Hi there. New member here.
Does anyone still use Minidiscs and players? I have a Sony MDS-JE530 ehich I use as a DAC and as a player.
I have used it for vinyl and YouTube rips and its great for old skool MixDiscs :)
I never owned one. I went from LPs (and cassettes in the car) to CDs, and I was an early adopter of CD-R.
I trust you have back-ups on computer files? ;)
I do have them, I loved them, I was kinda sad that nobody cared about them :/
A friend of mine used them for interviews (he was studying Arabic in uni) many moons ago.
I still think they're kinda retro-futurism and compared to solid state flash cards, they're not that interesting (let alone how boring and dorky a USB stick looks...).
Using them today, especially for a mobile medium doesn't make sense. Using a phone or a (decent) media player with an SSD just makes so much more sense. What I liked about most portable minidisc players, was that they were also very good recorders. Both over SPDI/O and simply with those nice stereo microphones that were available for them. I've seen a couple reporters use that to record statements, etc. The only good portable recorders I know, are the Zoom recorders, but they're quite expensive.
The MDS-JE 530 is a very good recorder. Reliable, easily repaired, plenty of spare parts around. Its ATRAC codec is the last and most advanced version Sony released and is (to my ears) transparent. If you want a portable one I recommend the MZ-R 50. You can get it quite cheap on eBay, it's almost indestructible and you can find new batteries for it for cheap (some custom Li-Ion format). It's big enough so that you can take it apart and clean or repair it if you'd need to.
However, I think they're a very anachronistic format. They're mechanical devices so they will inadvertently break down completely at some point. They're as big or slightly smaller than a smartphone yet they can only do one thing: record and play music. Much less convenient. Recording takes time as they can only record in real time (unless you have a NetMD or an even later model equipped with Hi-MD and ATRAC3Plus), the same goes for naming the tracks.
I really loved them and the technology behind it. For a time I bought loads of them used; just because many of them were models I dreamed about 20-25 years ago and couldn't afford. They were so cheap that I finally could afford them. But they're inconvenient, compared to a smartphone and the time it takes to copy several folders with music onto it, they're impossibly slow. Nice if you're a retro addict but if you are a halfway realistic person you'll find that they've had their time.
I don't need to record anything these days, but when I did, minidisc was unbelievably wonderful compared to portable cassette.
don't know what has become of my portable, but there is a full-size deck at the back of a cupboard.