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The Web MiniDisc Application

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1 minute ago, BearBoy said:

So I wiped the MiniDisc I was using and ejected it (so the TOC would get updated). Re-inserted the MD and tried again but got the same outcome (i.e. it just shows "loading" but does not connect).

Ok... then it's definitely something's up with the protocol. I'll try to add some debug logging during the weekend and see if can find a solution.

Unfortunately it's pretty hard to make an app work without the real hardware for testing.

By the way, I almost forgot to mention that there's another open source project for writing to minidisc devices. It's called Platinum MD and they just released the new version of their app for win, mac and linux here: https://www.reddit.com/r/minidisc/comments/fqmn00/platinummd_now_available_for_mac_windows_and/ 

I haven't used it, but people say it works well... maybe it's worth to give it a shot if my app doesn't work fine with your devices

 

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48 minutes ago, cybercase said:

By the way, I almost forgot to mention that there's another open source project for writing to minidisc devices. It's called Platinum MD and they just released the new version of their app for win, mac and linux here: https://www.reddit.com/r/minidisc/comments/fqmn00/platinummd_now_available_for_mac_windows_and/ 

 

Just gave it a try - it doesn't work with my RH1 - getting stuck at "Negotiating the device"...

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9 minutes ago, Stachu said:

Just gave it a try - it doesn't work with my RH1 - getting stuck at "Negotiating the device"...

The person who wrote that other application put this on the reddit:

Quote

If it says "negotiating with device" - that's a great sign, you could try hitting the green "retry" button as sometimes it can time out.

Might be worth a try?

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58 minutes ago, cybercase said:

Ok... then it's definitely something's up with the protocol. I'll try to add some debug logging during the weekend and see if can find a solution.

Unfortunately it's pretty hard to make an app work without the real hardware for testing.

 

There's possibly a number of different implementations of NetMD out there and trying to get an app working with every NetMD compatible device without access to the devices themselves must be a nightmare.

I'm not too bothered about the MDS-JB980 personally as the app works fine with the MZ-N910 (I've also got an MZN710 too, which I assume will also work okay as that's what you have). Having said that, I would be happy to test things with the JB980 if it would help you get it working for other people with NetMD decks.

 

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Ok I got the Platinum MD to work but that required an installation of homebrew and other Mac OS Catalina plugins. But TBH: I prefer your UI, Stefano. If clean, simple and really fast. Moreover - it's cross-platform :D

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7 minutes ago, BearBoy said:

I'm not too bothered about the MDS-JB980 personally as the app works fine with the MZ-N910 (I've also got an MZN710 too, which I assume will also work okay as that's what you have). Having said that, I would be happy to test things with the JB980 if it would help you get it working for other people with NetMD decks.

 

I just wonder, I plan to buy the JB980 one day (one of dreams, can't afford it now) and it could be nice to get it working, too :-) But still hey! RH1 works!

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1 hour ago, cybercase said:

I haven't used it, but people say it works well... maybe it's worth to give it a shot if my app doesn't work fine with your devices

 

They say the Platinum MD's LP2/4 modes work only in an experimental mode, whatever that means...

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It also says that:

Quote

it does full quality SP transfers which SS doesn’t do.

I'm sure I recall reading somewhere that SP in SonicStage was some sort of "fake" SP and not the same quality as you'd get doing real time recordings on a deck/portable. I never paid too much attention tbh as I've never (until yesterday) tried using NetMD.

Stefano, do you know if your app does "full quality SP"?

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AFAIK SonicStage 4.3 uses double LP2 for SP recordings, which is not the same as the real SP mode, actually i can't hear any difference between SP and LP2 recorded via NetMD. Unfortunately, once I tried to record an MD from a CD played back on my Sony's Blu-Ray, it was recorded as a single track, despite I enabled the option to mark each track on every 2 sec. silence. So I dropped that as that would be a real pain in a*** to mark each track manually afterwards :>

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33 minutes ago, BearBoy said:

It also says that:

I'm sure I recall reading somewhere that SP in SonicStage was some sort of "fake" SP and not the same quality as you'd get doing real time recordings on a deck/portable. I never paid too much attention tbh as I've never (until yesterday) tried using NetMD.

Stefano, do you know if your app does "full quality SP"?

 

15 minutes ago, Stachu said:

PS. But I'm not sure how does the Stefano's UI deal with the SP mode?

Yes, my app support full SP. Basically, when you select SP mode I'm sending 16bit 44100Hz uncompressed audio to the device that does the conversion to SP itself.

That's why SP transfer takes longer.

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51 minutes ago, Stachu said:

Unfortunately, once I tried to record an MD from a CD played back on my Sony's Blu-Ray, it was recorded as a single track, despite I enabled the option to mark each track on every 2 sec. silence. So I dropped that as that would be a real pain in a*** to mark each track manually afterwards :>

I had similar issues using a Sony Blu-ray player Stachu, although their DVD players worked fine. I posted about it here: 

I had been meaning to update that thread with some more recent testing I had done but never got around to it. I'll try to update it later today as I am still a bit puzzled by why some sources work correctly and others do not.

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BearBoy: What about Sony's CD players with coax or toslink out? If they are OK, maybe I'd get one - they shouldn't be expensive.

Stefano: fantastic news! Darn, I need to re-record a couple of MDs I transferred with SonicStage over pas couple of days ;D ;D ;D

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Back in the 90s I had a Sony CDP-XE500 connected to an MDS-JE500 via toslink and never had any issues with the track markers not coming across correctly. More recently I've been using a Sony SCD-XB790 connected to an MDS-JB980 via both coax and toslink and, again, have not had any issues. I think you'd be fine with a Sony CD player tbh and there are usually loads on eBay.

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Don't know where you're located Stachu but the only one I can see on eBay at the moment is 250 Euros from Germany. That's way over priced if you ask me. I paid about £80 for mine IIRC. 

If you don't need SACD then take a look at CDP-XE and CDP-XB models. The XB ones are QS models so have aluminium fronts if that sort of thing interests you whereas the XE ones are plastic.

There's a UK CDP-XE320 here for a good price: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SONY-CDP-XE320-CD-PLAYER-OPTICAL-OUTPUT-EXCELLENT-WORKING-ORDER/174237844638?hash=item289162849e:g:Hn8AAOSwXj1ehM5X

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9 minutes ago, BearBoy said:

I'm in Poland, and over past weeks our currency went crazy, eg. 1 USD used to be 3,80 PLN, now 4,20, even worse with Euro and Brittish Pounds :(

I can play SACDs on my Blu-Ray so the XE320 sounds great, I reckon :-) TNX!

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Fantastic, Stefano, I got it to work on my MZ-RH1 with the SP mode! This is going to save me so much time transferring files after years of real-time transfers.

A couple of questions - 1) why can I only access your link with Chrome? It would be more convenient for me with Safari, for instance, but not a huge problem. Is it just going to stay web-only? or could one download it? whatever, it's great, nice straightforward interface.

2) I threw a couple of different files at it, eg an .aiff and an .mp3 and it started 'converting' them before uploading. What does it convert them to? Once uploaded it didn't show the filetypes in the title info for me.

I still haven't had time to try reconnecting my MZRH1 to see if I'm getting the same problems as Stachu was having with it not being recognised etc. Will check it out tomorrow.

But... great!! Because of Covid-19, I have no income right now (I'm a musician/instrument-maker/choirleader) but I would be happy to donate something for this when the world morphs into a new 'normal'. Are you in Italy? I wish you well...

 

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7 hours ago, zzzuppp said:

But... great!! Because of Covid-19, I have no income right now (I'm a musician/instrument-maker/choirleader) but I would be happy to donate something for this when the world morphs into a new 'normal'. Are you in Italy? I wish you well...

 

Hi zzzuppp - "welcome to the clb" in terms of income - all got stuck here, haven't got paid since like 1 month and rices 

 

8 hours ago, zzzuppp said:

2) I threw a couple of different files at it, eg an .aiff and an .mp3 and it started 'converting' them before uploading. What does it convert them to? Once uploaded it didn't show the filetypes in the title info for me.

 

My guess would go for temporary wav files - the uncompressed and lossless format :-)

8 hours ago, zzzuppp said:

I would be happy to donate something for this when the world morphs into a new 'normal'.

I'd be happy to buy you a coffee or something either, Stefano! You actually made my day with the UI publication. I just rediscoved MD and started to use it again ;D

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Hi @zzzuppp, I'm happy this will be a time saving for you :) 

About your questions:
1) I also would have loved to make it working on Safari. Unfortunately Safari does not support the WebUSB technology, and that's a requirement to communicate with the device.
About offline usage, you can already do that. Here's quick video to show you how https://youtu.be/yh9xNzN-PUk

2) If you select SP mode, every file is temporarily converted to uncompressed 16bit 44100Hz (raw pcm) and then sent to the recorder.
If you select LP2 or LP4, after converting to raw pcm, there's an additional step to convert the file to ATRAC3 before sending to the device.

Thanks for you thoughts and, yes, I'm in Italy. We're still on lockdown, but looking at the numbers it looks like the situation will get better in a few weeks... Today marks 1 month since the last time I've been out for other than grocery shopping, and I can't wait to go back to normal.

By the way, thanks guys, I really appreciate, but don't worry about donating.
I mostly decided to write this app to kill the time during the quarantine, and I actually had fun doing it.
Let's say that if you'll ever come to visit Florence you can buy me a coffee :)

Wish you the best!

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2 hours ago, cybercase said:

Let's say that if you'll ever come to visit Florence you can buy me a coffee :)

Will definitely do, would LOVE to see Florence btw :-)

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Me too!! and I like Italian coffee too!

Thanks for your answers, Stefano. Greetings to you in Italy, we are watching you closely from the UK to see what's coming next for us corona-wise...

Your app is almost the best thing coming out of Covid-19 for me! (no, that would be a little sad! I live in the countryside and the air quality and peace-and-quiet quotient has gone up massively - birdsong is my only soundtrack now - and I am still just about able to go out for long walks without meeting many people. I'd like to bottle that feeling - and maybe sell it to make some much-needed money!!).

But your App is a Godsend. Several years back I made a special 'Leopard' drive for my Mac just so I could continue to use Sony's MD app for Mac - but then it just packed up and wouldn't work at all and Sony just abandoned MD users altogether, so this new possibility is great.

It would be amazing if you could make it work for Hi-MD. I'd recommend finding an MZ-RH1 to play around with, although they're expensive (€200 and more) when you can find one on eBay or similar, but it's a fantastic little piece of kit. Just a shame that the OLEDs tend to die after a few years, which makes seeing what's going on difficult or impossible.

I shall run some tests this afternoon.

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zzzuppp: same here - also countryside, forests around and meadows :-) We're lucky is much more calm here these days and people tend to behave in a nrmal way, too. 

1 minute ago, zzzuppp said:

It would be amazing if you could make it work for Hi-MD. I'd recommend finding an MZ-RH1 to play around with, although they're expensive (€200 and more) when you can find one on eBay or similar, but it's a fantastic little piece of kit. Just a shame that the OLEDs tend to die after a few years, which makes seeing what's going on difficult or impossible.

Yep, mine RH1's OLED is about to die :(

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Where are you in Poland, Stachu?

I have one MZRH1 where half the display is dead - the Right side, where all the useful information is, annoyingly; and on my other MZRH1 the entire display comes and goes randomly. Maddening.

You can add the sidecar and see quite a lot of information there, but not everything. Recording is guesswork - and the controls are so fiddly.

Luckily I have one of those standalone Onkyo hi-mds where the controls are big and easy to use; but I don't think I'll be able to use Stefano's app with that.

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