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Re: Portadisc again

Subject: Re: Portadisc again
From: Walter Knapp <>
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 21:18:07 -0400
Stuart Fairbairn wrote:

> There is something to be said for the Sony MZR-30 MD. You just rotate the
> wheel till the track number you want shows and the press play. I know it's
> old but it is effective.

In the case of the Portadisc the point worth remembering is this is a 
machine designed for recording. It's overkill for playback. And you 
certainly don't want your playback machine to also be your record 
machine. If you have managed to get it in with playback, you want to be 
able to immediately switch to recording.

Yes the wheel system worked well enough. My guess is the ENG folks don't 
consider this sort of functionality important, or they would have told 
HHb about it when they were involved in specs for it. Many of them 
learned about MD from the MZ-R30 in Bosnia.

I find that the playback of the Portadisc is more than enough for the 
needs of transferring the recording into computer and such like.

> I'm not altogether sure I want a very large built in capacity hard disk,
> particularly if is is going to be so difficult to find and play tracks. It
> will all have to be downloaded onto some other media for backup storage and
> to clear it for further recording. Time consuming and duplication. I realise
> for manufactureres the drive is to record video and not to update sound
> recording in the field.

If one wants playback of a large list of tracks I can think of nothing 
better than a mp3 player. There you have the ability to have playlists, 
readily displayed english track titles and so on. Think iPod or Jukebox 
or something like those.

I keep my reference ID clips on my Palm Tungsten C. Since it takes 
interchangeable memory cards the number of clips is virtually unlimited. 
And it also has in it my field log database, a pile of photos and maps. 
Could have a descriptive database too.

To my mind the worst of a hard disk is the eggs in one basket problem. 
If something goes wrong a entire trip's stuff could be lost.

No way you could trust a hard disk for long term storage. Unlike a 
optical disk like the MD, it's magnetic media and will loose the data 
with time. You will have to archive that hard disk data onto something 
like a optical disk, so why not record it originally on one instead?

The other problem is that a hard disk eats power. The issue of powering 
it for extended periods out in the field will be even worse than 
powering the Portadisc.

You are right about the drive being video, where it's pretty much 
necessary to go hard disk to get the speed fast enough and have large 
enough capacity. Too bad audio seems to be carried along with that, it 
does not need the capacity or speed of a hard disk.



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