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Once hailed as the future of recorded music, Sony's MiniDisc format failed to deliver in almost every area. Its lifespan artificially prolonged by its adoption in the broadcast industry, this relic has struggled in the consumer arena from it very conception.
However, with the JE520, Sony might be onto a winner...
Alongside the expected features, such as Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Fast Rewind, Stop, Record, Eject, Power On/Off etc, Sony have introduced some new, and most welcome features. Foremost among these is the ability to program the device to play tracks on the inserted disc in any order you chose, as well as a "random" (or shuffle - for the iPod generation) mode - handy when you feel a bit crazy, and crave the suspense of not quite knowing what you are going to hear next.
The "lossy" ATRAC compression algorithms have also moved on in leaps and bounds since the "grainy" tones of yesteryear graced our hifis, offering a viable alternative to the phillips compact cassette format.
I have regular access to a Sony MDS-JE520 and have found it so EASY TO USE! Due to poor eyesight, I often find that small or dim displays are a pain to use. With this unit, the display is so bright and easy to see. As for use of advanced functions, this deck makes them available in an easy-to-understand manner. If you use REPEAT or change PLAY MODE, the unit confirms each action by flashing up a brief message. This came in handy when I was at the church who owns this deck that I use. The unit was being used to play background music before the service and it was set to Shuffle-Play mode, but was acting as though it was "stuck" on a particular song. I drew attention to this problem and pointed out the REPEAT 1 indicator showing on the large display. They wanted it in "REPEAT ALL" mode, so I pressed the REPEAT key until REPEAT was on the display. The text display showed up "Repeat All". If you do an editing job, the unit lets you know that it has been done by flashing "Complete!" at the end of the operation -- what user friendly design have we got here! Program Play is so intuitive! Once you start programming your play-list, a line on the display will show the play-list as "Track Number->Track Number"; and as you rotate the AMS wheel to select a track for the playlist, the track name will appear briefly appear on the bottom line. This has made the job of programming song lists for the church easy to do; and makes for an easier learning curve for newer operators. The remote control may be too large for some people to use, but I appreciate the fact that it works well as a titling keyboard when you title tracks or discs. Other feathres that underpin its flexibility are the Auto Pause function which causes the deck to pause at the end of each track; and the Fader key which works during playback. These functions are a must-have for anyone using MiniDisc as part of "presentat
ion audio"; like dance-calling, church use, theatre use and the like. The machine will wait for you to start the music going All in all, I think that this deck has set a benchmark for a very flexible, easy-to-use MiniDisc deck which is value for money.
After buying a MD for my car I needed a MD recorder for my hifi unit so I could make up MDs for my car. So I went along to Scottish power & Comet had a look in both and saw this model the MDS JE520 on display, in fact it was the last one they had. I did not know much about them I just knew that £99 was a good price. Once I got it home and plugged it in and pressed a few buttons I started to think that I had got a bargain, I put in a blank MD to record something just to see what options it had, to my joy it had the lot. You can totally edit the discs to suit yourself and its so easy a couple of touches of a button and youre in to most features. You can record a MD then later decide to change the order of the songs, easy, a quick button press and a turn of the excellent jog dial wheel and you are in. The best part of the MD is that you can digitally record CDs onto MD. As long as your CD player has an optical out hole in the back then you will be able to make MDs as good as CDs. You need to buy an optical cable which goes from the back of your CD into the MD. Oh did I tell you as it was an ex display model I did not get instructions, well I worked this machine out in under 1hr it is so so easy. If you can pick one up good luck, if you get a newer moel then you are onto a winner. MD is a must for the hifi.
I've had mine for about two years now and it is one of the few bits of hi-tech gear that I have found to do exactly what it should do. The sound quality is fantastic, you will never use tapes again and it is so easy to use that I still haven't read the manual. The range of inputs and outputs (analogue and digital) are good and the setup menus are obvious and quick. If I could find a bad word to say I would but I can't. Forget some of the others like Sharp as I have found for the extra money this unit is quite unbeatable.
Oh God, I love this unit!! OK, I got it some time back, so by now it has probably been superceeded several times. That doesn't mean that it is out of date though; oh no! The 520 does everything I want it to and more. The controls/menu system are intuitive and easy to use (only had to get the handbook out a couple of times!). All the MD functions are available: erase; move; split; join etc. The sound quality is, of course, quite superb and cannot be faulted - in my humble opinion. There is an optical output on the back which I haven't had the chance to try, but I am using the digital co-ax link from the CD player and that works very well. My only dislike is the keyboard on the remote control. Being used to a qwerty keyboard, as most of us are nowadays, I find it difficult to use the abc keyboard as laid out on the remote, when entering track info. Sony do a qwerty keyboard that can be attached, but I don't want to lay out extra cash just because I find something "a bit fiddly"! Not sure of the current retail price - I paid 200 sovs. Overall, a smashing unit which I recommend wholeheartedly.
This is a nice bit of kit especially if you have a portable mini disc its an easy to use format and personaly it beats mp3 players to a pulp.sound quality is exellent depeding on how good your amp and speakers are but if you get the chance run it through the optical output to a DAC (digital to analogue converter) and wow you will certainly notice the diffrence but forgetting the optical stuff it still sounds great and you can title the disc and the tracks all the features you could want and more. The cheapest place to buy oner of these is your nearest RICHER SOUNDS shop sometimes you can save up to 50% off the MRP of the unit. Are you still here get down the road and buy it its an affordable cd format and the blank mini discs are cheap to at argos or index. This is a product that you wont be dissapointed with
I've had this product for well over a year and it is absoloutley faultless. For the money I payed for it (£120) it represents unbeatable value. It's compact, very user-friendly and it's not too complicated. It's got as many features as one could want and the controller which is provided free is also great with every letter making the job of naming tracks e.t.c. a lot more easier. It looks nice and I can't find anything wrong with the sound which one might expect at such a low price. At it's price it must be unbeatable so take my advice, go and buy it now.