How to Copy a MiniDisc to a PC

Updated February 21, 2017

Before the iPod and other MP3 players became commonplace, MiniDisc was the preferred format for fans of digital music. It has long been possible to encode all kinds of audio files for transfer to this device, but because of the encoded format used on the discs themselves, there is only one sure-fire method for transferring data the other way.

Place your MiniDisc into the MiniDisc player. Plug one end of the mini jack to mini jack cable into the headphone socket on your player. Connect the other end of the mini jack to mini jack cable into the "line in" socket on your computer's sound card. This is usually next to the "microphone" socket.

Load your sound editing software, such as Goldwave, Audacity or Sound Recorder, and select "line in" as your preferred audio input. Press play on your MiniDisc player. Press record on your sound editing software. When the recording is complete, press stop on the sound recording software and also on the MiniDisc player.

Press play on your sound recording software to test the volume of the recorded signal. If the volume is too low, you can either record the audio again with the volume turned up on your MiniDisc player, or use our software's volume enhancement tools (if it has them). Click the "File" menu and select "Save" to save your audio file to your computer.


If your sound card does not have a "line in" socket, you can use the "microphone" socket for connecting the mini jack to mini jack cable. If you do this, be prepared to have to lower the gain of your microphone input line.


Transferring audio files from your MiniDiscs to your computer is known as format shifting, and is illegal in some territories as a form of copyright infringement.

Things You'll Need

  • MiniDisc player
  • MiniDisc
  • Mini jack to mini jack cable
  • Sound editing software
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About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, April Kohl has been writing since 1992, specializing in science and legal topics. Her work has appeared on the Second Life News Network website and in British Mensa's "LSQ" magazine. Kohl holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Durham University and a diploma in English law from the Open University.