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smkranz

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About smkranz

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    Easily Amused

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    Maryland, USA

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  1. I've been AWOL here for a long time now, but I was prompted to come back to post this after today canceling my XM radio subscription. I received a freebie portable satellite radio with a car kit, so I tried it out by subscribing to the $12/month "family friendly" plan. The radio was pretty cool, but I really only listened going to and from work, and generally only listened to two stations regularly. So I went online today to cut back to the $10/month music only plan. When I did, I discovered that starting on July 29, XM has added a $2/month "U.S. Music Royalty Fee" to subscribers' accounts to help offset the increased royalty fees XM is being caused to pay. Further searching indicates that this resulted from a 2007 decision by the "Copyright Royalty Board" (I believe, in connection with the XM/Sirius merger). This decision apparently increases the royalty fees XM is to pay each year to the dear folks like the RIAA, and XM has now determined that it can no longer absorb them and is passing it on to their subscribers. http://www.xmradio.com/about/musicroyalty.xmc While I don't necessarily fault XM for having to pass these costs on to their subscribers (the company was recently just a stone's throw away from bankruptcy), it was enough to put me over the edge and cancel. I don't listen to it enough to justify the cost, and it just pissed me off. And, I used to consider myself fairly informed, but who the heck ever heard of the Copyright Royalty Board, anyway?
  2. Looking for MZ-RH10 AND MZ-M200 ( Black ONLY )

    Have you looked at eBay? Plenty there to choose from.
  3. This story made me smile, for reasons I can't explain. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8...;show_article=1
  4. help! new to minidisc players/recorders

    Firstly, good luck with your college auditions. My older two kids are conservatory students (one is tuba performance, and the other is trumpet/music ed), and if I remember correctly, the audition recordings we sent out were pretty much just for screening purposes to get an invitation for a live audition. Between the two of them, my wife and I traveled to about a dozen schools for live auditions. Both of my guys either have borrowed one of my MD units, or have their own, for recording themselves rehearsing and at lessons. Once in school, they wind up in quartets or quintets and find the MD easy and convenient for recording themselves rehearse. As for their audition recordings, their private teachers did that on their own equipment. I would not automatically discount the Sony ECM-MS907 microphone. I have one, and though I don't use it for live concert recordings (mostly for stealth reasons), I do use it for recording myself and friends playing old-time acoustic music, and the recordings I've made with it sound pretty darn good. Also, it comes with a funky little holder which doubles as a small stand so you just sit it on a table or desk if you are recording a lesson or a rehearsal.
  5. Help Recording 1st Concert

    Much depends on what type of music you'll be recording, the type of venue, where you will be sitting/standing in relation to the stage and/or amps, etc. You will plug the mic into the Microphone input. Probably should use Low mic sensitivity. Suggest you use Manual recording levels, but that level will depend on the type of music, loudness, venue, etc. Somewhere between 11 - 16 is common. But if the music is either very loud or bass-heavy, you will likely get some distortion no matter what recording level you use. Try to play with some of these settings, by recording some similar type of music at fairly loud volume in your living room if you can.
  6. Some fun guy toys

    Being easily amused, I laughed out loud at the stuff available from http://www.coolerfun.com/ so I thought I would share my amusement. When I brought these to the attention of the Spousal Unit yesterday evening as being the ideal Father's Day gift (and I thought the free shipping would win her over fer sure!), I was rebuffed with a cold, hard stare and a sarcastic comment to the effect of "when pigs fly..." Feh...sometimes I just get no damn respect.
  7. ...but the paranoid half of me says this is sinister. After all, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." (Where'd that quote come from?) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle1871173.ece and http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005282.php I buy occasional music from iTunes. Then I typically burn them onto CDs to play in my car, and/or to transfer them to a SD card to play in my Palm handheld or, onto Hi-MD. Once burned to CD, they also sometimes get lent out to friends and family. Query: once an iTunes track is burned to an audio CD, all that personally-identifiable information which is embedded in the AAC files is gone...right?
  8. Questions on the MZ-RH1

    Hello, Bill. Yes, the RH1 lets you change manual recording levels on the fly. You also do not have to re-enter the Menu to re-set it to Manual recording from one session to the next...it remembers your last settings. Monitoring recording levels in low light and/or total darkness is also a thing of beauty. The display is crisp, clear and bright. As for your numbered questions: 1. The manual says recording battery life using a Hi-MD disc is 6 hrs. (PCM mode) / 9 hrs. (Hi-SP mode) / 10.5 hrs. (Hi-LP mode). Battery life is similar with regular MD. Those are the specs in the book...I have never had the occasion to record that length in one session, but I'm guessing you could come fairly close to those numbers. I also have two spare batteries which I bought from a Chinese eBay seller for $18 each though I don't know what the going rate today is. There are some threads here about them...other than slightly different markings, they seem to perform and recharge identically to the original. 2. There is no car charger available specifically for the RH1 that I know of, but I have used my Motorola RAZR's car charger with success. (Similarly, there are several threads here, including one I started in the Product Reviews & Pictorials board, concerning AA-powered portable chargers which work very well with the RH1. ) 3. & 4. No wrist strap option, or location to attach one. The pouch that comes with the RH1 is just a flimsy little grey fabric bag with a draw-string closure. Not padded nor very protective, but I suppose you could use the drawstring for a wrist lanyard or use a longer string for a neck lanyard. For protective purposes, you'd be better off taking it with you to your local big box store, or even a Ritz Camera shop, and finding a basic little padded camera pouch. As for durability, I have dropped mine once or twice without any harm except that the battery door opened and the battery came out...this is IMHO a design weakness, since the door is kind of flimsy and does NOT secure very well, and once it's open there's nothing keeping the battery inside. 5. Sonic Stage has always worked fine for me, but the current version does seem a bit quicker, and automatically converts to .wav instead of having to run the separate Wave Converter tool. It has always been reliable for me, never botched a transfer or wiped out my recordings.
  9. What were you (Sony) thinking?

    That it made its way into the Playstation magazine is the clear give-away that someone other than local promoters thought this one up.
  10. What were you (Sony) thinking?

    I am neither an animal rights nut, nor one to ban violent video games (I suppose...though sometimes I wonder). But what the hell is going on with this company? http://tinyurl.com/2gk7t2
  11. Editing audio

    I encourage you to post a brief clip of your recording, either to the Gallery or in a post. You can post a brief snippet of music for educational, critical or analytical purposes without running afoul of copyright laws (i.e. that would be smkranz's view of the "fair use doctrine"). I was lucky enough to see Mike Snyder live at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival a few years ago, and I must say he put on one helluva stage show. He is an extraordinary musician, his comedy routines & songs were really funny (tho I am easily amused), and his backup guys were just as awesome.
  12. MZ-RH1 with external battery (AA USB pack)

    This thread in the Product Reviews board reviews the AA battery pack sold in the States by www.gomadic.com for $20. http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showt...=16982&st=0 Cost includes one tip...it uses interchangeable tips for a variety of different products...I use mine to power and/or recharge my MZ-RH1, Moto Razr V3 phone, and Palm handheld. The Moto Razr V3 tip also charges the RH1. Additional tips are about $6 if I recall.
  13. When the new HI-MD comes out

    I would love to see the introduction of new models, for the sake of the continuation of the format. But I already have the MZ-NH900 and the MZ-RH1. My wallet cannot take any more innovation!
  14. Anyone order a case from cases.com?

    As I suspected, no reply email has been received. I think that site is toast.
  15. Anyone order a case from cases.com?

    I had come across that site a year or two ago...seems that it hasn't changed and am wondering what the deal is, if they're still in business because all of the device models they have listed seem rather ancient. So, always being on the lookout for something new and worthwhile, I just sent them an email.
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