discovery tool/radio and buying the music l like as either digital downloads and sometimes in physical format.

While CDs themselves were fine, the old CDR and CDRW were terrible and I can't tell you how many I have that have become unreadable with just the passage of time.

Yuns fucked around with this message at 17:46 on Mar 15, 2021

Pile Of Garbage
May 28, 2007





Yuns posted:

I use streaming services (I use Spotify and I've set up Volumio and Roon on my home network as well) but streaming services have lost catalogs when they can't renew deals with rights holders. When I look at how Netflix and other video services have winnowed down their less popular titles as well, it makes me concerned about future availability on music networks and I want to have a copy of the music backed up on a drive.

That is the exact reason why I dislike streaming services. Personally I don't mind paying a bit more to get DRM-free tracks, if only there was such a thing for TV and movies.

Take the plunge! Okay!
Feb 24, 2007





I got a ton of professional use out of MD. Paired with a decent microphone, it was good enough to record interviews in broadcast quality at the time. It was 100% reliable, built like a tank and went for ages on a single AA battery.

polyester concept
Mar 29, 2017



saying cassette was doomed from the beginning is like saying horse and carriage was doomed from the beginning. i mean, sure, yeah... technically.
people still use horses for transportation in other parts of the world, too.

:iiaha:

Alan_Shore
Dec 2, 2004



Take the plunge! Okay! posted:

I got a ton of professional use out of MD. Paired with a decent microphone, it was good enough to record interviews in broadcast quality at the time. It was 100% reliable, built like a tank and went for ages on a single AA battery.

Yep, used them for university and for the radio. MiniDiscs were pretty big in the UK so the BBC etc used them a lot

GonadTheBallbarian
Jul 23, 2007




Take the plunge! Okay! posted:

I got a ton of professional use out of MD. Paired with a decent microphone, it was good enough to record interviews in broadcast quality at the time. It was 100% reliable, built like a tank and went for ages on a single AA battery.

Same, it owned

Blue Footed Booby
Oct 4, 2006

got those happy feet




Slippery Tilde

I don't think I've ever seen a minidisc player in person.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



Wow, people sure are touchy about the second worst music format [DCC was worse because it combined the expense, limited vendor support, real time copy and DRM that made MD bad with all the existing disadvantages of tape]. Nobody needs to lecture me about cassettes, I didn't even own a CD player until 1995. I did watch my one of my friends sink thousands of dollars into MD hardware and blanks only to be constantly frustrated by the format. Cassettes were universal and cheap which Minidisc never was, 20 years ago 80 minute blanks were almost as much as commercial CDs were, on purpose because they didn't want a repeat of the Japan situation where people rented CDs only to copy them to MD. Good 120 minute tapes were like $20 for an 8 pack. Prerecorded tapes were also 5-8 bucks cheaper than CD while minidisc releases were $15-20. My point about it being doomed was it was designed without getting rid of a lot of the disadvantages of tape which made it patently less useful than solid state recording once that was affordable. Sony could have eked a couple more years out of MD if they'd made it a simple 120 meg portable storage format but the record label side of the company would never have allowed that. Cassette has been slightly longer lived because tens of millions of tape decks were sold all over the world and it was a relevant format for 50 years.

Minidisc hardware was neat and looked and felt high tech but it was extremely expensive, a lot of the tiny players were super fragile and there just weren't enough manufacturers on board. This is a complete list of all minidisc players ever produced. It's not a lot.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011

:h:



Pile Of Garbage posted:

I still curate my music lol. Never liked streaming services so stuck with Beatport/Juno/Bandcamp, have my own tagging system so I like it done a specific way. Yes I also use Winamp only way to go. This of course is dumb and I'd never recommend it anyone else.

The problem I've found with streaming is it never has what I listen to. I first got a Spotify account back in the day to make playlist for friends who wanted that from me. Thing is though they never had even a tiny amount of the stuff I was listening to. I signed in a few weeks ago to put together a playlist and the first 3 artists I searched for didn't exist on it. So I'm no further ahead at all :v:

So Bandcamp, Juno and Beatport with the odd Amazon download. The only streaming I do is Soundcloud which I've been using for over a decade at this point and that's pretty much just to find stuff which I then buy elsewhere.

This was a, long-winded way of saying I do similar. And the first thing I do on a new computer build is install Winamp 2.95

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



qirex posted:

Wow, people sure are touchy about the second worst music format [DCC was worse because it combined the expense, limited vendor support, real time copy and DRM that made MD bad with all the existing disadvantages of tape]. Nobody needs to lecture me about cassettes, I didn't even own a CD player until 1995. I did watch my one of my friends sink thousands of dollars into MD hardware and blanks only to be constantly frustrated by the format. Cassettes were universal and cheap which Minidisc never was, 20 years ago 80 minute blanks were almost as much as commercial CDs were, on purpose because they didn't want a repeat of the Japan situation where people rented CDs only to copy them to MD. Good 120 minute tapes were like $20 for an 8 pack. Prerecorded tapes were also 5-8 bucks cheaper than CD while minidisc releases were $15-20. My point about it being doomed was it was designed without getting rid of a lot of the disadvantages of tape which made it patently less useful than solid state recording once that was affordable. Sony could have eked a couple more years out of MD if they'd made it a simple 120 meg portable storage format but the record label side of the company would never have allowed that. Cassette has been slightly longer lived because tens of millions of tape decks were sold all over the world and it was a relevant format for 50 years.

Minidisc hardware was neat and looked and felt high tech but it was extremely expensive, a lot of the tiny players were super fragile and there just weren't enough manufacturers on board. This is a complete list of all minidisc players ever produced. It's not a lot.

I dunno how you design cassettes while also ďgetting rid of a lot of the disadvantages of tapeĒ and make them affordable, and also do it in the mid-to-late 1960s, which is when the cassette was first developed

like donít get me wrong, there were several revisions to cassette over the decadesóand new Dolby types and materials introduced and so on. But they all had to be built on the format legacy established in the 60s

like, which disadvantages do you think couldíve been designed out? At the end of the day tape is tape. If weíd had cheap solid-state by then weíd have probably been using it. And the limitations didnít stop people from doing poo poo like using the format for computer storage and software distribution with generally otherwise-normal recording/playback equipment.

In the 80s/early 90s you could do stuff like pirate computer games with a stereo tape deck or buy software over the phone and then literally record it as an encoded audio signal to your own cassette.

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle



Pile Of Garbage posted:

I still curate my music

Same. I did use Spotify for a while, but the constantly shifting catalogue and suddenly unavailable albums/tracks really started to aggravate me.

I've got 275 gigs of music on my file server, mostly in FLAC from Bandcamp or my own CD rips. The entire library is mirrored to my pCloud account, and I manually make a backup every couple of weeks to an external drive that I keep in my locker at work.

Alan_Shore
Dec 2, 2004



Lol MD got rid of all the disadvantages of tape. Like what? Sound quality massively improved. Re-record a million times without losing quality like tape. Can't damage it like tape. Don't have to rewind or fast forward like tape. Can store data unlike tape. Can add titles and edit tracks/split/join them unlike tape.

It's not that we're touchy about MD it's just... what are you talking about?

Alan_Shore
Dec 2, 2004



In terms of curating music I use MusicBee, which is free and kind of a spiritual successor to Winamp. Bandcamp is a gamechanger, absolutely love it. When I found out dungeonsynth was genre... my goodness

KozmoNaut
Apr 23, 2008

Happiness is a warm
Turbo Plasma Rifle



MD could have replaced the cassette tape, the floppy disk and the CD, plus all of the assorted other non-MD magneto-optic disc types, Zip/Jaz disks and so on, until flash memory was ready to take over.

The tech was absolutely there, not much more complicated than floppies or CDs in caddies, but the recording business side of Sony was (perhaps rightfully) afraid of unauthorized copying. The format is completely obsolete now, but the 90s and 2000s could have looked very different from a portable music/data storage perspective.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Alan_Shore posted:

Can store data unlike tape.

yo, we have like eighty years of storing data on tape

we still store data on tape

a lot of long-term cold storage and backup of data at industrial scale is done to tape cartridge because itís not subject to the same kinds of disc rot/bit rot/mechanical damage risks that other formats are

I literally have a post about how cassette was a mass-market data storage medium for desktop computers right in front of yours (and before you say that tape couldnít store both music and data on the same tape, youíd be wrong)

Alan_Shore
Dec 2, 2004



Sorry, I didn't realize that your average audio cassette could store data! Please forgive me!

How many megabytes was a cassette?

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



Alan_Shore posted:

Lol MD got rid of all the disadvantages of tape. Like what? Sound quality massively improved. Re-record a million times without losing quality like tape. Can't damage it like tape. Don't have to rewind or fast forward like tape. Can store data unlike tape. Can add titles and edit tracks/split/join them unlike tape.
  • Real time recording only
  • Intentional sound quality degradation with every successive dub [when allowed]
  • Barely album length media [hell, at least there were 120 minute tapes]
One of my best friends was a MD fanboy for years, I got to see all of this first hand. Once CD-R drives were cheap enough for consumers [say 98-99ish] even its data storage capabilities weren't particularly useful or economical. Plus CD players had anti shock buffers by then. Minidisc was extremely interesting, it just wasn't very practical and impractical things make for better nostalgia.

qirex fucked around with this message at 23:52 on Mar 15, 2021

Flipperwaldt
Nov 11, 2011

Won't somebody think of the starving hamsters in China?



I mean sure, if you take to be all the bungling Sony did with pricing and not getting other manufacturers on board and the lack of back catalogue as inherent to the technology, then MD sucks, I get that. It's also in retrospect typical for Sony to go all in on (md to md) copy protection, which didn't help a bit.

With MD, you can still see that glimpse of something beautiful in the engineer's eye though, before it got strangled by the bean counters. I feel neither of the sides of this argument are really controversial.

qirex
Feb 15, 2001



The Mattel Power Glove was one of the worst video game controllers ever but nobody would ever put a NES Advantage joystick on a Hollywood movie poster.

VInyl is fully obsolete technically but the economics of having such a huge amount of cheap media and players kept it going during the dark times and it's now the best selling physical music format again because it's fun.

qirex fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Mar 16, 2021

Unreal_One
Aug 18, 2010

Now you know how I don't like to use the sit-down gun, but this morning we just don't have time for mucking about.



Alan_Shore posted:

Sorry, I didn't realize that your average audio cassette could store data! Please forgive me!

How many megabytes was a cassette?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_Datasette

Used off the shelf audio cassettes. So did basically every hobbyist computer of the 80s, until the advantages of floppy made up for the expense of floppy drives.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Unreal_One posted:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_Datasette

Used off the shelf audio cassettes. So did basically every hobbyist computer of the 80s, until the advantages of floppy made up for the expense of floppy drives.

not just hobbyist gear

Apple and IBM both had standard cassette drive formats too

njsykora
Jan 23, 2012

Robots confuse squirrels.



In the UK it was the dominant storage media for the microcomputers of the 80s since floppy disks were too expensive at manufacture for the bedroom coders who were making most of the games of note for the BBC Micro, Electron, Spectrum and CPC.

Alan_Shore
Dec 2, 2004



I remember having games on cassette, you'd load them and come back in half hour and hope Postman Pat had loaded or maybe it'd hosed up and you had to do it again. I just always thought they were a special type of cassette and and I never ever saw them in the 90s, it was all huge floppy disks to play Through The Dragon's Eye.

Anyway not as good as MiniDisc

Zorak of Michigan
Jun 10, 2006

Waiting for his chance

As a lad, I had a VIC-20 with a cassette drive. I hated those cassettes deeply. I had managed to repress the memory for decades, but now you have made me relive the trauma.

Dirt Road Junglist
Oct 8, 2010

There's a ghost in me
Who wants to say I'm sorry
Doesn't mean I'm sorry






Pile Of Garbage posted:

The Sony MZ-R700 MD that I had was able to automatically detect and mark tracks when recording from CD via S/PDIF. At the time I did think that the NetMD stuff sounded cool but I never bothered with it as recording CDs to MD was just so simple and perfect.

This is the way.

It was great if you had streaming radio with enough of a gap between tracks, so you could record overnight and have a whole playlist the next day. I had 5 Minidiscs of, like, 4 hour stretches of dnbradio and Bassdrive

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



Dirt Road Junglist posted:

This is the way.

It was great if you had streaming radio with enough of a gap between tracks, so you could record overnight and have a whole playlist the next day. I had 5 Minidiscs of, like, 4 hour stretches of dnbradio and Bassdrive

imagine recording 4 hour stretches of Dave Matthews Band Radio to listen to the next day, some serious self-harm behaviors right there

Mr. Funny Pants
Apr 9, 2001



My friend across the street had the Atari 400 with a cassette drive.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



the really cool thing about cassette storage is that because the data is stored as an encoded audio signal (think like modem-based internet over telephone) you can use pretty much any other format as your playback device, and in many cases use a computer-connected microphone to ďhearĒ the data being played back over a speaker if you canít simply connect directly

that means you can use a hifi tape deck or reel-to-reel, or CD-r, or stream from the internet, or radio broadcast, or yes even a MiniDisc to run your tape drive apps

namlosh
Feb 11, 2014

I blew up


This video must have wormed its way into your subconscious:

https://youtu.be/d60V9yAPE_s


E: to pay the ridicule audio gods... I just set up a raspberry pi 3B with Volumio and Iím playing music through the hdmi into a receiver directly... works for me and Iím wondering why I didnít set it up a long time ago. Highly recommend

namlosh fucked around with this message at 02:35 on Mar 16, 2021

njsykora
Jan 23, 2012

Robots confuse squirrels.



Ok Comboomer posted:

the really cool thing about cassette storage is that because the data is stored as an encoded audio signal (think like modem-based internet over telephone) you can use pretty much any other format as your playback device, and in many cases use a computer-connected microphone to ďhearĒ the data being played back over a speaker if you canít simply connect directly

that means you can use a hifi tape deck or reel-to-reel, or CD-r, or stream from the internet, or radio broadcast, or yes even a MiniDisc to run your tape drive apps

People use their phones with Spectrum games stored as WAV files to load some games for when they want the cassette experience and not to just load stuff off an SD card. Itís kinda cool.

GonadTheBallbarian
Jul 23, 2007




namlosh posted:


E: to pay the ridicule audio gods... I just set up a raspberry pi 3B with Volumio and I’m playing music through the hdmi into a receiver directly... works for me and I’m wondering why I didn’t set it up a long time ago. Highly recommend

Not as pricy as roon, so I can't ridicule you too badly

How difficult was it to set up?

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namlosh
Feb 11, 2014

I blew up


GonadTheBallbarian posted:

Not as pricy as roon, so I can't ridicule you too badly

How difficult was it to set up?

So easy... download the image, unzip it, burn it to a flash card with raspberry pi imager. Put the flash card in and start it up. Itíll first create a hotspot that you connect your phone to: http://192.168.100.1 or something like that. Put in your WiFi creds and itíll join your network.

Seriously, thatís it. Youíve now got web radio and a bunch of other stuff.

I shared out my iTunes library via windows share and added it as a source via cifs through the UI. I really couldnít believe it was that easy. I even bought the app for $1.99 from the iOS App Store. Thatís the only money Iíve spent and It works great. The girlfriend loves it and has had it running non stop all day since I set it up. Iím a believer.

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