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Mikami

Sony DS-HMD1 Pictorial-Review

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Today, I went Yodobashi in Kawasaki city and bought the DS-HMD1. It looks pretty strong, but feels very light and is made in Malaysia. It is somewhat larger than a portable Hi-MD recorder. I think that this Data storage idea was a good one, but that it has not been advertised very well here. I work in a public school here and I know that many teachers still use MO media and Floopy disk. Both the HI-MD media and the Hi-MD drives are much smaller and allow for much more storage on the media than MO or Floopy Disk. I hope MD will catch on with more public school teachers, after all they are the ones who keep Floopy disk and MO alive and strong.

Well, I have posted a few pics to this mail of the DS-HMD1.

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What's the perfomance like in comparison with whatever other portable storage you have to compare with? I mean in terms of transfer speed either way?

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I see it comes with sonicstage so Sony are hoping to convert some people to HiMD/ATRAC rather than just using it as data storage. How much did you pay, about the same as an NH600 would cost? I think it's a good idea to try and build popularity by making it a data storage as well as music format; it builds on one of the other great benefits of HiMD. It's a shame the transfer is just so slow.

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Dear Mikami,

Thanks very much for the photos. I really wish I had a Yodobashi Camera near where I live (at least I can only look at their webpage).

I wonder if you can clarify some matters about your HMD1:

1. You have not shown the unit in an opened state. Am I correct in saying that the unit opens like a regular Sony MD? Do you have any comments on its loading and unloading?

2. I can't see what is written on the dark button on the top of the HMD1, near the ACCESS light. Can you tell us what it says and and what it is for. Thanks!

3. Is the top surface a similar metalic surface to the NH1?

Anyway, thanks for the trouble to share these pictures. Its a big help! biggrin.gif

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What's the perfomance like in comparison with whatever other portable storage you have to compare with?  I mean in terms of transfer speed either way?

Well, its' speed is USB 1.1 which in terms of speed does not compare well with some other USB storage devices that are soild state. But, it compares well agaisnt the MOs and and floopy disk that are often used in Japanese public schools over CD-R/RW and DVDR. Price is far more important than speed when you are given a small buget from the school district for supplies. This is why MO is so popular even, now. So, a school setting being able to have cheap re-usable media to hold data, that you do not mind letting others borrow, or to present reports and documents in a tangable non-paper form is very important. The small USB soild state devices are just too expensive to let others have or borrow, but MiniDisc is just right for the job.

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Thanks Mikami for the pics.

What interests me is the seek times, especially when copying small files.

Faster than your NH1 or the same?

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Topaz,

1. Yes, you are correct the unit opens just like a normal Sony MD player

2. The black button next to the access LCD light says "Release". And when the access light is on, if you push the "release button" the LCD light turns off and it is then safe to eject the MD media or to un-plug the the USB from the computer.

3. Well, I like the feel of the MZ-NH1 better, but this unit feels like it could be aluminum or some alloy HOWEVER, I think it is PLASTIC because it is so light and magnets will not stick to the shell of this drive like they would to the shell of the MZ-NH1.Also, inside the DS-HMD1 there is a Plastic layer althought the componets are mostly metal. So, the MZ-NH1 is probably more scratch resistance and much stronger because it is made of a cool metal and it looks like it has groves.

I hope that helps,

Mikami

P.S.

(but a magnet will stick on the black bar on the side of the drive that say's "portable Hi-mD drive DS-HMD1" but not on on the black bar that has the USB plug or on the rest of the body of this unit)

Edited by Mikami

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Thanks Mikami for the pics.

What interests me is the seek times, especially when copying small files.

Faster than your NH1 or the same?

All and all the seek times seem about the same to me. It might be faster(to start up), but I really think that the NH1 and this new unit seem to run about the same speed. My NH1 makes a certaint sound when burning, than this new unit does not or at least this new unit has a different sound. As for recording times.

9 sec from SonicStage to Hi-md for decent quality(in truth most files take about that long from the time you hear the unit start up) And somewhat less than 8 sec from lower quality. For PCM or WAV it takes a little longer even up to 14 sec for one of my files. However, if you are burning more than one file at a time like a normal 75 mintue CD or 60 mintue CD the times can be cut alittle. But I have only just started playing with it.

regards,

Mikami

Edited by Mikami

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Question:

I see SonicStage 3.1 is supplied.... So can the HMD1 transfer native-mp3's to a Hi-MD disc so that they can be used with second-generation Hi-MD walkmans? (e.g. my NH700 can't)

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Question:

I see SonicStage 3.1 is supplied.... So can the HMD1 transfer native-mp3's to a Hi-MD disc so that they can be used with second-generation Hi-MD walkmans? (e.g. my NH700 can't)

Yes, Sonicstage 3.1 can transfer native-mp3 files to a Hi-MD but it will only play from the the HmD1 unit or from a 2nd generation unit. And it also claims to be able to burn an Mp3 CD as well. I have not tryied that, yet.

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Will this unit be able to do NetMD, ie the older generation for compatability of MDLP bookshelf+car stereo's etc?

Edited by Michael1980

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Yes, Sonicstage 3.1 can transfer native-mp3 files to a Hi-MD but it will only play from the the HmD1 unit or from a 2nd generation unit. And it also claims to be able to burn an Mp3 CD as well. I have not tryied that, yet.

That is not totally true. When I connect my NH700 to a PC with SonicStage 3.1 mp3's cannot be transfered to the NH700 without conversion. When I connect a RH10 however (to the same PC with SS 3.1) transfering mp3's right away is possible, so my question is still unanswered..... is the HMD1 a "NH700-like" or "RH10-like" unit.

So transfering mp3's right away is dependant of the unit not of the software. Only a unit that can play mp3's natively let's you put them on a disc, otherwise mp3's are automatically converted before transfer.

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so my question is still unanswered..... is the HMD1 a "NH700-like" or "RH10-like" unit.

Okay, I will give it one more try:

1. The HMD1 can transfer Mp3s without converting them.

2. So, there is no need to convert Mp3 to transfer it to Hi-mD media when using the HMD1.

3. One has the ability to transfer a native formate natively to Hi-mD media when using the HMD1.

4. But the HMD1 is not a portable player: it is a Data storage drive. So, the HHMD1 is not like the NH700 or the RH10.

regards,

Mikami

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Will this unit be able to do NetMD, ie the older generation for compatability of MDLP bookshelf+car stereo's etc?

According to the manual;

in normal MDmode(formate) It can trasfer: stereo ATRAC/292Kbps, Atrac3/132, 105kbps, and Atrac3/66kbps to a 60/74/80 minute MiniDisc.

Regards,

Mikami

Edited by Mikami

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Okay, I will give it one more try:

  1. The HMD1 can transfer Mp3s without converting them.

2. So, there is no need to convert Mp3 to transfer it to Hi-mD media when using the HMD1.

3. One has the ability to transfer a native formate natively to Hi-mD media when using the HMD1.

  4. But the HMD1 is not a portable player: it is a Data storage drive. So, the HHMD1 is not like the NH700 or the RH10.

 

                      regards,

                                  Mikami

I know it cannot play back Hi-MD discs but it is nice to know it can prepare Hi-MD discs with mp3's for the second generation Hi-MD's. It would have been a huge disappointment if the HMD1 was based on a first-generation Hi-MD and would be unable to transfer mp3's right away (only ATRAC3(plus) & PCM). But nice to know it can!

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Now my last question is answered I have another one:

What does "PIT-I......" and the logo mean on the front of the manual (right corner)?

user posted image

Oh, and another one.... does it work with the MCMD-R1 Hi-MD cardreader to create a standalone flash-card copy machine?

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Does it require a particular usb-cable or will any usb-cable work? In other words do I have to take the cable with me also between home and work or can I use a generic cable already at work?

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Now my last question is answered I have another one:

What does "PIT-I......" and the logo mean on the front of the manual (right corner)?

user posted image

Oh, and another one.... does it work with the MCMD-R1 Hi-MD cardreader to create a standalone flash-card copy machine?

1a. "Pit-in" is the name that Sony chose to call the DS-HM1 and maybe the models that might follow it. Therefore, I think it is really the name of a line of machines. The Logo(the arrow) most likely means "in". The "n" in "Pit-in" was cut off in the picture.

1b. The phrase "pit-in" as found in the 2nd edition of Sanseido's Consise Katakana Dictionary means: a place for cars to stop in a race for gas, to gear up, or a place to stop for repairs. The katakana word "Pit" in Japanese can also be used of a place where boats stop in a race. Basically the same meaning as "Pit-stop" in English. I am guessing Sony's meaning is that the "pit in" is place to dock your Hi-MD and load it up for the road. It is just cool to borrow words and then use them in Japanese language.

2. The DS-HM1(Pit-in) manual says nothing about using the MCMD-R1 with it.

I think you really have to have a computer with Windows to operate it. And I think that is the way Sony likes it.

If the MCMD-R1 has a USB socket on it, then you could hook the DS-HM1 to it, but that does not mean it would work. I am sure someone with enough motivation and time on their hands might be able to make the MCM-R1 work with it.

Regards,

Mikami

Edited by Mikami

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Does it require a particular usb-cable or will any usb-cable work?  In other words do I have to take the cable with me also between home and work or can I use a generic cable already at work?

Any USB-Cable will work. The wire looks a little different, but the plugs are of the generic USB family. So, yes it will and does work with any USB wires.

regards,

Mikami

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According to the manual;

in normal MDmode(formate) It can trasfer: stereo ATRAC/292Kbps, Atrac3/132, 205kbps, and Atrac3/66kbps to a 60/74/80 minute MiniDisc.

I'm sorry...? You mean to say that this baby can do REAL-SP transfers? And since when was there a 205kbps ATRAC3...? Surely you mean 105kbps?

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i'd say 205 is a typo based on it's position in the sentence 105[lp3] fits the flow better. i've been wrong before about this unit before though.

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I'm sorry...? You mean to say that this baby can do REAL-SP transfers? And since when was there a 205kbps ATRAC3...? Surely you mean 105kbps?

Sorry, I made a mistake. But thanks for finding it. And

Atrain is right, 205 is a typo, and it was my mistake.

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wow...a transfer of 292kbps

(from Sony.co.jp e-catalog)

user posted image

Edited by bland10000

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so according to that it does do trueSP

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1a.  "Pit-in" is the name that Sony chose to call the DS-HM1 and maybe the models that might follow it. Therefore, I think it is really the name of a line of machines. The Logo(the arrow) most likely means "in". The "n" in "Pit-in" was cut off in the picture.

  1b. The phrase "pit-in" as found in the 2nd edition of Sanseido's Consise Katakana Dictionary means: a place for cars to stop in a race for gas, to gear up, or a place to stop for repairs. The katakana word "Pit" in Japanese can also be used of a place where boats stop in a race. Basically the same meaning as "Pit-stop" in English. I am guessing Sony's meaning is that the "pit in" is place to dock your Hi-MD and load it up for the road. It is just cool to borrow words and then use them in Japanese language.

2. The DS-HM1(Pit-in) manual says nothing about using the MCMD-R1 with it.

I think you really have to have a computer with Windows to operate it. And I think that is the way Sony likes it.

  If the MCMD-R1 has a USB socket on it, then you could hook the DS-HM1 to it, but that does not mean it would work. I am sure someone with enough motivation and time on their hands might be able to make the MCM-R1 work with it.

                                          Regards,

                                                      Mikami

About 2: my NH700's manual also does not say anything about the cardreader. Furthermore the MCMD-R1 takes over the controls when connected to a Hi-MD so probably it will work because the HMD1 looks like a "stripped" Hi-MD-walkman. The only way to know for sure is someone who can test it in real life.

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