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the origins of minidisc
how to buy into the product
and what to buy
plus where now?

Sony MZR50
Sharp MS 701/2

Mini Reviews
Awia AM-R10
Panasonic SJ-MJ70
Panasonic SJ-MR100
Sharp MS722
Sharp MT821
Sony MZR55

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Here in good old blighty (that's the U.K to most) mini-disc is catching on, with an ever increasing amount of people that can be found using them (just look whilst your on the tube). People are getting interested and lusting over the beautiful players and discovering their pros (and minuet cons). If you walk into your local Dixons (although I do have a hatred for that store) you can find a good selection of hi-fis that include mini-disc or options for it, plus loads of the latest personal players. Also now HMV have a fair amount of pre-recorded albums- you could say they've pretty much broken into the mainstream. However they're still not what you could call bargin basement prices. Add one on to a stylish lifestyle stereo in Dixons and it will cost you around 200-300 on top of the price, some of the best portable players are over 200, and blank disc are around 2 (although you can get them for less when you buy them in a pack) with pre-recorded albums more than CD's (about 14). However Dixons do seem to be doing constant offers on personal players, so you can pick up a playbak only one for less than 100, or a personal recorder for under 150 for an older model, with 250 for a brand spanking new top of the range one (like the Sony R90), although not everyone would still want to pay that. However there are (slightly) cheaper methods.

all this stuffs by Sharp If you live in London (or nearby), then your best bet is to go down Tottenham Court Road through the numerous electronic shops. Doing a bit of bargaining (or not) and you can get yourself a player at a good price. Also there, MiniDiscs themselves are available at under 2 a shot, try Richter Sounds. Your other bet is to try your local electronic store or the internet (hey you are here). If you've never brought off the net before, then this could be the time to start, as there are substantial savings to be made. Your choices are to either buy from an internet company that's located in your country (like Unbeatable in the UK) or to import from another place like America or Japan (for instance Swadadki)- depending on where you live. The prices can often be lower and thus you could pick up a bargain- however it's worth checking about where you live first, as things can end up being cheaper locally. Generally buying off the net is safe, but as some obvious checks always buy off a secure site (check for a little locked padlock when proceeding to the checkout) and it's generally best to pay by credit card- although this isn't always possible. Also don't shop at a site that looks cheap or dodgy and as if its been made by a 5 year old (you wouldn't shop at a dubious place on the high street would you?). Just remember price isn't always everything (although it's a lot), look out for the time it takes for them to ship the goods, customer service, reliability of the company, and what warranty service they provide. Also recommendations off other people (check and ask on newsgroups) are often good places to start (or not if they tell you it's shit). For a list of some places to try goto my links section.

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