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November 26, 2008updated 19 Aug 2016 10:07am

MiniDisc Community up in mini arms

The worldwide MiniDisc fanbase was somewhat shocked by a blog I wrote recently, in which a survey put the MiniDisc at number 14 in a list of Britain’s 20 most useless gadgets.Now I’m not saying I’m losing serious amounts of sleep over the outcry

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The worldwide MiniDisc fanbase was somewhat shocked by a blog I wrote recently, in which a survey put the MiniDisc at number 14 in a list of Britain’s 20 most useless gadgets.

Now I’m not saying I’m losing serious amounts of sleep over the outcry (he says as he grabs yet another coffee) but I just wanted to make a couple of things clear to all you faithful MiniDisc users, now that the comments about my blog on www.minidisc.org have just surpassed the 50 mark.

Firstly, I come in peace. I mean you no harm. ‘Twas not I who so wronged your beloved gadget, but a group of people – oh, how misguided they must surely be – who happened to fill in a survey on reviews site www.reevoo.com. I am but a messenger of bad tidings. When it comes to MiniDiscs, anyway.

Secondly, while I am accused of spelling MiniDisc wrongly in my earlier blog, it was only in the list of gadgets itself, as supplied to me by www.reevoo.com, where it was spelled wrongly. That’s because it seemed to me that there was a slim possibility that some respondents had meant another brand of ‘mini disk player’, as opposed to a Sony-specific MiniDisc per se.

Now if you want to split hairs — and some in the MiniDisc community no doubt will — you could argue that even though Sony licensed the MiniDisc format to most of the big electronics makers, they were still bound to use the proper term, MiniDisc, in their product marketing collateral. So strictly speaking there should be no ‘mini disk players’ in circulation (apart from MiniDisc players, if you see what I mean).

But that doesn’t mean that a quick Google search won’t turn up thousands of mis-spelled ‘mini disk players’, ‘minidisc players’ and ‘mini disc recorders’ that have been bought, sold or reviewed on the web. Or indeed, written about on minidisc.org, where despite their protestation about my spelling, many continue to spell it Minidisc – in violation of the proper and correct MiniDisc trademark as laid down by Sony itself – to this day.

Now I suppose you could argue that iPods and other MP3 players are, in a very real sense, ‘mini disk players’. The larger capacity versions certainly contain a very small hard disk drive, or, if you like, ‘mini disk’.

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But thankfully, confusion between MiniDisc and iPods or ‘mini disk’ players has been rare, at least until now, because everyone calls them MP3 players or iPods or Sony WalkMan’s/Men. Phew!

So it’s unlikely that those respondents who put ‘mini disk players’ at number 14 on the list of Britain’s most useless gadgets meant iPods or their ilk.

Sorry, MiniDisc faithful, but it still seems to be the case that your faithful MiniDisc players were at number 14, making them more useless gadgets than egg slicers, yoghurt makers and towel warmers. At least, according to the survey.

Now, what do they say about not shooting the messenger?

PS. to the MiniDisc fan who said I “obviously” have “a sad obsession with electric nail files and foot spas”, can I have my Christmas list back now please?

[Trivia fact: fans on MiniDisc.org call iPod users ‘iSheep’.]

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