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Everything posted by A440

  1. Markoneswift, you seem to think you have to record in realtime to MD. You don't. Sony made a program, SonicStage, music library software that worked more or less (actually quite a bit less) like iTunes for iPods, transferring music from computer to MD. Download it here: If you have 32-bit Windows, you're mostly ready. Install and open SonicStage, connect the NH700 (with an old MD, not Hi-MD, in it) and see if it's detected. Then you have to choose to transfer the music in one of the older MD formats, not the Hi-MD choices. If you have 64-bit Windows, you'll need this: SonicStage is kludgy and unintuitive, but once you install it and start getting error messages, folks here can help you. I hope you have some old-school MD blanks.
  2. MS907 is not a great microphone. Its frequency response is very deficient in bass and superhigh treble. T he bass is more serious. There are two octaves of human hearing below 100 Hz. http://reviews.cnet....7-20037945.html The R70 will grab good sound, but you ned a good source.
  3. To upload your old SP discs, yes, the MZ-RH1 or MZ-M200 (same unit with a microphone you don't need) are your only choices. I have a PCM-M10. It is magnificent--my absolute favorite electronic toy ever. I'm sorry Stephen's was defective, but I have been using mine nearly since it was first introduced and it's like a brick, microSD slot included. For once Sony did not do goofy proprietary stuff and just made a useful machine. It takes probably 10-15 seconds to start up (depending on how much you have recorded and left on the microSD and internal memory), And here's a trick: don't turn it off, just let it go to sleep (which uses hardly any battery power), and hitting the Record button will start it up again almost instantly. The battery life on the PCM-M10 borders on insanity--40+ hours with two AA batteries. I don't think the Olympus or Tascam approach that, although they may well match other features of the PCM-M10. Not ruling them out by any means because I've never used them. If you haven't already, search www.taperssection.com and its forum for the other two makes.
  4. Whoa, wait a minute! There are lots of lossless mp3 players out there. A dinky little Sansa Fuze will play back .wav files and compressed lossless like FLAC. Those little doPi players from Apple play .wav and Apple Lossless. Cowon iAudio players play .wav and FLAC. I bet Sony even makes portable mp3 players that play .wav. Lossless is not a reason to get minidisc. Even if you think you need it in a portable.
  5. I can't help you with finding a silver recorder. But regarding ripped CDs: Both mp3 and ATRAC are lossy formats. That means that when you convert music to them you lose part of the original. So if you convert to mp3 and then to ATRAC you are going to diminish sound quality. And there is no need to convert anyway because the MZ-RH1 will play mp3 files. If you are starting from the CD and ripping it directly, then PCM is lossless. You will get full CD quality. But you'll only get 90 minutes of music on a Hi-MD 1GB disc. If you want smaller files, then take your pick between mp3 or ATRAC--use Hi-SP or SP for good lossy sound quality--but mp3 files will play on a lot of other players, and ATRAC won't.
  6. Stephen, you know I love ya, but au contraire. Bystanders, if this post is too long, skip to the surprise ending. Molly said she can't find AAA batteries but does have access to AA. You can find 16GB cards here in the discount-happy USA for $25-$30, on Amazon, Newegg and elsewhere. That is way better than $7 per GB for Hi-MD or $3-5 per GB for 80min MD. Molly can get 54 hours of 320 kbps mp3 on an 8GB card, and if you're worried about weight and bulk, well...that would be 8 Hi-MDs vs. one tiny microSD. (And yes, she could get the same on the 750 if she could find the 8GB model but...see below.) Maybe Molly has friends here who could send some microSDs. Hope so, because she could also get a much better price on the PCM-M10. The PCM-M10 weighs 6.6 ounces with batteries, not a pound. http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-audio/cat-recorders/product-PCMM10%2FB/ She's recording drumming. Drumming is one of the most complex waveforms. Doing it in a super-compressed format would be just a shame for an irreplaceable field recording. I can see using the little recorder and high compression for oral histories--probably from jali, or griots--because those are just speech, but African drumming is incredibly intricate, and you really want to hear each individual part. Compression is going to blur those nuances. If I were going I'd stock up on microSDs and use .wav and the best mics I could afford to get clarity. Finally, I was looking around for a price for the 8GB model. Couldn't find it at Amazon or, frankly, anywhere. One page on the lovely disorganized Sony site said the SX750 was no longer being sold--after being dropped to a discount of $49.99! Should've got one!-- but that was the 2GB But then I found this baby: http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666322565#specifications Sony ICD-SX712D. Lists for $199 (half the list price of the PCM-M10). The model number is between the SX700 and the SX750, so I don't know if it's newer or older. It's also an AAA unit, and it lists its frequency response as 40-20000 Hz (not 20-20000 like the PCM-M10, so it loses an octave of bass from the fidelity on the djembe. ) But--IT HAS A MICROSD SLOT. So it can take extra cards. And it's little and affordable. If she can score some AAA's, maybe this would be Molly's choice.
  7. Molly, the first thing you should do is download SonicStage 4.3 to your computer. Use Avrin's Ultimate Edition Earlier versions of SonicStage did only allow you to upload once, but later ones removed that limit and allow quick conversion to .wav, which will play anywhere. Unfortunately, the material you uploaded on earlier versions still has that one-upload limit--this will only apply to new uploads. It sounds like you were using Hi-MD if you were running into that limit. That's good. That means you don't need the MZ-RH1. You could get any Hi-MD unit, including the cheap MZ-NH600D--which does not do realtime recording, D is for downloader--to upload the rest of your Hi-MD recordings. Make sure the unit you get is not NetMD but Hi-MD. There aren't many choices, and they all have H in the model number. [Edit--except the MZM200, same as the MZ-RH1. Sony loves to confuse things.] As long as the format you recorded is Hi-SP, Hi-LP or PCM, you don't need the MZ-RH1. The RH1 is only necessary to upload SP, LP2 or LP4. I'm sorry to contradict the other poster, but let's not get into a sound quality argument over the greatness of minidisc. Unless you were using PCM--same as .wav--on a Hi-MD unit, your sound was being compressed upon recording. Hi-SP was 256 kbps. New digital recorders, like the PCM-M10 or the Edirol R-05, can do .wav or 320 kbps .mp3, and they have enough internal and removable memory to handle the bigger files. There is no way 256 kpbs is better than .wav, and if there is any difference between Hi-SP and 320 kbps .mp3 I would expect that only Martians and dogs can hear it. Wingfield Audio found that two AA batteries last 43 hours--yes, forty-three hours--in the PCM-M10. http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/sony-pcm-m10-review.html Stephen, your 750 model does not have removable media and is full at 2GB (or 8GB). The PCM-M10--like MD--does have removable media. Yes, microSD cards do eventually need a computer, but MDs eventually need either a player, which is now headed for obsolescence, or a computer. Molly could be out in the field and record mp3 for a long time--a very long time, like 100+ hours--with a 16GB card, not even touching the 4GB internal memory of the PCM-M10. She could then swap it out for another 100+ hours with a second card. Double those for 32GB cards. She and her husband could each use their own microSD cards for different groups of recordings. We all like our personal toys, but I'm really trying to be practical here.
  8. Stephen....the OP can't keep uploading to a computer, and said so. So the 2GB limit of the recorder is going to be a problem. Removable media--microSD cards are really not so bad--is the solution. Also, if she's recording music, that 100Hz cutoff is way too high. I believe the PCM-M10's mics cut off around 80 Hz. But since she was recording with MD, she must already have mics, which make the whole internal mics question and stereo-separation difference irrelevant. The PCM-M10 also has its own dinky little speaker, just to do a quick check if you got the recording. I don't know what kind of battery life the 750 gets with its AAAs, but the PCM-M10 goes just short of forever on two AAs. Good metering too. Why try to make a dictation stick do the job of a music recorder?
  9. For a new recorder get a Sony PCM-M10. You can find one in the US for about $200--more in Europe, unfortunately. It takes two AA batteries and records for something like 20 hours or more. It uses microSD cards but also has 4GB of storage by itself--that will hold a lot of music if you record mp3 at 320 kbps. If my math is right, one 16GB microSD card will hold more than 100 hours. And you can copy files directly to computer, no weird Sony formats. For your old discs, if they were not Hi-MD the only thing that will directly upload them is the MZ-RH1 which is at least $300 if you can find one. Otherwise you have to figure out if they were Hi-MD (formats Hi-SP, Hi-LP or PCM) or regular MD (SP, LP2, LP4). Hi-MD will upload to computer from a Hi-MD unit. The NH700 was a great unit. But they are all old and used now. Regular MD only uploads with the MZ-RH1, or needs to be recorded out of the headphone jack in realtime--maybe to your PCM-M10.
  10. No need to use bass rolloff if you have line-in and a battery box. Put the unit at about 1/3 of the way up for volume and you will get a good recording.
  11. I'm sorry, but the PCM-M10 is THE recorder. Someday a user will want to record music, or ambient sounds, or events unknown. And the PCM-M10 will be perfect for it. Its built-in mics are good for everything but bass. External mics or line-in are superb.
  12. The Sony mics--non-counterfeit ones--are not that good a value. They are noisy and they lack bass response. You want a mic that captures 20-20,000 Hz. I use these itty-bitty stereo microphones, the size of a pencil eraser, clipped to the collar of a dark shirt. http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-BMC-2 And to prevent bass from overloading the MD mic preamplifier, as it will, I use this little battery box and run it through Line-in. http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-SPSB-8 Put the input volume at about 2/3 of the way up, and you'll get a good concert recording.
  13. Writing decent software--full stop--should have been paramount for Sony. And thinking for users rather than its paranoid, DRM-loving record label would have helped quite a bit. I agree that Sony should have done Apple support early and comprehensively. But making the Mac 5% "paramount" over the Windows 88% would have been pretty silly from any commercial perspective, no matter how well-heeled the Mac users are. They're spending most of those $$ on Apple gizmos anyway.
  14. The only real defense for Sony's Mac incompatibility is that comparatively few people--less than 5 percent of the market!--use the MAC OS. Really, I'm not making it up. http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10 And maybe Apple threw up programming or royalty roadblocks to keep its competitor Sony at a distance, and Sony decided that putting massive programming effort into reaching 5 percent of the market was a waste of time. We don't know what goes on in the corporate netherworld. But frankly, I think that's a lousy defense, because it was clear even in the heyday of minidisc that Apple was dominant in digital music, and digital music is what MD was supposed to be about. I'm on Windows, and to me iTunes is as bloated and domineering as Windows Media Player or SonicStage or Realplayer--they're all resource hogs and DRM annoyances and proprietary-format clowns, and iTunes even wants to take over my networking (Bonjour?). But Sony bizarrely refused to read the writing on the wall. Sony keeps making the same mistake again and again: weird proprietary stuff that baffles users and separates them from non-Sony consumers. Not just ATRAC and minidisc but...memory sticks? Betamax? How long did it take Sony to put basic, obvious mp3 support (which iPod had from the get-go) into MD? Sony must be looking at Apple's proprietary universe and scratching their heads, wondering how Apple gets away with it. It's because Apple makes things look easy, while Sony expects you to RTFM--which is barely translated from Japanese. SonicStage, for those who remember versions OpenMG Jukebox and SonicStage 1 and 2, was not ready for prime time. Sony did finally get it right, on the recording front, with the PCM-M10--you can put a microSD card in the memory stick slot!--and for all I know its mp3 players now have good sound. But even those of us who got years of enjoyment out of minidisc had to tolerate a long learning curve.
  15. The level fluctuations are from AGC. Set the mic at SensLow, switch to Manual and do some tests--with your stereo up loud if you can't convene the band. Your mic itself is not overloading, and neither is the preamp, so all you have to do is set the input level to something where it doesn't peak.
  16. If you have all of your music in one place on the C: drive, like a separate folder, you may be able to Import the whole thing. Try it--you've got nothing to lose. As you know, Import only creates pointers to the files--it doesn't affect the files themselves The PCM-M10 is higher recording quality than minidisc. MD, I think, is 20-bit. PCM-M10 is 24-bit if you use .wav I haven't tried Stephen's recorder, but I think the PCM-M10 is pretty great. Technology has advanced. Your recordings will sound excellent, especially if you use .wav--and now you can, since there is enough storage for them.
  17. The good news is that you have decrypted your files already when you did the file conversion. So you should be able to move them around. To play them, however, you still need SonicStage installed because SonicStage has the codec (coder-decoder) to play them. Windows Media Player should find that codec, but if you uninstall SonicStage the codec disappears with it. Now about your file location. SonicStage has made a database telling it that your files are on the external drive. It can play the files if you find them on the C: drive, but it's too stupid to find them itself. So tell it where to find them, which is what SonicStage means by Import. You are not importing the files themselves. Probably a translation problem from the Japanese. Disconnect your hard drive--or whatever you have the actual files saved on, so it can't mess with them--and go into SonicStage's library. Look at a file, right-click on it and click DEL. You'll be given a choice, typically garbled by SonicStage--do you want to delete the listing (delete the selected album and all files from My Library) or do you want to delete the actual files from the computer (there's a checkbox). Leave the box unchecked, just delete the listing. Then under File, you can Import the files again from where you want SonicStage to find them. Now about a new recording device to end all this nonsense. The Sony PCM-M10. You can find it between $200 and $250 in the US from places like www.jandr.com, www.bhphoto.com, www.beachcamera.com or www.adorama.com . It will record .wav and .mp3 files either onto its 4G internal memory or a microSD card (up to 32GB at least ,maybe more as microSD cards grow). It has good built-in microphones and will work with whatever mics you are using with the MD unit. You can make track marks with a button on the machine or the remote. No more uploading, decrypting, decoding or SonicStage. (It comes with a Lite version of Sony's serious Audio Studio sound editor, but you don't even need it.) Just good old drag-and-drop. And the quality is excellent. .
  18. Before you get into all the renumbering, see if you can get the files to re-order themselves by clicking the Date Modified (or whatever it is) header in Sonic Stage. For archiving, OMA files will get bigger but not better (although not worse either) as .wav files. You can convert to .wav from SonicStage. But another good way to archive them would be to also save them to .Flac., which is also lossless like .wav, but makes smaller files. I'm not sure, but I think Marcnet's free Hi-MD Renderer will do that. http://www.marcnetsystem.co.uk/ The advantage of converting to FLAC is that eventually a Windows will come along that doesn't support SonicStage or .OMA files, while lots of other programs can play FLAC. But save the OMA's too, and listen back to some of the FLAC conversions to make sure they're OK.
  19. If you're recording amplified music, like a rock concert or club gig, the mics will overload the preamp in the R700. If a battery box is out of your price range right now, you can get a cheap attenuator: a Radio Shack Headphone Volume Control. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102975 Mic-->HVControl-->Mic-in. Try recording with your stereo blasting to see what levels you like on the volume control knob (probably about halfway up) and the unit. The attenuator is not as good a solution as the battery box (which would go through Line-in, not Mic-in), but it's a lot more affordable.
  20. Quiet sounds are the most difficult to record because every part of the chain adds noise. The mic adds noise and the preamp (which makes the mic signal strong enough to record) also adds noise. Wingfield Audio has tried a lot of recorders and made samples of speech and silence so you can hear the noise levels. Read their link about noise, too. http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable-recorder-reviews.html I recommend you save some money until you can afford the Sony PCM-M10, which is a great little handheld recorder. It is higher-quality than minidisc and much easier to use. You can find it at www.bhphoto.com for $229. (Add to cart to see that price.) If you have not used minidisc before, it has some extra steps that other recorders don't require. You have to install a special program, SonicStage, in your computer--Windows only-- upload the recordings through SonicStage and then convert them from Sony's own format to files you can use. When minidisc was the best small affordable recorder, it was worth the inconvenience, but newer flash recorders like the PCM-M10--where you just connect and transfer the recordings--are more advanced and easier to use. Minidisc recording is also limited to the capacity of the disc: 90 minutes of the highest quality (.wav), about 8 hours of very good quality (Hi-SP). If you really think you want minidisc, you'll have to look for used ones on eBay, and you may be able find an affordable one, but: 1) Look carefully at the condition, to make sure there's not a lot of wear around the buttons. Don't buy one without a sharp photo. 2) Look at the seller's feedback. 3) Only get a Hi-MD unit. 4) Don't forget you'll need discs. The ONLY models that will transfer recordings to your computer, so they are not just trapped on the disc, are called Hi-MD--not NetMD, not MD. The model numbers start with MZ-NH, MZ-RH, or the MZ-M for the (overpriced) Mac-compatible models. There are not that many Hi-MD units, but they are quite confusing. EH are players only, models ending in D don't have live recording, L models are home stereos. Basically the one to get is the MZ-NH700 or the MZ-NHF800 (which is the NH-700 plus a remote with an FM radio). The MZ-RH1 is the best minidisc ever, and will upload to Mac, but it's going to be out of your price range--and for that price, you should get the PCM-M10. Here is the list of all Hi-MD units. http://minidisc.org/part_Hi-MD_Sony.html
  21. There's no computer connection on the R90. All you can do is record out of the headphone jack, in real time. The only unit that will digitally upload those recordings to a computer is the MZ-RH1 or MZ-M200 (same unit).
  22. The MZ-N707 was my very first minidisc--the one that got me hooked. The design is elegant, it runs an astonishingly long time on one AA battery and it will give you a recording as good as what you can get into it. SP eats up discs fast, but really is better than LP2, and you should only use LP4 for speech. But don't think you can just plug a microphone into the mic jack, go to an amplified show, and get anything but distortion. You need to either get a mic and a battery module (look at Sound Professionals or Microphone Madness) to run into Line-In. Or, if you're broke, a mic and a Radio Shack Headphone Volume Control, which will lower the amount of signal going into the Mic-in jack to escape that distortion. Search the forum for Attenuator. Mic into mic-in is for speech. Anything louder will overload, especially if it has significant bass. But the MZ-N707 is one solid little gadget.
  23. Ah, very promising. I wonder if it's just an attenuated mic input--still going through the preamp--or bypassing the preamp. Have you tried recording silence to see what kind of noise there is on mic-in and line-in?
  24. Time mark--which the OP asked for--is the feature in MD that automatically puts in a track mark every x minutes--5 mins., 10 mins., etc. It's useful if you want to hop through interviews instead of constantly holding down the fast-forward button. The PCM-M10 doesn't have that--or at least I haven't been able to find it. It does, of course, do track marks either during recording or playback. ------ Now about the ICDSX750...does it have a line input? I don't think it does. Which means that you are very dependent on mic-in for (1) not overloading and (2) staying low-noise. I was tempted a while back by a similar gizmo called the Yamaha Pocketrak. The C24 is now $199, and it does have a line input. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673024-REG/Yamaha_POCKETRAK_C24_POCKETRAK_C24_Pocket_Stereo.html
  25. A440

    Sony PCM-M10

    I have the PCM-M10, and as far as I can tell (and I've looked at the manual) there's no time mark or automatic divide. However, there's no SonicStage nonsense to deal with about uploading tracks. You can connect the PCM-M10 to your computer and it works just like another hard drive. So if you have any editing program, like the free CDwave (which will detect silences and put track breaks there) you can chop a long track into short ones without taking them off the PCM-M10. Obviously it's not as easy as already having the tracks cut up, but it would work.
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