MiniDisc Memories

I really enjoyed this comprehensive mini-doc from the YouTube channel This Does Not Compute.

I had three portable MiniDisc recorder/players growing up in high school & college, and I still have the latter two. The format wasn’t the coolest but for the age where music was being downloaded from some… back alley websites it was a great way to copy it on the go and modify playlists without having to re-record an entire tape.

I was able to listen to whatever I really wanted while on bus rides, or even record music from someone else’s CD player or cassette player.

When I was dabbling in music and writing it on my computer I wanted to share it as I heard it on my computer. Although MIDI is a standard file format for recording/playing music, the engine and sound samples are not. A program I wrote them in called MusicTime had a more robust sound catalog and so I was able to output these to MiniDisc and play them on the sound system in the band room at school. When playing them after school a classmate exclaimed “You wrote that?”

I did not know that there were kiosks in Japan similar to the Famicom Disk System where you could download music. Another shared history between Nintendo & Sony.

My last memories of MiniDisc were in college working at the WMSR radio station. Most of our prerecorded audio was done on MiniDiscs. There was a recorder and player in the production studio as well as in the main studio. The systems were tied to the soundboard so when you tapped a button to go live with a source the music would play and only play that track. However, by that time, MP3 DATA CD players were also in use and easily made and that’s what I used to bring music or prerecorded audio from my computer to the station. I also was rocking out my first iPod by that time and loved it.

I should break out my MiniDiscs and see what I still have recorded on those bad boys. I would imagine they are just as susceptible to disc rot as other optical media.

Mario’s 35th

I have been playing a TON of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. 3D World was a game that I loved when it came out **checks notes** nearly EIGHT YEARS ago. I wrote about it in my obituary of the Wii U, and said that it was in my top echelon of Mario games. After playing through it again, I can cement it there a while longer.

Bowser has been fast, but now he’s furious. (Image from Nintendo)

The addition of Bowser’s Fury is a great bonus. While many are predicting this bonus game to be the future of Mario, I won’t hold my breath. It’s a fun and fantastic experiment.

If you got burned out on the more traditional Mario games from the New Super Mario Bros. series, or wasn’t one of the seven people who owned a Wii U, I’d recommend this over the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection in a heartbeat.

Mario is old enough now that I don’t know if we need to celebrate every five years, but this has been fun. The 3D All-Stars Collection was fun to play through Sunshine again, but with the 1-2 Combo of 3D World and Odyssey on Switch, I think that’s enough new* Mario to last for a bit.

*Obviously over half the Mario games on Nintendo Switch are from older systems. Maybe we’ll get super Mario Odyssey 2?

Video Game Ornaments

The holiday season and video games are intrinsically tied together in my memories. It was always when the games to play were released. I had always wanted to have a video game focused tree, and fortunately we’ve had one the past few years. My wife was a huge supporter of this idea (and wants me to get a larger one) and has helped procured a lot of these ornaments. Also, kudos to Hallmark for tapping that nostalgia market and making some incredibly high quality ornaments.

My Top Music 2020

Man, a lot of people use Spotify. Until they allow me to upload my own music (like Apple Music does) it’s never meant to be. You can’t play the Donkey Kong Land soundtrack on Spotify.

(And before someone busts in here telling me about the local files option… yeah I know, it’s dumb. I’m talkin’ cloud music library baby.)

My top albums/artists/songs for 2020 include:

  • Zelda and Chill II – Mikel
  • Zelda Dark Side of the Triforce – Epic Game Music
  • The Donkey Kong Land OST
  • Playing With The Boys – Kenny Loggins
  • Carrisa – Desert Star
  • River City Girls OST
  • ZeroRanger OST
  • Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
  • Tetris Effect OST
  • Hamilton

You guys are sleeping on that Donkey Kong Land soundtrack… just sayin’

Fall Colors

Autumn is generally not one of my favorite seasons. But I’ll have to say with everything going on in 2020, I am welcoming it with open arms with its cool nights, and beautiful colors. I should probably go somewhere this weekend to capture the peak colors before they are gone.