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Posts posted by wolb1

  1. Dear Stephen,

    thank you for your extensive help. Yes, the files had been uploaded to Windows 10 from Walkman, that crashed and has been installed new on another partition. But I had a backup of all files in RAR format and could restore them. But I did not have a backup of the SSprogram and all the OpenMG .dat files, don't know whether this would help? Now there are three types of files:

    1. Files not encrypted

    2. Files encrypted but can be played in FFmpeg

    3. Files encrypted but cannot be played in FFmpeg. These files cannot also be converted by FCT: error messages.

    I wonder why FFmpeg can play and convert some and others not.

    Kind regards,


  2. Dear Stephen,

    thanks for your reply. FCT = file conversion tool. 

    I used PCM also  believing that it would be better. Thank you for your explanation.

    I am not quite sure whether my files that could not be decoded where uploaded by which walkman.  These files where rather old and FFmpeg did show:

    [oma @ 00000000001ce040] File is encrypted
    [oma @ 00000000001ce040] No encryption header found
    C:\ProgramData\SonicStage\Packages\Hi-MD 2019-07-14 18_10_12\010-2019-07-14 18_10_12.oma: Operation not permitted

    That is atrac3plus, 256 kbps

    BTW, is there a bit depth value in oma files?

    Kind regards,



  3. Ich habe beobachtet, dass alle oma Dateien, die mit dem Walkman MZ-RH1 als verschlüsselte atrac3plus oma Dateien auf den PC übertragen wurden, von ffmpeg entschlüsselt werden können. Das gilt sowohl für normale MD (atrac3) als auch für HiMD (atrac3plus, 256 kbps). Aber HiMD Dateien von anderen Walkmen (z.B. MZ- NH1) können zwar auf SonicStage übertragen und dort abgespielt werden, aber nicht mit ffmpeg Decoder entschlüsselt werden.

    Ich schließe daraus, dass die ffmpeg Programmierer nur die Verschlüsselungs-Software geknackt haben, die im RH1 eingebaut ist, aber nicht die Software von OpenMG. Immerhin ist auch das schon ein großer Schritt, der bestimmt viele Jahre an Arbeit gekostet hat, um die verdammte und wertlose Digital Rights Management (DRM) Philosophie von Sony ad absurdum zu führen.

    Sony stellt zwar ein "File Conversion Tool" zur Entschlüsselung zur Verfügung, wenn man aber vergessen hat, dieses laufen zu lassen, sind nach einem System Crash mit System Neuinstallation, was bekanntlich bei Windows sehr oft passiert, alle oma Dateien unbrauchbar. Das gilt sogar für PCM Dateien, die als verschlüsselte oma Dateien gespeichert werden, mit der gleichen Dateigröße wie eine WAV, die aber nicht mit einem normalen Player abspielbar sind.


    I have observed that all oma files transferred to the PC with the Walkman MZ-RH1 as encrypted atrac3plus oma files can be decrypted by ffmpeg.  This applies to both normal MD (atrac3) and  HiMD  (atrac3plus, 256  kbps). But HiMD files from other Walkmen (e.g. MZ- NH1) can be transferred to SonicStage and played there, but cannot be decrypted with ffmpeg  decoder.

    I conclude that the ffmpeg programmers only cracked the encryption software built into the RH1, but not the software of  OpenMG. After all, this is also a big step, which has certainly taken many years of work to lead sony's damned and worthless Digital Rights Management (DRM) philosophy ad absurdum.

    Sony provides a "File Conversion Tool" for decryption, but if you forgot to run it, after a system crash with system re-installation, which as you know happens very often in Windows, all oma files are unusable. This even applies to PCM files that are stored as encrypted oma files, with the same file size as a WAV, but are not playable with a normal player.


  4. 23 hours ago, PhilippeC said:

    @wolb1 there is complete procedure explained many times on this forum to install with success Sony MD drivers on a PC with Windows 10. No need of a high expertise. Nethertheless, only the MZ-RH1 and its Mac version are able to transfer an old recordings to the PC with Sonic Stage (as said Stephen, sfbp, and even then only if they were not made by USB transfer in the first place).

    Hi Phillippe,

    A link to instructions

    I had installed the drivers in November 2017 and February this year,  transferred tracks from Net-MD and now Windows says, 

    Device is ready
    Net-MD/Hi-MD is set up and ready to go

    but in the Device Manager it says

    Currently not connected Code 45.

    It seems the driver have been lost from alone!

  5. Sonic Stage is a software that is rather badly designed by Sony and even is not supported since MP3 is dominating the field!

    Sonic Stage should enable transfer in both directions, but does not. Furthermore, Windows 10 blocks installation of Sony drivers as the signature is missing. What is the result of this? Only Software experts and nerds can manage to transfer Atrac 3 SP and LP recordings directly as oma files from the Walkman to PC.


  6. Dear Steve,

    thanks for your help. I will check whether I downloaded the correct file.

    Meanwhile Sony told me the following:


    Unfortunately SonicStage is not available anymore and therefor not being supported by us any longer. That's why it is incompatible with Windows10 and will not be updated in future. We're very sorry to disappoint you.

    Please feel free to contact us, if you should need further assistance.


    So, what does this mean??? Sony software must be updated by anybody who is not member of this stupid company? If Microsoft will stop support for an old System version, there would be a successor that does replace and improve this obsolete version. What is the successor software for SonicStage?

    Or the user should throw away any Sony software and also any Sony hardware too??? I am frustrated, that is very bad Corporate Identity.

  7. Dear Stephen,

    thanks for your reply!

    Under Win10 I had the following problems (that is where my trouble began):

    1) The option to create a CD was totally missing.

    2) After installing the new "Ultimate" SS, only runtime errors came up. It did not run at all.

    So, maybe I made something wrong with my installation. The system file check, however, did not show any error, only one unimportant file was pointed out.



  8. 16 hours ago, sfbp said:

    To be fair, Apple does (or at very least, did) approximately the same thing with iTunes.

    We've been pointing out to people for a very long time that they need to run the File Conversion Tool (after uploading from MD to PC) on a regular basis to avoid this. The design of the Sonic Stage software is such that the database does not know when you manually move files around. The best workaround for moving files because a partition gets too small is to make a directory (folder) on another drive pointed to by a <JUNCTION> or symbolic link from the original site. Having said that, Sony does provide a way of moving the library, you probably didn't notice it - and it can only really be done one music file at a time (sigh).

    The backup and restore do need to be run whilst connected to the internet, as the keys for the music (only really important as long as Sony was trying to run Connect Store as a competitor to iTunes) must be derived from master keys on their server. But they work.

    At least VLC and ffmpeg will play most of your files - be happy about that. You can use a DLNA server to store the files and play them back by streaming where ffmpeg is on the back end and provides a stream that can be understood by all your devices.

    We feel your pain!

    Dear Stephen,

    thank you for your kind reply.

    Yes, VLC can play them. Is it possible to run conversion with that from oma to wav or mp3 for a number of files in one operation? Is there any other program that can do so? What is DLNA?

    Does anybody know, what System files are checked by the OpenMG (to open the "Magic Gate"), so that I can restore these system files from my backups and simulate the original System to this stupid Sony software?

    Yours sincerely,



  9. Hi all,
    it is absolutely unsatisfactory what happens when I transfer music files from one partition to another on the same computer. I have made a backup of all stuff on an external drive. Then restored all files to another external drive. Then started SS on another partition with a different Windows System as this poorly designed software is not running under Win 10 (!!!).

    From that external drive, I imported some oma files into the SS on the other partition.

    Now it says it cannot retrieve the licensing information.


    Furthermore, all files had been imported from my Hi-md Walkman without any software protection or property violence!!!

    IMHO, no type of software is allowed to depend in such important way on the operating system or the hardware of a computer where it is running! The well designed software has to be absolutely platform independent!!!

    IMHO Sony software is lacking a system that stores all audio files in one place, maybe with password, and the user can access this from everywhere he wants. The current method of digital rights protection is absolutely crap, in my humble opinion.

  10. Recently I upgraded from Win 7 to Win 10. SonicStage did open normally but it was not able to transfer to CD. The drive was not recognized and all options greyed out.


    After this, I searched for a new version and found one titled “Ultimate”. After installing new from this source, SS did not even run. It said always


    Runtime error in Visual C++


    Even installing it from the old source file gave the same exception errors. I investigated the type of error and found out:


    Function Create Mutex | Access denied.


    I do not know why!


    After many new trials of installing this software and many different runtime errors, finally I managed to make the program running again. It is running only in Compatibility Mode for XP!!! Also the tool:


    'SonicStage System Information Restore Tool'


    was running at startup and successful.


    But yet now, I tested all my albums and found out, that only those I had formerly exported without software protection could be played. The others showed the well known error:


    "Cannot play this track because the licensing information cannot be found. Please contact the source from which you received this track from"


    This is very great sh***t!!!


    Can any body help me or post her/his other experiences with SonicStage and Windows 10?


    I have about 14 GB of music albums and do not want to loose most of them. Prior to the new SS installation I had made a SS data backup, but I don't know if restoring from backup would help.


  11. 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!!!).

  12. 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?


  13. 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.

  14. Quote

    That is as may be but that is Avanti calling DirectShow and thence the Sony DLL's.. nothing to do with the ffmpeg/libav technology which doesn't.

    Edit: by way of backup (?proof) of my assertion, if ffmpeg were calling OMG, then it should play Atrac Advanced Lossless (AAL) files. It doesn't, because I know the support for decoding them is not (yet) built into ffmpeg.

    Yes, thank you for explanation of the details. I thought Avanti is only a GUI for ffmpeg and that is why I am using it. I did not make any tests further yet.

  15. It worked about a week ago, I used to read it through Google Translate. I think it will come back soon.

    Now it is still the same. I have information from phpBB board:

    "The message means what it says. The database named "forum" does not exist."

    General Error
    SQL ERROR [ mysqli ]

    Unknown database 'forum' [1049]

    An sql error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact an administrator if this problem persists.

  16. I don't think you can possibly expect digital playback systems to cope with "minor" errors in the file. Either it's good, or it isn't, sadly.

    Unfortunately I think the HiMD folder structure is (IIRC) based on FAT and there is a good possibility of directory failures being written on data when you do recovery like this. As usual, on a virgin disk you are OK, but the pattern of record, delete, record, fail, unerase will always produce random results.

    If Sound Forge had decryption built in, you could use it to get the data somehow and patch it back together. But it isn't capable of that.

    I'm quite sure that ffmpeg is not using the OMG libraries. That would be an egregious violation both of their own (GPL) license and also of Sony's.

    Hello Stephen,

    if there are wrong bits in the digital file, there should be some noise in the worst case, but not total malfunction and destruction!!!

    I have undeleted all files from an 80 Min Hi-LP even the audio file ATDATAxx.HMA. But unfortunately this file has only 130 MB instead of 300 MB of the original file. The FAT chain may be broken!

    Regarding ffmpeg I have monitored Avanti playing oma, using the well known Procmon program and it shows uncountable many lines of access to openMG files. I do not know what the command line version would make without Avanti.

    Kind regards,


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