Tue Mar 5 07:42:53 PST 2002

Hi Tweets:

Having recently seen the minidisc in use on birding trips in South Africa and
Uganda, I was intrigued enough to buy one. The unit is small and compact.
Once it is setup, it's quite easy to access a bird song/call. Bird calls can
also be setup to repeat.

Here are the particulars. I purchased the Sony MZ-R700DPC and the
amplifier/speaker from Radio Shack, Model 277-1008C. The speaker takes a
9-volt battery and has a volume control, as does the minidisc. I attached a
belt-clip to the back of the speaker. The MD comes with Digital PCLink, USB
cable, editing remote control (which I haven't used), rechargeable battery,
AC power adaptor, stereo headphones, plus a cord for recording between
minidiscs. Had to buy a box of minidiscs. The MD will also take a
microphone input. My voice recorded just fine, but I haven't tried recording
outdoor bird songs.

Choosing the slow speed for recording, I put all four of the Stokes Western
Region Bird Songs CDs on a single MD disc. At a faster recording speed, two
CDs would fit on a single MD disc. The possible drawback to putting all four
CDs on a single minidisc is that a maximum of 254 bird calls can be "marked"
on the minidisc. I spent many, many hours editing in the 1 to 246 markers
for each of the bird calls that I chose to be marked. It's difficult to
judge when one bird call ends and Stokes names the next bird call. The CDs
were played on my boombox and a specific kind of cord must be used to connect
the minidisc for recording. (It has to have Optical input; available at
Magnolia HiFi.)

I used a spreadsheet to make the cheat-sheet that indicates which bird call
is which number on the MD. I have a numeric sheet as well as an alphabetic
sheet. I made each sheet two-sided and laminated them. Each of the two
sheets are 4 inches wide by 8 inches long.

And, yes, I've used the MD in the field. The recordings brought the target
birds in closer for field trip participants to get a good look.

Joyce Meyer
Woodinville, WA

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