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About alieninhead

  • Birthday 09/04/1984

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    Sony MZNE410

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    Music, writing, audio production, video games, and the typical female line of things to do.

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  1. If you want to get technical... The AAC we talk about today is part of the MPEG-4 Spec. I'm not that smart when it comes to reeeeally technical things but what I can tell the difference of AAC versus MPEG-2, Layer 3 (MP3) is that AAC doesn't have one single compression scheme; it has a wide variety of 'profiles' put together for certain tasks. It works in conjuction with all of the MPEG-4 standard to achieve certain things in the Variable Bit Rate department. One nice achievement of AAC over MP3 is more sampling frequencies--anywhere between 8hz up to 96khz (MP3 goes from 16hz to 48khz). It also applies mathmatical compression directly instead of indirectly like MP3-with this fact and a larger window size of blocks it handles wave forms better to achieve richer sound. How? No idea. I wish I did, though. I'm just gleaming some info off of a few reference sites. (math is not my thing..) AAC was first widely used in the iPod, but the MPEG-4 spec was standardized in 1998. Apple uses AAC to deliver content from the iTunes store but wraps the files in a DRM scheme called FairPlay. Similar to what Sony does to put MP3s from your hard drive onto the minidisc. The other thing about (HE-)AAC is that it uses spectal band replication, much like MP3Pro. From what I can gather (and I may be wrong on this) is that this broadcasts the lower frequencies of a sound and using handy math SBR uses a noise generator to create the asociated higher frequencies of the sound. Kinda like algebra or something. So now your sound file is less in size because it only has to contain low frequencies. This works pretty well, but its psycho-acoustic in practice. Our brains perceive higher frequencies to be harmonic with the lower frequencies. So it works well enough a large percentage of the time, but can be off. My brain hurts. I can barely comprehend what I'm typing..but the key is, I can comprehend it. Which amazes me... So in more laymans terms..a sound is played/broadcasted/whatever out of the file and into the SBR decoder. It uses information in the file (AAC, MP3Pro, certain ATRAC(all?) encoding) to serve up some guidance info (leveling, ranges, etc..) and then reconstructs what the higher frequencies must have been in the original file based off of sheer mathmatics. Keep in mind SBR is used in conjunction with an audio CODEC. The audio CODEC merely encodes the lower frequencies of the sound file and then feeds it into the SBR decoder. So you don't have to exactly chop away at the audio sources bit rate, just disregarding its higher frequency information. I wish I had a knack for words..I'll stop now. ~alieninhead
  2. I saw Sharon, my store's official (as in non-third party) Sony rep the other day. Being the holidays, Sony's always got a few things going on. She related a few things to me..about the Sony N1 camera (sounds cool, but alas, its got the same shit as the T-series cameras..so, its not going to take a good picture..which defeats the purpose of a camera) and then I asked her about minidisc's death. She has not heard anything about it. I'm not sure where her position would be on it, but I'm assuming someone would tell her. I bet Sony may just pull out of the american market (like they did with the clie..) since the MD format is still strong in most other places. Talking with her she has told me that she knows of no plans of MD's death. I didn't ask her about new MD product..unfortuantely. Beyond that, I trust her. She told me Hi-MD was going to support MP3, and lowe and behold, she was right. In other news..there's a Sony Blu-Ray <i>Qualia</i> MiniDVD camcorder that is supposed to be coming out soon to Japan...if only I had a PS3 to read it..and if only they had a blu-ray RAM disc..sigh.. ~alieninhead
  3. Here's an idea; If you're gonna ditch a product..why not 'open source' all the technology? No more lisencing fees? How does that sound Sony?
  4. I think this would work well, but so many people I work with are sure everything is going to either CD or flash memory. While flash memory is getting cheaper, I highly doubt it'll ever rival the cost of a CD or MD disc. Sony'll probably drop the ball on this one. Not because they want to see MD fail, but because I think since they believe in "multiple formats for multiple people" they'll let the niche market decide if MD will become a standard. Sigh. Also, I surfed the BeatJam website and found no information about it for Mac OS, yet. There is a program called ATOK for Mac OS X but I have no idea what it does.... ~alien in head
  5. She doesn't know. She doesn't even know what it is.
  6. I doubt it at this point: from my understanding the new Sonic Stage (2.3) took away check in/check out so they're pretty much moving away from that perspective.
  7. Actually, to go further into the subject of CD-ROM speed...by my calculation if I am correct the fastest read/write speed a CD-ROM can have is 30MB a second or so. That is based off of 600kb a sec per 1x increase of speed. So..1024 in one MB, 52x600 is 31200/1024= 30.46875. My math skills do suck, but I'm pretty sure I got that part right. Anyone wanna correct me? ~a.i.h.
  8. OK, I may be jumping the gun here on this but if my Sony rep is wrong that just means meager disappointment. I was at work the other day (I work @ Circuit City.) and our Sony rep (Sharon Blair) came up to say hi. She had attended CES--and more to the point--was more in the portable audio zone than anything. After a few minutes of talk about their camera line coming out, I asked about MP3 playback on Hi-MD units. She told me everything coming down the assembly line is MP3 native. When I asked, she told me that "Yes, even the Hi-MD units." She also alluded to the fact there might be firmware updates for older products but she was only guessing on that fact. However, I can say with fair confidence in the Sony Rep that this seems to be the case. Sony has MP3 playback on CD players at work but the MP3 logo is absent from the actual case of the product--my only guess is that the shell was made before they made the switch and that is why there is now a black sticker with yellow writing on it that says "MP3 Playback" on it. I believe it'll be the same way with the new Hi-MD unit. Thats pretty cool. So for now, I'm waiting. And trusting that this is all true. I have no reason to doubt it, seeing how Sony has turned around rather quickly and updated everything from their hard disk player to their CD players to allow for playback, and not just the little flash players they said they were doing just for "convenience." ~a.i.h.
  9. I spoke to one Sharon Blair--a Sony rep to retail @ my work and she attended the portable audio section of CES for her job requirement. She told me every new Sony product is MP3 native. I got excited and asked "Even the new Hi-MDs?!" and she nodded and said "Yes, even the new Hi-MDs." I guess we know what one of the mythical features are now. The reason it probably doesn't say "MP3" on the case of the black Hi-MD is because it was made before they switched over to this philosophy. Which isn't entirely crazy to assume--their CD players @ my work don't say "MP3 Playback" on the actual unit but their is a new black sticker with yellow writing that says "MP3 Playback" on the packaging. They probably didn't feel like repainting the cases they had already produced for the CD player line and just threw the decoder board in there. But, Sharon might simply just be mistaken. But I'm not inclined to believe so. ~a.i.h.
  10. Its definitely the K6 proccesor and the need to encode Atrac3 on-the-fly. Depending on your CD read speed, this could be an issue--but the bandwidth of an IDE bus tops out at a theoretical maximum (if I recall correctly..) 133mb/s. Faster than most CD drives today. Its something else thaz causing the bottle neck...
  11. I wouldn't have cared wither way; I'm somewhat underimpressed with iTunes...I prefer MusicMatch. I use Sony Connect, too, but I'd say iTunes is definitely better than that. In a perfect world every major online music source would be legally able to transfer music to your multiple devices that you own, but even Apple wants everyone to own an iPod. And though it's a cool concept, I'm personally not someone who likes putting all their eggs in one basket; just a matter of time before the hard drive dies or the Lion battery goes out. ~a.i.h.
  12. I'll be very surprised if their CD players aren't next. If the CD players don't undergo conversion next, it'll be their Minidisc players since they're the next capacity up from a flash player... Firmware upgradeable? It'd be nice, but probably a pipe dream. Software upgradeable? Foolish. ~a.i.h.
  13. Weird that sharing is legal? In the U.S. it's legal to own MP3s (duh..) but it's illegal to share said MP3s.. ~a.i.h.
  14. The anti-shock memory is only part of the solution to an MD player that does not skip. The other part is the read-write head that can re-align it's self if jarred out of reading place really quickly. So even if the memory was not increased at all, it'd still prove to be more skip proof than normal CD players. ~a.i.h.
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