Sony MZ-R50 Minidisc Recorder

I bought the Mini disc MZ-R50 from Circuit City in 1998 for $300+. I've used it so many times that it has paid for itself over and over again. This walkman maybe 7 years old, but the quality of the Mini disc has survived the test of time.

The MZ-R50 has a rechargeable Lithium battery that can runs for hours and hours. If for some reason it doesn't last long enough it has an attachable battery pack that houses 2 AA batteries. The MZ-R50 was one of the first portable versions of a mini disc player. It is built out of a metallic plastic and is a good weight. The player has plenty of memory built in for skip protection and the battery life is amazing.

Even today in 2005, I'm surprised at the battery life of MD players. I have a hard disc based player that plays MP3's. Compared to the hard disc mp3 player - the Mini disc player has seen way more action. It is true that the hard disc player can hold thousands and thousands of songs, but if it can only play for 8 hours at a time between recharges, then how important is the capacity. The MZ-R50 may only be capable of holding 70 min's of recorded music, but the batteries last for at least 20 hours, and today's mini disc players can play 30 + hours on 1 AA. That is amazing.

Recording Capability

The reason I bought a mini disc recorder in the first place was because it recorded CD quality music from any source. I was an aspiring song writer and I needed a way to get that music on cd. Computers were good back in 1998, but they weren't as fast as they are now, and processes like recording music was error laden. The mini disc was a good alternative. Error free recording and crystal clear quality. And talk about simple. I just connect the recorder to my Mixer with a RCA- 1/8' stereo cable, stick a Mini disc in it and hit record. No problems or complications. If you didn't have a mixer you could plug a mic in the mic jack and just record from there. This method is so easy cuz it doesn't rely on anything but an audio signal. If you have an audio out from any source, you can plug up this mini disc.

Reasons the MZ-R50 still rox

For recording song ideas the mini disc is the best. You can track the disc, plug into any mixer and play. No worries. Mini discs are cheap and cd quality. You can erase them over and over and never lose quality. Plus they just look cool. Also I can take my Mini disc recorder anywhere. It fits in my pocket and I've made more than a few bootlegs of concerts with it. It is also really awesome for recording audio on location. It can do pretty much anything an ADAT will do, so that is another great use.

Another Great Feature

The MZ-R50 has a built in limiter, so it makes it a great tool for recording loud sources like drums or loud sound sources like PA systems and concerts. This feature basically protects the recording from clips that pops.


  • Awesome battery life
  • very portable recorder with cd quality playback
  • Connects to any audio source
  • Cheap Recordable media
  • Cons:

  • MZ-R50 has no MP3 Support (new MD players do!)
  • No USB or any other computer connectability outside of Line-in

  • Specifications

  • 1/8 stereo line-in (optical too)
  • 1/8 mic line in
  • 1/8 stereo line-out
  • 1/8 stereo head phone jack w/ remote controller
  • plays and records 70 min mini discs

    For More Info

    Check out
    E-opinios review of the MZ-R50 for reviews

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