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If you want another mode than SP, you can use SS. 

- LP2, LP4

- Hi-MD modes


Using SS to get a SP disc will give you LP2 quality, even if the disc can be read by ALL MD players. So, to get a real SP quality disc, you must record in real time.


Just use a special plugin  to create two seconds blanks between tracks : Wincue in you use Winamp, Post-Track Silence in you use foobar2000.


I use a Net-MD recorder (my JB980 deck mostly) to edit the MD (naming tracks and groups, and deleting silence tracks that sometime can be created)

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If you have Hi-MD (eg MZ-RH1) far and away the best way to convert FLAC will be using Sound Forge 10. I have a feeling SF9 doesn't support FLAC.

This will do a file to file conversion.

If, as suggested, you go via WAV, you may lose information and make the conversion muddy.

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Audio data compression[edit]

The digitally encoded audio signal on a MiniDisc has traditionally been data-compressed using the ATRAC format (AdaptiveTRansform Acoustic Coding). This is in fact a 'psychoacoustic' data reduction system. It omits some of the musical content. It is claimed by Sony that the content that is omitted is inaudible anyway. Some original sounds have been known to defeat ATRAC which introduces (typically) a crackle or whistle onto the data stream.

ATRAC was devised for MiniDisc so that the same amount of audio a CD can carry can fit on a disc far smaller than the CD (which contains uncompressed 16-bit stereo linear PCM audio). ATRAC reduces the 1.4 Mbit/s of a CD to a 292 kbit/s data stream, roughly a 5:1 reduction.

ATRAC was also used on nearly all FLASH memory Walkman devices until the 8 series but is now only used in Sony's MiniDisc devices (as of November 2008) as ATRAC is fundamental to the MiniDisc specification.

Sony's ATRAC codec differs from uncompressed PCM in that it is a psychoacoustic lossy audio data reduction scheme and is such that the recorded signal does not require decompression on replay. Although it is intended that the reproduced signal may sound nearly identical to the original as far as the listener is concerned, it differs sufficiently that listening on a high quality audio system will betray the difference (other true compression schemes generally share this characteristic to a greater or lesser degree).

There have been four versions of the ATRAC data reduction system, each claimed (by Sony) to more accurately reflect the original audio. Early version players are guaranteed to play later version ATRAC audio because, as stated, there is no processing required for replay. Version 1 could only be copied on consumer equipment three or four times before artifacts became objectionable (the ATRAC on the recording machine attempts to data reduce the already reduced signal). By version 4, the potential number of generations of copy had increased to around fifteen to twenty depending on audio content.

The latest versions of Sony's ATRAC are ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus, both of which are true lossy compression schemes and both require decompression on replay. Original ATRAC3 at 132 kbit/s (also known as ATRAC-LP2 mode) is the format that used to be used by Sony's Connect audio download store (now defunct). ATRAC3plus was not used in order to retain backwards compatibility with earlier NetMD players.

In MiniDisc's latest progression, Hi-MD, uncompressed CD-quality linear PCM audio recording and playback is offered, placing Hi-MD on a par with CD-quality audio. Hi-MD also supports both ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus in varying bitrates, but not the original ATRAC.

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Don't forget that a "straight" wav file usually doesn't contain as much information as a real CD.

So when software rips to a file the "compressed" result may contain more information than you might expect. Sony evem allows for this with various rip settings in SS (eg "high quality"). Unless the correct dithering is done, ripping to 16 bits wav and then compressing to ATRAC may sound funny. This artifact may even be (IMO) why it lost out to MP3 in listening tests designed to be "fair".

All the formats we are considering here are effectively better than 16 bits. "Freezing" as 16 without the proper manipulation may result in quality loss.

Just my $0.02

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If I was doing this I would do the following (I am assuming the FLAC and WAV's are all 16-bit 44.1 khz which may or may not be your case)


1. Use the FLAC command line tools to batch uncompress all the .flac files into .wavs (the audio information contained in a flac file is exactly the same as a WAV it just takes up less space)

2. Import the WAVS into Sonic Stage or X Player or whatever

3. Edit the metadata in the application

4. Transfer to MD and use the transfer settings to convert on the fly to Atrac3+


But as other people have there are probably a few other ways of doing it. 

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The short answer, (imo) is Yes. But you need to think about what you want to achieve. Do you need absolute top notch quality? Sorry if that sounds a silly question but put it this way, if you're going to be listening to the discs on high end gear with top quality headphones/speakers then yes, obviously go for the best.


If on the other hand you're only going to be using a portable on the bus to work LP2 will be perfectly adequate! Let's face it, there are millions of people out there listening to 128kb MP3's on their phones and any minidisc is going to be better than that.


Probably best thing to do is one disc of each, one done in real time with optical cable and one done through SS. Then compare them to see if you can tell any difference. After all, you're the one who's going to be listening to them.

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