Friday, 30 May 2014

A retirement

Yes. And it still works.
That there, is my minidisc recorder. For the technical among you, it is a Sony MZ-B10.

It was given to me by the BBC on the 4 January 2004. I last used it yesterday to record an episode of Amy and Abi's diary for broadcast on BBC Surrey tomorrow.

The latest episode of Amy and Abi's diary is likely to be my minidisc recorder's last professional engagement. Next week I shall be taking delivery of a TASCAM mp3 recorder.

Stuff that works, reliably, durably and unfussily seems to be like gold dust. When you find something that does what it's supposed to do, you hang on to it. Sometimes for more than a decade.

Before I put my minidisc recorder out to pasture, I would like to pay tribute to its usefulness, and the fact it has been my mechanical companion for most of my career as a journalist.

We've had some fun together. I used it to record an interview with a woman who killed her husband (with his permission) and a man who survived the bomb blast at Aldershot barracks in 1972. My minidisc has also recorded conversations I've had with David Cameron, Sir Mick Jagger, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Sir Bob Geldof, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian Botham, Bruce Willis, Madonna, Eddie Izzard, Christina Aguilera, Nick Cave, Gazza, Simon Le Bon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley among others.

It has never let me down. Every time I press the red button, it starts recording. The recording is always there. Playback is simple. The levels are automatic. The sound quality is good. When I use the external mic the BBC gave me, the sound quality is exceptional.

If I were using it every day I would have got rid of it a long time ago. It can only upload audio in real time. But after 2007, most of the reporting I did was for TV, and when I was at BBC Surrey my main role was as a presenter, so the minidisc was only wheeled out for special occasions. For the last three years it's only really been used at home, to record Amy and Abi's diary.

But it was a good bit of kit, and I will miss it.

1 comment:

  1. RIP (Retire In Peace) little minidisc player! xx