LINGUIST List 14.79

Fri Jan 10 2003

Sum: Minidisc Use in the Field and Lab

Editor for this issue: Steve Moran <>


  1. Steve Hartman Keiser, Minidisc use in field and lab

Message 1: Minidisc use in field and lab

Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 12:38:45 +0000
From: Steve Hartman Keiser <>
Subject: Minidisc use in field and lab

Several weeks ago I had posted a query about minidiscs: Linguistlist 13.3421.

Users of MDs say they perform well in the field: more durable and
reliable than tape players and less prone to scratching than CDs. The
small size (very unobtrusive) is also a plus. Motor noise is a problem
for some models, but easily worked around.

As for back in the lab. In current models digitizing must be done in
real time. Organizing and splicing tracks is easily done.

A big question mark remains with respect to using MD data for acoustic
analysis. Several persons gave general warnings about limitations due
to the compression algorithm which apparently cuts out some
frequencies (don't know which ones) and affects amplitudes thus
interfering with analyses. So MDs should be avoided for at least fine
acoustic analyses. But until these deficiencies are more precisely
described, I cannot rule out using MDs for at least some types
(intraspeaker?) of analysis. Perhaps others can respond to this
unanswered part of the query.

Thanks to respondents Robin Shoaps, Mark Jones, Lauren Hall-Lew, Mike
Cahill, Dennis Preston, Claire Bowern, and Jen Mah.

There is a boatload of info on minidiscs in general at:
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