Using MiniDisc

I want to collect MiniDiscs - how do I get started?

Should I get a portable recorder, or a deck?

Start with a portable. Decks are less common and cost more to ship, while the format was primarily mobile. All portables have 3.5mm (aux) outputs and many have optical audio out as well. The majority can record.

How is the audio quality?

Audio quality of MiniDiscs is good to excellent. Especially on later models with ATRAC 4.5 or Type-R encoding, the quality is equivalent to modern streaming services or high-bitrate MP3s.

Of course, there are various factors that will affect audio quality, including source quality and the ADC / DACs in the hardware.

How do I store my discs?

As with most electronics, discs should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Because of the caddy all discs have, they are somewhat resistant to basic wear-and-tear, but should still be placed in a protective case when not in use. Luckily, most (all?) new blanks came with a basic case for the disc to be stored in.

How do I copy content to a disc?

There are 4 main ways to get audio onto a MiniDisc:

  • analog audio input (line or microphone in via RCA, 3.5mm, or balanced cables)
  • digital audio input (via coaxial or optical (TOSLINK) cable)
  • USB to a computer (for NetMD recorders)
  • integrated devices (a built in mic, multi-track recorder, or CD/MD combo deck)

How do I copy content from a disc?

There are 3 ways to get audio off of a disc onto another format:

Of these, digital audio out will provide the best quality, although analog audio recording is far more common.

I already have a recorder, but it isn't NetMD. Should I buy a NetMD one?

Not necessarily. Real-time dubbing was used for music recording for much longer than we have used digital music files, and is a more “pure” way of using the format. If you enjoy the experience of handling discs, making mixes, and listening to the format then it is worthwhile to add NetMD to your collection to save time and free up a device used for playing the audio.

How do I label my discs?

We have a page dedicated to MiniDisc labels. New discs came with bundled stickers for writing on. A standard label printer is also commonly used.

How do I use Bluetooth headphones with MiniDisc?

Use a Bluetooth transmitter to convert the 3.5mm audio signal out of your portable into Bluetooth that your headphones connect to. Look for a transmitter with AptX or LLC audio codecs, as these provide better quality. Many MiniDisc fans will argue that using Bluetooth headphones is against the 'spirit' of a legacy audio format. Converting the audio several times, as a Bluetooth transmitter does, will degrade audio quality by some amount.

  • faq/using-md.txt
  • Last modified: 2 years ago
  • by specialk