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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #16
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Call me crazy but I thought $7 or so for a gig was not too bad. Especially if you compare it to flash memory. Fairly skip proof and portable. Can be used as a data drive so you could transfer video clips to it as well.

From what I've read recordings made with line-in or the microphone jack won't be copy protected therefore you can make as many copies of your own recordings as you want. If the preamp isn't the best quality you could always just buy a good one and go through line-in.

I was looking for an inexpensive yet quality field recorder and this thing is perfect for me.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:37 AM   #17
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$7/GB is expensive compared to everything except memory.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #18
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Will,
Even the audio tapes are still sold for nearly 1$ at a bargain price in japan. That's 60-90 min of a "dead" format.

Normal 74 min MD is about 0.95$ if you don't worry for a fasion looking dazling colors and design.

Even 7$ for a Gig is stunningly LOW in my opinion.

The first Data MD which had some entry in the low Pro audio (in the form of a mixer multytrack MD) was about 10$. And you could record 4 track for 30 min or so.

I'm sure Sony know the disadvantages of the format so they've made their bill how to make it competative to the hard state memory formats.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #19
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I think the price makes more sense for us than regular people. It's like buying a DAT tape. Being able to archive the things is so important its worth the few extra bucks. But this thing is competing with hard disc MP3 players which are really cheap.

Hey, on another note, can anyone tell from the specs if you will be able to record uncompressed audio? It says it supports WAV files, but I don't know if that's only for files transferred from a computer.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 01:24 PM   #20
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I think MDs are ATRAC-only devices. Given that the original MD is 177MB and holds approximately one CD's worth of music at SP (the original speed), it would have to be compressed.

Stating compatibility with WAV, MP3, WMA just means that the Sony software can take one of those file types and get it transferred to the MD/Hi-MD.

And that is one problem with the system. With my solid-state player, I just take the folders of WMAs ripped by WMP9 and drag/drop them to the memory card. Done. With MD, it has to go through the Sony system.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 07:43 PM   #21
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Read again carefully from http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/200401/04-001E/

<<"Hi-MD" complies with USB format's Mass Storage Class, ensuring that simply by connecting a "Hi-MD" product to a PC it is immediately recognized as an external storage device.>>

Will, Isnft that same as all the current HD or flash memory devices?

Donft understand me wrong – I donft like much Sony for their proprietary formats and higher prices. This time though they might have done their homework.

Also check again the link I gave. You can see the technical data for the MD media. The new 1GB is recorded with different density. Itfs also stated you can record uncompressed PCM format. If itfs same old WAV for CDA you can make the math how much would fit on a 1GB media. Should be about 100 minutes roughly.

Anyway itfs a very nice move from Sony. Sounds good for the customer too - if there are more products to compete, prices should go down.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 09:22 PM   #22
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Bogdan, you are absolutely right that the new devices will behave like an ordinary storage device. So sure, you could copy WAV files or any other file type to a disc.

However, I think the player only plays ATRAC. I don't see anything in the information about Hi-MD to contradict that assumption. Also, the wording used to describe format compatibility for Hi-MD is the same as the wording Sony has used in the past to describe format compatibility for MD.

It would be great if I was wrong.

Will
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Old January 12th, 2004, 10:03 PM   #23
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Yeah, I hope you are wrong but nobody knows until the reall thing starts shipping.

May be I'm punctual but again from the Sony info
<<2. ...By also adopting a non-compressible, linear PCM recording, "Hi-MD" compatible products enable...>>

I hope that what they wrote is correct.
Linear PCM audio means only one - Linear PCM audio (16bit, 44.1kHz not compressed by ATRAC)
The first version of ATRAC was made to sqweeze the 74 min audio into a tiny optical disc. Now they have 1GB media so the luxury of uncompressed is possible.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 11:28 PM   #24
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For what it's worth, minidisc.org just updated their FAQ to confirm that Linear PCM 1.4mbps files are recorded using the Hi-MD equipment, and in fact such files can't be downloaded to the minidisc from a PC. At least that's how I read it. They're pretty anal over there, and I trust this is good information. Hopefully Sony won't put copy protection restrictions on uncompressed files.

http://www.minidisc.org/hi-md_faq.html#_q93
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Old January 14th, 2004, 02:18 AM   #25
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Marco, sorry for being picky again but I think in the table is written exactly oposite.

downloading from PC
to Hi-MD equipment
X no

You are more likely to record uncompressed on the Hi-MD then download it to the PC, right?

In point 2 is also said:

* Microphone and line input (i.e. analog source) recordings made on Hi-MD equipment can be uploaded at high-speed to Windows PCs via SonicStage (Sony's copyright-protecting audio transfer software).

The use of Sony software is not the best thing but I think that's what everybody here wanted - to be able to download analog recorded sound at high speed.

I'm getting more excited the more I read about it ...
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Old January 14th, 2004, 07:51 AM   #26
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Actually, we seem to be saying the same thing. As I read it, you can apparently make an uncompressed recording using the analog input and transfer the file to PC, but you can't take an uncompressed file and transfer it to minidisc from a PC, at least not as a playable file. Maybe this is for copyright protection?
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Old January 14th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #27
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I've still seen nothing to indicate that the uncompressed 1.4Mbps files are stored on the disc as WAV files. All the material really says is that uncompressed audio can be stored. Based upon what I've read and all the comments here so far, that could mean ATRAC recording with no compression (perhaps we might call that ATRAC0).

From Sony's point of view, pure ATRAC might make the most sense because it would mean the player electronics and firmware would only have to decode one playable format at one of five (?) compression ratios. Why license anything else when you own ATRAC?

And that would be why SonicStage always has to be used to move playable audio -- it's the only software that knows how to decode and convert ATRACx to and from MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.

Look at it this way. If you transfer a WAV file from a PC to the MiniDisc using file transfer tools, can that file be played by the Hi-MD MiniDisc player? My answer to this question is no.

Will
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Old January 14th, 2004, 09:09 AM   #28
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It's unclear to me what Sony's statement means.

"SonicStage 2.0 jukebox supports many Internet audio formats, including MP3, WMA, WAV files."

Clearly it's referring to the software, so maybe you're right and when you move it on to the minidisc all files simply get converted over to Atrac. Makes no difference to me, as I'm not really going to use that function anyway.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 09:24 AM   #29
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That's exactly the same statement Sony put out for MD, before there was any hint of Hi-MD. I was confused by it, too, so I called Sony early last year and asked direct questions about formats. I was told that MP3, WMA, etc. were formats that SonicStage could use, in or out, but that they got converted when being written to a disc.

That's why I'm taking the position that nothing has changed in this regard for Hi-MD.

By the way, this is not to say I don't like what I'm seeing with Hi-MD. On the contrary, this has renewed my interest in MiniDisc; had I known about it before I bought my little MP3/WMA player, I would not have bought it.

Will
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Old January 14th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #30
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Ok (just to make sure I have this straight) You can record uncompressed audio with a mic or line-in. The format this is saved in has no relevance because its uncompressed, and when uploaded the sony software can convert (if need be) it to WMA WAV etc.

This sounds just right for me if everything is true....just wish I didnt have to wait so long. If I dont like the preamp quality in the player I can always buy a portable seperate preamp and go straight into the line-in.

http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/category.cgi?category=540&item=SP-PREAMP&type=store
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