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About Damage

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    MZ-NH1 (x2), MZ-RH910

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  1. For all intents and purposes, ATRAC CD as a format was dead as a doornail when it was born, and it's still dead as a doornail. SO it goes.
  2. Authorization if you want to use CONNECT store tracks. Otherwise, you should be able to plug and play with 703F
  3. Nice to know that 830 existed, at least for our British compatriots. As far as I'm concerned, the PCDP is dead (outside of low end D-NF430s)... It's a shame, but I'm glad that I have one of each ATRAC CD Generation models (D-NE1, D-NE910, D-NE20). It was an interesting experiment, and should've continued onto DVDs (as they are now reaching CD-R prices). Alas, it is not to be.
  4. To be fair, SonicStage has improved quite a bit since the days of NetMD and 128MB MagicGate Memory Stick days, where you were limited to 3 check ins our check outs or other bit of nonsense. However, compared to other jukebox programs (say MediaMonkey, for example), it still fails. For instance, a jukebox program should be intelligent enough to compile compliation albums on its own based on ID3 tags. So, if you have an album by several artists under single album title, it should naturally import into a single album under album view. Unfortunately, SonicStage still fails at this common task (To be fair, it seems to take the approach of Artist->Album, which is more logical). Using SonicStage is straightforward. However, managing tracks within SonicStage is an absolute chore vs. other managers, especially when it comes to multi 10s of gigs of music. Try putting those albums back together one by one manually and see if you don't curse SonicStage to kingdom come. Trust me, it's not pleasant. However, the thing that drag and drop implies on most DAPs is the use of UMS file transfers (that is, able to import and export music without the aid of a jukebox program, WMP, iTunes, SonicStage, etc.). In that instance, all Sony players do fail at providing drag and drop capabilities. So does the iPod, though there are plenty of third party programs that does the database management to give users alternatives. Sony gears, to date, does not, new players notwithstanding. So given that, it is absolutely right on CNet to dock points for this critical failure. But that is due course for most Sony gears. Where it should count, sound quality, the CNet has got it right. The S703F sounds absolutely fabulous. (note: I've recently gotten a S703F for $40+Tax at buy.com using google checkout. Jump on it.)
  5. I'm going to say that you stick with the bundled in MDR-NC22s. They are essentially MDR-EX90 drivers with NC circuitry built in. The performance you get out of the NC22s should be fairly comparable to the experience that you'll likely get out of MDR-EX90s. The acoustic difference due to the different housing is probably minimal at best. One issue that I'm not aware of, however, would be comfort. IF the drivers are too heavy for your ears, then it might be worth your money and time to persue IEMs or MDR-EX90s. Mind you, the MDR-EX90 path is lateral at best given your gear. IF you're that worried about background hiss, turn off the NCs altogether. With NC on, you'll hear a bit of noise that's introduced by the noise cancelling circuitry. It can't be helped... The EX90s, and by extension, NC22s, will be a bit bass shy compared to other Canal buds. Have you tried using the larger gaskets with the NC22s? The better the seal, the bigger and better the bass quality. I wouldn't recommend the CX300s compared to the NC22s, as the upgrade would be lateral at best (much like EX90s). Frankly, unless you're willing to spend more than player itself or sacrifice portability and NC abilities by using larger phones, such as Grados SR60/80s, KOSS 60ohm series, MDR-V6 or SA line, Senn HD5xx line, etc. you won't see that dramatic of an improvement over the NC22s. Given their heritage and the NC abilities, I'd say stick with what you got until you're willing to go into big boy territory.
  6. Your device supports 96kbps, so why not give that bitrate a whirl? Considering your headphones (stock vs. decent vs. headphile grade), your listening environment, and your needs, the 64kbps may not cut it or it might be that perfect sweetspot. For the longest time, I didn't have any complaints listening to 64kbps material either. However, if at all possible, try to rip materials from the original CD Sources before you rip into low bitrates. Transcoding your materials to lower bitrate (especially on CODEC to CODEC transcoding) will only result in tears of sadness and despair.
  7. G-Protection, as far as Compressed audio goes, shouldn't affect the final sound output. The unit spins up and down as needed to fill its buffer. Since the disc is not spinning fully, there isn't really need to use G-Prot 2 unless you're that paranoid. As for redbook, there are some compression involved, but chances are you won't hear any distortions or artifacts due to that particular compression. Don't lose sleep over it.
  8. Damage

    ne830, ne20, ej2000

    Generally speaking, the D-NE10/910/810s will sound generally alike to one another and the D-NE20 series to one another. So, if you like the sound of the D-NEx20 series, then stick with the 20 series, you will find the sound from the D-NE10 will be dissapointing compared to the D-NE20. Oddly enough, more of them folks at Head-Fi preferred the sound of the 10 series over the 20 series. As for me, the 20 series do sound a tad bit better, but not as much as you might suggest. It's an incremental upgrade, but compared to other PCDPs of the era (more than two years ago), it was pretty advanced (only the iRiver's SlimX series had achieved something equal to it). But now, the flash players are taking over the market that the CD used to occupy. With Sony now more or less done with high end PCDPs...
  9. The HD3, from what I recall, is no more or no less noisier than other Sony gears from that era. So go accordingly from there. I've had a change of thought on Shure E3s, and I still won't recommend these to average users. Too much vocals, way too less of anything else. However, this makes it perfect for monitoring recordings and what not (which I did use briefly). When the instrumentals dominates the vocals with the E3s, you know you have problems in your recording materials. If you're really looking for IEMs that are slanted more for casual goodness, the Super-Fi (3s or 5s, 5s offering better balance overall though the 3s are good for what they are) or the EX90s are recommended. If you have extra $$ to break, then you can venture into E4c area which has more friendly sound flavor.
  10. Damage

    2007 PCDP?

    Give up hope, at least for high end. Frankly, I think some redesign aside (more clearance room on the top for the CDs) or what not, the CD Walkman (Technically) still exists in the cheap PSYC models and what not, but I think we've seen the end of ATRAC CD players. They've also been partly supplanted by the DVD Walkman as well (to a point)...
  11. How are you connecting your Walkman to your CD Player? Tape Deck converter? Patch Cable? Unless you're using a FM Transmitter, check your cabling first. Then your transmitter, then your file.
  12. I'd love to stick one of those SSDs in my HD5 and give that a whirl.... Flash 32GB MP3 player...
  13. Damage

    New iPods

    Outside of the Vaio pocket, I've owned or used (and lost/been victim of theft) of many of the said devices you have listed, plus more (including most of the Atrac CD player lineup and couple of CLIE PDAs that are still in my collection). So, I think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to modern Sony Gears. In addition, I've owned too many devices, including Sansa, Rio, iPods, Creative Zens amongst others. So I do know what I'm talking about. And I do know that for the most part, they do competent job of decoding and delivering the decoded audio to your ears. I will stand by that given equal files (a 320kbps MP3, since all of these devices can handle MP3s) that you can find the tell tell signature differences of each DAP, but you won't tell which DAP is which DAP based on that difference alone in a blind AB Test setup. And I attribute this, in large part, due to the codec chip being commoditized by few companies: SigmaTel, PortalPlayer, and Sony being the major three that designs and furnishes the CODEC chips. The remainder differences do lie in the components used and what not, but unless thye've totally screwed with the design/firmware (see MZ-RHx10 HiMD for the blatant example) the final sound quality will vary very little. Ancedotally, I'd attribute this to the big cable test that was done at Head-Fi, where a guy had cabled the phones with several types of cable (silver, cheap Radio Shack, and one other) and sent these cables to be tested. The results? One tester got the cables right, and most ended up attributing the cheap Rat Shack cable as the more expensive and higher quality silver cables. Audio Quality is very finicky, and even more so when you have bias and such working against you. Finally, AudioTStation is no longer an Sony/MD exclusive board. ATRACLife is to a degree, but many of us do own and use other brands. Doesn't mean we can't enjoy offerings from Sony along with other brands now does it?
  14. Damage

    New iPods

    He has much right to nitpick Sony's stuff as you've done with iPods. And again, I don't think you've put in as much time in other DAPs as Pata or other members of the board have. As irrelevant as his posts might seem he has been a valuable contributor to this and other boards for far far longer than you. And you'll get other long time members to vouch for him at a drop where as you're essentially adding nothing to the conversation at this point. Again, I will make my point that all DAPs will sound decent enought to most ears that the differences that are there will be minimal. The only glaring weakness that iPods have in the SQ regard (and most people will acknowledge this) is the lack of functional EQ. Personally, that's a moot point since I don't use EQ-if your gear can't stand the basic test without having to fiddle around with the EQ, your gears got issues. One of the bigger flaws in the previous generation of HiMDs and MP3 playback (the RH10 generation) was the crippled MP3 SQ. It's questionable decisions like these that made the Walkman more or less irrelelvant.
  15. Damage

    New iPods

    When it's all said and done, and given proper equipment in a blind test setup, I'm betting that you won't be able to tell the difference between an iPod, a Zen, a Walkman, and whatever DAP you want to throw into the mix. You might be able to discern that one is different from another, but not necessarily say that A is iPod, B is Zen, etc. So, in light of that I say that most DAPs soundwise is equal to one another-or at least, there isn't one that is obviously inferior to another as you may have insinuated. What is interesting is the addition of video, which I believe got started by Sony thanks to Vaio Pocket (to a degree) and PSP. If memory serves, both of these devices did portable video and (especially) PSP showed that there is some interest in the portable video market (that, along with tons of portable DVD players on the market to boot). Sony may have gotten there first, but as always, botched it with the UMD format. Getting back to the point at hand. Frankly, no one has taken the time and the effort to actually do Blind Test to see which DAP is indeed superior. And that might be ways off, if it all takes place. However, understand that the iPod (for all intents and purposes) is still the leader inspite/despite/because of its lack of features and other weaknesses that we see because of very superior user experience. That is one thing that's lacking in all other DAPs, especially if you're not technical like many of us here are. Yes, I think many of us would like to eventually see an iPod killer. I think there is already one in the making in Zune, in a way that's much like the original XBOX. XBOX had no right to be here, but look at its successor the 360... It revolutionized online console gaming, and now it's a standard feature in all consoles of the new generation. Once Microsoft figures out how to do the squirt properly, I'm thinking that WiFi might be a standard in the upcoming generation of DAPS. The whole convergence thing notwithstanding of course. In that, Sony Ericsson has the advantage, but not the marketing. Whic is a missed opportunity... The Walkman Phone could've been the iPod of the Phone industry had SE marketed the heck out of it like MOTO does with its phones. As it stands, the Walkman Phones are virtually unknown here in the states. Which is too bad. If the rumors are to be believed, then Apple's got the market sewn up even before it has released anything of importance.
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