MDCasting: Minidisc for Creating AND Playback

Gerd Stodiek posts a how-to on minidiscasting which focuses on using a Hi-MD recorder for production, rather than simply a device for downloading and listening to ‘casts. He makes a suggestion to use Hi-MD on a podcasting thread at Cyberjournalist, too.

Minidisc recorders in general, and Hi-MD recorders in particular, have an advantage for creating ‘casts since they have good microphone preamps, recording at a higher quality level than most MP3 players and stock PC soundcards. The podcasting phenomenon is very young, so I think listeners may be more willing to accept middling to poor sound quality now. But fidelity will probably become more desireable in the near future.

Being able to record in a room away from a noisy PC is an additional advantage of using a MD recorder. If you’re using a Hi-MD recorder, you have the added benefit of being able to bypass your PC’s soundcard, which would only introduce more noise.

Although, it’s important to note that the line input of most stock soundcards is superior in quality to the microphone input, since the required microphone preamplifiers built in to them are generally very poor. Indeed, even the mic preamp in my otherwise very high quality Creative Extigy USB soundcard is quite inferior to any of my minidisc recorders.

With this in mind, one might even say that the mediageek radioshow is actually a MDcast, since I record the program directly off the broadcast board onto my Hi-MD recorder in uncompressed CD-quality PCM. Then I upload it directly onto my PC at home via USB, where I compress it into MP3 and ogg vorbis.