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Posts posted by sfbp

  1. Some of the Sony radio remotes are interchangeable to an extent. The one for the MZ-G750 works with the MZ-G755, in fact I believe they're the same, though they won't work with the Hi-MD models.

    Meanwhile, the MZ-NHF800 can use the remote from the MZ-N610/N810, and the MZ-NH700 can also fully use these remotes (RM-MC37LT) and it's not even a designated radio model! They can be picked up quite cheaply on eBay, and I've equipped my 3 NH700s with these and bought a few spares.

    The bad news is there's no way to record from the tuner on the (same unit anyway), as the MD functions completely switch off when the radio is on and vice-versa. I've never seen a hack to do this either, but at a guess it may be possible.

    Interesting! So there is some intelligence in the MD unit apart from just supplying power. Looks like the NH700 might be a special case, but of course when my NF610 arrives I will probably switch everything around just for fun, unless you think I might damage something.

  2. This is a follow-up post to my previous plea for help re: missing the functionality to create an audio CD in SS 4.2

    In searching for a fix for this problem, I came across a couple of references to "PxEngine." Can anybody tell me about this? Is it a patch to Sonic Stage, or does it hit windows files/registry? I'm wondering what the risks might be to trying to install/reinstall this. Apparently Sony suggests it as a fix for Vista users whose Sonic Stage does not recognize their CD/RW drives, so I'm wondering if it might possibly fix that same problem for me with windows XP.

    I think pxEngine is something from Roxio. Probably taking over SS's ability to interact with the CD driver. You might have to deinstall CD Creator.

    My experience is that Nero, OTOH, co-exists quite nicely with SS.


  3. I am about to take possession of a Sony MD with a radio remote. I have a couple of questions:

    1. Will that radio work in anything except the model it was designed for? Including *other* radio-included models and also the plain ones?

    2. The manuals repeatedly state that you cannot record from the tuner. Is it not possible to take a 3.5 mm cable from the tuner to the line input (assuming that there is one)? I realise that might be a silly way to do it, but I am (just) curious.....


  4. Actually they just have a flag somewhere that says they were transferred from PC... They aren't encrypted (encryption started w/Hi-MD), and you can actually clone the TOC of a "NetMD" disc to have it appear as a standard LP2/LP4 disc and upload then... Bit of a hassle, but it is technically possible..

    *That* I would be interested in doing. Someone will doubtless correct me, but I think that when the RH1 makes an LP2 or LP4 disk, the files are copyable to the PC (though only from RH1). That's what made me think they had encrypted it. Jumping to conclusions, again......

    Tell me where to read about TOC cloning. There's another situation I think it's going to be useful, maybe time to learn how



  5. My question is - has anyone looked at spoofing an RH1 in software thereby allowing Sonic Stage to receive data from any Net MD device?

    Even the RH1 cannot upload "real NetMD" data files because when they got downloaded to the MD they were encrypted.

    Normal SP and MDLP data (recorded by mic or using MDLP deck), no problem.

    The remaining NetMD devices are not able to send data TO the USB port. The code simply isn't there in the firmware. I think it is safe to say that no NetMD-only device has ever sent data to SS except to allow the regaining of transfer authorization.

    Right, guys?

    Hi-MD players, that's a different issue. I wonder if the pre-RH1 machines can be tricked into sending (unencrypted) LP2 and LP4?

  6. I'm confused.

    I got a netMD recorder to record from CD. My only interest is transferring pre-recorded CD's to MD in the highest quality possible. And it has to be legacy because I am using them on a car deck. So what is the way to do this? I don't mind doing something in real time, but what sfbp posted is a real pain.

    Peter, if you only want to record pre-recorded CD's to MD and play in your car, you are totally provided for by Sony's hardware and software.

    After all, in the car, how much quality can the ear actually hear?

    I suggest you compare aurally the result of playing CD x1 into the optical output of your MD (if you have such) with CD via USB. Problem - most of the NetMD's especially the cheaper ones, don't have optical input.

    I've looked at the waveforms, and there really doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence one way or the other. But to me (and others, it appears) my ears tell me that the steps I outlined are the way to avoid losing any quality when uploading from MD and back to MD. That's probably Sony's intention - to allow slightly downlevel copies always, but to make it hard to make perfect bit-wise copies. That's probably why you see people all excited about the ability to copy "raw" MD on the dual minidisc deck.

    But I think any high-speed copy is going to be iffy. Just my opinion.

  7. I don't transfer anything by USB anymore anyway, I go direct real time and, in my opinion, get much better quality

    I think that I finally worked it out when someone said that USB->SP is a "fake" LP2 + padding:

    1. You don't get something for nothing. Fast uploads/downloads = sacrifice of quality

    2. Sony didn't want to make it easy for us to author high-quality stuff

    3. The Dolby codecs cannot be used on the computer, Sony never got a license to do that.

    So here are the reliable options (sequence):

    a. Record from analog using Sony's great electronics in any of their decks. (A->D probably better than any sound card). A new option suggested here I haven't explored (yet) is to go straight to computer from the optical out without actually making an MD.

    b. Transfer from a deck at x1 for editing/noise removal on the computer, capturing on the optical sound card input.

    c. Make a CD of the wave files after processing.

    d. Record the CD back to SP via x1 optical link (this is relatively easy because the track marks get made for you).

    One real problem in all this is that you have to keep throwing away any title information.

    I have gotten into the habit (after the x1 upload) of putting the SP disk listing in the transfer screen of SonicStage, and as I extract each track from the properly processed waveform, I can cut and paste the name from the existing minidisc listing when I save the wave file. TOC cloning or something equivalent would be nice, but the contents may have changed a bit (deletion of clunks and run-in/out) so this is good enough.

    As you say, it's tedious, but it works.

    Hi-MD (256K) is OK, but SP is about 99.99% as good as a CD.

  8. sfbp, from what I know about the "intestines" of SonicStage, I can only answer as follows:

    1. Maybe.

    2. Maybe.

    3. Maybe.

    4. Noone knows.

    BTW, has anyone ever told you that your smile makes Chevy Chase look like the most boring person ever born?

    "You should learn not to make personal remarks" Alice said with some severity. "It's very rude"


    But he is the most boring person, I thought.

    Maybe it's time to replace the image with some stock drawing, like everyone else.


  9. Please could someone explain to me exactly what is being taken offline and how this affects my library of music held in SonicStage?

    1. Is there encryption which will magically fail to authenticate once I am offline or the server is not there?

    2. If I have no "downloaded" tracks (I don't), will I lose any access at all?

    3. Is it necessary to export from a working SS before they close the server? (most of my files are WAV anyway so not protected)

    4. Exactly what will fail? I guess I can play with SS not connected to the internet, heheh.


  10. the NH600 (as opposed to the NH600D) does also have optical/line input. This means that all you need for microphone is a some kind of mic preamp, which is not necessarily absurd. Beware, it seems there is one being sold every few days on Ebay where the guy shows 2 different pictures. The ad claims 600 but in fact some pictures show 600D. I messaged him, no response, end of my dealings with that enterprise.

  11. So it seems to make the highest quality standard minidisc I'll either require a stand alone CD to MD machine, or to buy an RH1 or the like.

    Actually you should be able to get a HiMD machine that is for download (no mike) for around $100, brand new, from several sources. I don't think it's right to post that information here but you can easily look on ebay and also on the web. I know, I just ordered one.

    Also any portable from before NetMD should have an optical input which you can hook to the optical output of a CD player or a sound card. The MZ-R90 or R91 for example. This will allow you to get "highest quality standard" without a computer, quite nicely.

    The better HiMD models all have an optical input as well as USB.

  12. In 4.0 they actually removed the capability to rip CDs directly to 66 or 105 kbit/s. Here's the way to get it back: http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=15928 (works with 4.0 and later versions).

    No wonder I never noticed. My goal is nearly always making CD's from uploaded sound, and I have used SB only once, to see if it worked.

    I think you are saying that there exists still a 2-step process to get from CD to MD at these bitrates....? 4.x (I used 4.0 or 4.2 for a short while before jumping to 4.3) seemed more reliable than 3.x so I was one of the happy campers.

    Interesting the part about padding - seems to confirm that NetMD was a big push to make MD cheap without caring about the details too much, since most of the formats are still better than MP3, and probably Sony was trying to play catchup with IPod. I am still fascinated to know what the real cause of the SP mess is - so many people have speculated (including moi) and the latest one about Dolby codecs seems very possible too.

  13. Avrin, I think maybe you omitted (at least I couldn't see) the link to the downloadable full version of SS4.3 that Laidler was asking about (this is to your own post, of course). I just grabbed that as I find it is indeed annoying to have to download an application in little pieces from their server (and maybe it won't be there one day).


    Interesting, it never occurred to me the whole SP upload fiasco was a Dolby problem. Best is still to use digi-out from a deck, neither Sony nor Dolby can interfere with your musical enjoyment by preventing that. For once, I think Microsoft are the heroes here from pushing the unvarnished .WAV format as "Windows PCM".

  14. I recall this with the MZ-RH1 until I got used to it. IIRC I learned quite quickly that charging only ever works if the MD is first "off". But if you are already an RH1 owner this makes no sense.

    What happens if you plug in to the wall having first removed the battery? It should work fine. If it doesn't, something else is wrong (duh, like one of those J****h doctor jokes).

    Funnily enough I had my old laptop start to play up about 10 days ago. The battery says its fully charged but kicks out after 10 minutes. If I disable all power management it runs for at least another half hour before actually running out of juice. Something about circuitry that measures and remembers the state of the Li battery?

  15. In fact there are multple files visible in the Sonic Stage transfer screen. There are not however track marks or multiple tracks in the original recording.

    There you go. The recorder added the track marks all on its lonesome.

    Depending on which recorder you have you might want to disable the automatic track marking. It might be "timed" (see below) or it might be that you turned on "sync rec" which is a switch on some units (eg on the back of my MZ-R91). I had the opposite problem. No simple way to find something specific in a 2 hour recording, and I needed to turn ON the automatic track marks.

    On the RH-1 it's quite simple under Menu->Record Settings->Time Mark. (the Sync Rec is also there under Record Settings).

    If you have an RH-1 I would be happy to explain further, if this doesn't give enough information.

    Joining them up would be easier on a deck, if you had that option.

    Good luck!

  16. Thanks for the useful information, but these recordings do not have track marks. They were all recorded on a Net MD unit using the highest quality setting with no stops or pauses. Still looking for an answer on this question.

    Sounds more like a USB issue to me. I've never seen it, but I can easily contemplate that temporary loss of connx by SS might decide that a single file was in fact multiple uploads.

    Just one single file visible in the Sonic Stage transfer screen, huh? (Multiple files in a single folder don't exactly count).

    These sound like they are SP recordings. SP transfer is very slow, unless you downgrade the transfer to 256kbps. Even then it doesn't work too well with newer machines, something funny about USB timing. This was reported elsewhere (sorry don't have it to hand) and I reproduced the same thing, 5-year old machine uploads SP->256K way faster than 2 year old machine. Are you also sure you don't have hub problems? (connection via a USB hub is not recommended for SonicStage at all)

  17. after version 3.4 they removed the 105k bitrate for hi-md transfers. i use it all the time you can get 6hrs 15 mins on 1 standard disk reformatted to hi-md. it is not the highest quality but it is very good for non hi-fi listening


    I just checked and there it is, in 4.3, 105 kbps, as one of the options for Hi-MD transfer.

    Was it removed in 4.2 and put back again?

    Thanks for the tip, never even considered that bitrate.

  18. > 2. With XP, use SonicStage 3.4 and superior versions, ideally 4.2, and avoiding 4.3; with Vista, only 4.3.

    What on earth is wrong with 4.3? I am running it on two different machines, one XP Pro, one 2000 Server, and it always behaves exactly as advertised.

    I mean, if there's some feature that they took out I am always intrigued by looking at other versions, but I never saw anything outright objectionable. In fact IIRC it was better than the 3.4 which came with my RH-1. It works with every device I have tried.

    Is it possible that if it works for Vista, the problems are to do with security and the lame security model of XP Home? In that case, maybe the statement needs qualification.....



  19. Sorry, when I say 'condenser mic', all I mean is a typical miniature job running from the plug-in power, with no battery.

    I am an absolute beginner too at the mic end of things, but I would offer 2 observations:

    1. From way back (30 years) I recall problems with microphones with a setup like you describe simply picking up crap when on an extension cable of any kind. Back when the only Sony device I ever had used was a Tape Recorder.

    2. It seems to me that if the poor little RH1 has enough power to drive something on a short (or "no") extension, that putting the same thing via a long cable AND a switch box is a horse of a different colour.

    (ha! the spell chkr refused to accept my spelling of that last wurd)

    Never having possessed on it seems like you need some sort of pre-amp. Some of the experts here could probably point you in the right direction. Phono input has always had a very similar problem.... microvolts of signal and necessity to blow that into an amp which is set up for millivolts, right?

    I am sure this is only the broadest possible picture. Please feel free to correct me where I fell off my soapbox through ignorance.


  20. what were you looking to get for it?

    Suggest we take this discussion offline. I sent you a PM but maybe you didn't notice


    Hold on mate, you're telling me that this ridiculously expensive Onkyo CD/HI-MD unit doesn't even have optical out for the MD bit? Why? Are there any other HI-MD decks which aren't portable out there? And if not, what the heck are those z y zeds smoking?

    I'm not the one reporting that fact. But I think it comes down to Sony Music leaning on its Electronics Division (and for that matter any one they sign an agreement to market/manufacture equipment like onkyo, sharp or kenwood) . The consensus seems to be "how on earth did the RH1 ever make it out the door?"

  21. This one has been known since last fall, and its optical digital output is AFAIK from CD only.

    Thanks... that's sort of what I suspected, I now recall the review of the Onkyo *with* speakers, and if this is simply the same unit, I guess the same outcome follows. So the only reasonably safe way is to buy the N9TX for recording, as receiver (it looks nice but not clear how to hook up all the other legacy devices) and listening, and keep the RH1 for mic recordings and uploads.

    Like everyone else I am wary of getting too much into a format that might only last as long as one piece of equipment. I had a JE510 for several years and one day it abruptly died.


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