hello friends,

i've been chatting with the great folks on the minidisc.wiki discord (say hi to me if you pop in!) and am starting to noodle on some stuff for a minidisc buyer's guide, which I'm going to post on the excellent minidisc.wiki as an adjunct/supplement to the Getting Started Guide. (there's already a starter draft on another page, a few of us are working on this together/in turns)

does anybody have any specific questions or confusions or things they think would be worth outlining?

Here's a cheap and easy one: How do you record a MiniDisc if it's somewhere between the years of, say, 1998 and 2002 and your music is on a computer but NetMD hasn't been launched yet?

Strap in, because we're about to look briefly at some history and context. (I apologize so much, total read on this is 1312 words.)

TL;DR Sony sold a pack-in USB TOSLINK sound card for a couple of years, and then stopped the instant NetMD launched.

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A problem I talk about a lot in terms of minidisc is that Sony made weird or poor choices in terms of marketing and selling the format. Sometimes this is as simple as "refusing to tell people minidisc recorders can record" but a lot of the time it's as big as "Sony sells an incomplete ecosystem outside of Japan".

(Not Just Bikes voice) I'll talk more about some of those things later on.

There was one moment Sony did almost everything right and sold all the parts of the format globally. The MDLP Era.

TL;DR - The MDLP Era was a moment where prices came down and you could buy nearly the full ecosystem in the US.

EDIT NOTE: See my comment, I found out some more pricing information that alters some of the proposals I've made here slightly, but not too much. The prices "declined a bit" not halved, because Sony left a model from very early 1999 on sale in early 2001, which is something that can be tough to account for when you're writing this kind of interpretive narrative. My apologies for this.

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