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Everything posted by Avrin

  1. Following this discussion: http://forums.minidisc.org/index.php?showtopic=15499 I decided to check the properties and operations of encoders available in the two programs and my RH-MZ10. Following are my findings, which are by no means scientific, and can contain some numeric errors. The track used for frequency analysis was again Paul Desmond's "Take Ten". The main findings are that most encoder modes feature a cut-off frequency, which differs for different bitrates. Now the results: ATRAC3plus in SonicStage Bitrate - Cut-off frequency 352 kbit/s - none 320 kbit/s - none 256 kbit/s - none 192 kbit/s - 18.0 kHz 160 kbit/s - 16.5 kHz 132 kbit/s (ATRAC3) - 17.5 kHz 128 kbit/s - 15.5 kHz 96 kbit/s - 15.5 kHz 64 kbit/s - 15.5 kHz 48 kbit/s 13.0 kHz MD Simple Burner Bitrate - Cut-off frequency HiSP - none HiLP - 15.5 kHz 48 kbit/s - 13.0 kHz Recording via optical in on MZ-RH10 Bitrate - Cut-off frequency HiSP - 19.5 kHz HiLP - 15.5 kHz So it seems that SS, SB and hardware encoders are somewhat different, and recording on the unit in HiSP does not provide full frequency range, but is probably less prone to artifacts at higher frequencies. Also, in ATRAC3plus the frequencies, which are higher than the cutoff one are not completely empty, they contain some low-level noise and harmonics. Now the MP3 results. The most interesting fact here is that the High/Normal drop-down box DOES have effect on encoding, changing the cut-off frequency for MP3s. I always suspected that this switch had nothing to do with the ripping process. Especially if we remember that the new SoundForge ATRAC codec also includes this switch. Its effect on ATRAC encoding is yet to be seen, although I think that it actually affects encoding quality, without changing the cut-off frequency though. All MP3 bitrates in SS encode in Stereo, except 96 kbit/s, which encodes in Joint Stereo. Bitrate - Cut-off (High) - Cut-off (Normal) 320 kbit/s - none - none 256 kbit/s - 21.0 kHz - none 224 kbit/s - 20.8 kHz - none 192 kbit/s - 20.5 kHz - none 160 kbit/s - 20.0 kHz - 20.2 kHz 128 kbit/s - 15.5 kHz - 16.0 kHz 112 kbit/s - 13.7 kHz - 13.7 kHz 96 kbit/s - 13.2 kHz - 11.6 kHz In MP3 there is almost nothing at frequencies higher than the cut-off one. Except for some occasional very low level noise at lower bitrates (128 and below).
  2. Right! But since SS does not use Joint Stereo at 320 kbit/s, I also switched it off in LAME.
  3. Seems it does. I don't have a WMP encoder, so I compared the quality of the SS MP3 encoder with that of command-line LAME.EXE. A jazz audio track (Paul Desmond's "Take Ten") was encoded into MP3 320 kbit/s Stereo (not Joint Stereo) using SonicStage 3.4 (with "High" quality) and LAME.EXE version 3.96.1 (with the -q 0 command switch, which provides the best possible quality, but the encoding process consumes a lot of time). Both files sounded really good when played on my Hi-Fi stereo. Then I used Adobe Audition 1.0 to perform frequency analysis (left channel only). Well, the results are quite different for those two encoders (see attachments): 1. LAME seems to follow the original spectrum a little bit closer up until 18 kHz, where the MP3 spectrum starts falling below (more significantly at 19 kHz). At about 20 kHz it has a frequency cut-off (nothing is encoded above this frequency). The cut-off frequency may actually be disabled using additional command-line parameters (I haven't tested it yet). 2. SS does not follow the original spectrum that closely, though deviations are really small. It does not have a cut-off frequency, but the MP3 spectrum starts falling steadily at about 18 kHz. So the main difference is the absence of the cut-off frequency in the SS MP3 encoder at 320 kbit/s. This may not seem a serious issue, but IMHO it may lead to more artifacts at higher frequencies in some rare cases. At lower bitrates this encoder does have cut-off frequencies, though IMHO those are set a bit too high (20.5 kHz for 192 kbit/s, for example).
  4. You are right! It is intended for recording, and seems to be very good for it (even without a sidecar). But it is not very convenient as a player. So why did Sony decide to discontinue RH10 (and, probably, RH910 as well), which is their most convenient model for playback? It is a complement, not a competitor to RH1!
  5. Is your USB port actually working? Is it version 2.0? In any case, try restarting your computer without the device connected. Then connect the device again.
  6. Well, I was wrong. Removing the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sony Shared\OpenMG\MP3Enc.dll library also does not seem to affect the MP3 encoding functionality of SS. Turns out, the actual file used is the C:\Program Files\Sony\SonicStage\SsEncMp3.dll library. Removing it leads to errors when trying to encode into MP3.
  7. This folder is shared for Sony OpenMG applications only. Currently only SonicStage, Connect Player and MD Simple Burner are in that class, and only the first of those works with MP3s. Other Sony appications (SoundForge, etc.) have their own plugins for working with MP3 and other file formats (including ATRAC). AFAIK Sony does not actually like to "share" plugins between its applications. Even the new ATRAC plugin has to be installed separately for each of those.
  8. This is a very strange piece of information. Just today I visited Sony Russia web page. They used to have lots of MD and Hi-MD units advertised, but today it seemed that they moved most of them into the "discontinued" section. The main (current) MD section still contains RH10, RH910 and RH710 though (no information about RH1 yet, though there was an article about it on that site a few weeks ago).
  9. SonicStage seems to use its own MP3 encoder, located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Sony Shared\OpenMG\MP3Enc.dll. This library is not dependent on WMP or Windows codecs. Complete removal of all Windows ACM MP3 codecs does not affect the MP3 encoding functionality of SS in any way.
  10. You are right! Actually, the YY/MM/DD information displayed by RH10 is the same as the information entered in SonicStage for this track (Year released - Month - Day), if any. As we have no way to enter time there, it will always be 12:00AM for tracks transferred from SS.
  11. Seems that the revered uploadability of RH1 is built on top of the standard, and does not provide real compatibility with good old models. Do not touch your MDs!!!
  12. Avrin

    Sonicstage CP

    Audio only, Sir. If any. But then again, it seems that they are going to allow 320kbit/s downloads. One more bitrate. Way to go!
  13. Very frequently a solution to CDDB glitches in SB is to restart your computer. And, in any case, you have to restart the computer after installing/reinstalling SB, even if it doesn't ask you to. This is required for proper initialization of the application and its CDDB components. BTW check your SONY CDs! The CD that came with my MZ-RH10 (purchased in March) contains SonicStage 3.0 (old and useless), and MD Simple Burner version (English, French, German, Italian and Japanese). So the version posted in this forum is not the most recent one. The newer version does not differ though. Just PCM, Hi-SP, Hi-LP, and 48 kbit/s for HiMD, and LP2 and LP4 for NetMD.
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