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Everything posted by sfbp

  1. Looks like there is a new model made by Onkyo, the FR-N9TX(S). http://cgi.ebay.ie/ONKYO-FR-N9TX-S-Hi-MD-C...1QQcmdZViewItem It's a lot of money but if the digital output is from the MD not just from CD, it's probably going to find a bunch of customers from here. Does anyone know?
  2. I am not sure speed is even an issue, if (as for most people) they were recorded with NetMD - there is no way to get the data back, even with RH1 (the experts may correct me on this, as I havent tried). If you recorded the MDLP on a deck, it may be that you can transfer them ok. I have no information about how long it takes to transfer LP2 and LP4. I have a feeling it's only SP that is so terribly slow, I would hazard a guess that LP2 is at least x2 and LP4 at least x4. Maybe a lot faster. I'm still working on my comparisons of upload, there's something funny about SP uploads with the RH1, the data don't match what my ears are telling me. But the quality of LP4 is so low (see Avrin's graphs from the summer) you don't have to panic over a loss of quality. Maybe I'll try it for you, but I am not 100% sure I can generate genuine legacy LP4 that is uploadable, as I have only a NetMD or the RH1 to generate that format.
  3. OK, there's a nice challenge. Now I know all the pitfalls and parameters, I'm going to redo some experiments. I have a deck, a sound card with digital In and Out, and an RH1 with the latest SS. I also have Audition's precursor, CoolEdit. So I can probably make the same comparisons. Funny, the guys over at tapers seem to confirm my rather hastily-noted down hunch (I was very busy when I did it). Maybe I can be a bit more systematic. I have a feeling that the response thing may depend a lot on what you are listening to. More later.....
  4. OK, thanks for the confirmation. Does that mean that the transfer in the other direction (from MD to PC) is doing the same thing? Seems kinda probable, and in accord with my original experiments. The only difference is that you can't see the files. What you do see is the unit scraping around all over the place. Is it the case that you cannot upload from a nonMD (I don't mean NetMD) if the write protect tab is open? 1. The RH1 cheats when downloading SP to itself 2. There seems evidence that that RH1 ??????s when uploading SP (my posts from July) So buying the RH1 is good for only one "legacy" thing, fast uploading of speech. The new modes work nicely, especially recording live in PCM - but if Sony is going to abandon the HiMD format.... And there doesn't seem to be a single machine that actually outputs real digital signal from the new formats. Looks like Sony really really doesn't want you to have digital sound except as a way of compressing things. Even the Onkyo HiMD decks don't have digital out - makes me wonder if they had to promise Sony not to add that feature.
  5. Hi folks I was playing around tonight using different formats and transferring to see what quality was gained/maintained/lost as sound is copied from one medium to another. I took a recording which I had recently cleaned up on my computer, and which Sonic Stage can see as PCM wave files, and transferred it to the MZ-RH1 using USB. I was very careful to set "SP" mode ("Use this mode to ensure compatibility with devices that do not support MDLP"), and I was going to do a comparison with the original sound captured on a normal 80 minute SP minidisc (with a deck that does optical out to the computer). Sure enough the disc is playable on the non-HiMD deck, so it somehow got converted to 292kbps. But imagine my surprise when I looked in Sonic Stage as it was being transferred. (Note: there are obviously 2 phases, conversion and transfer, because the conversions all go to 100% and the transfer takes a lot longer). After the conversion, but before all the transfer was finished, there were a series of files created on the hard disk. You can see them by right clicking on the individual file and selecting "Properties". When I looked, there were two files, the original PCM 1411kbps and an OpenMGAudio(ATRAC3) file with a bit rate of 132kbps. THAT'S RIGHT, ***132kbps***. That's the LP2 bit rate. When the transfer had finished, these "extra" files must have been deleted because they were no longer visible in SS as described above (BTW, the location was in SS\Optimized Files, hehehe). I am shocked if SS and Sony would stoop so low as to actually try to fool us by pretending that the transfer is taking place at 292kbps giving me a replica of my original recording. Someone, tell me there's some special way to force the NetMD standard transfer. There is a blue icon just below the transfer settings (white) icon, with a white arrow pointing rightwards, and "MD". When you hold the mouse over it, it says "transfer with the format that can be played on devices that do not support MDLP". Nothing happens when I click on this icon. So maybe it's operator error. Try as I may, I cannot get MD SP (292kbps) quality onto the MZ-RH1 by this route. I set the proper setting to force SP mode - and that's indeed what I got, sort of, on the target minidisc. I originally posted some months ago that quality is lost when you UPload from the RH1. Now I am beginning to think it's lost when you DOWNload, too. Granted that the other formats (eg 256K Hi-SP, PCM) may transfer correctly. But this one is rather suspicious to me. Anyone able to repeat this experiment? Stephen
  6. You're right. With the convert to Wav option set, I get two files, almost the same size, one of "OMA" at 1411khz and one wave file. The transition from one to the other is so fast I suspect the "OMA" format is std CD format with some header attached. And it takes place at exactly x1. Back to the deck, there's no savings visible here. Stephen
  7. Played with reel to reel tape recorders from the age of 5 - introduction to music, listening to recorder of mom and others in Amateur Gilbert & Sullivan, and other musical comedy. Tapes going back 40 years, now. Got one of the first CD-ROM drives from Microsoft (1988), and always fascinated by possibility of making CD's. Read (1999) that I could do so with digital sound card costing $20, and got it, started looking for MD deck with optical out. The guy who sold a JE-510 to me (second hand) on Ebay went on to become my Web Hoster for 5 years! At the time I got into minidisc recording 2 or three CD's was the most I could fit on the computer's hard disk, so the ability to get a bunch of MD's (SP of course) by recording from Tape Recorder, Cassette, vinyl (and latterly Internet) seemed the way to get music onto CD. I never used a portable MD seriously. I had an (Aiwa cassette) walkman when they first came out in 1983, but wore it out and never replaced it). I bought the MZ-NE410 hoping to be able to upload by USB, second hand (factory refurbished) in 2005. No luck, and got an RH1 this year when the JE510 broke, not for the portable aspect but to upload things faster. I quickly added a pair of decks when I discovered the limitations of the RH1 (not that it isn't amazing for a bunch of purposes, including the first live recordings I have made for ages).
  8. Just because you choose WAV on output doesn't necessarily mean it will be transmitted as WAV. I get the strong impression that it transfers as some other format (probably 256K) and then SS makes the WAV file from that. This WAV file compares quite unfavourably with SP->Optical In, as I documented in my very first post here. Perhaps I was mistaken, and I used the wrong options... pretty easy to do I think. I agree that there are some options which *force* the software to do something different... BUT, it doesn't ever keep it as SP on the computer, (right?), and I get the strong impression that the WAV file is made at the very end. But perhaps some longer sufferer of SS can put me straight on this point. Certainly the SP option is (getting on for) as slow as straight playback. I upload legacy recordings from the MZ-RH1 as a last resort. It seems sooooo busy, I am concerned for the poor thing's health
  9. Second Law of Thermodynamics... you don't get something for nothing? I agree with you 100%. The price you pay for the USB fast upload (IMO) is the loss of squeezing it to ATRAC 256K. Somehow the original coder managed to avoid it with the SP and Sony has been scratching its corporate head ever since. He decodes it in some pseudo lossless manner and then playing that back on optical is as good as it gets. I assume you mean that you, too, upload in real time via optical out? http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=19514 However I think the RH1 has the ability to "save" the whole concept of MD, so don't let's knock it too much. Maybe Sony's apparent reversal in favour of MDSP is technology based after all....... I wonder how an HiMD deck would sound, if I can ever afford it. Especially if it would record 240 mins of SP (or so) on a 1GB disk.. that might be the best of all possible worlds. I thought I saw a reference from someone here that hacked a machine to do that, but maybe I misunderstood the post. Meanwhile the interesting test is 95 mins on a 1GB with raw WAV 1411 on RH1. I just got some affordable 1 GB disks, so maybe that's an experiment to try sometime soon.
  10. http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=19931 (I just posted this an hour ago) Stephen
  11. That's patently nonsense. Sony made minidisc decks for over 10 years with optical out. I have bought 3 of them (1 about 6 years ago, and 2 more when it busted, earlier this year). The optical out can go into your computer without any problem. Sony must have done something magic with the 292kbps format of the original MD. The uploaded results sound so close to CD quality, even the same thing uploaded on MZ-RH1 doesn't compare (yes I have one, and I did the comparison). My personal suspicion is that they couldn't duplicate the work of the original programmer (I read somewhere about some tricks he used) and were stuck with this code that they couldn't even augment to do upload etc. Never ascribe to a conspiracy what might be simple incompetence. Also with MZ-RH1 you will get at most x2 upload speed (on SP discs). Hardly worth the money, whereas for $100 you can buy a second hand deck with optical out (check on the information pages to see which models do) and for $25-30 a sound card with optical in. Now you can make beautiful recordings, no SCMS to worry about as the sound card won't care. Also on the decks you can record speech in mono, so that increases your capacity a lot, a great feature. I don't have a deck with the MDLP formats (LP2 and LP4) but there is a list here http://www.minidisc.org/part_Decks_Sony.html Many of these show up on a weekly or so basis on Ebay. Happy hunting! Cheers Stephen
  12. Hello folks, I have a recent MZ-RH1 purchased from MDC in July. I have the service manual, and the magic information is missing from the beginning of the manual. They just say "when you have entered Test Mode" I don't particularly care about the Volume hack (in fact I strongly recommend you NOT do it, as I have had trouble with my ears ever since I started using the headphones). My interest is more in things like equalizers, and seeing if there are other interesting things I can fiddle with. Don't worry about me turning the RH1 into (a la Steve Jobs) an expensive gold brick! Maybe someone can email me or PM me in the worst case. But I tried the only version I can find on the forum FF FF FR FR FF FR FF FR || || (with hold on and track mark held down) and it doesn't work. HEEELP!!! Also, I had trouble accessing this forum from any browser running Windows XP or Windows 2000 (Server 2003 was fine, bizarrely). Does anyone know why? The main page comes up but when I try to read a topic, or to click on a link (such as from a search of the forum), the Firefox (or Mozilla) window goes blank. This makes me curious if the forum is doing something that the security systems on XP don't like. I feel like one day I will wake up and the world will be a blank screen, on BillyBoy's sayso, or that my RH1 will refuse to play all my MD's, because Sony got mad at me... Any ideas?
  13. Doesn't this do what you need? http://www.terratec.net/en/products/Aureon_5.1_PCI_1988.html I bought it for optical IN but it does optical out, I just checked by firing up Sonic Stage on my PC and recording onto the MZ-RH1 via Toslink cable. This card cost me all of 12 quid (pounds). The only catch was I had to get my relatives in England to send to me because the shipping was 3x the cost of the card from the outlet found. Stephen
  14. I'm a new owner of an RH1 and I have been trying out all the different capabilities. Most of it works fine, but there are some real strangenesses perhaps one of you that's had one for a while could explain please. 1. When recording on to some regular MD's there seems to be a problem with reformatting for Hi-MD. From the length of time it took, I am assuming the system does *not* do any sort of true format - there simply isn't time. The Sony 80 disks behaved better than the Arita 74's, for reasons that escape me. Specifically shortly after recording (but AFTER it finished its legitimate SAVING and SystemFile Writing, from a mic onto an Arita the head is jumping all over the place, lots of clicks and whirring, and generally it sounds like something is wrong. Ideas? 2. I also saw some recently recorded disks give read errors which are cured by removing the MD and reinserting. 3. I took a Sony 80 (since I guessed that they may be more reliable for some reason) and formatted it HiMD. Then I tried to do an analog line in recording. A half hour radio program was broken into about 10 unequal pieces. Is this normal behaviour? Is there any way to prevent it? 4. Very strange things seem to happen when I plug into the USB power supply that came with the unit if I was listening or recording at the time. Is this also expected behaviour? I may have more to report but I'm currently wondering if there is something wrong with the unit, or whether converting "old" MD's to HiMD format simply has major problems..... Thanks for all help and advice, you guys know a LOT Stephen
  15. Concur 100%, Norton is as bad or worse when I last tried. These "dynamic" anti-virus solutions take over all your file I/O. Thus a file-close is a very significant event, which may be accompanied by much activity. For us "soundies" this usually means an unacceptable delay while the stupid virus scanner goes through the entire 600MB we just created. If there is a way to exempt one or more directories from McAfee, that would probably do the trick, too. Good luck! S
  16. I don't understand. Either you can remove it or you can't. If you cannot, then probably noone can help. If you can, I for one am eager to know the results (which you don't tell) of your experiments. Cheers
  17. Fine. Can you now eliminate it hogging the bus as a cause of messing up your connection with the MD? All you have to do is to see if that behaviour goes away when the hub and all associated USB devices are absent. If you can't remove them all, remove as many as possible (and, if that solves the problem, try adding them in again). If you can remove them all and it doesn't solve the problem, I was wrong, and you need to start looking to see what other software routinely spikes the execution profile (eg some virus scanner, checking the mail, who knows......). Hope this helps
  18. I would take a good look at what's in/on that hub. Does it have its own power-supply, or is it relying on power from USB 2.0? USB is quite well known that the power supplied via the connector is marginal. For example my external DVD burner from IBM is very clear that you can only read and write CD's and (maybe) read DVD's with bus power only. If you want to burn DVD you must connect the second source of (external) power as well. This implies to me that there is a general problem with USB devices sucking power from the bus. What do you have connected to the hub? Can you disconnect it entirely? If not, can you buy a USB card for the computer that has lots of outputs so you now don't need the hub?
  19. Even more than before this sounds like a USB problem. What else have you got sucking power out the USB bus? For example an external hard drive. Some actions such as closing a file are liable in that case to cause significant uproar on the USB bus, making SS think the NetMD got disconnected. But it may be something as simple as a webcam, or Bluetooth adapter or even mouse or keyboard (no i haven't seen those cause problems, but a HUB most definitely will mess you up especially if its only 1.1 USB instead of 2.0). What about scanners and printers? Mind you, neither should happen to do something to USB at the end of each song. My money is on an external HD.
  20. Thank you, most gracious. As I mentioned at the start I have a good pair of ears, and only to back up the ear conclusions go to the data, I did. I would be most intrigued if you can provide a counter example - as this would tend to suggest a defective unit as one possibility. One very weird thing I noticed - Sonic Stage (indeed Windows itself) treats the RH-1 as a different type of device if you change from MD to HiMD, going to far as to uninstall the USB driver (di-duh) and then load up the other one (duh-di). But there appears to be a dropdown box marked "mode" over on the right of the menu panel, above the area occupied by NetMD or Hi-MD listing - and this seems never to operate. Maybe this is something to do with it - I can't easily imagine why this would be there an inoperative, yet the system makes an automatic mode switch by changing device drivers. All enlightenment gratefully received, it is. S
  21. Ok, to recap; it looks to me as if Sony is not delivering on its promise to provide uploadable ATRAC (which it knows is the Holy Grail of its possessions - anyone who can really decode ATRAC can wipe the floor with any other compressed format). I thought I had found a solution but it turned out when I looked really closely I was analysing background noise initially. The portion to the right of 16kHz is essentially just noise, then. There seems to be an absolute cut off at about 16KHz, more dramatic than in your post in the other thread but nonetheless around the same frequency. (does 16384 sound a possible number? hehehe that is 14 bits of resolution) Does anyone, familiar with the specs of OpenMG audio format, know if there is a limit on what frequencies it will try to encode? I can't wait to try out the LinearPCM upload when I get a TosLink input cable in the next few days. Now if *that* is broken, do we (and Sony) ever have a problem!!!!!!! Cheers S
  22. I deleted the post that was here and I now replace it with: Grrr! I managed to get the wrong frequency analysis to look at, the one of the "right" file. It's still broken. If you read my previous post, please ignore where I say it got fixed.
  23. The IRQL_ error sounds a lot like something to do with USB. The only thing in all of this that needs to know anything about IRQ levels is the device driver. However there's nothing very special about the USB driver for the device, I had mine talking to SonicRage quite early on, and the driver is pretty generic at the computer. I note that Sony specifically say that you cannot connect a MD player via a USB hub to the computer - could this be the problem?
  24. You could try installing Windows on Innotek's VirtualBox software. It works quite nicely under Linux. Cheers
  25. Hi folks. Please feel free to correct me, if I got it wrong. I want to be wrong!! I am the proud owner of a brand new MZ-RH1 (and a good pair of ears). I was busy uploading all sorts of stuff from MD's to my computer when I noticed that the sound was unusually flat, dull and lifeless. Let me give a little bit of background - until now I have been recording via the analog input of a JE 5xx or 6xx deck from my stereo system, then walking the MD to another deck in my computer room, and playing back the optical output into the digital input of my sound card. This works perfectly but it's a bit slow - I have to play through the music (at least) twice. The advantage is I can use a wave editor easily before burning the results to CD. I love the sound I get, and eventually I will be able to retire all my old equipment. So I thought perhaps "eventually" might become "soon" if I could do fast uploads using the new technology in the MZ-RH1. Back to the results of my uploading. I took the first 20 seconds of a recording that I made using the old method, and frequency-analysed it using CoolEdit (now Adobe Audition). The music source is a Rachmaninov Piano Concerto - piano music with orchestra is probably one of the best things for testing listenable sound. The result is shown in the first attached graphic. Then I repeated the procedure with the USB upload from my new MZ-RH1. The result is dramatic. There is a loss of high frequency so bad that on the default setting of the wave display (0 to -120dB) there is nothing showing above 16 kHz. I expanded the scale to -160dB just to show that it is apparently still there but hugely attenuated. Please can anyone try to confirm this? Is there anything I can do? NOTE: I also tried changing the upload setting in SonicStage to "PCM-1411Khz" and the result appears to be unchanged. Thanks to all you MD experts for your advice on this. I am getting a bit ticked at Sony - it looks like they convert the "NetMD" tracks before uploading them and the conversion kills the sound. I haven't yet tried recording from HiMD as I don't yet have an optical cable to plug INTO the MZ-RH1 as a source of "good" sound, and of course I cannot record Hi-MD's with a JE630.
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