Innovative new combinations of technology in the latest products. A concrete visual proof of the crossover that is happening between MD and MP3 features and behaviors, to let go of the cliche clouds of connotations of what "MD" is and what "MP3" is.
This tip is for people who have English as their computer's user-interface language.
1. Go to the Google.com Preferences page.
2. Select the check box Enable translation of search results into your interface language.
3. Keep this option button selected: Search for pages written in any language.
4. Click the Save Preferences button.
5. Go to http://www.google.com and enter the search terms, then press the Enter key.
6. Click the Translate link that appears by some hits, to see the page translated to English.
POTCE's 2001 International CES Coverage - Hot New MP3 Devices - includes Mini CD and DataPlAy.
There are many hits on DataPlAy players -- more than there are Mini CDR players across the Web. This is a sign. Mini CD is a stopgap, a momentary opportunity that just seems to be killer, a distraction while the real killer (from the corporate point of view) comes along: DataPlAy.
The reduction from 5" CDR to 3" CDR is like the proposed change from 56 Kbaud modems to 64 Kbaud, in light of the cable modem revolution -- way too little of an improvement, way too late. The most fleeting technologies might be the 5" MP3-CDR player and, just as much, the 3" MP3-CDR player which will only look "smaller" until you put it next to a DataPlAy player that is much smaller still, and stores more data. Next to the DataPlAy players, the 3" CD player will look as "compact" and "portable" as an elephant that has been on a diet.
Companies like NAPA are hedging their bets and embracing the whole technology family by developing both a DataPlAy player and a Mini CD player.
(A-Max Technology is a Hong Kong based electronics company, manufacturing products under the ColorMAX, APAC and NAPA brand names.)
Special thanks to Noel Keywood's article on new compact music storage media, page 18, July 2001 issue of Hi-Fi World, for inspiring this research comparing DataPlAy vs. Mini CD.
Hi-Fi World and Computer Audio - site for magazine
DataPlAy engine, around which any digital product can be built. This suggests the lower limit of product size using DAtaPlAy media. The hand shown here is small.
DataPlAy.com -- select Music as the product type to see MP3 music players.
Penmanusa.com -- will have a DataPlAy product soon
Mini-system with integrated tiny DataPlAy portable player. Great ergonomic system design idea.
A-Max Technology is a Hong Kong based electronics company, manufacturing products under the ColorMAX, APAC and NAPA brand names.
Newsgroups search: mini cd mp3 80mm -- Discussion threads about Mini CD portables
401 press release - "Philips EXP 401 MP3-CD portable delivers over three hours of compressed MP3, UDF or AAC audio from single disc. Philips is boosting its eXpandium MP3-CD player features by shrinking the CD player itself - with a CD portable specifically designed to play 8cm (3-inch) CDs which can contain over three hours of compressed digital audio in formats like MP3, UDF or AAC."
Due September 2001. MP3-CD playback (32-320 Kbps including Variable Bit Rate); 8cm CD compatibility (Audio CD, CD-R, CD-RW); Onboard decoders: CDDA, MP3, UDF or AAC.
XX - 180 und 230 MByte Daten. Die CDs können herkömmliche CD-Brenner beschreiben, und sie sind im Vergleich zu Flash-Medien sehr billig. Beim Direktversender Pearl, der ebenfalls einen Mini-CD-Player von Q-Sonic (289 Mark) anbietet, kostet das Medium zum Beispiel 2,30 Mark. Der Samsung Yepp wiegt 165 Gramm und misst 113 x 100 x 29 Millimeter. Er ist mit den üblichen Features wie etwa Zwischenspeicherung zum Schutz vor Erschütterung ausgestattet. Vorerst kommt der Player in Korea auf den Markt und kostet dort 193 US-Dollar.
PC World July 5 2001 - Samsung Adds [Mini] CDs to Yepp MP3 Players XX - "Samsung Electronics doesn't want you to have to choose between size and song storage capacity in your MP3 player. On Tuesday, the company launched the latest member of its Yepp line of MP3 digital music players, aimed at offering a compromise between some of the most desired aspects in these devices. While small size and light weight are desirable in MP3 players, they often limit memory capacity and new memory cards can cost as much, or even more, than the player itself. The launch of MP3 CD players last year solved the latter problem, enabling hundreds of songs to be stored in MP3 format on a CD, but the resulting players became too large to fit into most pockets and were heavy to carry. The new CD-Yepp player, which will sell in South Korea for $193, uses 8-centimeter MP3 CDs and so offers a compromise in terms of size, weight and memory capacity. An 8-centimeter CD can hold about 200MB of information or roughly one third of the data that can be stored on a conventional 12-centimeter disc. This translates into about 50 songs. The player features an electronic skipping protection system that can store up to 100 seconds of data in memory to guard against music interruption when the CD skips. Battery life is six hours. The MCD-MP8 CD-Yepp measures 4.4 by 1.2 by 3.9 inches in size and weighs just over five ounces. Samsung says it has no immediate plans to sell the device outside South Korea."
Technical pictures of MPZip -- ez-mp3.com
Eric Woudenberg made my Mini-CD investigations a news item today regarding my Mini-CDR MP3 player announcements from a few days ago:
MiniDisc.org news - 8/4: The MPzip is the first mini-CD MP3 player, Joe Hui gives it a thorough review. Its near-CD player bulk and poor battery life (~1-2 hr) hardly make it an MD slayer, however the allure of easy, unimpeded computer access to its media gives an MD fan pause. (Courtesy Michael Hoffman)
Joe's review of MPZip Mini CD player - many great pictures
German branded version of the MPZip.
Imation CDRW doubles as MP3 player - battery-powered USB 3" CD-RW drive with MP3 features
Imation prototype 8cm portable CD/MP3 player
AVC Technology Limited -- CD-268 Multi-Codec Optical DMP Player with 8cm CD Recordable Disk
picture at http://www.digit-life.com/articles/80mmcd/
· Optical DMP CD MP3 player with multi-codec
· Supported formats: CD, MP3, WMA, AAC
· 80 mm CD-R and CD-RW reading support
· Anti-shock DSP up to 20 seconds
· Graphics LCD with a possibility of viewing song names
· Output : 7 mW + 7 mW
· Bass boost
· EQ : Pop, Jazz, Classic, Hall
· Adapter 4.5 VDC rechargeable
· 2 x AA batteries
K-Well Enterprise Co Ltd
KW-MP3(C) 8cm Mini Disc Portable MP3 / CD Player
picture at http://www.digit-life.com/articles/80mmcd/
· Dimensions (L x H x W): 980 x 950 x 180mm
· Weight: 157 g (drive only)
· Distortion rate: <0.1%
· AudioCD and MP3/CD playback
· Supported formats: audio wave and MP3 codec
· Disc diameter: 80 mm
· Record format: ISO 9660 or Juliet
· Supported disc types: CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW
· Disc capacity: 180 MBytes
· Max number of tracks: 50
· Max audio disc capacity: 21 minutes
· Graphics display 19 (W) x 8 (H) mm, showing track number
Gigastorage Corporation Taiwan
GS-R() Mini MP3 CD player
picture at http://www.digit-life.com/articles/80mmcd/
· Supported disc types (reading): MP3, Audio, CD-I, CDDA
· MPEG/ Data read available by computer
· Stereo headphones
· Analog volume control
· Anti shock 24 seconds (for MP3)
· Read speed: 1X, 2X, 4X (CLV)
· Frequency range: 20Hz~20kHz
· Dimensions (D*W*H), mm: 118 x 87 x28
· Weight (Net): 150 g
More hits for MCD-MP8: XX
Mini-CD-RW: Mini CDRW blanks ($2 US, compare to regular CDRW blanks). Not compatible with Sony Mavica CD1000 Camera. Fully ReWritable up to 1,000 times -- Silver top Mini CD-RW, in spindles (cases available separately), holds 21 minutes audio [CDDA] or 180MB of data, measures 80 mm (8cm or 3.25") round. Fits in small center depression in the tray of most CDR burners and CD-ROM players.
It can't win the battle of the formats if it can't even be named or spelled:
8 cm CD
8 CM CDR
80 mm CD-R
Those little smaller-than-usual CDs, you know...
Compare this damaging plethora of names to "DataPlAy", which has exactly one spelling, one word, one name.
Another advantage of DataPlAy's name: it is not so stupidly short-sighted as to claim to be "compact", or "mini" or "micro" -- its name makes no claim about relative size. "Compact" Disks have headed down the opposite direction on the olive-sizes road (collossal, giant, large, jumbo, etc.)
DataPlAy reeks of the future, 100%. Mini CD reeks of 1983 technology, which it is, in terms of density, just like MiniDisc. Hold a MiniDisc or Mini CD player in your hand -- it doesn't exactly feel "small" for the hand. But a DataPlAy player can truly be felt as "small" in the hand, like trying to clutch a quarter in your palm.
Double-density, 1.3 GB CDRs (potce.com)
Mini-CD with 150 GB capability, in development - holographic multi-layer storage
MD-to-MP3 technology linkup & crossover at MiniDisc.org
Review of Sony MDS-PC3 external MD drive (and M-Crew software and PCLK-MN10 PC Link Kit) from that cool magazine -- the March 2001 issue of Hi-Fi & Computer Audio World: XX - SONY MDS-PC3 - PC LINKED MINIDISC RECORDER - £350. Nick Tate tries out Sony's brand new MDS-PC3 PC-linked MiniDisc recorder. The idea of a small, compact, easily re- recordable and editable disc is brilliant, but in practice MiniDisc's strengths have been harder to implement. The problem has been that to control its many facilities (Track Erase, All Erase, Move, Delete, Divide, Title, Undo, etc.), you've had to wade through an obstructive Edit Menu involving more button pushing than your average NASA flight controller. And if you wish to title every single song on your disc, you're talking about a seriously intensive workout on the remote control or front panel 'jog dial'. What better idea then, than to link your MiniDisc recorder to a computer, where text entry is quick - thanks to a full sized QWERTY keyboard - and the intricacies of compiling MDs can be more quickly and efficiently handled? Enter Sony's MDS-PC3, the third in a line of PC-linked MiniDisc machines that started with the (yes, you've guessed it) PC1 back in 1998. Since then, the deck has got smaller, small enough indeed to occupy no more space than a PC CD-ROM drive, although I'm not sure if anyone's actually tried physically slotting one in to a computer drive bay.
Sony's page about MDS-PC3: XX
The MDS-PC3 initially seems like an external drive that treats a MD just like a CDRW or Zip disk, but there is a fundamental difference because MD was deliberately crippled: this drive is designed to force ATRAC upon you every time you transfer a file from the PC drive to the MiniDisc.
You *can* do a GUI drag-and-drop, but instead of a fast-as-possible bit-for-bit copy as with moving the file to another hard drive, it is realtime or perhaps 2x or 4x -- why? So it can do you the "favor" of doing an ATRAC lossy compression generation whether you want that or not.
Unlike an external CDRW drive, you cannot use this MD drive to do a bit-for-bit copy from your hard drive to the MiniDisc. That is the *essential* difference and the heart of what sucks about MD versus MP3, especially for people who are interested in bulk trading. Those people would be better off with an MP3 CD-R setup than even this ideal ergonomic MD deck.
I can *control* MP3 -- a file only gets MP3-compressed if I tell it to, but MD gear insists on adding ATRAC whether I want it or not. With "MP3" technology, *I* decide and control the type of compression -- .wma, .mp3, or none.
We don't *want* this compression processing forced upon us, slowing us down! And Sony knows that. I wish to free the MD storage medium from the ATRAC compression encoding and have control over when and how often the ATRAC encoding is used. I have such control when using MP3-type technology, but not with Sony's bundled and crippled system in which the ATRAC processing is handcuffed or welded to the MD storage medium.
Sony external CDRW drive (not Mini-CDRW sized, no special audio features) XX
Thanks to July 2001 issue of Hi-Fi & Computer Audio World, which has an excellent article comparing portable storage media in terms of price, size, storage size, positioning, and ergonomics.
We need an external Mini-CDRW (8-cm only) burner. It should include headphone output and bass boost, and built-in MP3 decoding.
Search for related pages XX
A nice page about MDS-PC3: XX Is CDDB supported? I think M-Crew software supports it.
XX - "Kris Gielen sends in an updated PCLK-MN10 manual (v1.05E), this version includes proper bookmarks along with additional screenshots and information. He includes 1 2 3 pages scanned from the M-Crew manual on how to connect the Sony MDS-PC3 to a PC (information apparently not available online or in the other manuals). The PCLK-MN10 manual mentions Sony's homepage for M-Crew compatible gear."
Ultra-thin external CDRW burner XX - horror stories as awful as I had with my Sony Spressa USB external CDRW drive, but good concept. Take a look at this case, then imagine a Mini-CDRW 80mm version.
George Styles releases RIP MDS-PC3 (v0.2b), a free alternative to Sony's M-Crew software that offers improved MP3 file handling.
Mike Paulus finds Archos' updated Jukebox HD-MP3 Recorder & Player with S/PDIF and line in, real-time 160kbps MP3 encoding, USB I/O for drag and drop track handling, and 6GB capacity (there's a 20 gig version in the works). The 350gram, US$350 unit will play 10 hours on a full charge and is slated for June 21 shipment.
XX ~128 stereo Kbps (ATRAC3?) internet radio (I'm listening now). No interruptions, just brief station IDs, start of songs do a 1-second fade-in, can skip about 10 songs before you must wait or switch stations to skip some more songs. A hint of the future. I consider 128 Kbps stereo typical FM-quality.
XX - "RealNetworks plans to integrate support for Sony music technologies into RealJukebox, including ATRAC3, its sound compression format, as well as OpenMG copyright protection technology, the Sony Memory Stick and its portable audio players such as "Memory Stick Walkman" and "VAIO Music Clip". This enhancement to RealJukebox is expected to ship in the Summer of 2000, and is to be designed for use with "OpenMG" on PCs to comply with SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) requirements for copyright management. Both RealNetworks and Sony are active members of SDMI. RealNetworks also expects to provide integrated support for Sony's ATRAC3 codec technology, which will enable consumers to download and play ATRAC3-encoded music on PCs, as well as downloading such music to Sony's portable audio players packaged with OpenMG, like Memory Stick Walkman and VAIO Music Clip. Initially, RealNetworks and Sony plan to develop a version of RealJukebox for Windows 98 and 2000."