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14. MP3 to Minidisc.

By Afra <afra@prongs.org>

To record MP3s from Linux to your minidisc, there are two methods: analog and digital. Each method is dependant on the type of soundcard your Linux box has. The main difference between analog and digital recordings is the sound quality you achieve during recording. With an analog recording you may hear some static noise/fuzz, although some analog soundcards try to minimize this. Don't think that just because you have an analog sound card that you are doomed, because you are not. This just means you will have to spend a little time trying to minimize the noise by fiddling with mixer settings.

No special software is required, just a regular MP3 player for your Linux box. Basically both methods will require a connection from your soundcard's output to your Minidic's input.

14.1 Analog Recording

If your soundcard does not have a "Digital Out" connection, you may will have to go via the analogue recording route.

To record an MP3 from your Linux box onto your Minidisc, connect an analog chord from your sound card's Line Out to your Minidisc's Line In input. Set your Minidisc in the recording mode as you usually would and play the MP3. You should see the recording levels on your Minidisc rise. Upon playback, you may notice a small or large amount of static noise, which is due to your soundcard.

To minimize the static noise during recording, keep your Minidisc's recording/volume levels within the -3dB and 0dB range. To help clear up the noise you may hear connect up your Minidisc as described above and turn on the Recording Mode but do not play an MP3. You should still hear the noise and this may help in fiddling with your mixer effects.

14.2 Digital Recording

You will experience better sound quality with digital recording. Connect your optical cable (if you have to buy one, the sizes of the MD and card port matter, usually 3.5mm but check your soundcard and Minidisc user manual) to your sound card's Digital Out.

The cable should now be glowing on the other end - good. Now, connect the glowing end to your minidisc Digital Input. Set your minidisc in record mode and play the mp3 from the computer.

14.3 Playlists

There is one problem when playing MP3 tracklistings: how will your Minidisc know when to set an automark when a track jumps onto another (ie. change track numbers automatically)? The solution is this MP3 file which you can download at http://www.prongs.org/minidisc/2sec.zip.

You may use this file, which is an MP3 file containing 2 seconds of silence, to insert before each MP3 on your playlist, so the MD will know when to automark.


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