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Need clarification on Hi-MD player abilities

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hi all,

im just now considering a Sony Hi-MD player since my mp3 player died, and dont want to buy into the iriver/ipod zombie nation that has swept the world, and so the MD looks the goods, has the advantage of removable media, which is cheap at $5 australian per 1gb disc, and is extremely different from all the other players floating around. and with the fact that they are discontinuing the sale of sony MD players in australia, ive seen them clearing out MZ-NH600 models for $99AUD, MZ-NH700 for $149AUD and MZ-NH800 for $169 online.

now my concern is what i am able to do with the software. the DRM issues ive heard avbout dont bother me, with my old mp3 player being an olympus mr-100 m:robe 5gig player, which required me to use the buggy software, and took a fair amount of time to load the mp3's onto the player due to having to convert the files into protected files before putting them onto the player.

what i do want to know is, am i able to create playlists using the software "sonicstage" and transfer them onto the 1gb MD's? for example, say a 1gb MD stores roughly 300 songs (converted from downloaded mp3s), can i divide it up using the software, so i have 100 songs especially selected for going to the gym, 100 songs especially selected for driving, and 100 songs selected for chilling out, all on the MD, but restricted so i can select the gym music playlist, and the player will only play those songs and not the 200 others?

is there an option for this, or will i have to listen to all of the songs on the MD?

also, another thing, what is the search function on the players like? to select a certain song, will i have to go through every single song on the MD to find it? or are there quick search options such as artist, or an ability to select a letter of the alphabet, such as "S" to find "sweet child o' mine" and be taken to all of the songs that start with that letter?

thanks for the help, just knowing these things will help me finally decide on whether or not an MD is for me...

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1st gen Hi-MDs do not support direct mp3 playback, mp3s need to be transcoded to Atrac(3(+)) first, which is lossy and time-consuming.

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There is very limited support for on-unit playlisting [by using bookmarks].

On the other hand, you can divide the tracks you're downloading into groups [i.e. "for driving", "for chilling out" &c.] using SS.

SS has playlist tools [you could make a playlist for driving and download it into a single group called "for driving"], and while they serve a basic purpose SS lacks a few features [like being able to randomise the playlist before downloading] of other library software.

SS also lets you import M3U playlists from other software [but has been known to create duplicate entries in its library if the tracks were already there, in the past at least - haven't tried this with 4.0 yet].

I myself rather like using MD80s [reformatted for HiMD] which with 192kbps a3+ audio gives you about 3hrs/disc. This is just around the right amount for me to make single artist compilations and such while still maintaining navigability on the disc without ever having to look at the remote's or unit's display to see what's coming up.

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also, another thing, what is the search function on the players like? to select a certain song, will i have to go through every single song on the MD to find it? or are there quick search options such as artist, or an ability to select a letter of the alphabet, such as "S" to find "sweet child o' mine" and be taken to all of the songs that start with that letter?

thanks for the help, just knowing these things will help me finally decide on whether or not an MD is for me...

Example:

Disc is playing (or even stopped). You want to play specific track/artist/whatever.

Press Navi/Menu button shortly.

You are presented with:

Normal

Group

Artist

Album

Bookmark

(a list which is easily scrolled up or down with jog wheel)

Press Play/Enter button in centre of jog dial after you've chosen your option.

Now you are presented with tracks in that Group, by that Artist, etc. depending on what you chose. Now, you scroll through this list with the wheel.

Press Play/Enter on the track you want to play.

Done.

http://www.css.ap.sony.com/consumer/Fn/IMS...ersonal%20Audio

MZ-NH700 manual. Useful as a reference for all your answers. The MZ-NHF800 is the same model, just with a different remote.

The MZ-NH700 (and MZ-NHF800) remotes also have dedicated Group buttons. You can switch to the next or previous Group (folder) instantly with that button. Suddenly find yourself driving? Switch to the Driving group you created with the remote (instead of switching through a hundred tracks in a group to get to the next one). 3 groups should be very easy to switch through without listening to a whole bunch and without looking at the display.

Search feature

Hold down NAVI/MENU button for 1 second.

Select Useful with the wheel. Hit PLAY/Enter.

Search is now blinking.

Hit PLAY/Enter to select it.

A new menu appears:

by Track

by Group

by Artist

by Album

Hit Play/Enter for whatever option you want.

A list of tracks will come up alphabetically (if by Track is selected). Otherwise, you'll be presented with a nice sorted list of Groups, Artists or Albums, depending on your choice. Selecting your choice from there will nail down the track you want pretty quickly. Select the one you want by scrolling with the wheel again. Hit PLAY/Enter. Done.

Check out pages 38-40 and 42 of the MZ-NH700 manual, in particular.

Edited by tekdroid

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thank you all for the quick replies...just a couple more things i forgot to ask, does sonicstage, and the MD Player, recognise the ID3 tags of MP3's downloaded from the internet and converted to ATRAC? Or will i have to go through all my mp3's and once converted to ATRAC, fill in the titles, artists, and album info myself?

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thank you all for the quick replies...just a couple more things i forgot to ask, does sonicstage, and the MD Player, recognise the ID3 tags of MP3's downloaded from the internet and converted to ATRAC? Or will i have to go through all my mp3's and once converted to ATRAC, fill in the titles, artists, and album info myself?

When you import your MP3s into SS's library, it reads the existing tags. If you keep well-tagged MP3s [unlike most people] then the results it imports, and subsequently tags the same tracks with when they're downloaded to a player, are quite readable.

The difference is basically made by whether you keep your tags orderly or not.

SS does have limitations relating to the length of individual tag fields [like truncating stupidly long song titles]. There as also a limit to how much text you can send to the player [rather, a specific disc] in tags as well, but I believe that for the 1GB discs this limit is in the tens of thousands, which most users would be hard-pressed to fill just by downloading albums of pop music.

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thank you very much for that insight dex Otaku, this has pretty much clinched it for me...the order will be put in for an MZ-NH600 tonight, and ill be buying up as many 1GB MD's as i can from a store i visted the other day, clearing them out for $3.50 new...

again thanks to everyone who replied

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thank you very much for that insight dex Otaku, this has pretty much clinched it for me...the order will be put in for an MZ-NH600 tonight, and ill be buying up as many 1GB MD's as i can from a store i visted the other day, clearing them out for $3.50 new...

Man I wish I could gets them that cheap here [where they're almost 4x that price].

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yes, i was surprised at the price too, but then again, while doing research in department and specialty stores, looking for minidisc players/recorders, aswell as feeling out the availability of media, i stumbled across them, the store only had 15 or so on display, but ill wager they have a few more out the back. they were clearing them out as they werent selling, and had not carried MD players for a long time.

on the subject of MD player availability, the main electrical specialty stores in my city only carried the MZ-NH600 model, if at all, and even then, they were still selling for $299AUD. one salesperson even tried to sell me the very last demo model (the last model they had) for $230! no bundled accessories, no extra MD's, no free CD...just the basic MZ-NH600 retail pack on its own...

even the sony central store in my city only had the MZ-NH600, was told it was the only model they had and they would no longer be stocking any MD players...(yeah, ok, whatever)...and none of the staff could answer any of my questions (as basic as they were, like the ones ive asked of all of you)...

so yes, in australia, MD is a dying format...but it means i reap the rewards :)

btw, i also think that i may be able to get the 80 min MD's for possibly $1.50 -$2.00 a pop, so i may invest in those too...look out ebay!

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...nd ill be buying up as many 1GB MD's as i can from a store i visted the other day, clearing them out for $3.50 new

would you mind mentioning the store? You're in Melbourne, right?

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no, im in adelaide...and the store was myer in the city...

unfortunately, i went in today to buy the minidiscs, and to my horror, the guy said they were now $4.95 each! and the 80min ones were $7.95 each! not happy, jan!!!

looks like ill have to drop in there when the girl who told me they were clearing them out for $3.50 is working...is it morally wrong to flirt back with a salesgirl for cheap minidiscs? even if you dont find her the least bit attractive?

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not if you then sell 'm and ship 'em worldwide at the same rates (you can even take $.50 for your effort) :lol: jus' kiddin'... no really, you'll have to decide on that one yourself I'm afraid...as no one of us can know how 'unatractive' she really is :P

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