Dance like a white dude


Scan originally appeared in Wired 01.02, May 1993.

OK, yes, so you can record on a disc. But you’re clearly also dancing like a white dude, and can’t figure out to buy jeans with a suitable leg-length. So curb the enthusiasm, will you?

Anyway, the MiniDisc was one of the many storage formats that were cool (storing just around 1000 times more than the 1.2MB floppies we were carrying around back then) but just never really caught on in the consumer space - at least, not enough to displace CD/R's. I remember my cousin having one – I was quite envious...

Take the poll: Did you own a MiniDisc?

Comments (11)

Hammer, hurt him!

While I have seen MiniDisc players in real life, none of their owners were white.

I was always curious about the MD players but never knew where to get either the devices or the discs.

Consider that a standard DVD-R the same size as an MD can hold 8 times as much as the corresponding standard MD.

Of course, the little fob the size of a MicroMachines car on my keychain holds about 22 times as much as that.

Minidiscs weren't really replacement for CDs, as far as I was concerned; they were replacements for cassette tapes. The big, big advantage from my standpoint was in portable recording in such a small, light format, with good battery life. The 72 or (later) 144 minute-per-unit MDs were more than good enough for radio, and they were _all over_ radio studios as a result. I was using them to record gigs, practice sessions - all sorts of things. They're pretty obsolete now, but for about 15 years, they had a really nice niche.

If Sony hadn't been stupid - trying to market them to replace CDs rather than cassette tapes was moronic; they lost to CDs but would've _crushed_ cassette tapes - I think they'd have been a much bigger deal.

Minidisc were hugely popular in Japan... To the point that many vehicles had a MD/Tape player stereo factory fitted, as well as a bajillion aftermarket units.

The recording industry worldwide were big users of the medium as well.

The original minidiscs were 305MB. That's not 1000 x 1.2MB.

I had a MiniDisc. But I rarely (read: ever) used it.

Btw: doing polls via Facebook is a dud. I don't use it and never will and I suspect I'm not alone in thinking like that.

I was a vinyl junkie, and resisted CD's for a long time. Solarbird is right, they were replacements for cassettes, a way I could record stuff for carrying about. I love mini discs, I used to have a portable (still have somewhere), and then I bought a cd/minidisc separate that meant I could record minidiscs in lightning speed (well before I was capable of recording CD's), I still have the car stereo mini disc player, and it is brilliant. I am a slob, and those mini discs can get trod on, have coffee poured over them/whatever and they still play. I also have the ipod jack, but invariably I still return to minidiscs - the ipod is often forgotten/purposefully left behind because I don't want the liability.

I will never understand why they never took off.


I had one but it was so layered with DRM problems -- typical Sony -- that I soon dumped it.

The best: The socks...

I still use my minidisc all the time! A great tool for recording on the go etc. The later models, known as Hi-MD, formatted the discs in FAT32 and allowed you to record in PCM (CD quality) without DRM restrictions. Even now, I have yet to find an alternative flash-based small, portable recorder of high quality that has MIC, LINE and OPTICAL inputs with Headphone/Line-Out.

Oh yeah, and its great when you pull it out of your pocket - most people don't have a clue what it is in this iPod World! I am required by some obscure law to at least comment on this...Why?? you may be asking...Because I am the "White Dude" in this Sony ad. And, yes, I must admit to the fashion nightmare that I created when I showed up for my shoot that morning in Chicago...I do apologize to today's super-skin-tight jeans hoodie-wearing sect for not living up to your standards. But dance like a white dude?? That's just plain mean. I was just reacting to the photographer's directions, I wasn't even dancing. To set the record straight, I was simply responding to her requests for "more excitement, more enthusiasm" (actual words) So to say nearly 17 years later to "curb my enthusiasm" well, that's a conflict that is long past resolution. Besides, she was signing the check, not you, Bro. So have a wonderful day, and matter who you think you're slamming, you don't know a tenth of the story.

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