The format wars: MD vs DCC vs Napster vs iPod

This 39 minute documentary ostensibly covers the history of the MiniDisc, but does a really good job chronicling the audio format migration from cassette to the iPod. I hadn’t thought about MD in a while, but remembered jumping on the format in the early to mid 90s when those CD rental shops were popular. I’ve got a home deck and a shoebox of MDs in a moving box around here somewhere. I think. If I can find the thing, it should go well with the Pioneer cassette deck and about 400 tapes that I just found in the garage :smile: Building a retro HiFi stack.


That was such a trip down memory lane. On Guam my best friend had a Sony portable that he no longer used and wanted to sell(late’99 maybe) I tried it for a week but decided that at $200 it would have been an expensive trinket. After that, my recollection was that the format was a flop and I was vindicated. Until now I had no idea that it enjoyed reasonable success over quite a long time.

I really loved MD, but Steve Jobs stuck a fork in the media wars with the iPod, thank goodness. I remember having the first Tracy Chapman album on MD and would love to find the rest. Maybe make some wall art.

Dude, you obviously have a love for things that go whop-whop and you lived in Guam. That Paradise Lost campaign was made for you. Have you tried it yet?

I was once minutes away from buying one of those lovely Phillips DCC home recording decks back in the early/mid 1990s. My console video game hobby and other audio spending made me reconsider, though.

Interesting to finally know what’s up behind all the MiniDisc recordings I see offered for sale by bands on Bandcamp. I see them often (sold out) in the Vaporwave and Synthwave music genres, and had vaguely wondered where they were sourcing the hardware and media.

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Not yet. The Marianas runs poorly on my PC. When things calm down, I’ll upgrade. It’s definitely on my list. The same friend who tried to sell me his MD player was airlifted in a Blackhawk. He and his X-Tera team (adventure race) got caught on a cliff-lined beach in a rising tide.

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I never moved on from CDs. I have a few things MP3 only, but long ago I started burning my own CDs and I still have CDs from the 80s that work fine. Later ones sound better, but some of them are niche enough that no remastered versions exist.

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