New minidisc format. VERY interesting at DVinfo.net

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Old January 8th, 2004, 12:32 PM   #1
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New minidisc format. VERY interesting

source: http://news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/4270

Sony hits a grand slam! Announcing Hi-MD (spec) a new Minidisc format based upon a 1GB MD medium and existing MD media reformatted to 300MB. Hi-MD equipment features uploading to PC for mic-input recordings (yay!), and built-in linear PCM (16bit/44.1khz) and ATRAC3plus recording (at 256 and 64kbps). Hi-MD recorders also function as USB data drives. Available in April, recording equipment prices will be $200 (MZ-NH600D), $250 (MZ-NHF800), $300 (MZ-NH900) and $400 (MZ-NH1) with Hi-MD blanks costing about $7.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #2
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Cool - the phrase that caught my eye:

Quote:
with the new upload function musicians or note-taking students can use the mic-in feature on several of the models to make a self-recording on the device and transfer the content back to the PC
It's such a relief to see Sony stop shooting itself in the foot.

These two models specifically mentioned mic & line-in
MZ-NH1 $400 MSRP
MZ-NHF800 $250 MSRP

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Old January 8th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #3
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"When connected to the PC, Hi-MD recorders act as an external drive enabling users to store and transfer such data files as presentations, digital images and spreadsheets on the discs."

I wonder if this includes music files? I realize they still record in the ATRAC3 codec, but does it arcive the file, allowing for copying and pasting instead of having to record it onto the hard drive? It say it acts as an "external drive." Does anyone know???
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Old January 8th, 2004, 11:04 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michael Wisniewski : Cool - the phrase that caught my eye:

It's such a relief to see Sony stop shooting itself in the foot.

These two models specifically mentioned mic & line-in
MZ-NH1 $400 MSRP
MZ-NHF800 $250 MSRP -->>>

It is line out or digital out that we need. Most units have adequate inputs.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 12:24 AM   #5
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All the new models are supposed to have digital I/O via USB - and it sounds real, not crippled like before.

I pointed out the two models because they specifically mentioned mic/line-in so we could use them as field recorders. The other models didn't specifically mention mic/line-in so they might only record via USB.

<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : It is line out or digital out that we need. Most units have adequate inputs. -->>>
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Old January 9th, 2004, 09:48 AM   #6
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Wha you talking about? My MZR-50 has mic-line in with mic boost, and digital In.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #7
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Yang Wen,

It's never been about inputs, it's always been about output capability where the format was crippled.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #8
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Wow!

I think this is a bombshell. Still, I have some concerns. I don't really trust Sony to be completely upfront about their products, and I'm skeptical that they've really reformed their ways. They're pitching the mic in jack as a way for students to record lectures. If it's not intended to transfer music files, doesn't it seem likely that the preamp won't be very high quality? They downgraded the preamp on their minidisc recorders when they came up with that NetMD nonsense, I guess figuring that not many people would be making analog recordings. There's no mention of manual audio controls at all. I'd feel a lot better about this if it had optical inputs. All the same, this is very promising news. It completely resolves my concerns about the future of this medium. At the very least, we will finally have a way to do a digital transfer . (Now if only Sony would support the Mac.) If the recording feature is a dog, why not use our existing MD recorders and do the transfer with the new gizmo? I could kiss the Sony engineers for making this thing backwards compatible. It might be a good idea to start hoarding blank minidiscs, because who knows how long Sony is going to keep manufacturing them. Maybe Sharp or another company will license the technology and give us better recording features? My dilemma over whether to buy a deck with optical outputs or a Denecke-AD20 just got solved.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 12:37 PM   #9
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I think it is a last gasp for the technology, especially as a recording medium for video production.

One can capture a lot of audio on a memory stick very reliably with no moving parts, no shock issues and at lower power.

Even video recording into memory cards has shown up at the broadcast level.

And the first sound-recording add-on for a PDA was just introduced. Even has a good microphone pre-amp option.

Somebody out there, will make the almost insignificant technical change and those MP3 players will become recorder/players.

I'll continue to use my MD recorder until I can replace it with a small solid-state recorder. But I won't invest any more $ in the technology.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 01:33 PM   #10
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This is a UK site that is already taking orders. The product is said to ship in April. It mentions a model Mznh700 that has optical inputs. It also mentions "digital level control" which suggests manual audio controls.

http://www.avland.co.uk/sony/mznh700/sony-mz-nh700.htm
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Old January 12th, 2004, 04:23 AM   #11
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I found better info link:
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/200401/04-001E/

Citating:
<<3) High Compatibility with PC
"Hi-MD" uses the FAT file system, making it possible to use "Hi-MD" formatted MDs and 1GB "Hi-MD" discs as versatile media for recording PC data files, such as images and text. Furthermore, as portable, rewritable PC media, "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.>>

That would mean you can do two way transfer - from and to PC with high speed. The USB is not clear - 1.1 or 2?

<<4) Copyright Protection Technology
To prevent an illegal copying of digital content, "Hi-MD" incorporates OpenMG and MagicGate technology, already adopted in Memory Stick and Net MD for content management to ensure that music content stored on a "Hi-MD" disc will be encrypted. "Hi-MD" also conforms to the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS).>>

I don't know about the proprietary Magic Gate, but SCMS means that only digitally obtained data is protected from copying. For video we usually use analog input (from mic or line from mixer) so it's not copywrite protected and you can copy as many times via the digital connection as you want. Hope I'm right.

Anyway - I just said my pesimistic view for the death of the format if they don't allow transfer to PC and the answer came quite quick.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 07:34 AM   #12
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I just wish they would support the Mac, or at least let a third party do it.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 10:43 AM   #13
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I'm encouraged by this development. I think it might have been enough to prevent me from buying a little MP3/WMA player (Nex IA) based upon CF cards. My player records voice but has no mic or line in. Moving music on or off the device is as simple as plugging the card into my PC and copying files.

I've been around computing for a long time so it almost makes me choke to say this, but my knee-jerk reaction was that 1GB is skimpy. On the other hand, if I had a 1GB floppy disk on my PCs I'd think that a good thing. (I've always wondered why Sony never promoted MD as a computer peripheral. It would have kicked Iomega for a loop.)

I look forward to April.

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Old January 12th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #14
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At $7 a gig it's pretty pricey too.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:08 AM   #15
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Well, that's list, but I take the point. Call it $4 at retail after 6 months, maybe less.

Other formats, rough costs:

MiniDV tape -- $0.35/GB
DVD+/-RW -- $0.75/GB
Hard disk -- $1/GB
Compact Flash -- $200/GB (for capacities over 128MB)
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