Wednesday, April 27, 2005



question from this technology-challenged Riceball. I own a Kenwood portable MiniDisc player. The image on the right is a newer version but it looks similar, without the LCD display. Anyway, M bought this for me a few years back and I have yet to use it! Yeah, not nice of me and I feel REALLY bad about it. Seriously.

But here's the problem: I don't know how to record onto a disc. I know that I can connect the player from its microphone jack to the earphone jack of my computer, but then that's basically an analog recording, right? That's what the Kenwood manual says. How stupid is that? What's the use of having a digital player if you are going to record analog? I want to record from digital, but I can't figure out how... well, unless I buy a fullsize Kenwood Minidisc Player for like $700... Is there such a thing as a minidisc external drive for computers? Or is there a way I can connect my portable to my computer to download music files digitally?

Please, please, please, can anyone help me? I would truly appreciate it...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've never heard of a recorder that doesn't have an LCD display, but since you say it has a microphone input we'll proceed on the assumption that it's really a recorder. It would help to know which exact model because then one can use to get its details.

Anyway, most old portable MD recorders have a dual analog/digital input - the digital input is an optical jack. To use it you'll need to buy more equipment for your PC, either an internal soundcard with optical output or a USB->SPDIF converter; they're not too expensive these days. The bad news is that the recording will still be done in real time - that is, it takes an hour to record an hour of material. You should also know that the data will be compressed using a lossy proprietary scheme (ATRAC, not MP3), and that there's no feasible way to get it off MD except by an analog connection.

I used to be a big MD user, but the technology is pretty much dead except in Japan because of various such technological and marketing limitations imposed by its main driver, Sony. There's a reason iPods are so popular - they work really well!