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Everything posted by A440

  1. New battery has arrived from Shanghai, and it charges. Phew.
  2. Just so it's clear to someone who doesn't have the remote: You can Pause and un-Pause by pushing in the stick on the lower left. But there's no Record button. So you have to put the unit on Record/Pause (and put it on Hold before pocketing it) and then you can un-Pause it with the remote to start recording.
  3. A440

    Sony MZ-M200

    The psychology of eBay is a little strange. A high opening price sometimes prevents people from bidding at all--even if they would then bid higher. If I were you, I'd sell the Hi-MD blanks separately, maybe in batches of five (leaving three with the MZ-M200) and try a lower starting price for the MZ-M200, with a reserve over $300. But you're just not going to get the price of a new unit for a used one on eBay. Bidders are always taking a chance on the condition, lack of warranty, etc.
  4. Plugging in, playing, and then disconnecting--it goes dead. No battery charge. I'm going to try letting the RH1 play a full disc overnight on wall power with no battery, but that will be a few days from now. I'm not holding out much hope--and let's hope the new batteries from China aren't also at the end of their shelf life. Proprietary batteries....grrrr, design over functionality. Give me a bulgy unit and a Duracell any day. Ah, and you remember the Westminster Abbey recording! I was being a total tourist. Which reminds me--is our Gallery on this new site? And the Browser with all specs, photos and user and service manual links?
  5. I let it play for a while connected to the wall charger, and the charging animation ran as it played for at least 15-20 minutes, possibly an hour, but the battery didn't hold any charge. I also dug out my Gomadic 4-AA USB power gizmo and did four hours of recording with it and some playback--man, that RH1 sounds good!--and it too showed the charging symbol, but no charge occurred. So I'm thinking the battery is kaput. Sony did offer to "repair" the battery--how?--for an unspecified price or sell me a new one for a mere $49.99 plus shipping. I went the eBay route instead. The new battery is on the proverbial slow boat from China. I wasn't in the UK with the MZ-RH1--you must be thinking of someone else. Anyway, thanks for all the advice. I still haven't tried the service mode business because I'm not sure what it would accomplish and I don't access service mode casually. But if you think it would help given these other attempts, go ahead and encourage me.
  6. Try http://www.sonymediaservices.com/ Otherwise known as the Last Chance Saloon. It's not going to help with your current problem but, in future, forget the Backup Tool. What you need to do is run the File Conversion Tool--part of the SonicStage program group, or under Tools in SonicStage (it runs with SonicStage closed, not open). It removes the decryption from the files so that they become playable via any SonicStage or ATRAC unit, and you can save the .omg files or convert them to mp3. If you haven't upgraded SonicStage to at least version 4.2, you should.
  7. Confirmed, and I've been doing it forever--I think since my first MZ-N707. Either I found out about it on www.minidisc.org or with a call to Sony customer service. I just looked through the MZ-NH700 manual, and no, it's not there. But it has to be somewhere.
  8. Pressing play while Charging is on: The charging animation goes for about 5 seconds and then it starts to play (on USB power). No more charging animation, even after stopping Play. The unit and batteries have been sitting idle for a long time, months at least, while I rock out with the NH700. I don't think over-charging is what's going on. To do the service-mode tweak I'd have to do it on wall power. Battery by itself doesn't do anything. Thoughts?
  9. It works connected to USB. Mostly it has sat around disconnected, not constantly charging. One battery was in the unit, one (possibly counterfeit, but worked at the time) outside. I'm still trying to wake it up. It does two or three different things. On plugging in, it shows the battery animation and smoothly goes through all the segments, before the battery animation disappears after a few minutes. Or it shows the animation, goes through four segments, goes through two segments, goes through four segments, etc., before the animation disappears. This is via USB from a wall socket. I also found my Gomadic4-AA power supply, and it shows Charging with that too, for a short time.
  10. Actually it detects it and shows the charging icon for a few minutes. But after being plugged in overnight, there's still no power.
  11. I've been saving the MZ-RH1 while I use my MZ-NH700 for live recording. But I tried to start it up today and....my two LIP-4WM batteries seem to be defunct. I know lithium ion batteries decline with or without use, but I'm not happy that the MZ-RH1 has become a desktop rather than a portable. Do any of the electronics experts here know how to reawaken the LIP-4WM batteries? They had not gone through many charge-discharge cycles at all--it was just shelf time. I'm in New York City, where you can usually buy everything, but I can't find a place selling LIP-4WM--just Hong Kong sellers on eBay with what look like fakes (instead of the Recycle symbol on the front of my Sony, there are other variations). Anyone know where to find a new Sony LIP-4WM? Sonystyle doesn't....
  12. Unfortunately, only the RM-MC40ELK does the job.
  13. Line-in would give you silence. The plug-in power is only 1.5V, and I have no idea how much damage it would do (if any) but...it's kind of nuts to use big, expensive Grados as microphones. It's not what they are made for. Their drivers are designed to drive sound out into your ears; vibrating to incoming sound is a sideline. Get binaural mics that are made for the job, at a place like www.soundprofessionals.com . They're cheaper than a new pair of Grados. Also much smaller, and likely to be much more hi-fi. Binaural just means placing omnidirectional mics where a pair of ears would be. It's not about headphones. For what it's worth, I recorded a song through my Shure earbuds once. It worked--about as well as listening to the concert through a telephone. It was in the Live Recordings gallery on the old minidisc.org site--I don't know if that has been transferred to this new server.
  14. With all the mics, your MZ-N707 wasn't that bad a deal, but it is a much older generation recorder and won't do what you are used to with the RH910. What it does do: Record to compressed formats: SP, LP2 and (don't waste your time with it) LP4. Those recordings cannot be uploaded from the MZ-N707 or any other unit except the MZ-RH1 or MZM200. What it doesn't do: Record to Hi-MD blanks (you need 74 or 80-minute MDs). Record in (uncompressed) PCM/.wav. Upload to computer. Unless you have the RH1/M200 the only way to get the recordings off the disc is to plug a cord into the headphone jack and record from there in realtime. There is a free program that automates that: Hi-MD Renderer (check around the forums). It is a little workhorse. I banged one around for years. The ribbon cable is what breaks when the thing breaks, even in a Hi-MD unit. But it takes some longterm abuse. In future, look for an H (for Hi-MD) in your MD numbers. NetMD (MZ-N without H) and older MD (MZ-R, MZ with just numbers) are ancient and pretty much obsolete. Naturally Sony made things even more confusing with the MZ-M200, which follows none of the numbering rules--but you're right, that's the MZ-RH1. The only units worth grabbing, really, are the MZ-RH1 and the NH700, which is the Hi-MD version of the MZ-N707--it takes the AA battery but does all the Hi-MD things your RH910 did. You may also see the MZ-NHF800, which is the MZ-NH700 plus a remote with an FM radio in it--same unit otherwise. To make things more confusing, there is the MZ-NH600D, which does not do realtime recording, and the NH-600, which only has a line-in jack (no mic jack) for realtime recording. And often people selling the NH600D conveniently forget the D, or call it an NH-6000, so I'd just avoid NH6xx. You could also look around for another RH910. The good thing about the used minidisc market is that we are really a nutty minority here. Lots of people bought them, tried them and set them aside because they weren't iPods. If you're lucky you'll find one that had just been sitting around until its owner needed some cash. The remotes do not have mics in them. The mic is always separate. The best remote is RM-MC40ELK because it shows the recording level (while the unit itself stays in your pocket)--but if you light up its backlight while recording, it makes static on the recording. Also, it's no bargain.
  15. A440

    new to MZ-RH1

    What was the bitrate for the AAC files? iTunes downloads at 128kbps definitely won't survive the transcoding.
  16. Yes, there are. Many choices, in fact. In the minidisc realm, Sony introduced and, after a few years, discontinued Hi-MD recorders: the MZ-NH700, which will record to .wav (PCM) and upload its own recordings to a PC (not older MD recordings), and the MZ-RH1 (or MZ-M200), which records to .wav and uploads its own recordings to PC and Mac, and will also be able to upload your OLD recordings to a PC or Mac. Both upload via Sony's SonicStage software, which you should download immediately because the ATRAC format used by vintage MD has been pretty much abandoned by Sony. Get SonicStage 4.2 for XP, 4.3 for Vista, and Hi-MD Transfer for Mac. However, there are now LOTS of recorders that simply record .wav (including higher quality 48/96 recording that Hi-MD can't do), have much more storage than the 1GB of a Hi-MD disc (about 90 minutes) and upload the files directly via USB, instead of via USB through decryption software. So unless you have a big library of older recordings you want to upload via the RH1, you might be better off with a new flash recorder. This is a neat listing of them, and seems correct on the flash recorders I have tried myself. http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable-recorder-reviews.html , Also keep an eye out for the Sony D10 this fall, which looks very promising on paper.
  17. Wiz, would I ever stop? At this point I'm down to my 2d and possibly last MZ-NH700, since the much-traveled, much-used, occasionally dropped previous one recently developed the intermittent dropout problem, suggesting a dying head or rupturing ribbon cable, and I can no longer trust it. R.I.P.--it survived a lot, and it still uploads nicely. Meanwhile the RH1 is still being babied. By the time I've worn them both out I expect a thumbnail-sized recorder with 48/192 sampling, 1TB capacity, completely noiseless mic preamps, on-unit editing, a virtual display larger than the unit itself and visible by stealth in a dark concert hall, along with artificial intelligence processing to stabilize the recording even when the mics are accidentally moved, also removing the sounds of stray audience noise and conversation. Really, is that too much to ask?
  18. We just have to see how this turns out. There are a lot of "insider" sites that have nothing to do with the named company--and, indeed, act sometimes as gadflies to them. If it's just a matter of minidisc.org being hosted somewhere else, and possibly bringing together more people with knowledge of ATRAC, etc., I don't see it as a big deal. If there is some company line involved, then that's a different story. But so far, it doesn't look that way. Do you really look at URLs when you're on a forum?
  19. I haven't had any noise problem recording music. But wildlife recording requires a really quiet unit. Obviously a long mic lead helps, and possibly putting the unit in a backpack with the mic out in front would work, but why bother when a silent unit is available?
  20. For some reason I hadn't noticed that you are doing wildlife recording. There, sensitivity is quite an important difference. While that would seem to give the RH1 the advantage, minidisc has a serious disadvantage: It whirs. The physical disc has to spin at a high speed, and you can definitely hear it spinning up. I have tried recording crickets, frogs and birds with my MD and the solution I finally came up with was to put the unit indoors, close a door or window onto the mic cord, and then record. Out in the woods, you would have to swaddle it in something and put it at some distance from your mics--maybe in a backpack with the mics out in front of you. Otherwise you most definitely will hear the unit. Either Edirol or RH1 (or the promised Sony unit) is going to sound significantly better than your T60. (I have a T30, which I've been fond of for its tiny size, but not for its sound quality.) But the Edirol has no moving parts; the RH1 does. And I see from the review you linked to that my big beef about the Edirol R09 that I have used--noisy preamps for external mics--has been fixed in the new R09HR version so it's as good as Hi-MD preamps. Good for them. Now all Hi-MD has left going for it is the stealth factor--sometimes you don't want mics on the unit itself. Here is a very down-to-earth comparison of basically everything available at the moment in flash recorders. They are right on the money on the ones I've tried, which leads me to trust them on the ones I haven't tried. http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable-recorder-reviews.html (Parenthetically, those Wildlife guys are a little goofy. They reviewed the NH900 Hi-MD unit--which uploads digitally to a computer, the hugely significant advance of Hi-MD--by doing a realtime analogue headphone-jack recording. But I digress...)
  21. A440

    What MD To Buy

    The MZ-RH1, also known as the MZ-M200, is the only one that will upload your old MD recordings. If you don't care about that, go for the MZ-NH700. It's a workhorse and takes one AA battery. The MZ-NHF800 is the same thing with a different remote for FM radio.
  22. All my minidiscs have come with stickers in the package--how else would you tell them apart? There's a depressed area below the slider, which looks like where Sony wants you to put the sticker, and I have had no trouble slapping stickers elsewhere on the case. I'd be careful about both front and back, though--that is gummy stuff that holds the sticker on, and I doubt you'd want that in the transport mechanism.
  23. Recording quality should be better--PCM (CD quality or above) rather than the compressed formats most often used on MD. It's a higher-quality PCM than the one offered by Hi-MD. A lot of musicians are just pushing Record on the Edirol or Zoom and getting good rehearsal/gig recordings. Because the flash memory is larger than the 1GB of a Hi-MD disc, you can record longer at the highest quality. As for not using Sony, read some reviews--people do like the PCM-D50, though I've never had the chance to play with one. The problem with MD was not the hardware--MD mic preamps are way quieter than the one behind the Edirol mic jack, I can say from experience--but the idiotic software restrictions. It's like the company was schizophrenic or tripolar--skillful engineers vs. strange software designers vs. corporate jerks who were terrified that people might copy their albums. The straightforward recording technology of Hi-MD was impressive--it was access to the recordings that was *&^#%$ed, and since the flash recorders just use drag-and-drop, that seems to have been fixed.
  24. Sony's encryption, SonicStage and the general quirkiness of MD recording have basically killed the format. Basic gig recording has a lot more options now, without the minidisc hassles of SonicStage, encrypted files, compressed formats, etc. There are quite a few gadgets out there with flash memory--breaking the 1GB limit of Hi-MDs and easily transferrable. Google around for Edirol R09 and Zoom H2--both handheld units with built-in mics. Not stealthy like MD, but useful if it's your own gig. For ultra-cheap, Yamaha has two Pocketrak gadgets that are worth investigating. Sony has a simliar, if more expensive unit, PCM-D50, that has many fans. On paper, Sony's PCM-M10 (no relation to the MZ-M10 Hi-MD), looks very promising if you can wait till October. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10291362-1.html I'd still be thrilled with a MD-size unit without built-in mics, for stealth recording, but it seems the new digital recorders are all-in-one.
  25. Nice catch, greenmachine. I've never had a laptop with a line-in, just mono mic-in--and boy, are those inputs noisy. The Griffin iMic is a good cheap external soundcard. It's not a mic--it's a soundcard with stereo line-in and mic-in connectors. You can find them for under $20 on eBay. The first edition (circular, silver-gray) works fine and is probably cheaper; the second edition is white, flattened at one end. Audacity (free Windows program) is a fine recording program, if you don't already have one.
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