The MZ-R500 was popular entry-level MiniDisc model that used the ATRAC3 format. As well as being able to record and play back in the earlier ATRAC format (up to 80 minutes, stereo) it could also be used with the new LP2 and LP4 formats. These extended the playing time of a standard 80 minute disc up to 2 hours and 40 minutes in the LP2 mode and 5 hours and 20 minutes in the LP4 mode. The performance in LP2 mode was very good, however LP4 was best reserved for more basic material. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Despite being small and basic the MZ-R500 could still be used to record, title and edit. The LCD screen was very small and its functions were controlled by a very fiddly menu system but given enough patience and small enough fingers most things were possible. The colour of the LCD window changed with the body colour, silver models came with a blue window, blue with a clear window and black with a yellow window. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
There was no remote control, microphone socket or line-out connector, the only connections were for headphones, line in (analogue/optical digital) and for an external 3V power supply. The MZ-R500 was powered by a single “AA” size battery and with certain types offered a playback time of up to 48 hours. Unlike some of the more expensive models of the period the external power supply could not be used to recharge the battery. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.