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What Would You Like to See In 3rd Gen Hi-MD?

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Hey everyone. Sony is probably planning and designing the third generation of Hi-MD machines as we speak. Let’s get some ideas together for what features we would like to see in the next line of portable recorders. I know I’ve got a few suggestions, so SONY…LISTEN UP, PLEASE! happy.gif

-First, please bring back the TIMESTAMP feature on high-end portable recording units. This feature is easy to implement and very handy to have. Why this was skipped over on 2nd generation machines I will not understand. Please…bring it back.

-Also, please bring back the LINE OUT feature as well. I realize that this is not as dire as some of our other ideas and suggestions, but like the timestamp feature, it is easy to implement and very handy to have…even if it must be selected from a menu on the deck like 1st generation machines.

-Let’s see a Hi-MD photo unit that has a MIC IN jack. How cool would it be to record a concert and take pictures of the show, all with one unit?! I know I would buy one, and I bet a lot of other people would too.

-A 3 megapixel camera instead of 1.3 megapixels would also be nice to have.

-I’d love to see support for a lossless audio format other than WAV. Having minidisc support for FLAC or SHN or MonkeyAudio or whatever would be OUTSTANDING, and would help put Sony’s digital audio players back on the competitive track with other companies. Perhaps this would be technically difficult to put into the decks, but I bet it could be implemented in SonicStage.

-Please consider the suggestion by another person on this forum and think about packaging an inexpensive stereo microphone with units that have a MIC IN jack. This is a great idea. I bet Sony could sell a lot more units if a consumer could see that with just one purchase, they could own an ad-hoc recording studio.

Who else has got suggestions for the third generation machines? Let’s have ‘em loud and clear. Hopefully Sony will h.ear us. (Sorry for the lame pun). cool.gif

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* Increasing the availability of and hopefully lowering the pricing of 1GB media

* Timestamping - in all models. There's absolutely no reason why a $200-400USD recording device can't include a $0.000001 clock function. This is 2005, not the 1970s when pocket calculators cost as much as cars.

* A manual levels setting that is 'remembered' between pressings of 'stop'

* A way to completely disable auto-trackmarking when recording with line-in

* The return of speed and pitch controls, as well as a-b looping for musicians and people listening to dictation

* For those of us who use [as I always do] group-rec mode, a way to create a new group without hitting stop [and having to re-enable manual levels et al] .. a possibility would be pressing the 'group' key for 2 seconds

* A return to the old-style record button which was a slider, or

* To maintain the pause-record layout of the RH10, and if pause-record is held for 2-3 seconds, toggle the AGC/manual levels mode rather than ever having to use menu functions for it

* At least 2 more custom EQ settings, or -all- custom settings [i never use *any* of the presets, as I find all of them useless]

* Line out is completely superfluous for PC users at this point, but enough people complain about it that it's still important. For those who are too simple or lazy to figure out that turning up the volume and turning off the EQ is all that's required, a single menu setting would help

* Macintosh support for uploading at the very least

* FLAC or WavPack lossless playback [recording would be too intensive, I know]

* Transcoding support for any format that has a Directshow plugin

* MP3 playback with correct [not crippled] frequency response

* More focus on the units as recorders than as players

* Marketing that isn't just hype which overemphasises aspects of the format which are weak, and which doesn't nearly outright lie about its capabilities [i.e. claiming WMA support when it's by transcoding] .. Ad campaigns on MuchMusic/MTV and the like are great, but you're aiming at the wrong crowd. HDPs serve the portable listening crowd with existing large computer-based libraries much better, IMO, than HiMD does. Marketing to the amateur recordist crowd through musician magazines, even on the SciFi channel, travel channels [start a revolution of environment recording/soundmarking!] and related magazines, touting HiMD as a portable RECORDER rather than a competitor for HDPs... The recording abilities of HiMD are the best things it has going for it. Show it off in that light! Get some product placements on CSI or something. But show it as a recorder, not just a player.

I'll probably think of more.

Note that much of that list are things that have been on the wishlists for YEARS, and aren't show-stoppers like asking for in-the-clear uploading of audio; these are mostly basic functions which GREATLY affect usability and are simple to implement.

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- ATRAC3+ 128kbps

- lit LCDs

- firmware upgrade-ability

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Don't forget a RECORD button on the remote!

ph34r.gif

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- Please SONY no DRM on our owned recordings, and let us upload them as many times as we need!!! After all we should have the right to OWN the product or our work.

- A MD-File explorer, maybe? So we can see what data we have stored.

- What about some PDA funtionality? Address book? Some simple stuff that takes advantage of the minidisc as data storage.

- Java support? Play some games on that nice LCD!!!

(My cellphone is 2/3 the size of an himd and can do way more tricks)

Think SONY, THINK!!! MD could be a bomb in todays portable media world!!!!

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- Please SONY no DRM on our owned recordings, and let us upload them as many times as we need!!! After all we should have the right to OWN the product or our work.

amen to that! This together with Dex's post sums up my views, so no need for me to go over all that again tongue.gif ...but about this:

- A MD-File explorer, maybe? So we can see what data we have stored.

- What about some PDA funtionality? Address book? Some simple stuff that takes advantage of the minidisc as data storage.

- Java support? Play some games on that nice LCD!!!(My cellphone is 2/3 the size of an himd and can do way more tricks -> note from Volta: but all I want to/need to/ will use it for is phoning!)

and this

-Let’s see a Hi-MD photo unit that has a MIC IN jack. How cool would it be to record a concert and take pictures of the show, all with one unit?! I know I would buy one, and I bet a lot of other people would too.

-A 3 megapixel camera instead of 1.3 megapixels would also be nice to have.

these requests irritate me a bit...IMHO these are very irrelevant features. If I want to play games I'll buy a real PSP and do it properly, if I want pictures, I'll buy a real camera and not some halfharted 'extra feature' on something I bought to do something else...you get the idea? One of the biggest problems right now is that Sony doesn't realize the true strenght of the format: recording so do not confuse them with your requests for 'extras'... let them get the main function right first and then they could still churn out multi-use (or rather multi-useless as so often) models...

How many ppl do you know that bought the photo Hi-MD? I don't know any that do not already have another one for recording! It's a gadget.

"But what if it came on top of all the recording options?"... well then it would make the model too expensive (also for Sony to make) and it would be a right corporate suicide (or the mistake that killed the format or something)...

Please ppl, think about it for a minute, I really like the idea of a clear and honest thread stating real consumer wishes for the next gen Hi-MD's but keep it realistic and focussed! Hi-MD doesn't have to compete with the i-puddle (recorder vs. player) and definitely not with your multi-phone... let Sony realize the fact that Hi-MD is in a league of its own: portable, high quality, relatively cheap recording...

Thanks,

Volta

PS: integrating a camera would make stealth recording concerts harder here in Belgium... right now the security pads us down, but only look for cameras, I showed them my NH900 and held my thumb over the rec-button...they looked at it and said "ok, it's not a camera" and let me pass, so see what would happen if there had been a lense on my recorder? tongue.gif

*edit: just to make this absolutely clear: my irritation isn't directed at the quoted posters at all... I do understand and do not condemn that for some ppl these features might be important! I just think Sony should get the basic features right before they start working on the extras and as such our suggestions should reflect this.

Edited by The Low Volta

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A real line-out (or a full-size HiFi deck) and (surprise surprise!) support for a compressed lossless format (FLAC, ATRAC Lossless, whatever). Non-crippled MP3-playback and more userfriendly software would be nice too.

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IMHO these are very irrelevant features . . . let them get the main function right first . . .

I couldn't agree more, though I hope the posters quoted above didn't take your statement personally. My personal feelings on the matter are very much along the lines of your one line there, "get the main function right first."

Icing roses on the cake are wonderful, but really, I'd rather just have a better cake with plain icing.

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-bring back the all metal build quality for the top end recorders ( the 2nd generation top line metal MD is a player)

-larger size of disks 2gb or more so that we can record longer in PCM

- make uploads hasslefree.. no more once only uploads for your own recordings

- continue with the battery pack attachment.. it is a boon for recorders..

- dex, i fully agree with you about remembering the manual recording settings

- make the unit standardised worldwide.. the 2nd generation differs in every continent i think biggrin.gif

- market it...let people know what an MD can really do.. in india, i dont think anyone, barring a really small number, know what an MD is

- capitialize on the name SONY and make better software,, the hardware of SONY is exceptional but software kinda sucks.. the day the software improves, i can see a massive improvement in demand

cheers

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...though I hope the posters quoted above didn't take your statement personally.

indeed, I just realized it sounded quite harsh, so I included a statement that I was shooting the message, not the messengers

Volta

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1. Better user interface. Any chance of bringing the fluidity and ease of the XMB to Hi-MD? That's by far my favorite Sony UI in ages. It - or its mutations - deserve to appear in more Sony products. Larger screen real estate should be put to better use. Stick to LCD - the HD5 screen probably outdoes OEL/OLED for outdoor visibility.

2. Faster transfers, faster TOC read/write - perceptively as fast as Lo-MD please.

3. Watch the units' size. I know you might need over 20mm thickness to install a jog dial in front, but come on! smile.gif Do what Panasonic did, use the back as the front or something.

4. Something for myself: Recording timer.

5. Some kind of Mac support. Don't get mad, Sony, just because you didn't get to license MacOS in those early days...

Or are these all in vain... MD is Norio Ohga's brainchild, so if Sony's just eager to leave his legacies behind... wacko.gif

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Hello,

my 2 (Euro-) cents to the wishlist:

* Make the ENTER/PLAYBACK (>) - key function as pause (!!) key too when in playback mode. This will be helpful for people who frequently quick-scan large contiguous recordings, since really fast forward (time shift) works in pause mode only. This way all necessary steps could be done with a single key.

* Add a menu button or reverse the functions of the navi/menu key. In my mind, it's rather boring to always have to wait 2 seconds to enter the menu, and I think most people use the menu far more often then the navi-function (I have to admit that I don't know if it still works that way on the 2nd gen units).

* A reader slot and copy function for the most commonly used flash memory card types would make a HiMD-unit a perfect backup storage device for digital photographers!

* A timer function for unattended recordings should not cost the world to implement.

* The disc format function should issue an additional warning in case the disc contains 'invisible' computer data too.

* I repeat many others here - but with intention: even the cheapest and most basic cell phones have a backlight for display and function keys that lights up automatically whenever you hit any key. This high sophisticated technology should already be matured and relaible now, so that Sony could apply it almost riskless to MD-units without OLED-display too.

* Bluetooth and/or WLAN connectivity, as well as an USB input jack (for memory card readers or digicams for example) would make some of my most hidden dreams come true, but maybe, that would be a really hard challenge from the technical point of view - if not impossible at all.

Cheers - Killroy.

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And oh yeah,

* If there's no real reason [such as simplifying the record head/optical block for DWDD only] to get rid of 100% backward compatibility, i.e. NetMD mode with realtime true SP recording, then KEEP IT. This is probably the most-criticised loss of function in gen2.

* Enable uploading of MD recordings via USB, even if it uses some kind of SPDIF emulation and realtime playback

* In accordance with whoever else posted it, A REMOTE SPECIFICALLY FOR RECORDING, with [at the least] record, play/pause, stop, "new group", meters and rec. remain displays, and a rec-menu button or better yet, buttons that toggle rec.mode and manual levels/AGC [in total, that's only 6 keys]. All this could be done in something the size of the 40ELK.

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I agree with:

- Focus on main functions of the format (no camera for me...)

- Manual recording levels remembered between two pressings of stop

- A 2second keypress to toggle AGC/manual levels or, even better, remember the setting as per above

- An optional dedicated recording remote

- Porting the software to java or other platform independent language

- Firmware upgradability

- Loosen up on the DRM nonsense. Why protect mp3 files? They are lossy and shared everywhere anyway.

- A way to upload (analog) recordings made on old-style md media

- 2GB discs would be great for no-worries recording in PCM, not to mention on-the-go jukebox

and I would like to add the following requests:

- A new playback mode: Select a group at random and within that group play the tracks sequentially. Then move on to a new group, and so on. (With Hi-MD discs and the reasonably good sound quality in Hi-LP mode you can bring a lot of albums on one disc. The function would play random albums with all its tracks in order. It shouldn't be too hard/expensive to implement.)

- Drag-and-drop of supported files (mp3 etc) in explorer without having to go through sonic stage.

My main wish is for the new playback mode, though.

Cheers,

/Daniel Enochsson (Proud owner of a MZ-NH900 tongue.gif .)

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64MB (or more, but this is reasonable) of built-in memory on the camera/color model so you can load transfer things from disc-to-disc without needing a computer (anything that's on the disc) or for permanent loading of java, etc. games/programs.

Bluetooth...

Recording remote...

BOTH!!

I would LOVE to see a small (maybe AAA operated) wireless Bluetooth colour LCD which would have all the special recording modes and stuff on it, so you could keep your gear out of the way and in safety and no possibility of cords killing your gear!! That'd be the pimp-macdaddy of remotes.

Edited by D-EJ915

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I would like a Hi-MD home deck and car deck.

Less restrictions on my own personal recordings, unlimited uploads and downloads if using Sonic Stage.

True SP

Dedicated line in and line out

Bring back the NH1, or something similar for 3dr gen>

Record on the remote.

Don't need camera or toys on my unit, straight functionality.

The ability for use on any platform,Mac, Linux, Windoze. Until my linux disc died it would see and identify my minidisc unit but wouldn;t let me do anything to it.

Uncripple the world markes so anyone can buy from anyone.

Bob

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How about a backlit LCD display on the MD unit, with full info - if it can be done on a remote . . . .

And metal construction for top models, non-scratch matt plastic fine for entry/low models.

And a Bluetooth wirefree remote??

And built-in FM radio, a la Zen Micro.

And WMA/MP3 compatibility, as well as the excellent ATRAC3+.

Come on Sony, there's still time/life for Minidisc yet!!

Andrew

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i have simply one wish, playback of mp3s right of the fat file system.

ie, drag and drop mp3s onto the player in the normal windows gui.

this will allso make the system appeal to users of other operating system and will make it so simple to use i think people will go crazy over it.

this small thing will make it worthy of the walkman logo as the format is then the perfect replacement for the cassette in this digital age.

i think this small change will basicly skyrocket the hi-md as a floppy replacement. the storage media is cheap and replaceable and functional. buy them in boxes of 10 and you can give away some of them if needed without care as you can allways grab a new box of 10.

sony is currently strangleing a perfect format by putting all sorts of crasy restrictions on it.

i say, sony should sell of their movie and music biz and go back to being what made them great, a electronics company! stop worrying about copyright violations and give the user what they wants, simple access to entertainment wherever they are without silly restricitons...

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i have simply one wish, playback of mp3s right of the fat file system.

ie, drag and drop mp3s onto the player in the normal windows gui.

this will allso make the system appeal to users of other operating system and will make it so simple to use i think people will go crazy over it.

this small thing will make it worthy of the walkman logo as the format is then the perfect replacement for the cassette in this digital age.

i think this small change will basicly skyrocket the hi-md as a floppy replacement. the storage media is cheap and replaceable and functional. buy them in boxes of 10 and you can give away some of them if needed without care as you can allways grab a new box of 10.

sony is currently strangleing a perfect format by putting all sorts of crasy restrictions on it.

i say, sony should sell of their movie and music biz and go back to being what made them great, a electronics company! stop worrying about copyright violations and give the user what they wants, simple access to entertainment wherever they are without silly restricitons...

The PSP uses drag and drop wink.gif but i agree with your point

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and the psp allso uses expensive memorysticks. now if one could buy flash cards in packages of 5-10 i would not complain but given the cost of 1 card with the capasity similar to a hi-md a 10 pack would cost the same as a new computer, not exactly trowaway storage...

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my point was more so regarding sonys politics than random technology

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no good have ever come from mixing both sides like sony does, basicly they end up using to much time and energy fighting themselfs. like say when riaa (or was it mpaa) sued some electronics group in usa for some reason or other. sony was a member of both partys. talk about split personality tongue.gif

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I think in order for MD to have any chance at a very good future, it is necessary to use Drag and Drop. I wouldn't care if audio ripped into Atrac (or MP3) from within SonicStage or Simple Burner stayed encrypted, as long as I was able to drop my other MP3s from other sources onto the disc. (best of both worlds tongue.gif)

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I'd be interested in a 3rd gen player if they bring back the hd amp.

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I'd be interested in a 3rd gen player if they bring back the hd amp.

i know it makes a noticeable difference, but is it really that great?

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