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maggior

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About maggior

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Previous Fields

  • PlayStation Network ID
    MZ-RH910, MZ-N707, NW-HD3 (Red), NW-E507 (Silver)
  • Sony Products I Own
    Philips SBC HS520
  1. aznbro85's NWZ-A818 Review

    I agree - not supporting the gapless tags in LAME mp3s now is rediculous. The iPod and iTunes both make use of the LAME tags if they are present. If they are not there, it does some analysis of silence to remove the gap. Another piece of hardware that supports the LAME gapless tags is the SqueezeBox made by Logitech (formerly SlimDevices). They introduced this feature after Apple introduced it in the iPod. There is PLENTY of music out there that is gapless: any live album, classical music, a lot of progressive and classic rock, electronic music. Maybe not a lot of "mainstream" music is gapless, but gapless music doesn't all fall into the esoteric category. Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, and Dark Side of the Moon are classic examples of widely appreciated albums that require gapless playback to be fully enjoyed. Many folks just learn to live with it because they don't know any better. Gapless playback was one of the reasons that I was a staunch fan of Sony DAPs and ATRAC and fought against the iPod tide. If I hadn't bailed ship already, these latest developments certainly would have sent me over the edge. Sorry to rant, but it really annoys me when companies like Sony ignore that gapless feature. The technology has been around enough that there is no excuse anymore.
  2. New Walkmans (NWZ Series)

    The gapless issue is the first thing that popped into my head when I read that the new Sonly walmans won't support ATRAC. I went through EXACTLY the same thing as you did Beethovenian - only went iPod because iPod introduced gapless playback. I'll be VERY surprised if the new walkman supports the LAME tags that allow for gapless playback. Though I was very surprised when Apple introduced support for them. So go ahead Sony, surpise the heck out of me!!! :-)
  3. GUESS WHAT! YET ANOTHER NWA80XXX VICTIM

    Don't hold your breath waiting for gapless mp3 support on a Sony product. If that happened, who would use ATRAC anymore!?!? :-) Gapless playback is the ONLY reason I used ATRAC. iPod is one of the few (perhaps only) portable mp3 players that supports gapless mp3 playback with the stock firmware (i.e. Rockbox not required). It's this feature that sent me to the "darkside". Getting away from ATRAC has been liberating - I can now use my SAME files from my iPod with my Squeezebox in my home (it is a network music player). I have a dock in my car where my iPod will charge while I use it through my stereo. Sony has to figure a few things out before they have any serious impact on the US DAP market. I can't even buy one of the new series because they don't sell them in the US! Will this be a repeat of the NWA series? I so wanted it to work out for me with Sony products, but ATRAC was too restrictive and the new products were not available to me.
  4. NW-HD3 not playing gapless with ATRAC files

    This won't work. You will only get gapless when you do a direct rip of the CD or convert from wave. It's unfortunate and annoying that in the process you lose the tags. You must also ensure that the tracks are in the proper order when you encode to ATRAC otherwise the transitions between tracks will not be correct and you may get gaps or quick bursts of another song during the transition.
  5. Should I switch to using ATRAC3plus 256k from 352k?

    After a cursory listening test on non-hifi equipment (stock headphones, computer speakers, etc), you may find this to be true. I've never gone down to 48, but I did try the 64 bit rate on my old MD unit once. I was surprised at the quality - I expected something that sounded like AM radio. However, I noticed that things fell apart when you cranked the volume up. I can remember listening to some discs in my car on the way to work that I ripped at 64K. I was pretty impressed. I put on Dream Theater's Falling Into Infinity and cranked up the volume. Then I was very unimpressed. The music just lost all of it's punch. It wasn't that the lows were gone or the highs were muted, it was just that the music sounded like it was missing something - it was hollow, it had no precense. Once I noticed this, I just found it unacceptable. IMO, the best it could be used for is background music. BTW, I went through a similar experience going from ATRAC 105kbps to 192 variable LAME mp3. Not sure if the difference is due to the codec change or the bit rate change. Even on my home strereo, I can't tell the difference between the original CD and my LAME mp3s played by my iPod.
  6. Replacement for NWHD1

    You can always try EBay. That's where I got my HD3. You can probably still find HD3s and HD5s...maybe even an NWA3000. I got my HD3 as a sony factory refurb and it works great. It looked brand new!!
  7. Will Sony fight with iPod or ZUNE?

    Hi Beethovenian - I myself have made the switch to iPod recently for the same reason you and others here have. I actually like the sound quality - to me it is on par with my HD-3. All is not equal though for my comparison since on my HD-3 I was using ATRAC at 105 and on my iPod I'm using 192 VBR mp3 (-V2 LAME). Why the difference? Disc space! Regarding your problem with the time not being displayed correctly and having to use vbrfix - I encountered the same problem at first. I found that using the latest version of LAME that comes with the latest version of foobar2000 solved the problem. The latest version of foobar2000 also has a nice tagging facility. If you use foobar2000's tagging facility, make sure you have the latest version and check the "compatability option" in the tagging options settings. Otherwise you will get little boxes at the end of each tag. (Yes, just like SS, iTunes has its warts). I agree iTunes isn't quite "all that"; there are things about SS that I like better than iTunes. However, this is trumped by the fact that I can use 3rd party tools such as foobar2000 and drag the results into iTunes. Because SS doesn't support gapless mp3 playback, you are forced to use it as both an encoder (no 3rd party ATRAC encoders out there) and library manager. No longer do I have to convert FLAC or APE files to WAV and then drag them an album at a time into SS and label them there. Now, I convert FLAC and APE directly to mp3 all at once, run the tagger to automatically tag, and then simply drag the files into iTunes. My favorite capability of the iPod and iTunes is that I can maintain a playlist that is a subset of my music collection that is automatically sync'ed to my iPod. I can manage what I want on my iPod without the device even connected. Once I'm done, I connect my iPod and my changes are made automatically. And I can maintain a separate playlist that represents music to be uploaded to my wife's Nano. When I first got my iPod, I ran into some frustrating issues like the track duration being off. And at first I thought "so what is everybody so ga-ga about iTunes for - it's not any better than SS!!". Yes, there was ramp up time just like when I first started using SS and my Sony devices. But the more I used it and understood how to get around some of the warts and grasped auto-syncing with specific playlists, the more I realized iPod was just better for me. Hope some of this helps you. Rich
  8. NW-HD5 questions

    Yes, there are a bazillion accessories available to iPod users. And this is bad why? When I used my HD3 in the car, I had a wire running from the back of my stereo onto my passenger seat that I plugged into my HD3. Each time I got in the car, I had to go through the menu, switch it to line out, connect it and lay it on the seat. Somebody in the car with me? Carefully stow it away in my center console. These were the only options I had. With my iPod, I purchased a gooseneck holder that plugs into the cigarette lighter and has a jack at the base to plug in the lin-in wire from my stereo. It's a beautiful thing - it holds it out of the way, charges the battery, and allows me to hide the wire connecting it to my stereo. And I don't have to access the settings menu everytime I get in the car since the line out is not shared with the headphone jack. I had a choice of covers. I had a selection of docks. Yeah, it's easy to go nuts, but it's nice to have available what you need to help you enjoy the device. Yes, the HD3 is older technology. But could I have set myself up with a NW-3000A the way I have my iPod? No. Perhaps the situation is different in Japan. Here in the US, I couldn't even purchase the device let alone accessories!! If Sony wants to continue to compete in this market, they best wake up. Now that iPod supports gapless, people that only use Sony ATRAC because of gapless will drop Sony like a stone. I did. Sorry for my rant in support of iPod. But it just frustrates me how Sony has fallen so far behind. I really wanted my Sony devices to fill my needs, but they didn't, at least not the way my iPod has. Rich
  9. Wish list for next NW-A1000/3000 Firmware

    The current iPods have very impressive sound quality. Given the same mp3 files (encoded variable rate at 192 kbps with LAME), the sound quality of the 5G 80GB iPod blows my HD3 and other ATRAC equiipment away. I was very surprised since the one thing that iPod got knocked for was sound quality. It sounds fantastic through headphones and really shines via the line out. My HD3 sounds great, but the iPod sounds better - fuller and richer sound. Perhaps the iPod Nanos don't have as high quality audio electronic components as the full size models. Or perhaps your Nano is of an older genration. I loved my ATRAC equipment, but when iPod came out with gapless playback, I just had to try one out. I was very skeptical, but I'm sold on it. If you read earlier in this thread, you'll find my wish list for Sony. All but the FLAC feature and user replacable battery is present on the iPod. And if FLAC is really important, there is alway the RockBox option. Sony better get their act together. The train has left the station and is going farther and farther into the horizon.
  10. ATRAC Lossless Question...

    SonicStage will import lossless WMA files directly, but will result in ATRAC files with gaps. I learned this first hand. When I import lossless files (and CDs for that matter) into SonicStage, I convert to wave first and drag them into SS. And regarding the comment in the thread about IPod now being gapless, this has made me think. I'm not in the market for a new DAP yet, but when I am, I'm sure it will be an IPod at this point. The gapless is true gapless, not some silly crossfade. And it supports the LAME gapless implementation, so you can use outside tools for your trasncoding. Rich
  11. Will Sony fight with iPod or ZUNE?

    They will probably lose 2 customers (probably a lot more in reality). Gapless is the only reason I've gone with Sony and ATRAC. In the US at least, it is much easier to find accessories and units. For my HD-3 and accessories, I had to resort to ebay. I wanted to by an NW-A3000, but they didn't sell them here. As much as I tried to give my money to Sony, they wouldn't take it . I'm going to wait and see what folks think as they buy these new IPods. The price is right and the size if great (80 GB!!). I'd like verification that they are truely gapless and are not doing something hokey like fade-in/out between tracks to give the appearance of gapless. Sony - please give me a reason not to buy an IPod!!
  12. Sony UK confirms WALKMAN NW-S200 Sports MP3 Player

    Looking the small pictures, it reminds me of something you would buy in the plubming aisle at Lowes (a home improvement "super store").
  13. What would you like to see in SonicStage CP?

    One thing I find annoying when managing the music on my HD3 is that I cannot sort the device view on the right like I can the library view on the left. When I'm trying to figure out what music to delete to make room for some new music, it would be nice to be able to sort by artist or genre. Instead, I have to do a linear search through the list of folders that are ordered by the order I transferred them to the unit. It would also make it easy to see if I've already transferred an album to the unit! Also, it would be nice to be able to right click on a selection (which may contain multiple selections) and determine the amount of data associated with the selection. When importing, you could easily tell if the albums you've selected won't fit, or if you are removing, you can see if you are freeing up enough space before doing the actual deletion. I do this all of the time in windows explorer when I am moving files around and I wish I could do it within SS rather than having to guess. I can always dream... Rich
  14. Sonicstage Error! Help!

    Well, I figured out how to get a true clean install of sonic stage on my machine. Based on the behavior I was seeing, I really thought the issue was with the HD3. But, I formatted it via the menu and connected it to another PC which I have SS running on. It encountered no problems. Soooo, I went back to the problem machine and found that the OMG stuff is installed as a separate package. So, I uninstalled them through control panel and reinstalled. Still no luck. Now I'm desparate - I search my entire C drive for *sony*. I find a directory called "Sony Shared". This has dat files and many things related to OMG - keys and so forth. I delete this. And then I install again. FINALLY, I can transfer music to my HD3 again. If this happens again, I'll have to see if there is a way to recover without having to uninstall and reimport all of my music! Ugh, sony!!! I came so close to pitching my HD3 out the window and go out to buy an IPod!! Hopefully some other poor soul will find this information useful in the future. Rich
  15. HD3 Disaster Recovery

    Well, I figured out how to get a true clean install of sonic stage on my machine. Based on the behavior I was seeing, I really thought the issue was with the HD3. But, I formatted it via the menu and connected it to another PC which I have SS running on. It encountered no problems. Soooo, I went back to the problem machine and found that the OMG stuff is installed as a separate package. So, I uninstalled them through control panel and reinstalled. Still no luck. Now I'm desparate - I search my entire C drive for *sony*. I find a directory called "Sony Shared". This has dat files and many things related to OMG - keys and so forth. I delete this. And then I install again. FINALLY, I can transfer music to my HD3 again. If this happens again, I'll have to see if there is a way to recover without having to uninstall and reimport all of my music! Ugh, sony!!! I came so close to pitching my HD3 out the window and go out to buy an IPod!! Hopefully some other poor soul will find this information useful in the future. Rich
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