Stereo Review Oct 98: MD Article Summaries

A Guide to Digital Home Recorders --
Will it be recordable CD or MiniDisc?

Ken C. Pohlmann

The article compares recordable CD and MiniDisc. It says that ``[c]ompared with CD-RW, MiniDisc is more flexible in terms of editing... Another advantage of the MiniDisc format is the ability to label recordings with disc and song titles, artists' names, and other information that is displayed during playback... There is one area where CD recording decidedly has the upper hand over MD: If you buy a CD-R or CD-RW recorder, there's a vast universe of prerecorded CDs that you can play on it in addition to the recordings you make. If you buy an MD recorder, however, you'll find that the supply of prerecorded software is extremely limited because the US recording industry never embraced the format, probably fearing its recording prowess.''

It also says that ``[p]eople often ask why Sony didn't make MD more like CD, with a big disc, no data compression, and CD compatibility. The answer (I think) is that MD was intended mainly for portable use. If you think portable CD players are too bulky and CD recorders and blanks too expensive, MD makes sense.''

A special column titled ``Die, Cassette, Die!'' says that ``[a]fter listening tests I conducted last year, I concluded that an analog cassette recording made with Dolby S noise reduction sounded slightly better than the same material recorded on MiniDisc. Still, cassettes are a hassle... CD-R, CD-RW and MiniDisc will slowly erode cassette sales, but, try as they might, it will be many years before they finally succeed in killing off the cassette."

The article also summarizes many MD recorder models sold in the US. In the end, it has a special note on ``waiting for recordable DVD.''

Test report: JVC XU-301 CD changer/MiniDisc recorder

Ken C. Pohlmann

In summary, the model is ``easy, convenient playback and recording; capable of mixing CD and MD playback; outstanding CD defect tracking,'' but ``slow CD loading and track access.''

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