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Everything posted by alexis

  1. corroded battery contacts - try to clean them
  2. more precisely, MDs are read from the bottom of the disc without contact, but are written from the top of the disc, with contact. I think Hi-MDs work the same.
  3. It may be a restriction about Japan/non-Japan units, Had the same with my RH-1 until I set the firmware to "non-Japanese model". I think a player can display EITHER international characters OR kana, but not both.
  4. According to my experience, it looks like if you want to keep your RH1 working a long time, you will have to protect it from dust or particles exposure. Mine had the laser head travel mechanism jammed once because of some textile fibers caught in the driving screw thread. It later had also the magnetic recording head arm blocked because of a hair caught in the gear supposed to actuate the head lifting/settling mechanism. So, I would say, the RH1 was a durable device so far, its metal construction showing good resistance to wear, but it has to be thoroughly cleaned from times to times (meaning opening it completely and removing stuff that would jam the fine mechanics).
  5. Try to check/listen whether the laser head is moving or not. I had once a problem that a dust bunny had entered my RH1 and got stuck in the laser mount, exactly at the contact point between the frame for the laser head and the screw used to move it across the surface of the disc. Because it was some kind of fibers klump, it soon wiped the lubricant from the screw and the player had a hard time moving the head, until it was almost completely stuck. The symptoms were that the unit would spin the disc forever, trying to move the head unsuccessfully. Removing the dust bunny and re-lubricating the screw solved the problem.
  6. After having thought a while about it, I think I would like: for the hardware: the group button for units with small displays (see what I mean, Mr. RH1?)higher capacity disks if possible, even if it breaks the compatibility with older hardwaredisplays based on electronic-paper (reduced power consumption / fantastic readability in high and low light conditions)for the software: a library-less, DRM-less, music conversion and transfer software (à la Hi-MD Music Transfer for Mac), which would transfer .oma files into a Minidisc unitLinux support for music transfer software (not necessarily open source)a truly multi-level scalable codecAs for the scalable codec, what I mean is I would like to have one file on the Mac/Win/Linux PC containing a recording, say at 64kbps, 128kbps, 256kbps and lossless. Every layer would build up on the previous one (for example, the 128k layer adds details to the already-encoded 64k layer), the lossless layer would then add all the missing details, and all layers would be contained in one file. This would make the management of a music collection much easier, because no converting would be necessary any more, just the extraction at the right level for the desired target device (be it 64kbps for high-capacity Hi-MDs of flash devices, or 256kbps for high-quality "favourites" music collections, or lossless to burn a CD). So there would not be any fuss with quality degradation or loss of gapless playing due to conversion. Atrac Advanced Lossless was kinda such thing, but alas poorly implemented so that it was not really useable. These features would make music management for Minidiscs or ATRAC*-based players much more practical for everyday use.
  7. I had exactly the same symptoms on an MZ-1 a while ago. After opening the case and taking the whole machine apart, it appeared that it was indeed a physical problem in the ejection system. There is a gear somewhere that is responsible for engaging the physical ejection action (pushing the disc up, pulling the "disc is inside" cover down, sliding the disc out). This main gear gets rotated from another secondary gear on its side. For whatever reason, the main gear could not be completely rotated by the secondary gear (looks like a cog was missing, or maybe just had the wrong shape), so the secondary gear kept turning until the firmware decided that something was wrong and stopped trying to eject. Gently pushing the main ejection gear towards the right direction invariably ended in correct ejection behaviour. However, this is only possible on an opened unit. My assumption is that it is some kind of wearing/breaking problem that may appear after a unit was transported, or maybe something is obstructing the ejection mechanism. I was however not able to find any workaround to this problem for a closed unit, and I was never able to satisfactorily repair it. I eventually sent the unit back to its seller. My advice would be to open the machine carefully and observe the physical ejection mechanism during ejection and load. Maybe you will find an ad-hoc solution.
  8. Not with a DH10P? True died-in-the-wool Minidisc fans only take pictures with the DH10P (which battery should hold long enough to take at least three shots, maybe four if you are lucky )
  9. alexis

    "IPod Police"

    Looks like it is time to extend usage of steganographic file systems, or use steganography instead of cryptography. see: what is steganography
  10. Try the world-famous Akihabara district in Tokyo.
  11. I managed to charge my RH1 using a powered USB hub and a regular USB cable. Inexpensive. Easy. Works.
  12. I had a similar problem using a DH10P. Looks like the battery has nothing to do with it. It might be a problem with the eject button.
  13. I experience no loss of quality, but my computer sound equipment is "only" onboard audio + 25Euros computer speakers, not the best to assess sound quality. But I do not experience glitches or silences, or pitch problems (I do not actually listen to music on my computer very often).
  14. An alternative is to do like I do: use VMWare. This excellent piece of software will enable you to create and maintain a virtual PC inside your PC. So you can install a fresh copy of your favourite Windows OS (I have very good experience with Windows 2000, which does not need to be registered to Microsoft to work) and install SonicStage on top of it. This will provide a very stable and reliable environment to manage your SonicStage library. Transfer your library once on the virtual machine, as long as the Sony servers are still online, and you will never have to backup and restore again. VMWare virtual machines are movable from a computer to another, and VMWare provides a "snapshot" facility which is a form of backup. I actually have such an insallation on my Linux PC, for the sole purpose to have a working SonicStage on my favourite machine. It has always been stable and quick, and I can only recommend it. have a look at www.vmware.com and register for free. Try VMWare workstation, as it can more than the VMWare player.
  15. I am impressed - I never managed to do that before. I will try it at home with my RH-1 and two separate SonicStage installations running on two separate virtual machines on my PC. If I can actually transfer tracks from one installation to the other (which I never could before) I will confirm it on this forum. Actually all my downloaded (transferred PC->MD) tracks are marked "transfer: only on the originating computer" or something. I'll re-check for you.
  16. If you download tracks into a portable device, they will be encrypted even if the source material was not. That is why the tracks can only be uploaded onto one computer/SonicStage installation (the one they were downloaded from). If you lose the keys used to encrypt these tracks, you will never be able to upload them again. It is like downloading a track from a SonicStage installation and trying to upload it to another SonicStage installation: it will fail because of the missing key. So if you plan to keep your music collection in unprotected .oma files (like I do), be aware that just reinstalling SonicStage and reimporting all those tracks will work fine for your PC music library, but will lock all downloaded tracks to their respective supports (MDs or Network Walkmans), which can be problematic if you do not posess the source material any more.
  17. Well, that may do, but I think a library backup still makes sense because it saves the encryption keys for the songs that once were registered by SOnicStage. Let me explain: If you import tracks, download them into a device, and then delete them, their respective keys will stay in the SonicStage database, and you will be able to upload these tracks back again. If you just create a new library and imports only the unprotected files on your hard disk, all downloaded tracks will become stuck on the device they were downloaded into. This may not be a big point, but I felt like giving the information.
  18. My opinion on the subject is quite different. I personaly use lots of Hi-LP tracks, because they sound great (at least using mid-end earphones in a bus or in a busy office) and take much, much less space on a disk. This is good enough to casually listen to tunes and enjoy the music (I am talking about enjoying music, which is not the same as enjoying the sound). I also use Hi-SP recordings for my favorite tunes, and for those where I think that superior sound quality is needed. To be honest, if you have lots of MiniDiscs left, you may as well use different bitrates depending on the purpose of your disc/mix. To do sports or at work, Hi-LP is more than sufficient and will allow ten hours of recordings on one Hi-MD-formatted regular MD. For a mix of your favourite music, to enjoy the listening at home under good conditions, opt for Hi-SP. I think higher bitrates will not be discernable from Hi-SP and will just take more space on the disc. It is really easy to convert to multiple bitrates using SonicStage, so enjoy this possibility offered by SonicStage. I myself have many recordings converted to Hi-LP, Hi-SP and LP2, I use whatever suits best for my purposes. And once the tracks have been converted, they remain in the SonicStage library, so you won't have to convert again.
  19. use playlists SonicStage automatically assigns a song to the album it belongs according to its properties. You cannot change that. BUT you can create arbitrary playlists with a different name and put all the songs you want in it. You can event set up SonicStage to display only playlists.
  20. My experience with the XB8 is that it has too much bass already. My setting is BASS -6db, no subwoofer - only so it sounds halfway natural. Furthermore, I already tried a Yamaha subwoofer on it, just to realize that the frequency/volume response was not well balanced between the XB8 speakers and the subwoofer. Sounded like two distinct sound sources. Maybe there is something I miss in the XB8 sound settings, but I would not recommend the use of a subwoofer which is not precisely matched to the XB8 frequency curve. At least, do not spend lots of money on it.
  21. Well, I could try to program some stuff that does the trick described in the post I mentioned (which does not unlock an OMA file, but merely makes it playable on a foreign machine), but all I would produce is a command-line program written in Ada (fortunately, this would be available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux). Let's see if I can do it, but really I can't promise anything.
  22. Well, I think I may know a solution: you may manually extract the DRM key from the DRM'd oma files and add them manually to your library's maclist and add dummy library entries to these keys. This should trick SonicStage into thinking that these files were recorded by it, so it would allow playback and conversion. This is file surgery however and may take excessive time and care to perform, as know no tool capable of doing this automatically. I think any good Hex editor would be sufficient for the job. Maybe some of our programming-talented fellows here would care to write a small Windows/Mac utility performing these tasks? I am a programmer myself, but I am not versed into Windows programming (more board computers of military aircraft). I think however that such a "oma ripping utility" would be highly useful for the Hi-MD community. I'll try to ge-gather the information I once collected about these topics, but it should easily be possible to find it again googling for "MACLIST" or "OMA FILE FORMAT" or "HMA FILE FORMAT".
  23. Well, congratulations for your new system. I got myself one recently too, bought from a friend of mine during a holiday in Tokyo. There seems to be bargain prices there too: I got a black one for 26_500 Yens at a regular store. Looks like prices are dropping, so it may be time for us to trigger friends, relatives or colleagues to "import" these nice little machines. By the way - does somebody happen to know a hat-trick to make the X B8 display european characters correctly (if ever possible)? This a big drawback of this unit: it does not show accented/international characters on its display.
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