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Loonie's Achievements


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  1. Aw god dammit! Alright Sony, you win. I want that thing.
  2. Well, according to Sony's FAQ, the way to recover usability rights is by reinitializing the player and erasing its contents. I'm not sure what you mean by "exact audio copy". The files are Atrac. SS will not allow anything to be done with the imported files, because they "came from another computer and are not authorized" etc. Unless there exists some SS / registry / header alteration trick, like with apple's DRM, the only way I could make any audio copy at all is by recording the analog output from the player. All this nonsense may not be a problem if you deauthorize the player before reinstalling, but if you are facing a problem such as the one I had in this case (file table failure), there is no opportunity to have done that. Sony's answer is basically "screw you and start again". Yes, this is primarily a concern of the HD player, but such godawful monstrous crap will have a significant detrimental effect on the MD division, given that they both use the same software (regardless as to whether or not MDs need to be autorized in this ludicrous way) and because this kind of negative experience is going to tarnish the image of their whole portable audio range. Not good, given their current situation on this front. Sony's hardware deserves better. Their customers certainly do. I really hope they deliver the goods this time around.
  3. Are you kidding? It was all I could do to get here in time! I take your point about it not being Minidisc-related per se, though I don't think the device functionality is what I have the problem with. Like my trusty ol' MZ-N1, it is a reliable, nice sounding and really quite cool thing. My anger is focused squarely on sonic stage and the evil darkness from which it was spawned. I also realise that ranting about sonic stage is fairly moot, given that it is about to be replaced. But notwithstanding, the pattern with Sony seems strongly to be: great hardware, god-awful, frankly appalling encumbered software that makes me want to vomit so hard that my intestines implode. They must know my wrath, lest they continue in this pattern! Sony, I am wrathing you! Consider yourselves wrathed! okay, before my posts begin take on a tone which some might even go as far as to describe as "slightly crazy", I shall pursue some sleep.
  4. My hatred has suddenly swelled up to proportions that are uncontainable. I must explosively vent spleen. SS is not what one would describe as a graceful program. It is clunky, fat and (initially at least) annoying to set up. Having finally persuaded it to allow me to transfer stuff to and from my NW-HD3, after authorizing this, authorizing that, sacrificing virgin goats, whatever else, SS and I have coexisted with relatively little friction. However, after an unfortunate PC-related incident involving the filetable and the resulting dissapearance of all data, a reinstallation of windows, and of course sonic stage, all that has changed. Having purchased a new CD, I thought I'd get it transferred over. But what's this? Why, SS has now declared that my player doesn't belong to this computer. I can't copy anything over from the HD3. Annoying, but not something I did anyway. But then came the coup de grace: I cannot transfer anything TO the player now. Well, I can tarnsfer it, but the player is "not allowed to play" it. The only way I can restore this functionality with SS is by reinitializing my HD3 and obliterating any trace of its contents, so starting again from scratch with all my CDs and vinyls and... ohhhh... what cretin thought this was in any way shape or form a "good idea"? Seriously... it's company policy to hate your customers that much?? It's bad enough having the proprietary charge/USB adapter thing, the loss and attempted replacement of which would no doubt yield pain beyond measure... ...but this... this doen't just take the biscuit. It takes the biscuit, eats it, digests it, excretes it and the rubs it in your face. If only Sony's software and support came even slightly close to the quality of their hardware. But it's like it came from some weird mirror universe. ATRAC could have been great. Network Walkman could have been great. Hi-MD could have been great. But Sony have to keep ruining it with stupid crap like this. I hate SS and Sony's approach so very, very much. I have to set my alarm clock for 5am, just so that I can ensure sufficient time during the day to hate them. To the industry, I say: Stick DRM up you big, fat, wobbly, rancid, bloated backsides. Rant over. Thanks for reading. Hope I didn't get too much venom over you. You may go about your business.
  5. Allow me to tag a "little bit" on to this thread. Bear in mind that to charge a 3 volt battery, you would need to put more that 3 volts across it. Basically, best way to remove doubt is to measure what the official Sony PSU is putting into the player when under the load of charging. Yes, reasonably new units should be pretty well protected, though I can understand a reluctance to shove unknown quantities into expensive gear. The newer Sony PSUs, as with most around now, appear to be switch-mode. That makes 'em smaller and cheaper than their transformer-based counterparts. Another advantage of that is that they are multi-region (I bought my NW-HD3 in the UK, and can use the same charger here in Canada. Provided I use an adapter to allow the UK plug to fit in the Canadian socket, of course). If you look on one of these PSUs, it even states "input: AC 100-240V~". Switch-mode has certain other implications to take into account. Transformer-based PSUs rely on stepping down voltage according to a ratio of independent primary and secondary windings on an iron or ferrite core. For example, a transformer with 1000 primary turns and 200 secondary turns will produce an output at 200 divided by 1000, 20%. 100 volts in yields 20 volts out. Transformers drop power as the load increases because the windings themselves are not perfect conductors, and will be subject to Ohm's law, V=I*R. The current being pulled through the transformer, multiplied by the resistance of the windings, equals the voltage that will lost to that effect, which will be dissipated as heat. Okay, so it's a little more complicated than that, inductive loads, AC and so forth, but that's the jist of it. I shall ignore the bit of electronics responsible for AC-DC conversion for now, though it of course has an effect too (as someone here previously pointed out, a silicon diode, as used in rectification, has a 0.6V difference between anode and cathode). The idea behind switch mode supplies is that the desired output is created electronically by taking the input voltage and switching it on and off really quickly through a whole bunch of coils, capacitors and other assorted crap. The controlling electronics monitor the output and vary the switching rate when required. If the load increases and the output voltage starts to dip, the 'tronics will pump more juice in, until the required voltage is once again restored. This is why they can generally handle multi region. They just switch the input at a different rate. The switching happens very quickly, which is why switch-mode supplies, like laptop charges, make a kinda squeaky, squealy noise, whereas transformers make that 50-60Hz buzzing sound. So, where am I going with all this switch-mode talk, and how is it relevant to this, and what the hell am I talking about? Well essentially, switch-mode power supplies, by nature of how they work, are regulated. Not necessarily super-clean, but reasonably consistent under load (at least until the switching process is pushed to the point where it breaks down, or where the current limiter kicks in). The output voltage is rated at 6V on my NW-HD3 charger, and 6V is what ya get, whatever the load. As for transformers, when they are rated at for example 12V @ 500mA, that means the voltage out of it is around 12V when under load, ie when you are drawing half an amp from it. When not under load at all, the output is more likely to be around 14-15V. If a transformer-based Sony charger is rated at 5V @ 300mA, that means when under a 300mA load (ie charging the battery), the voltage from the supply should be at 5V (...not that Sony would ever deviate from an established rating convention like that, no sireee...). As far as this case is concerned, PCs use switch-mode supplies, and the motherboard voltage regulators are also switch-mode, on account of better efficiency and lower heat when compared to linear regulators. If the minidisc is rated at 5 volts, in theory it should be absolutely fine to feed it 5 volts from the USB, provided the USB can supply the required current. This is a somewhat crude breakdown of the theory, but hopefully may prove of some use to those exploring this avenue of alternative charging methods.
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