Re: NTLK Questions, questions...

From: Bill Davis (
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 00:44:07 CDT

On 4/26/2000 3:06 AM, Robert Benschop
[] wrote:

>> Even cheaper to buy one of the tiny MiniDisc players that are the same
>> size or smaller than most MP3 players. And you get 70 minutes of music
>> per disc. Discs aren't much bigger than a Compact Flash card (smaller
>> than a PCMCIA card).
>Not mentioning the fact that you will be listening to better audio.
>I consider this as the biggest joke of the moment, while the industry
>finally admits that CD's were actually compressed audio, so inferior to
>records, and are coming out with a replacement system of higher quality the
>general public is going crazy over an even more compressed format and
>putting them on CD-R's again a inferior medium, ironic isn't it.

"industry finally admits"?

Whaaaaat? Where? Who? Please back this up with a pointer to a web site
or article or something. I'm interested and curious!

CD's aren't compressed (or at the very least not nearly as much as MD's
or MP3's). In any event, MINIDISCS are DEFINITELY more compressed, I
know this for a fact, they freely admit it, but even without that, it's
obvious they'd have to - here's why:

I have a Sony portable MiniDisc DATA drive that can also play MiniDisc
Audio (but not record audio, dang it). MD-Data disks hold 140MB of data,
so the MD Audio discs must be the same capacity. MD's hold about 70
minutes of music = 2MB per minute.

(side note: as far as I know, Sony doesn't make the MD-DATA drives
anymore, so don't bother asking me where to get them. They disappeared
from the Mac catalog I bought it from years ago.)

CD's are 660MB (approx) and also hold about 70 minutes, max, that's
roughly 9-9.5MB/minute.

Obviously they are compressing MiniDiscs, or at least compressing them
MORE (unless they've got a variable compression rate since most albums
these days don't fill the discs, some fill less than half). I belive
that they use "ATRAC" compression, although I may be mistaken.

I can't tell the difference in audio, however, between CD and MD.

Give me digital media over vinyl anyday, sorry. I've got a hundred or
so old vinyl LP's that I never bothered to get rid of when I started
buying CD's (back in '84), and getting any decent playing quality without
pops and hisses and such is impossible. One of these days I've got to
convert 'em to MP3 or AIFF and burn them to CD-R, either as MP3's or true
CD's. The latest SoundJam update allows this, I think. And getting
600+ minutes of audio on CD-R via MP3's is gonna go places, in car
stereos, etc. I've already seen CD players for sale that will play
CD-R's with MP3's on 'em.

>Robert Benschop
>I do record some stuff on CD-R's as well and if I can't find it in a
>different form a MP3 file will do for the moment,
>but I definitely can hear the difference.

I can't, I'm afraid, at least not without TRYING really, really, really
hard, with the volume WAY up and usually not even then. Nor can most
folks with average stereos and normal listening habits. I'm sure
audiophiles can (maybe with an oscilliscope <grin>), but for most folks
CD's, MD's or MP3's are far more than adequate. Lots better, more
durable, etc than vinyl LPs. And a lot more portable too. I love my
Sony Walkman CD and Apple PowerBook CD and DVD players, my shirt-pocket
sized MD player, etc. Can't do that with LP's. And I _hate_ tape. (Our
local Best Buy recently stopped selling cassette tapes at all...but sells
a lot of recordable MiniDisc units and media) All tapes eventually
break or snarl, lose quality, etc. MP3's just will keep getting
better and better and hopefully finally do away with rotating media at
all one day, at least for audio.

 - Bill

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