Summary: I bought this little Sony Minidisc player as an alternative to the iPod. I bought an iPod ($400) that lasted less than a year. Nice. First the scroll wheel broke, then the hard drive crashed. Done with iPods!
This device is now retro - it's at least 5 years behind the times. But look at what it does:
-Portable 1 GB discs that are encased in a durable plastic shell. Did I mention that you can put 45 hours on one disc?
Summary: This is the second minidisc player I've owned. My first one (Sony MZ-R30) was exceptional in quality so maybe it isn't fair to compare the two... but this newer one is slow to respond, awkward to open, and the control panel is slightly hard to see. The sound is fine. My main complaint is the slow operating speed and clumsiness of opening it to insert the disc. I probably would not recommend this item unless you don't care about ease of use.
Summary: I'd read a lot about the Hi-MD format so I wanted to check it out in person. I don't know how in the world I missed this when shopping, but this model DOES NOT HAVE A MICROPHONE, NOR ANY WAY TO USE ONE WITH IT! Well, shop twice buy once I reckon. To me that eliminates at least half of the usefulness of such a device, but it's my fault for not finding that out before buying.
So why the 4 stars? Because, as a player it's awesome.
Summary: The 1 gig capacity and atracplus codec are reason enough to use HiMD. The fact that the media is removable makes this device even more attractive. If your hardrive player or flash player breaks and it will, or if the battery fails then you can't access any of the music on the player. In contrast, you always have your mini-discs. Minidiscs last longer than cds. I've had cds corrupt data in as few as 2 years. Minidiscs have a much longer life span.
Summary: The Pros: It's a thing of beauty. Some people say it's made of cheap plastic. Well may be true priced at $100.00+, but that aside I would have to disagree. Runs on a single AA battery for days. Sound quality is excellent for compress music. The bad . . . It uses the obsolete USB 1.0 so it take 45 min to 1 hr to transfer 1gb music or data. Sonicstage isn't music-sharing friendly.