MiniDisc Goes to College

Richard Reid
Department of Foreign Language and Thought
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids, Michigan

At Grand Rapids Community College we have four minidisc decks, two MDS-JE500s and two MDS-JE510s. Our library's audio visual office has the newer pair, and the English and Foreign Language Departments share the other pair. So far we have copied foreign language cassettes to minidisc. These cassettes are among the ancillary materials that come with French, German, and Spanish textbooks that we adopt. An educational institution's textbook adoption includes automatic permission to copy cassette recordings for student use. Later we will copy and produce poetry, plays, and music for both departments. Of course, a college library will not dub commercial recordings without written permission from the copyright owners.

We will probably need one or two more MDS-JE510s for our foreign language lab. For now the two shared by our two departments are installed on a rolling cart, wired together by toslink cable, and connected by RCA cable to a Bose Acoustic Wave music system. Complaints? The lack of inexpensive high-speed minidisc duplication, including tracks and titles--all dubs must be in real time, and titles don't copy, not even digitally. I'd like to see offered an affordable dual-slot minidisc duplicator like the dual-well cassette decks. Would that we could also have a standard computer keyboard--Mac and/or PC--to insert titles. It's a tedious job to enter a large number of minidisc chapter titles, and then to have to repeat the task for every duplicated minidisc.

Kenwood's XM-7MD is a dual drive MD bookshelf system that copies both audio and titles (in realtime only) from MD to MD. Kenwood also sells an optional titling keyboard for it (the ``Cyber-titler''). -EAW

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