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Opening HMA files on PC

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It is possible to open :HMA files directly on the PC. I tried the following:
1) Connect my Hi-MD walkman MZ-NH1 to PC via USB.
2) Copy a Hi-MD Disk to a folder XY on the HDD drive by drag and drop.
3) Using software 'QHiMDTransfer' from Berlin, Germany I connected to this folder XY. The program then opens automatically the subfolder HMDHIFI that contains all .HMA files (in my case 8 of them) and it displays all tracks in these files that can be converted and transferred as .OMA files on the PC into any folder.
4) The .OMA files are not encrypted. Now they can be imported into SS and played.

P.S.: I use SS 4.3 under Win10.

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I see what you have been doing, please ignore my first response. Yes the QHiMDXfer program will decode the files in the container .HMA files. But there is really not much need, in my opinion.

The major point you seem to make is that the files are not encrypted. However in most cases encrypted files can now be played using VLC or ffmpeg so this is not really an issue. For those people who cannot endure the encrypted files (because, for example they wish to edit them), they can be decrypted using the File Conversion Tool.

Not to sound un-receptive. This is the starting point of the linux-minidisc project, which we haven't heard much of for a few years.

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19 hours ago, sfbp said:

I see what you have been doing, please ignore my first response. Yes the QHiMDXfer program will decode the files in the container .HMA files. But there is really not much need, in my opinion.

The major point you seem to make is that the files are not encrypted. However in most cases encrypted files can now be played using VLC or ffmpeg so this is not really an issue. For those people who cannot endure the encrypted files (because, for example they wish to edit them), they can be decrypted using the File Conversion Tool.

Not to sound un-receptive. This is the starting point of the linux-minidisc project, which we haven't heard much of for a few years.

Thank you for your reply. I pointed out that the files are not encrypted in contrast to importing them via SS. Of course, you can also import the tracks directly from walkman via QHiMDXfer to HDD without coping any HMA files and they will not be encrypted also. But I think, there is some confusion about HMA files in the Internet. I would be glad if anybody from linux-minidisc could still improve QHiMDXfer for Windows as it lacks some important user interface features.

Please can you tell, what  'File Conversion Tool' you are speaking of?

 

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I have a feeling it's slightly more complicated than you describe.

IIRC, you get away with copying the files (and working with the copy) because you have already installed the Sony/Windows DLL set with Sonic Stage. They (Sony) play some tricks with the disk ID (SCSI or ASPI, I don't recall) and the linux team had to do some clever stuff to run QHiMDXfer on linux. It's all in the source code, so you can take a look if interested. I helped and even found some major bugs which had prevented it from being used at all in the real world. Not to say I fixed them - I left that to others.

I tried working on the project myself, but it seems that my standards were not up to those of the originators (or at least the individual in charge). Whenever I tried to do anything involving Windows (I don't run or develop in linux) I became the target of criticism and ridicule. My contributions were rejected, with an offer to let me fork the project myself (the classic "fork off" gesture hahahaha). Maybe you would have more luck since you speak German and can argue with them - however I think almost everyone involved has moved on. One of the things I did was to make a version of QHiMdXfer which plays ATRAC CD's on a PC (currently only possible in automobile head units, and a couple of all-in-one low-budget consumer bookshelf models).

The other thing which they never got around to (I think - maybe someone else knows different) was properly writing disks of any description. So it may not be a matter of "User interface features" but actual core ability to do certain things. In addition, #linux-minidisc does not handle the AAL (Atrac Advanced Lossless) format.

The most interesting possibility would have been to send real SP over USB to a NetMD unit. However I think someone figured out that this was simply impossible because what happens to the data at the portable-MD end of the transaction is controlled completely by the hardware. Sigh.

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Hi sfbp,

thanks for your reply. The only thing I miss in Windows QHiMdXfer is the option to select or deselect all tracks on a disk. Now you have to select every track of hundreds individually to get them transferred. I was advised by Mr. Glaubitz (?) to write an email in their post box, but nothing happened yet (some years ago!!!).

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