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Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K

 

Drift Stealth 2

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

 

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
DDPai M6 Plus (My Pick)
 

A119

Transcend DrivePro 220
MINI CAMERAS
(The Mobius also works as a dashcam)
Mobius
Polaroid Cube+

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

VERY IMPORTANT. These links go to the product, but Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the going rate for a real item against the price of a fake one that won't work.

As an example of the extent of the problem of fake goods online...In a recent survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold by Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

 

            

 

« Light entertainment with a 3D Illusion LED Lamp | Main | Sony MP-CL1 Pocket Laser Projector »
Friday
Mar172017

And finally…MiniDisc

There’s a good reason why this video took me a few years to make…MiniDisc is a monster. I’ve ended up producing a 45 minute video that still only touches on a tiny part of the story.
    
I decided that rather than getting too technical (which I can’t, because I’m not) this one is based more around my personal MiniDisc story.
    
MiniDisc is the last in a long line of portable mechanical music players. We'll never see anything like this again. I saw MD launched and I saw it die. I’ll miss MiniDisc, but it had a good life..one much richer than history has recorded.
   
This has been a killer to make, I’d estimate about two years of prep, a week of shooting time, three solid days of editing and then two and a half days of voiceover work and tweaking. 
   
Get a drink, grab a snack, put your feet up and then click below to watch my MiniDisc video.
     

 

Buying Mindisc:
   
Personal MD Section on ebay
          UK  US  CA  DE
   
Home MD Section on ebay
          UK  US  CA  DE
    
More Info:
My earlier video about DAT (Digital Audio Tape) 
      
Updates:
Apparently with a bit of work it is possible to get Sonicstage software working on Windows 10.

 

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Reader Comments (19)

Superb video, well worth the blood, toil sweat and tears! Entertaining, interesting and informative - what more could anyone ask?!
I do most of my listening in the car where we went straight from compact cassettes to CD players to MP3. I wonder if there ever were in-car MiniDisc players?

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoland

Thanks, and there were car MD machines...minidisc.org lists over a hundred.
http://www.minidisc.org/car_table.html

March 18, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat, a brilliant well structured personal tour of a much-missed friend in the world of audio.

The Walkman versions were widely used in the world of broadcast radio, my old Uher was replaced by MD and it made location recording of interviews so much easier. Sony's AGC for recording was another winner, as I used to set the thing recording and pop it into my pocket and record my interview. It never missed on the perfect level for recording voices.

Radio Two's programme trails were handed out to presenters on MD to be played out in each programme for a number of years, alone with their pile of CDs!

I still use MD at my local am-dram theatre company for effects and music. Bomb-proof and never lets you down.

Some radio studios still have a MD rack mounted machine in them as an emergency back-up should the playout server keel over, so in the professional world the good ole MD soldiers on, but only just.

Great work and much appreciated for the effort you put into these

Thought of Autocue?

Regards to you and the other readers

Chris

March 18, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris L

I tried an auto cue app on an iPad once and I found it easier and more natural to just make it up as I go along. Using one would mean writing a script...so that would be an extra step in the process.

March 18, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I used a Sharp MD-SR70 for mix tapes that I used while at the gym. Bought it in 2000 and used it up until about 2005 when I picked up a portable XM (satellite) radio, then a Nokia N95 smart-ish cell phone. By then it was pretty easy to carry hundreds of songs in your pocket. Really an underrated audio format.

Nice video, the effort really paid off.

March 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterReadyKilowatt

I went through a few different minidisc devices, and I still have my Kenwood one that I picked up in Hong Kong. I ended up getting a few people into it, and it was great for long car trips before iPods were a thing. I always thought it was a shame it never really caught on in the US though.

March 19, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterfluffy

Hi Mat

I've followed your channel for a while and never commented, I never comment online at all to be honest, who cares what I think?

Back to why I'm commenting: I was really impressed with this video, it was a fascinating watch and its clear that a lot of time and effort went into in.

Thanks for a really enjoyable 45 minutes and I can't wait for the next instalment!

Ben

March 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBen

I rarely comment on things myself - so thanks for taking the time.

March 19, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Love your work Matt, great topics as the equipment you look at is right from my era. Many thanks from your fans in Australia

March 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Reynolds

Thanks for another great video, Mat. I'm always impressed how much time and detail goes into your videos.

One of your comments was that you liked the old remote controls where you can see the tracks, skip, adjust volume and plug in your won headphones. I actually use a Sony Bluetooth remote that does all of what those old remotes did (and more) with my iPhone, so I thought it might interest you. It's the Sony SBH54 and you can buy them on Amazon for around £65.

March 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Yes I've been looking at those since making the video and whilst I don't listen to music outside the house anymore it might be something people would be interested in seeing in a future video.

March 20, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat, I was watching this again (so good you have to watch it more than once!) and I was suddenly reminded of a Philips CD recorder I had that came out in the late 1990s. I don't know if you have ever come across a CDR870? At the time (1997) there was no easy or legal way to transfer your vinyl or tape music onto a 'proper' CD other than to buy them on a new audio CD. However, Philips brought out this recorder for which you had to buy special blank CDs, the price of which included a royalty payment on the assumption that you would record copyrighted music. You were explicitly allowed to do this provided you didn't commercialise them. There were two types of blank CD available, a record-once and a re-writable version that was a strange blue colour on the recordable side. There is an explanation of how they work in the manual which is too long to reproduce here. I still have an unused TDK CD-RXG. Each disc held 74 mins of audio - so about the same as a regular CD. I can't remember how much the blank discs cost, but I am sure they were a lot less than a pre-recorded CD. The CDs produced, once 'finalized', could then be played back on any CD player.
The machine itself was quite expensive, about £500 - a lot of money back then, but of course it could also be used as a regular Hi Fi CD player.
In practice, making a CD from vinyl records was a bit of a pain, but I have a few that I made from recording my old singles. Of course, the recording could only be done in real time, so you had to sit by it, and it would only increment the track number if it detected a 3 second gap in the sound. You could insert a manual increment, but you had to do it at the time (so records like Sgt Pepper would come across as one track per side unless you intervened during the recording process.) Overall, I remember as it being quite a fiddly and time consuming process, and of course if you inadvertently started recording the wrong track, or a record skipped, the whole CD was ruined unless it was a RW one.
The very best way to use it was to make a compilation CD from other CDs using a player with a CD jukebox as a source - I had a Pioneer model with a 6 CD caddy. You programmed the source to play the sequence of tracks you wanted to record and that process worked very well, and you could leave it unattended.

If you are interested, I still have the CDR870 manual and the original newspaper advert that prompted me to buy it. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I disposed of the machine itself some time ago. I also have one blank CD and a few recordings that I made.

Do get in touch if you would like to follow this up at all.

regards,

Roland

March 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoland

Hi Mat,

Now that you've done MiniDisc... How about vintage quadraphonic? Seems to fit with your aesthetic. Lots of different formats (matrix and discrete LP, Q8, quad open reel, etc.) and gear (turntables, 8-track decks, reel-to-reels, demodulators, receivers/amplifiers, etc.) to investigate.

Cheers,
- Rick

March 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJediJoker

Thank you for a great review! My feelings exactly.
I was late to the minidsic party, buy I still use them everyday.
I was lucky enough to buy a bunch of regular and hi-md blanks as well as a dozen machines (including a brand new MZ-RH1) when everybody was dumping them on the IntarWebs for next to nothing, to buy solid state players and recorders.

Regarding the unobtainable litium battery for the RH1, there is a simple hack to replace them:

http://forums.sonyinsider.com/topic/29187-lip-4wm-battery-rebuild/

As well as a steady supply of new alternative lithium packs:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181291308343?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

My three original Sony Lithium batteries are still going strong as I rotate them, never allowing them tu fully discharge ans storing them at 4ºC in the fridge.

Greetings from Chile!!!

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Hi, enjoyed the video, thanks for putting it together.

When you were lamenting the passing of the in-line remote my thoughts immediately turned to the Sony SBH series Bluetooth headsets. At least one of those models has a nice looking remote with a screen on it. Sounds quite up your street.

I use the SBH20, which doesn't have a screen, but with a smart watch involved it's like walking about in a fecking sci-fi film if you're listening to something and a call comes in. Sound quality for calls is pretty good too.

From the way you spoke in this video it sounds like something you should keep an eye out for. Also paired up with an aux port it works well as a Bluetooth kit for the car.

March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJ

Hi Mat,

I've been binging on your videos for a while now, but your MiniDisc one has finally inspired me to acquire some retro tech. Specifically, a Sony MDS-E12 19" professional MD deck, and if possible, the matching CDP-D12 19" CD player. It may take a while before I get there, because I just had some expenses (broken video car, car service, etc) but I've come to the conclusion that there's absolutely nothing wrong with getting an outdated piece of technology, simply for the aesthetic pleasure that it brings.

Aside from that, a friend should be sending me his Net MD player from the US at some point, so keeping my fingers crossed on that. I've always loved MiniDisc, mostly because the media are so cute.

March 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Apologies for not replying to all the comments I can see people have been leaving. Unfortunately I'm now getting more questions and comments in a day than I could answer in a week. I do read through them, but I also have to get on and make new content, so I can't dwell too much on the previous videos.

I'll sum up my answers here.

Roland - there were quite a number of CD recorder HiFi components - but it was something that never really appealed to me for some reason. I can currently record onto MiniDisc, DCC, DAT, Compact Cassette, Reel to Reel and 8-Track...so I don't feel the need to add anything else in at the moment.

JediJoker - I'm aware of quad and have looked into it in a lot of detail - but at the moment it would be difficult for me to set up. I'd need a new amp and speakers and I just don't have anywhere for them to go. I hope to look at it at some point in the coming years.

Alex - I've seen that Lithium repair information before it's good to know there is a solution out there. I was really passing on advice in the video about the downsides of the RH1 to any potential new MD buyer who decides they should get the best - sometimes it's easier to aim a bit lower.

J - I've been looking at the Sony Bluetooth inline remotes for a while. They may hold some interest to viewers, although the current model seems like it has a poor display on the product pictures. I don't listen to music outside the house now that I never leave the place....so it's not much use to me, but I may get one in to demonstrate at some point.

Peter - If you are searching for a specific piece of tech, it's best to be patient and add it in as a saved search on ebay - then you get an email if one ever appears.

March 25, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi
I have just discovered (well about two months ago) your Techmoan channel. I have to say I'm totally addicted to it! The Minidisc article is particularly excellent. You have put so much passion and effort into making this and it has really paid off! Great stuff! I have owned many Minidisc devices over the years and still use it for archiving radio programs.
I'm a collector of retro tech myself (mainly audio and video recording equipment) and I have really enjoyed all of your videos. You have made me aware of things that I didn't even know existed! ( I love your reviews of modern tech as well.)
Anyway, I have a large collection of pro and domestic audio and video equipment, mainly tape based gear. If you ever fancy doing an article on the development of say video recording or need to use a machine to transfer an obscure format please drop me a line. I will try and help you any way I can.
Every week I check out your channel, eagerly anticipating your next video. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to!

March 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian Sekinger

Unfortunately most of the videos cant be as complicated as this one, it was a bit of an exception. I think it sent me slightly mad making this...and I spent so long on it, I got ill. So it may be a while before I attempt another long video...but I'll try and make some interesting shorter ones in the meantime.

March 27, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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