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Review and free Download of Mac Hi-MD Wav Importer

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Dale Greer's review says that with the MZ100, it is impossible to adjust recording levels on the fly.

Is this also true on the RH10? Or is it possible he got stuck in AGC? Just curious.

I tested this feature last night, and even though the manual doesn't say so, you CAN manually adjust recording levels on the MZ-M100 while recording is in progess. (1) Place the unit in record-pause mode; (2) Change the recording-level setting to "Manual" using the MZ-M100's menu system; (3) start recording; (4) move the scroll wheel up and down to change levels (an on-screen bar graph provides relative feedback without obscuring the MZ-100's stereo input-level meters).

Thanks for the tip, A440!

Dale

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Dale,

If I infer correctly, you have an MZ-M10[0]. If this is true, could you help me with some research please? I like to dig around in the binary data files for details of how the track data and formatting is encoded and it would be very interesting to look at how the M-series recorders flag their data. What I need is to get a copy of all the files in the hmdhifi directory for a disc with a few short tracks (< 1second - no particular sounds necessary, just silence is fine).

If you could create a disc with a few short PCM tracks, zip up a copy of the hmdhifi directory & contents and put the zipfile somewhere on the web that I could get to (or email it to me @ ebrombaugh at earthlink dot net) that would be really helpful in figuring out how these new players work. I'll document what I find and post the details on this forum. If we're lucky we may learn something useful.

TIA

Eric

How do I get my hands on this directory?

Dale

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How do I get my hands on this directory?

Dale

Plug in your M100 to your Mac via USB port. OS X should automagically mount the recorder as an external drive. You should see a toplevel folder called HIMDHIFI when you open the icon on your desktop. It would be great if you could record several *short* tracks in PCM mode and zip up the resulting HIMDHIFI to send to your friendly neighborhood hacker tongue.gif

Cheers

EDIT: I strongly suspect that the new M series differ from the RH machines only in the color of the cabinet and the USB Device ID, and it is precisely here where the Mac software can tell the attached devices apart from each other thumbsup.gif

Edited by e1ghtyf1ve

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I just downloaded the new Hi-MD Wav importer from the forum onto my G5 with Mac OS 10.3. I made a short microphone recording in PCM mode on my Japanese Sony RH10.

When I hooked the recorder to my Mac and launched the software, the track I created showed up in the software's window, but it was grayed out and there was nothing I could do with it.

I see others have had this same experience. Is the software on the site flawed in some way? Is there something I'm not getting here?

Thanks for any help,

Gary

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you have an RH10 at present the softaware only works on m10 & m100 models

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Plug in your M100 to your Mac via USB port.  OS X should automagically mount the recorder as an external drive.  You should see a toplevel folder called HIMDHIFI when you open the icon on your desktop.  It would be great if you could record several *short* tracks in PCM mode and zip up the resulting HIMDHIFI to send to your friendly neighborhood hacker  tongue.gif

Precisely! When you plug your MD recorder into the Mac, you'll see a new folder appear on your Mac desktop. On my Mac with an MZ-NHF800 it's called 'NO NAME'. Open the folder up and you'll see another folder called 'HMDHIFI'. That's the one I want a copy of.

If you haven't installed a zip application, you can still do it from the MacOS X Terminal. First, copy the HMDHIFI directory onto your Desktop. Then, open the Terminal app (in the Applications/Utilities folder), and simply type the following commands:

cd ~/Desktop

zip -r files.zip HMDHIFI

That should create a zipfile called 'files.zip' on your desktop. Then just stash it on a website and post or mail the location, or just mail it to me at the address above.

EDIT:  I strongly suspect that the new M series differ from the RH machines only in the color of the cabinet and the USB Device ID, and it is precisely here where the Mac software can tell the attached devices apart from each other  thumbsup.gif

Possibly, but it may also be that the M series mark their PCM recordings with different values of ID flags in the track index file, and/or different types of encryption. That's why I'm interested in digging around in the data files.

Let me know if you have any questions about the process

Eric

Edited by emeb

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Dale,

If I infer correctly, you have an MZ-M10[0]. If this is true, could you help me with some research please? I like to dig around in the binary data files for details of how the track data and formatting is encoded and it would be very interesting to look at how the M-series recorders flag their data. What I need is to get a copy of all the files in the hmdhifi directory for a disc with a few short tracks (< 1second - no particular sounds necessary, just silence is fine).

If you could create a disc with a few short PCM tracks, zip up a copy of the hmdhifi directory & contents and put the zipfile somewhere on the web that I could get to (or email it to me @ ebrombaugh at earthlink dot net) that would be really helpful in figuring out how these new players work. I'll document what I find and post the details on this forum. If we're lucky we may learn something useful.

TIA

Eric

I've posted the directory here:

<http://home.earthlink.net/~mac-md1>

Just click on the link to the zipped file, and it will ftp.

This directory is for five tracks recorded in Linear PCM mode to a Hi-MD blank. The tracks are :04, :04, :05, :07, and :05 seconds.

Best,

Dale

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Thanks Dale,

I've grabbed the zipfile and run a quick analysis on it. Sony has indeed defined a new codec for the M series recorders (0x80062807), although the audio data in the ATDATAXX.HMA file is still encrypted and flagged as LPCM.

It might be worthwhile to try hacking on a 1st/2nd gen HiMD disc to see if changing the codec id will allow the Mac application to download it. I'll try this later and report back.

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It might be worthwhile to try hacking on a 1st/2nd gen HiMD disc to see if changing the codec id will allow the Mac application to download it. I'll try this later and report back.

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Guest bmn38

Just tried this on my MZ NH1. The disc had 17 tracks recorded in LP mode. I added another in PCM mode. When I plug it into my g4 Imac (10.3.9) and open the importer all the tracks show up, both LP and PCM, but yeah, they're all grayed out. So is the consensus that this is not going to work for any device other than the MZ M100?

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Just tried this on my MZ NH1. The disc had 17 tracks recorded in LP mode. I added another in PCM mode. When I plug it into my g4 Imac (10.3.9) and open the importer all the tracks show up, both LP and PCM, but yeah, they're all grayed out. So is the consensus that this is not going to work for any device other than the MZ M100?

Yes; I believe we've established that as received, this software only works with the M10 and M100. I have an RH10 with the Mac software but haven't had time yet to investigate if it's possible to change the codec ID to make the software think I'm uploading from an M series. Has anyone tried this yet? -Steve

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I've got to apologize to the group - I tried to do some hacking on the TRKIDX??.HMA file this evening and found that the codec is not new. My analysis program had a bug that only showed up on my new 64-bit machine which caused the codec ID to be mis-labeled as unknown when in fact it is the same ID that my 1st-gen HiMD creates for an LPCM track. So, 0x80062807 is not new - I hope no one wasted any time because of this.

I did a bit more digging and found some additional differences however:

* Track 'Source' ID is 0 on the M-series, but was4DC28CCD on my 1st-gen. I tried hacking it to 0 on a test disc but the Mac WAV importer still didn't see it as valid.

* Unknown data field at offset 0x10 is 0 on the M-series but was different for every track on my 1st-gen. I haven't tried hacking this yet.

* Unkown data field at offset 0x36-0x39 was 0110B1B6 for the M-series but was 01055144 on my 1st-gen. I haven't confirmed that this field is constant for all discs however - it may be a media ID.

So, there are still some avenues open for exploration, but the first report was in error.

Happy Hacking!

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* Unknown data field at offset 0x10 is 0 on the M-series but was different for every track on my 1st-gen. I haven't tried hacking this yet.

OK - I tried setting that value to 0 on a track and the Mac Hi-MD Wav Importer allowed me to drag that track onto the desktop. _But_ when I opened the track up in an editor it was full of random garbage.

Conclusion: 1st-gen MD recorders are applying some additional encryption that the M-series recorders don't do. The key for this process is in the TRKIDX??.HMA at offset 0x10 in the track info structure. If the key is 0, the Mac importer will see the track but will only properly import a track that was recorded on an M-series MD recorder.

Oh well.

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Wow, Sony does go an extra mile, and more, just to make things more difficult for end users. I guess there's a reason why Sony priced the M-series an extra $100 (aside from the mic and E931). Now, does the M-series works fine with windows though? (downloads and uploads)

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I believe the M-series works fine with windows - it comes supplied with SonicStage and is identical to the R- series HiMds in this respect. This is yet to be confirmed by any of our members though.

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Thanks for looking into this emeb and others. Your efforts are appreciated.

It would be nice to not have to buy another unit so soon after buying my RH10 just to get Mac upload capability. I would have waited a few months, but who woulda guessed that Sony would finally support Macs - in any way - after 13 years?! I use both Mac and Win so I'm fine, but I feel for you Mac-only folks, especially those with the RH.

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You know something, it wouldn't kill Sony if they allowed to upload WAVs with the other units. I can live without Hi-SP and Hi-LP on a Mac. But noooooo. Mr. Stringer, if you are reading this, tell the guys at engineering not to put the cart before the horse, please?

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I'm seeing some reports here that you can upload tracks recorded with one of these units via a MZ-RH10/910/etc. I hope this helps whoever is interested in how the handshaking process works.

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I'm seeing some reports here that you can upload tracks recorded with one of these units via a MZ-RH10/910/etc. I hope this helps whoever is interested in how the handshaking process works.

That makes sense in light of the things I noticed when hacking the track data. The M-series recorders don't apply as much encryption to the audio data in the ATDATA??.HMA file as do the 1st and 2nd gen HiMD units. The Mac WAV Importer app doesn't care what hardware _uploads_ the data, just what encryption was applied at the time it was recorded, so you can record on an M-series, swap the disc into a 1st-gen machine, grab the track on your Mac and still get a good upload.

Encryption. DRM. Meh!

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Thanks for looking into this emeb and others. Your efforts are appreciated.

It would be nice to not have to buy another unit so soon after buying my RH10 just to get Mac upload capability. I would have waited a few months, but who woulda guessed that Sony would finally support Macs - in any way - after 13 years?! I use both Mac and Win so I'm fine, but I feel for you Mac-only folks, especially those with the RH.

I recently bought an MZ-RH910, and only have a Mac. I managed to install Virtual PC and Windows 2000 to run the Sonic Stage software, which works -- BUT: yesterday it took _SEVEN HOURS_ to upload about 20 minutes of PCM recording! And this is with a new 1.5 GHz G4 PowerBook. Insane!

Can anyone help? There must be a better way to get files in digitally! Buying a new, more expensive MD recorder is out of the question -- if I had $400-500 to spend (total) then I would not have settled for 16-bit recording.

thanks for your efforts,

Ernst

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I have a box of field recordings that I made on regular old MDs (not Hi-MD), recorded without compression on either a Sony MZ-R700 or a Sharp unit. I've been waiting (and waiting) for a way to upload these discs to my Mac digitally, so that all track marks are preserved.

Thus I was excited to see that Sony is finally supporting Macs. But from what I'm reading, it appears that even if I spend the money on a new MZ-M100, I still will not be able to upload digitally the tracks on my old discs to my Mac.

Is this correct? And if so, is there any other way for me to do what I want to do?

Thanks!

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I still will not be able to upload digitally the tracks on my old discs to my Mac.

Is this correct? And if so, is there any other way for me to do what I want to do?

Thanks!

This is correct. Reason: The existence of prerecorded discs. I can't think of any other reason.

So, only analog HiMD-PCM recordings can be uploaded.

For your old recordings, you have three ways: 1) Record analog into the M100 (PCM-mode) and upload that.

2) Record analog into the Mac.

3) Buy a homedeck with Digital out ( e.g. on eBay ) and record digitally into the Mac, if yours have optical in.

After that, edit out again on the Mac, but the trackmarks will always be gone.

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I'm seeing some reports here that you can upload tracks recorded with one of these units via a MZ-RH10/910/etc. I hope this helps whoever is interested in how the handshaking process works.

Can anyone confirm this from personal experience? I'd love to be able to use my MZ-RH910 as an auxillary "upload machine" to my Mac, without having to unhook an MZ-M10 that's set up elsewhere. (I'd been waiting for Sony to release an "indoor" Mac-friendly model for music production, but fear that's not likely now, so may go ahead and get an MZ-M10.)

Kurisu, if you have any hints that the (semi)pro use of MD might still be developed, please relieve my despair...

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