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Sonic Stage and copy protection


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#1 tiggerlou

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 03:16 PM

Hello!

First off, I want to say, I'm so glad you guys are out there. I'd truly be lost if I had to depend on the info that Sony puts into their manual. That's *particularly* true for my question today --about copy protection.

While learning how to use my new MZ-RH1 (whoo-hoo! smile.gif, I've been uploading some music from a bunch of old MD's onto my computer. I've been reading posts on this forum about the copy protection that Sony applies to files that go through Sonic Stage, and I have some questions.

1) Once files are converted to other file formats (WAV, mp3, FLAC, whatever) is the copy protection gone as soon as I do that conversion --or do I have to use SS's File Conversion Tool to remove it as well? In other words, could I conceivably convert a file to WAV or mp3 and still have copy protection on it?

The reason I'm asking is that there are so very many steps involved in this process and I'm wondering if they are all necessary. I tried something unconventional yesterday. I opened up the .oma file directly in Goldwave, as soon as the upload was complete . Goldwave doesn't offer .oma as one of the file formats that it supports. But I just changed the selection possibilities to "all" from "supported file formats" and there it was. I opened it in Goldwave, saved it as a WAV file, tweaked it and sliced it up into tracks and saved it where I wanted it.

Are those files now "clean" or do they still have copy protection on them?

2) Here's a side question, that's related to my efforts in streamlining this process. I understand that everyone on this forum is excited about Hi-MD Renderer, and grateful to the person who wrote it. Can anyone tell me what it does, that can't be done with other software that can convert a file from one codec to another? There are plenty of audio editors and media players that do file conversion. What is unique about Hi-MD Renderer? No disrespect intended, I'm just curious.
mda.gif

thanks!

#2 KJ_Palmer

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 04:41 PM

As long as the Add copy protection box is unticked (you have to be careful to do this as by default it's ticked - of course) whenever you do a transfer/conversion your uploaded files will be protection free. If I remember correctly (I haven't done it for while), the box should appear in the options for the transfer screen. Wav files are always unprotected anyway. Someone else can doubtless do a better explanation.

As for Hi-MD Renderer, it's so great at it works seamlessly with your Sonicstage library and has bags of conversion features and easy to use. I've got quite a substantial high bitrate SS Library, and whenever I want to convert an album or two to MP3 or whatever, I just open Hi-MD renderer, select batch mode, add some files, press the Go Render button and everything comes out neatly in album folders, tagged and ready to go. Nothing else seems to give that level of convenience. Anyway I like it, a lot...

#3 raintheory

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 05:41 PM

See the link regarding removing DRM in my signature...

#4 tiggerlou

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 05:48 PM

Thanks, Barack and Rain Theory.

I do understand that if I uncheck the copy protection box it does remove the copy protection. I'm just wondering if I can do that simply by opening the file in some other software, and converting the file to some other format. If that's true, then can I just skip the File Conversion Tool entirely? I don't plan to use Sonic Stage for anything other than uploading my minidisc files, so I'm just wondering how to move it through that process as quickly as possible.

I also see that I can save the file to WAV as soon as it's transferred. Does that remove the copy protection, and if so, why use the File Conversion Tool at all?

Louise

#5 KJ_Palmer

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:14 PM

As to your first point, that would surely depend on the copy protection scheme (if any) of the software itself. Presumably it may have a similar 'facility' as Sonicstage for adding/not adding DRM/protection.
If you use the convert to Wav option in Sonicstage, these will be completely protection-free, in fact you may as well just delete the files imported to Sonicstage and use the wav files instead (after you've checked they're OK).

#6 tiggerlou

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:07 PM

The software I'd be using has no copy protection at all. It's Goldwave, an audio editor.

So what I want to know is:

1) if I save it as a WAV file either in Sonic Stage or Goldwave, is the copy protection gone?

2) If so --and if I have no other use for Sonic Stage past that point-- is there any reason at all to use the File Conversion Tool?

#7 raintheory

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:50 PM

GoldWave & other similar programs will only open the first ~1min or so of the files (if that much, I've tried). You'll need to use either SonicStage or MarC's HiMDRenderer program ( http://forums.minidi...showtopic=20395 ). SonicStage will convert to WAV, whereas MarC's program offers a variety of formats (WAV, FLAC, MP3, etc). Both options will effectively remove DRM.

You shouldn't need SonicStage beyond importing if you use MarC's program (which I would recommend).

GoldWave is a great program by the way, I've been using it for years. I was actually rather surprised to see it open an Atrac3+ file at all, but then I realized that the decompression of the Atrac file would break off after the first min or so of audio (MarC ran into this problem creating his program, but worked around it).

Let us know how it goes!

Edited by raintheory, 18 February 2008 - 09:54 PM.


#8 A440

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 01:47 AM

The usefulness of Hi-MD Renderer and the File Conversion Tool depend on how you made your recordings.

If they are PCM (which is Sony's encrypted .wav), then you might as well convert to .wav with SonicStage, since they are already large files. I suggest doing it in a separate step, rather than converting on uploading, because SonicStage can't always walk and chew gum at the same time.

But if they are Hi-SP, Hi-LP or the legacy formats, then File Conversion Tool is useful because it will make those files playable through any SonicStage, not just the one on your computer. (Or through Winamp with the atrac plugin).

Since I usually record in Hi-SP, I generally upload and then run File Conversion Tool. Then, if I want to edit the files, I convert them to a high-bitrate mp3 or to .wav with either Hi-MD Renderer or Sony's converters. But in the meantime, I have them in an unencrypted form I'll be able to play back, and it's not taking a lot of hard drive space.

Most file conversion software doesn't bother with ATRAC, probably because they would have had to pay Sony for its proprietary format. Hi-MD Renderer doesn't convert, as I understand it. Instead, it does a high-speed playback--a rendering--and records the playback to a different format. Marcnet can correct me if I've got this wrong.

Now that Sony is phasing out ATRAC, it would be a lovely gesture if Sony would release its encryption keys. But I'm not holding my breath.

Edited by A440, 19 February 2008 - 01:50 AM.


#9 tiggerlou

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:43 AM

Thanks so much for all the replies. This is really helpful! biggrin.gif





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