where does the MD fit in?
I have to disagree, I was given an MD at Christmas, it took not long to realise that within a short space of time it will be obsolete. Why?
A) who wants to carry loads of little disks around with their player? All you are doing is compressing your CD collection - not replacing it.
B) I admit I had the basic model but it certainly is not cheap compared to an MP3 player and even the 1GB discs cannot keep anywhere near as much data as a decent sized Jukebox (I have a Zen and am up to 75 albums and less than 4GB useage... I have another 100 or so albums to go. Go figure the number of Minidiscs you'll need)
C) the MD Functionality is dire.Possibly as I have the basic model but the MD has nowhere near the functionality of the Zen Jukebox. Shuffle, repeat, single track, Profiles, time/date!! I daresay there are MD's with equivelant functionality - but at what cost?
D) the Software - Sonic stage is not as flaky as Creative's product and I found it very easy to use, yet now I have the latest Creative downloads I find it comparable and what's more much much faster at ripping and burning, Can an MD burn a CD in 60 secs? I doubt it.
E) Downloads, I could not legally copy downloaded tracks from Napster onto the MD, you have to rip and burn to a CD THEN copy to the MD?? What kind of nonsense is THAT? I suppose you can get the software to do it for you.. well I found copyright protection stopped me from using that too. With the Zen? No problems. And I'm talking LEGAL downloads here.
F) Future proof - The MD I have is already obsolete in my view. (It cant read 1GB discs for example) The Zen firmware can be upgraded
G) What does my PC think of it? Well it hardly knows what an MD is. It "sees" it as some kind of device, but I can't drag and drop and treat it as a hard drive. You can with the Zen, hang it, if I want to I can probably back up most of my hard drive to the Zen as well as listen to my music.. I guess that will chew up battery life though...
and that's where the MD scores.... Battery life, I have a "mere" 14 hours on the Zen.... I found the MD lasted longer.
As for sound quality the MD sound quality is superb, but hardly worth the difference in cost of the Unit. Ask yourself, how many tracks and how much flexibility do you get with a 5 or 10GB MP3 such as the Zen touch compared to a 1GB Sony MD plus (work it out how many discs you'll need to carry around with you)I also believe that for most people the difference in sound quality is not significantly worth it.
The final straw for me was realising my local discount retailer had stopped stocking minidiscs... like Betamax the market has spoken. Sony also produce their own MP3 player now, I am sure it will be a quality product - and I don't deny the Sony MD is a quality product, my decision is based on technology and practicality not on build quality. So for me, "MD? No thanks"
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