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Mini-disc recorders

For several years minidiscs were many people's choice for recording oral history. However, they currently reside in the 'where are they now' file for obsolete recording technologies as people have switched to portable solid state recorders. We have left the information below for reference but refer you to the solid state page for information about digital recorders.

In 2018 information about all things related to minidisc can still be found on the Internet at:

Having used minidiscs in the past and tried out both Sony and Sharp models, we at EMOHA decided that, for oral history interviewing, Sonys were the better bet. They had automatic recording levels and good track marking facilities. Read the EMOHA review of the Sharp and Sony models.


Mainly applicable to older models: MDLP - 'Mini Disc Long Play' - most machines had this and it was a useful feature which allowed a 74 minutes minidisc to record 148 minutes of sound at an acceptable quality, and even more at an unacceptable quality.

You may have noticed that some models were 'Net MD', which meant they can download sound off the Internet via a computer. However, this feature didn't make it any easier to transfer sound from the minidisc to the computer, and was not of much use to the oral historian. For a fast transfer from minidisc to computer you will have to look at Hi-MD.




Sony mini-disc
Sony MZR500PC

Sharp mini-disc
Sharp mini-disc recorder

[Comparing the size of various media]
CD, cassette and mini-disc compared.

A mini-disc ready to use

Last updated: 07/02/2018
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.

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