ZDNet AnchorDesk: ‘Sony’s Hi-MD MiniDisc players really could challenge Apple iPod’

“Although Apple is entrenched in the top MP3 player and MSP spots, Sony has two competitive advantages: it offers more than one portable device that can play the music it sells, and it owns a substantial catalog, so the company has to pay licensing fees only to the other labels. In contrast, Apple must pay Sony as well as the different labels, and it owns no music,” Eliot


  1. When I get an iPod, it’s because I want all my music in one place, NOT on a bunch of CD’s, like I have now. I don’t think the author realizes that the point in buying an iPod is that you (a) don’t use CD’s anymore, and (b) don’t have to upgrade when you have a huge hardrive on which to store your music.

    This is other than the fact that iPod is winning because there’s no batter fashion accessory to have today.

  2. The sony mini disks are not re-writable? are they?

    Consider this scenario. I have a collection of about 5000 songs (each approximately about 4 MB), totalling to 4 GB of song. IPod allows you to have 4 GB of songs in it. (Assume that an ideal scenario that you have all the 4GB for you to use).

    I can have any combination of songs up to 4 GB on iPod. You can easily imagine the number of combination of 1000 songs that you can get out of 5000. (That’s an enormous number!) And that’s how many disks that you have to buy to have the same flexibility that iPod offers.

  3. In short, do not compare systems have media of different kinds. The media that allows you to re-write as many times as you want clearly outweighs the ones that allow you to write only once.

  4. Larry’s got it right. What I love about my iPod is that all my music is in one compact, light, easy to use, excellent sounding device with no need to change discs, CDs, tapes, Records, etc.. That’s the beauty of the iPod. I have over 1650 songs on my iPod so far and I’m still working on moving more to it each night. That’s a lot of CDs, heh. But When I’m done, I hope to have my entire collection on that iPod, and that could total to WELL over 3,000 tracks. On the Sony Hi-MD player, that would mean I’d have to change discs if the songs I want to listen to are not on the same disc. Sorry, the reason I wanted the iPod was so I didn’t HAVE to do that in the first place. (plus a bunch of other reasons I think i’ve stated before.)

  5. IT Guy:
    Your main point is on target, but there’s sormthing weird about you math. You claim your 5000 songs add up to 4 GB, but the mini has 4 GB but Apple only claims that it stores 1000 songs. What gives?

  6. None of the other companies get it. People don’t want subscriptions, CD’s or crappy little things that don’t hold anything. Compatibility is still an issue, easy of use, and when it comes to consumers-form and function. Zdnet isn’t worth readying anymore because they are a bunch of hacks. At one time they were a good source of information but now (after they were bought) they have turned in one of the most biased sites on the web. Their reviews on products suck now as well as thier commentary. Self preservation, fear, and lothing is all I see now. Kind-of sounds like our IT staff.

  7. i love my ipod, and as being a college student with a laptop, i wanted something that allowed me to store not only music, but also files that i use on a regular basis, or to back up my files, without having to purchase an external hard drive. i can easily connect it to my laptop (as well as other computers with firewire ports), retrieve files, edit, and replace them quickly and easily, all while still listening to music on my ipod. there is no way i could do that with a pocket drive, or a mini disc.

  8. Do Mini Discs have solatair? can I write my Dig Cam pics to it? Does it have my Contacts? Can I bring work Home on it and have lost $7? I personally like shifting my Mixes on the fly if I dont like the song order. Even if the disk was 40 gigs, it still does give me the same flexibility which is the true geniou of the iPod

  9. The ZDnet writer must be on acid or took a bribe… that’s the only two explanations for this article that make any sense at all.

    I think I see cracks in the windows!

  10. OK if I want to carry my entire music collection with me and I have 10,000 songs I can either carry 1 iPod or 1 Sony MD player and 40 discs. And to get to the song I want I have to search through the discs and switch them when I find it after a few minutes. AND If I buy new music I can’t add it to a playlist automatically but have to burn a new disk. Hmmm, is this a choice?

    (actually I only have 5000 songs on my ipod right now and unfortunately it is only a 30 GB so the end in is sight but it will take a while to get there)

  11. Re: “In short, do not compare systems have media of different kinds. The media that allows you to re-write as many times as you want clearly outweighs the ones that allow you to write only once.”

    I don’t think Apple has to worry, but someone DOES need to point out that MiniDiscs are eraseable and rewritable.

  12. Huh? That made no sense to start out with a hollow statement and end up praising Apple without saying anthing in between.

    The only threat to iTunes is european resistance (in the news the last couple of days) and record company manipulations (mentioned today).

    iTunes represents something that works but what they want is something to replace their existing income stream which is totally incompatible with a digital lifestyle. Totally incompatible. They are dinosaurs in every aspect, except for discovering new artist.

    Distribution of music is now a broadband line and it used to be then contracting with musicians, duplicators, shippers, etc. Lots of people but it was a mechanical process. In a digital lifestyle almost all of that disappears, not that some won’t remain.

    They need to find a way to maintain that control of the money. Buying a .99 cent song with liberal usage rights ends your relationship with them. They get nothing after that.

    I wonder with Sony or Walmart or with Janus, will you have to pay additional fees to play your music through your HD TV. That’s right, your Janus enabled video player that you used to rent a movie, may not allow you to play it on your brothers TV unless you pay a fee.

    Apples model is a danger to them ultimately and so I am not surprised at these moves.

    Perhaps Apple should have bought a few labels back when there was that talk. Or start one now.

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