Xitel's DG2 MD-Port

21st century digital toy
— 12:36 AM on October 25, 2001

DIGITAL IS WHERE IT'S AT in portable audio right now, and I'm all for it. Personally, I'm a big fan of the MiniDisc format. MiniDisc's superb audio quality, coupled with its trivial media costs when compared with Memory Sticks, Compact Flash cards, and SmartMedia, is pretty tough to beat. Unfortunately, MiniDisc recorders don't always preserve the original digital quality of music you record to them.

Though MP3s necessarily degrade the audio quality of the source audio, once they're in MP3 format, there's no loss in quality when transferring that file to your portable audio player. Why? Because all you're doing is copying a file over a digital interface. Generally, MiniDisc recorders take feeds from analog outputs on a sound card or other audio source. They're thus prone to losses in fidelity as the digital signal is converted to an analog one. The solution seems simple enough, and it is: just switch the audio feed for the MiniDisc recorder from an analog port to a digital one.

Does Xitel's DG2 digital MiniDisc port really make it that easy? Can you even tell the difference between analog and digtal sources? Let's find out.

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