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Everything posted by pookyhead34

  1. Yeah, sadly, it seems to be that if you just take the MZ-N1 out of the cradle and carefully put it back in, then Windows will recognize it. I spent half an hour uninstalling and reinstalling OpenMG/SimpleBurner/etc., still no use, then just took it out of the cradle and put it back in. That did it.
  2. Be careful of Sharp ones, though -- the 702 and 722 models (as well as the MT-MD15) are notorious for TOC Errors. Now, if you can find one refurbished, that'd be your best bet, because they've been fixed. Otherwise, you're playing russian roulette. But if you get a good one, they're pretty loud.
  3. yep -- my wife's old Sharp 722 (may it rest in peace) had one of the loudest headphone amps I've heard on an MD unit. But this 5+ year old Sony Discman I have -- I can't turn that thing up past 3/10 without it getting louder than "loud enough." Whereas with my MZ-N1 MD walkman, I usually am around 15/30 or 16/30.
  4. They've been saying that for years now. They also said the Mac going the way of the Commodore 64, too Yeah, as far as I know, iTunes is fine -- I'd use at least 192k for quality. To be honest, it all depends on your headphones and your personal sound taste -- and the particular model MD player you have. If you get more sensitive phones, you'll get "louder" sound. The MZ-N1 I have sounds better than the MZ-N505 I have -- but it might just be the placebo effect (it's a better model, therefore it *must* sound better...) Have fun PH
  5. Hi Kevs, 128k refers to the bitrate -- 128000 bits/sec of audio information. CBR is constant bit rate, meaning that every frame (the smallest segment, for lack of a better term, of an MP3 file) gets the same amount of bandwidth. That's opposed to VBR -- variable bit-rate, which means that near-silence won't be given the same amount of bandwidth as, say, a guitar amp turned up to eleven. "alt-preset" is a series of quality tunings for LAME, which is hands-down, the best MP3 encoder. You can find out more about it at: lame.sourceforge.net and software using it at: lame.sourceforge.net/links.html Optimum-quality using lame would be "--alt-preset standard", although there's also "--alt-preset extreme" and "--alt-preset insane" -- you get the idea. have fun PH34
  6. It all depends on what quality MP3 you're talking about. At 128k, you're looking at roughly 1MB/minute of audio. As for sound quality, garbage in = garbage out. It depends on what quality MP3 you use. At 192k CBR or above or with a lame --alt-preset 160 or above, you're going to have decent quality. But you're going to lose some quality no matter what you do. Depending on your ears and/or what you can tolerate, it may not be an issue.
  7. It also seems to have very good digital I/O. See below from the alt.audio.minidisc newsgroup: From: pookyhead34@operamail.com (Michael Conner) Newsgroups: alt.audio.minidisc Subject: Re: soundblaster mp3+ usb review References: <d3e43c9c.0307170737.2ea5e51d@posting.google.com> <1AARa.246713$nr.9820648@twister.southeast.rr.com> NNTP-Posting-Host: Message-ID: <d3e43c9c.0307171627.34684df7@posting.google.com> "StArSeEd" <starseed@sds.cc.nospam> wrote in message news:<1AARa.246713$nr.9820648@twister.southeast.rr.com>... > Michael Conner: > > <snip> > > Any chance you can do an S/PDIF loopback recording test? I'm curious as to how badly it > butchers incoming S/PDIF signals, if at all (ie, whether it limits+resamples them ala the > SBLive! or keeps them intact ala the Audigy/Audigy2). > > The easiest and cleanest way to notice the difference between what it's fed and what it records > is to saturate the heck out of a 48kHz wave file (for my SBLive 5.1 Platinum S/PDIF loopback > test, I used +18dB), play it back using foobar2000 or Winamp with the kernelstreaming output > plugin, and record from S/PDIF-In at 48kHz. Find a particularly nasty spot in the original, > zoom in 1:1, screenshot. Find the exact same spot in the recorded wave, zoom in 1:1, tweak the > viewable area until it's as close to being lined up as possible to the original, screenshot. > Overlay the two screenshots and note any major differences. > > http://starseed.dyn.dhs.org/images/kxforum...m/spdifloop.gif (red=orig,black=rec) > > If the results are similar to mine, gotta give its digital I/O a big thumbs-down.. > > -StArSeEd It actually seems to do a decent job with S/PDIF signals! I followed your instructions to the letter (used foobar2k w/kernel streaming for playback.) Saturated original wave: http://www.geocities.com/minidisc_junge/saturation.gif Loopback wave: http://www.geocities.com/minidisc_junge/loopback.gif The two screenshots layered together: http://www.geocities.com/minidisc_junge/lo...dsaturation.gif Thanks for the tip! -M
  8. pookyhead34


    I had some trouble with the iMic on my PC laptop. The audio would have dropouts in it -- the iMic didn't seem to be able to get the audio through quickly enough for it. But then, it's not really supposed to have full functionality on a PC, just on a Mac.
  9. Last weekend, I bought ($59.99 at CompUSA) a SoundBlaster MP3+ USB sound card. (http://www.soundblaster.com/products/mp3+/tour.asp) I primarily wanted it for the line in capabilities, so I could record from MD's, LP's and cassettes onto my laptop which only has a mic in jack. Having a decent line out and optical out was also a draw for me, if I want to do non-NetMD recordings. It also has optical in, but as all my digital stuff that has output is coaxial, it doesn't do much for me. Size-wise: it's slightly larger than a NetMD unit itself -- about the height and depth, maybe 150% the length of it. It has a clip so you can attach it to a laptop's LCD and also comes with velcro strips if you want to attach it to the side of your computer. Software: this was a pain in the rear. It took several tries fiddling with settings and reboots before I could get any software to record from the line in. CoolEdit2000 does *not* record from the line in on it, no matter how much you fiddle with it -- I'm not sure why it does not function like a "normal" USB audio device. TotalRecorder Pro, however, does work with it, which is good enough for me. Playing *back* audio, through it, was no problem from the get-go. This was operator error -- I didn't RTFM in CoolEdit. All is well now. Sound quality: Playback quality is great, no coloring of any specific frequencies that I can hear. Recording quality is as good as the playback. The optical output is fixed at 48KHz, though, so if you're suspicious about that kind of thing, you might as well use the analog output. EDIT - Again, I didn't RTFM. You can select either 44.1 or 48 for optical out. My MZ-N1 doesn't do track marks from the optical output anyway, so analog is better for automatic track marking. The separate headphone amp is very nice, powerful but quiet. Have not tested the mic in yet. It seems to use minimal CPU power, which I've heard is a problem with the Extigy. No problems using it on either my laptop's USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 inputs. All in all, I'm happy with it. It's also really cheap. For me, it was a better choice than the Xitel MD I/O because it had more inputs and outputs, was slightly cheaper, and was available locally (and more readily returnable if need be) instead of buying it online. Ironically enough, Xitel's N. American office is here in Austin, TX, yet stores here don't carry the MD I/O.
  10. Yep -- it's the hack. I had the same problem with my N505, undid the hack, it still does it. Weird. Would love to know how to reset everything to factory settings... Check out: http://forums.minidisc.org/viewtopic.php?t=72 Be sure to read further down. The values where the original poster had "??" listed are "80" for the first value and "10" for the second value for the N505.
  11. It can depend on what sounds better to you. Analog recordings can sound "warmer" and "airier" than digital recordings, depending on the quality of the D/A converter of your source device. If you have a sound card that can play back 24-bit audio and you use foobar2k to play it back, adding 24-bit ATH-based dither can give you an extremely clear, noise-free recording. By the same token, using a low-quality sound card can give you really thin-sounding analog recordings. At the risk of sounding like a heretic, given good equipment and recording, a little D/A-> A/D in your signal path isn't a bad thing at all. Digital is definitely more convenient, though.
  12. I picked up an Audiotrak "Optoplay" USB digital/analog out device today that I could use with my laptop. http://www.audiotrak.de/eng/optoplay.html $49 at CompUSA. Works really well -- the analog sound it puts out is really, really nice and very clean-sounding. The miniplug on the end doubles as both analog and toslink, chooses which one to use depending on what you plug into it. It also lets you output 24-bit audio via toslink -- which my MZ-N505 takes without difficulty. (Does anyone know how MD units deal with 24-bit audio?) Track marks are hit or miss with it. I used the "pause between tracks" plug-in for foobar2k and it gets all the track marks. Albums without discrete breaks between tracks (flaming lips, etc.) don't get them. This one gets points for being really small. The unit at the end of the cable (about 3 1/2 feet long) is barely the size of a couple of AA batteries together.
  13. After talking garbage about LP4 for a long time, I started using it to make mix MD's to take with me on hikes. Considering the low bitrate (and its inherent limitations), I'm actually pretty impressed with it. Having a large number of MP3's that I download from emusic.com on a daily basis, I use LP4 so I can listen to as many of them as possible without having to switch discs. I've also started recording vinyl in LP4 mode, with surprisingly good results. (It's not audiophile quality, I know!) So how about YOU?
  14. Clint: I select all audio tracks except the first one (pre-gap has to be 2 secs on first track), right click, go to properties, then set the gap to 0. Unfortunately, Nero doesn't remember track pre-gap settings for compilations -- see http://home.austin.rr.com/michaelc/nero.jpg -- it defaults to 2 seconds even in disc-at-once mode. I think Ahead sees Nero as a CD-Mastering program, so you can specify the layout as exactly as you want, etc.
  15. Clint, thanks for coming up with this! I have a question -- when I make full CD's (i.e., albums or copies of CD's) in Nero to burn using my CD burner, I normally set the pause between tracks to zero seconds each. That way live albums or albums in which the songs run together will not have a two-second gap between the tracks. I normally do the same with the Nero-Simple Burner combo when I'm transferring to NetMD. Does SimplerMD take care of this or automate this somehow? Cheers, M
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