The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #108151   Message #2249490
Posted By: GUEST,BobL
31-Jan-08 - 09:02 AM
Thread Name: Transfering mini disc to cd
Subject: RE: Transfering mini disc to cd
I was faced with this very problem, as I have a number of "archive" recordings, mainly of Shape Note singings, that I wanted to put on CD. I was thinking about getting a Trust sound card with Toslink (optical) input, but then my one MD player with an optical output packed up, with no prospect of repair or replacement. So I had to go the pricey route and get a Sony MZ-RH1. Hope it's long-term reliable, I can't see this medium being supported much longer...

I'm still getting the hang of it. Like so many gadgets, it is excellent at what it does, and intensely frustrating in what it doesn't. Uploading audio files to the computer is quick and easy: Sonic Stage (the supplied software) saves them in their ATRAC-compressed form, with the option of converting to .wav format. You can then play, or burn CDs from, either type. But - if you want .wav files, you have to choose this option at upload time, you can't come back and decompress them later. So select this option every time! I'd also recommend you to title all your tracks before uploading them, it makes identifying them that much easier.

Sonic Stage has no facilities for editing the compressed files, which ought to have been easy considering how good Sony's MD decks are at it. I guess they were pretty paranoid at the start about illicit copying, only when MP3 began to corner the market did they realise their mistake, and provide a few add-ons to the existing software. These of course are no substitute for original designed-in facilities. No doubt Audacity will allow me to edit the .wav files, but I'm at the bottom of that particular learning curve.

One more point about the compressed files: they are encrypted, with a key specific to your machine. This is to stop you copying or e-mailing them to other people, although you can download them to another MD without restriction (another add-on?). This means they will be no use for archiving as they won't outlive your computer.