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A Beautiful Revelation -- the Epic MZ-RH1 Arrives


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From fiction to reality, the latest generation of Hi-MD has arrived; all of the specifications and media have been revealed, and we've got it all covered. There is a special surprise for legacy MD users..+++

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Sony Japan announced today (March 23, 2006) that it will release one new portable Hi-MD recording Walkman unit named MZ-RH1 on April 21st, 2006 (May 2006 for Europe, most likely summertime for USA) in two colors, black and silver. The expected retail price for this new device is approximately 39,800 - 40,000 yen (approx. USD$340 - 350), but it should hopefully arrive in the United States around $300.

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So, the biggest news of this release is that it can upload non Hi-MD audio; anything recorded by NetMD is not allowed to be uploaded, unfortunately. So that means all of your old SP and MDLP live recordings can finally be uploaded via USB! For example, an SP mode track uploaded to Sonicstage 3.4 will be converted to PCM or Hi-SP (your choice); MDLP tracks will keep their 132kbps and 66kbps bitrate, repsectively. Only Sonicstage 3.4 will be able to faciliate these types of uploads with the new unit. Furthermore, the MZ-RH1 is PC and Mac compatible (it will come with a new version of Mac uploading software which we'll report on later) out of the box. The press releases are also stating that the MZ-RH1 is capable of full USB2.0, which is not the same as the "compatible" nonsense we've had to live with for half a decade. The device also features a High Definition Digital Amp, and a normalizer for playback so there are no erratic volume fluctuations whilst listening to your favorite music along with a 6-band EQ for whatever coloration you desire.

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Obviously, the unit has a thin OLED display which can give a wide variety of information regarding the recording situation (examples). There is no official word that it can recall your recording mode, so you may still have to manually set it each time you record. Width, depth and height equate to 87.7×17.3×87.7mm and it will weigh about 106g (including battery), which is a fair weight as it's made out of aluminum. Headphone output, as usual, is 5mW, and there is no word yet if there will be a european volume limitation but we will have the information to defeat this if necessary. There will be no AA add-on attachment for this device, which is a strange move for Sony considering that this is aimed towards the live recording enthusiast; it will only employ a slim LIP-4WM battery.

Inputs:

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Battery life:

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News source(s): AV Watch, Sony JP PR, Sony EU PR, SonyStyle Japan MZ-RH1 Website, Sony JP eCatalog.

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Any word if any features will be deleted for the USA-version of the model?

Will USA have the black or silver remote? Multi-line capable?

Would really like to know if recording levels can be adjusted "on the fly".

The lever on the side, to me, would indicate that it might.

Paul

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Yessir, I can see three (3) of these on my horizon, one for me (now, right away) and one each (maybe at Christmas-time) for my two musician-student-sons with their MAC laptops.

The lack of a AA battery add-on is irksome, indeed, as I rely on this with my current NH900 for worry-free recording and playback capability on road trips, camping, music festivals, etc. where I don't always have the ability to recharge.

I guess the solution will be to buy a second battery (grrr).

Query: should we assume that US availability will be around the same as its European release?

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So, the biggest news of this release is that it can upload non Hi-MD audio; anything recorded by NetMD is not allowed to be uploaded, unfortunately. So that means all of your old SP and MDLP live recordings can finally be uploaded via USB! For example, an SP mode track uploaded to Sonicstage 3.4 will be converted to PCM or Hi-SP (your choice); MDLP tracks will keep their 132kbps and 66kbps bitrate, repsectively.

Is my life about to be transformed?

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@ MZ1: levels have been adjustable on the fly with all HiMD models

@ kurisu: one remark, the Japanese site (Ishi linked to it in the other thread) reports the body being made out of magnesium *I was corrected by Ishii

Edited by The Low Volta
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Any word if any features will be deleted for the USA-version of the model?

Most likely nothing will be removed.

Will USA have the black or silver remote? Multi-line capable?

Black, one-liner.

Query: should we assume that US availability will be around the same as its European release?

If not May, definitely summer.

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@ kurisu: one remark, the Japanese site (Ishi linked to it in the other thread) reports the body being made out of magnesium

Clarification: I made a mistake in declaring the body is made of magnesium; got too excited when I read magnesium body in the chart - the RH1's body is not made of magnesium. I apologize for the confusion.

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Exciting news, but disappointing that NetMD downloads cannot be uploaded - especially when this can be done with HiMD (HiMD recordings obviously). Why do you think they have retained this restriction?

Edited by Shozzer
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Query: should we assume that US availability will be around the same as its European release?

Yes, I also need to know when it will be released in the US...I don't see any specific mention to a release date in the USA...?

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Exciting news, but disappointing that NetMD downloads cannot be uploaded - especially when this can be done with HiMD (HiMD recordings obviously). Why do you think they have retained this restriction?

Because almost all recordings made via USB on a NetMD unit are copyrighted songs (CD-rips or mp3's). Because with legacy-MD recordings there is not enough copyright-info in the track to know what source it came from the selection is a bit crude.

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When or how can we find out about maintaining recording settings? What other live recording features are new besides L and R level meters on the main unit?

Otherwise, very exciting news. I'm in for sure...I like the thinner remote like the one that came on my MZ-R90. I don't like the bulky one on my NH1.

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Because almost all recordings made via USB on a NetMD unit are copyrighted songs (CD-rips or mp3's). Because with legacy-MD recordings there is not enough copyright-info in the track to know what source it came from the selection is a bit crude.

Somehow, if there's enough kvetching and bitching around here, SonicStage 3.5 may automagically allow NetMD uploads too. :)

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refering to the rec-settings being retained or not question: MDfreak will be able to handle one tomorrow I believe... he will test a lot of stuff... perhaps I should send him a PM asking him to test this as well

Edited by The Low Volta
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What are you talking about? It does allow that..

I'm new to this...The following quote led me to think that the audio would automatically be converted to PCM.

"So, the biggest news of this release is that it can upload non Hi-MD audio...So that means all of your old SP and MDLP live recordings can finally be uploaded via USB! For example, an SP mode track uploaded to Sonicstage 3.4 will be converted to PCM or Hi-SP (your choice)"

Are you saying that I can upload the raw ATRAC data without converting it? Does that erase the data from the disc? And, can I then listen to the ATRAC recordings using other medialayers (like Realplayer)?

Thanks!

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