Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by hpmoon

  1. Why did you post that? This thread (and the whole board) is about ATRAC, so... I can think of dozens of applications that do exactly the same thing as this Switch Sound File Converter. No ATRAC, no dice.
  2. Shockingly, there is still no diverse tool which can batch convert, other than the severely limited Sony mini-app MP3 Converter. I'll never understand why companies like Ahead (Nero), etc., never added an ATRAC codec for their conversion softwares (when ATRAC went non-DRM as an option).
  3. Calm down, DRM is eliminated for all uses of SonicStage other than Connect store purchases. You know this, right? SonicStage is on par with iTunes, WMP, etc. In this thread, there are already people who have noted bug fixes, including the fact that when importing multiple audio CDs, SonicStage properly refreshes when a new CD gets inserted. Also, there was some mention of the way that a bungled import doesn't freeze things up, but just skips and moves on. I'm sure there are more bug fixes. Check out ATRAC Life, too. In sum, there is no basis in the widespread comment (numerous times even in this thread) that the only change at all is Vista compatibility.
  4. Any progress on adding WMA codec support to Hi-MD Renderer? It's been almost a year since the issue came up, and WMA is far more widespread than any of the other codecs supported in Hi-MD Renderer (other than MP3, of course). Thanks. The first, critical question here is whether your .oma files have DRM (i.e., they were purchased from the Connect store or they were ripped with the "add copy protection" box checked). If so, Vegas 7 will not open them, and the WAV conversion process is your only option.
  5. You can get this now on pre-order for $69.95 with free shipping from Amazon.com. They're really trying to get rid of these -- but it's a great sounding unit with full SonicStage support. It works with wired ethernet, or with a Wireless Access Point (WAP) connected to its ethernet port. You then can access your full SonicStage library and playlists.
  6. I've had this problem too where it's time-consuming to open each individual track's properties and delete the source file -- so this seems like a reasonable work-around. But I'm wondering whether the Optimize Database function in SonicStage 3.4 (and earlier) also cleans up the properties of each track when the file it references doesn't exist anymore. (For that matter, SonicStage's Help does a horrible job of explaining what it is specifically that the Optimize Database function does in the first place.)
  7. I'm bumping this thread two years later and wondering whether there's any solution to making a typical multimedia keyboard (e.g., my Wireless Optical Pro) control SonicStage. When SonicStage alone is loaded, the next and previous track keyboard buttons do the right thing, and stop will stop SonicStage, but the Pause/Play button on the keyboard that always calls up Windows Media Player and fails to affect SonicStage. I'm wishing this would work because I just got myself the whole Bluetooth Logitech system with playback controls on the wireless receiver units and wireless headphones. Same with the keyboard on the Bluetooth devices: next/previous and stop buttons work, but not the critical play/pause button. Logitech's Bluetooth system sends playback control commands via the A2DP Bluetooth protocol, therefore it's important for SonicStage to respond as A2DP continues to integrate with Windows.
  8. Note my discussion a few weeks ago on the related subject of Sony's software suite supporting ATRAC here. Your parenthetical "perhaps" is answered by the fact that all known ATRAC formats are supported, down to ATRAC Lossless and ATRAC3plus at every bitrate.
  9. I've tried Hi-MD Renderer, as noted in the original post. It's just not a very good program, with all due respect. Sound Forge offers many more codecs (including WMA) that Hi-MD Renderer does not -- and two steps is not an option for anyone with a meaningfully sized library (unless you enjoy killing time). Plus, it transcodes much faster -- I'll run the stopwatch if you need proof. On that subject, buying Sound Forge becomes less of a gouge when you factor in the time savings -- particularly whenever Sony fixes the Batch Converter bug so that a batch list can be created directly within the module, compared to the process I've created above. I note again that you can perform several simultaneous transcodings (and more) with Sound Forge, as well as retain the original file folder structure. This you cannot do with Hi-MD Renderer either. Also, don't overestimate the cost. This is more realistic. Everyone, please hit the link in the original post to send feedback to Sony on this. Once the Batch Converter bug is fixed, we can start thinking outside the Hi-MD Renderer box. .
  10. Very few of us have any interest in installing a Japanese font, per the instructions in this topic. As the much better alternative, install any one of the following six new ClearType fonts that will be included in the next OS: You will find the fonts here. They are English. Note that Consolas is the only non-proportional font face.
  11. Thanks for the effort, Ishiyoshi, but I think the confusion stems from your instruction to edit "all relevant" XML files, meaning those that have <font> tags in them. You will find that a few of the XML files have several dozens of shorter sections bounded by <font> tags, thus your instructions may or may not have meant to reach that far -- strictly interpreting your words, though, they do. I recommend that you re-word the instructions accordingly. Also, since so many people are using this, why not list the files requiring modification? No big deal. I'll do it if you're not willing (though you started this thread).
  12. As a follow-up to this discovery on performing a batch conversion directly from ATRAC formats into WMA/MP3/etc., I've found a semi-automated way to make this work. Unfortunately, this technique is limited by your computer's processing power and memory capacity. I was successful with this procedure opening several dozens of files on a Pentium IV/3.0 GHz/2gb RAM PC. With all due respect to Hi-MD Renderer, this has become the best possible way to convert files from "My Library." 1. Open all the ATRAC files that you want to Batch Convert, from within Sound Forge 8.0d. You can do this by going to "File" then "Open...", then selecting multiple items (or all the files) in a folder. Before moving on to Step 2, you can open additional files from other folders by repeating this step. 2. There will be a delay while waiting to load the ATRAC files, due to Sound Forge's automatic peaks-building algorithm -- it will do this for each file that opens, each in its own window. Just wait for them to finish. If you don't want to deal with a bunch of .sfk files after these peaks are built, make sure that you select "Delete temporary files on close" within "Options" then "Preferences..." 3. Go to "Tools" then "Batch Converter..." and you will see all the ATRAC files you opened in the list, as demonstrated below. [attachmentid=1579] 4. Click the "Save" tab (see example in the picture attached to the first post in this thread). Click the "Add Save Options..." button. Select your codec (e.g., WMA, MP3, OGG, WAV, etc.) and fine-tune it as desired. When you specify the destination directory, you can "Preserve source subfolders" by checking its box. Note that you can add additional save options to this tab's list for concurrent transcoding of a single source to multiple files (e.g., OMA --> MP3 and WMA). 5. Click the "Run Job" button on the bottom right. You'll see the progress under the "Status" tab. 6. Upon completion, you can easily close all the open files/waveforms as indicated below. [attachmentid=1580]
  13. Started a new thread here. By the way, to the poster who claimed that the CD Architect 5.2a update supports ATRAC -- it does not.
  14. So far there is no path for directly converting ATRAC files into WMA files. Many situations exist today where WMA is the only option, either because: (1) you choose a lower bitrate such as 64 kbps because of flash player space limitations, and WMA is the only game in town (vs. MP3 which is indisputably inferior at 64 kbps); or (2) WMA is the only supported file type (e.g., all Verizon mobile phones with digital music capability). Currently, the quickest way to do this is to use Hi-MD Renderer for a batch convert to MP3, retaining metadata, and then transcoding those MP3s into WMAs. Obviously, that's a lossy thing to do to already very lossy files. There's hope on the horizon, but like always, Sony almost gets us there but not quite. With the release of Sound Forge 8.0d, Sony added support for importing all kinds of ATRAC files, including ATRAC Lossless, which can then be saved to whatever format you like among Sony's impressive list of codecs -- including WMA, and even WMA Professional (though we're still waiting on access to the Holy Grail of low-bitrate codecs, WMA Professional Plus, which is what Verizon uses for delivering music over its network). Sony also added a fantastic "Batch Converter..." option (under the "Tools" menu) that can take nested folders of media files (e.g., SonicStage's "My Library"), perform operations such as conversions to WMA format (as well as additional conversions to MP3, etc. during the same pass!), and then store the converted files into separate folders that match the folder structure of the originals. [attachmentid=1577] But surprise, surprise -- while you can "Open..." an ATRAC file in the same application, you can batch convert every other kind of source file except ATRAC. Since Sony spilled the beans by allowing ATRAC imports anyway, its exclusion from the Batch Converter is more likely a bug, but with Sony, you never know... Anyway, please go to this link to encourage Sony to add ATRAC processing ability to the Batch Converter. With this addition, a whole new world of options will open up for ATRAC users. I personally don't have much of a problem having Sony's suite of software consist of components to tackle "pro" tasks versus. consumer tasks -- a big chunk of the criticism about SonicStage goes away when this Batch Converter gets its wings.
  15. OK, since you profess from the fore to be "condescending" and "undiplomatic," let's poke some holes in your own high-strung analysis: Great, but perhaps the comment went to the desire for a default setting. I have SonicStage set to automatically rip an inserted CD. Considering how big of a joke the Gracenote database is, even classical recordings usually do not set compilation on -- this is a big problem when you have a soprano artist on one track, and a cello soloist on another, with the same overall ensemble. Simply put, the desire is to make every single import a "compilation," which would enable artist, etc. differentiation between tracks within a single album. Most of us view "My Library" in the Album view -- indeed, it's silly not to when you're a serious music collector. Your method doesn't work in that view at all; you have to View by All Tracks to perform that function, do the job, then switch back to the Album view. It's a bad scenario, though -- if you want to turn on the compilation setting for selected tracks in an album, you're sure to miss a few depending on how you sort. Yeah, it sucks. EQ, though usually abused by infants who think that high fidelity equals how much da room shakes, also can compensate for acoustical abnormalities in the room, or the differing warms and strengths of outputs (different headphones, speakers, etc.). Your argument that this issue is cured by the codec is strange and probably not well thought out. Lastly, you remark that adding an EQ ability within SonicStage for music playback would "inflate the price of SS from $0 to about $500 overnight." I don't think I'll be taking you seriously from now on.
  16. Thanks for the replies, but the issue still is very much alive for me and maybe for all of us. I find it frustrating (like everyone else) that SonicStage 3.4 does not freely perform transcoding to MP3 and WMA formats, and one has to convert to WAV in such a way that each My Library entry has two (or more) files associated with it. You can then take the WAV files and access them from within WMP or any given MP3 transcoder to get what you want, but not within SonicStage. Once you're done, you have to deal with a bunch of WAV files that are hogging space on your hard drive. To my knowledge, there is no ability to mass-delete these WAV files once you've used them for what they're worth -- simply deleting them from the Optimized Files folder leaves a mess of errors when you subsequently access the Properties on any given My Library entry, and you have to go to the File Info tab on each one to "Delete File" for a non-existent file. What I'm aiming for here is a mass conversion to WAV, for subsequent transcoding to MP3 or WMA, that does not write to my hard disk, and that avoids the problem described above (so long as my Options specify that the WAV file gets deleted after Transfer). If I can burn to a virtual CD-RW, I am thinking at this point that things move the quickest. Any thoughts? On a side note, the only software I've found that purports to do this is "Original CD Emulator" (link), but I can't get it to mount a virtual drive for some reason. And it has the typically poor documentation of most shareware programs. P.S.: Under the "Creating a CD" options, then "Writing Settings," there is a "Writing method" option called "Test only." SonicStage help does a poor job of describing it -- might this be what I'm after?
  17. Can anyone (including the original thread starter) identify the virtual CD program that would make this work? I'm very skeptical, having tried Alcohol 120%, Nero ImageDrive and Daemon Tools -- SonicStage 3.4 does not recognize the mounted virtual drive in the Options and I can only select physical drives as the target for "burning" audio/atrac/mp3 CDs.
  18. Thanks, it took me another few moments to find that, as I had all along been trying to activate that column when sorting by Album/Playlist. I guess, though, that in order to get to where I want (sort by composer but still keep tracks grouped into their respective albums), I have to create a playlist for each composer. At least the method you pointed out will expedite the creation of the playlists.
  19. Unfortunately, all of the foregoing still makes it impossible to conveniently create playlists when you are a classical music fan. In other words, SonicStage is classical music un-friendly. There is no way to sort by composer, so if for example I want to create a Hi-MD of the complete works of Samuel Barber, I have to hunt through My Library and find them. This is a huge, embarrassing oversight (but please let me know if I'm missing something here).
  20. No, just a hard time trusting your remarks, since you appear to be setting the threshold for deliberation within this forum at "belief" (a context synonymous with deification). The objective reality is that there are arguments on both sides of this issue, and even if the thrust of almost every ATRAC Lossless thread in this forum is anti-ATRAC Lossless, one wonders why anybody here chooses to buy ATRAC devices. The name of this domain is minidisc.org, and the manufacturer (almost exclusively) is Sony. ATRAC Lossless is Sony's latest compromise codec that streamlines the user experience for selectively transferring content onto portable media players without re-encoding and (most importantly, since time is money for most of us) without waiting. The technical arguments here dance around that issue without fully respecting it as the fundamental virtue for mainstream use. The thing I always find most hilarious about arguments that portend to operate outside the "mainstream" use is that your net result is a perfection in reproducing bland and muddy recordings. That result associates with the musical tastes of the forum-lurker. My impression on that score would alter if I started reading case examples here about how new, recent productions -- for Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Fixmer-McCarthy, Recoil, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Cowboy Junkies, John Zorn, Kronos Quartet, John Adams -- are more faithfully reproduced this-way-or-that, but as it is, I think that you're all comparing results based on how transfers sound of the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, Spyro Gyra, Aerosmith, other long-hair rock, and maybe soul music to spice. Not to mention that gorgeous Romantic Favorites of the Violin disc. All of the above is an attempt to introduce pragmatism and conscience into this otherwise strongly coagulated discussion against ATRAC Lossless. OK?
  21. = eggshell skull. I don't really visit Internet forums to socialize, and leave that to meaningful physical friendships. This is a head place. I don't have a lot of free time on my hands, so if I want to create a system that serves my needs (and, I would argue, a normal audiophile's needs), I can take Sony's whole point of creating ATRAC Lossless seriously: You don't have to sit and wait for re-encoding to your audio devices' lower bit rates. Even on my mega-fast, super-expensive PC, re-encoding occasion-by-occasion is not a time expense that I can afford (multiplied by a collection of several hundred CDs). I've chosen my portable device bit rate and I'm sticking to it. So, against the advice given here, I'll start ripping my whole collection into ATRAC Lossless format, and against dogma to the contrary, I advocate it for other music lovers as a perfect compromise technology. (We're allowed to disagree here, right? Not that it matters.)
  22. In a related thread, Qwakrz wrote that any lossless compression means fundamentally that you get the exact same WAV out that you put in, end of story. The assertion contradicts what you wrote above. I'm going with Qwakrz's analysis.
  23. Thanks, Qwakrz, this is great news. My primary concern was about being able to faithfully re-create a WAV file from the ATLL file. I was expecting that the file sizes (original WAV file versus recovered WAV file) would be at least slightly different under the best of circumstances because, purportedly, ATLL rips a typical audio CD's contents into a filespace that is 30-80% smaller. Based on your test, it does appear that the ATLL file uses its smaller-than-the-original self to re-create the original, larger WAV file bit-for-bit, down to the last bit! I guess that this is analogous to a ZIP file, in that ZIPped files are always re-created bit-for-bit when unZIPped. I am totally impressed by this (if not skeptical), and will try the same later today. The only caveat I can imagine is that Sony sets a target file size for the recovered WAV and "fills in" the details, even if the details bit-by-bit do not 100% match the original WAV file. Just a thought. (Are we 100% confident that the FC command compares bit-by-bit rather than total bits? The FC calculation seems to run too fast to perform that analysis.) The dialog box that you captured does seem pretty conclusive that the 64 kbps portion of the ATLL file bogs down the fidelity at any higher subsequent bitrate. I can reserve the remotest possibility that Sony botched the text in its dialogue box, applying a general warning to any re-encoding from lower to higher bit rates and mistakenly including an ATLL file within that context just because the ATLL file's associated bit rate is lower. It's not unheard of for Sony and other major developers to make this kind of mistake. As you note, it just doesn't make sense. In the final analysis (if we're there), it seems as though getting around the problem is a fairly simple two-step (which can be done in a batch by selecting multiple files) -- convert the ATLL files back to WAV, then select the WAV files and dump to whatever target ATRAC bit rate you want. When you weigh this burden against the great benefits of ATRAC Lossless that I mentioned in my previous post, I think you have a winner in ATRAC Lossless for the most typical purposes, including mine. Since I've basically made my ATRAC bit rate selection and am sticking to it (64 kbps), there's just no problem here. Sony would do well, though, to upgrade SonicStage on the next go-around to force a re-encoding from the Lossless portion of the ATLL file when the target bit rate is different -- even if this involved an invisible "unpacking" back to WAV followed by a re-encoding to the target, this would dumb things down enough to muffle the complaints. I am ignoring the B-movie production called "The Low Volta," which turned my caution on anyone's credibility into some kind of crying game, but suffice it to say that your more intellectual analysis was much appreciated.
  24. Thanks for the reply -- I am taking exception to this generally, but to avoid cross-posting, please read my reply here: Link
  25. Thanks for the response, but honestly, now I'm beginning to doubt the veracity of your assumptions that have actually perpetuated quite broadly across these forums -- and since these forums are just about the only information resource beyond Sony about the ATRAC codec (together with ATRAC Life), bad assumptions can really do a lot of damage. I have done as much research as possible based on Sony's Web resources as well as these forums (here and at ATRAC Life), and there is absolutely no authority to support your assumption that the low-bitrate portion of an ATRAC Lossless file is exclusively used, all by itself, for re-encoding to a different bitrate. As you know, the Internet is an anonymous resource -- there is no way to read any qualification into the name "The Low Volta" -- if you are a Sony engineer or such other occupation that provides intimate knowledge of Sony's technology, then please reveal who you are, cite some white paper -- cite the actual source. Thank you. Ironically, there is also no authority to support the assumption you made most recently -- that moving ATRAC Lossless files to WAV format does not involve at all the lower-bitrate portion of the file. Perhaps there is the horror that an ATRAC Lossless file with a 64 kbps counterpart simply uses the latter all by itself to create the WAV file. But lets assume that your assumption turns out to be true. That's absolutely perfect for my needs -- literally, there is no better outcome for me. I can create a centralized jukebox with lossless playback from my PC. From that jukebox, I can compile my collection into audio CDs for my car and any other audio CD context, largely retaining the fidelity of the original CD. I can also dump the ATRAC 64 kbps quickly onto my Hi-MD player and onto CD-RWs for my ATRAC3plus CD Walkman. The only negative for portable music is that SonicStage would have to convert the 64 kbps portion up to 66 kbps for ATRAC3 (non-plus) compatibility with my Clie TH-55 -- though that's really a limitation of the Clie firmware which is, of course, outdated and past possible revision. With the advent of SonicStage 3.4, I am disabling all copy protection, therefore as long as I keep an installation disc or backup of SonicStage 3.4 (or higher), your arguments about the dangers of the proprietary technology are moot. I can freely move the files around in perpetuity. To those who are reading this, I do urge you to never take the advice, or purported expertise, of any single poster in a forum like this. Browse around and you'll usually find opposing viewpoints -- only to be resolved by clarity from the manufacturer. If, on the other hand, you see a signature like, "John Doe, Senior Engineer, ATRAC Division, Sony Electronics Corporation" -- you're onto something. I intend to contact Sony at the highest level available to get clarity on this, and will post my findings here with an attempt at authenticating the results.
  • Create New...