Keech Design

<< June 2010 >>
Posted by: Daniel Cane on 2nd Jun 2010 in Opinion

...the swansong of humane home recording.

In the 1990s, you could buy a little piece of the future for just a few pounds…

Ten years later the future is here, but it doesn’t look like MiniDisc. Or DAT, or CD-R, or indeed anything. It is the maligned digital wind that has swept away all of the above, and left the music industry in a multi-billion dollar tizzy.

As a youth, becoming a MiniDisc user was a watershed. They were mobile, robust, affordable, versatile and made piracy flawless and effortless, without the need for a computer. They combined the familiar elements of cassettes with the digital quality of CD, and added unique editing capabilities.
Being able to move, divide, combine and name tracks up to a million times was the first opportunity to interact with sound in a non-linear fashion, and the first baby steps towards eventually using software sequencers to make music in a creative way.

Back then, they had characteristics that felt both of the time, and futuristic. Like Compact Disc and DAT they had their own iconic logo across all brands, yet were a massive step forward in functionality, and in 1999 were even featured in the ‘The Matrix’ being sold illicitly for $2,000 containing who knows what?
In spite of having already being around for nearly 10 years, when the internet began to take hold of the music industry, MiniDisc was adaptable enough to evolve with Sony’s development of the NetMD.

For me, MiniDisc represents the zenith of home recording, and perhaps the only thing I really do miss of the halcyon days before MP3mageddon.


Posted by Fresh on 3rd Jun 2010 01:47 AM
Ah yes...great article! I still use mine faithfully. I own (2) Sony MZ-M100 portable recorders, a MZ-M10 portable recorder and a Sony MDS-JE630.

For anyone interested, I posted to blog posts about my love for minidisc: and . Cheers!

Posted by Daniel Cane on 3rd Jun 2010 03:37 PM
Thanks a lot for that, really heartening to see there’s others out there still flying the flag! Still use a MDS-JE myself as it happens. Impressed your portable unit has survived, mine would always meet with an unfortunate end until I gave-up replacing them.

Posted by Chris on 19th Jul 2010 10:27 AM
my 9 year old daughter still uses my old Sony portable for those long car journeys, sign of the times, an Ipod is on her bithday list.