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Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie

Will Fly 26 Mar 15 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Mar 15 - 03:01 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 15 - 05:42 PM
Brian Peters 26 Mar 15 - 05:53 PM
Will Fly 26 Mar 15 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Mar 15 - 06:30 PM
GUEST 26 Mar 15 - 06:32 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 15 - 06:56 PM
Tattie Bogle 26 Mar 15 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 26 Mar 15 - 08:01 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Mar 15 - 08:35 PM
BobL 27 Mar 15 - 02:47 AM
Will Fly 27 Mar 15 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 27 Mar 15 - 04:35 AM
Gurney 27 Mar 15 - 03:33 PM
Bonzo3legs 27 Mar 15 - 05:23 PM
Jack Campin 27 Mar 15 - 07:05 PM
bazza 29 Mar 15 - 05:43 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 Mar 15 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 29 Mar 15 - 09:58 AM
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Subject: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 02:29 PM

I was clearing out a tangle of wires and old equipment from a desk drawer this afternoon. Among the mess - most of which has been thrown out - I discovered my old Sony MZ-R30 Minidisc Player/recorder, complete with power lead and remote controller. I rooted around and found a small box of recorded discs.

The lithium battery was shot so I plugged in the power lead and inserted a disc labelled "Richard Thompson: Mock Tudor" and - lo! it worked first time. I'd forgotten how good the sound quality was so I checked the net, discovered that replacement batteries are available, and ordered one.

OK, it's old technology now - superseded by laptops and iPods for playback and equipment like the Zoom series for recording - but it's well made and still functioning after many years of lying in a drawer.

Glad I found it - now to find all those boxes of discs from years ago...


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 03:01 PM

Somewhere I've got a decent sony minidisc which if I remember correctly
can run off normal AA batteries.

But replacement lithiums for the Aiwa minidisc proved impossible to find
last time I looked 5 or 6 years ago


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 05:42 PM

I loved minidisc and still have a great Sony Walkman machine, but Sony's stupid copy restrictions were a complete pain in the neck. They must have been a big factor in the demise of the format.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Brian Peters
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 05:53 PM

Great piece of gear. I've just bought a Zoom Hn2, but would have soldiered on with my Minidisc if the mains connection hadn't failed.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 05:59 PM

What were the Sony restrictions, Steve? I can't have come across them at the time.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 06:30 PM

No S/PIF outputs to transfer digital recordings - not even your own...


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 06:32 PM

S/PDIF... oops I'm a bit sleepy after the political 'debates' and question time


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 06:56 PM

Will, here's wiki on minidisc copy protection.

Copy protection
All MiniDisc-recorders used the SCMS copy protection system which uses two bits in the S/PDIF digital audio stream and on disc to differentiate between "protected" vs. "unprotected" audio, and between "original" vs. "copy":

Recording digitally from a source marked "protected" and "original" (produced by a prerecorded MD or an MD that recorded an analogue input) was allowed, but the recorder would change the "original" bit to the "copy" state on the disc to prevent further copying of the copy. A CD imported via a digital connection does not have the SMCS bits (as the format predates it), but the recording MD recorder treats any signal where the SMCS bits are missing as protected and original. The MD copy, therefore, cannot be further digitally copied.
Recording digitally from a source marked "protected" and "copy" was not allowed: an error message would be shown on the display.
Recording digitally from a source marked "unprotected" was also allowed; the "original/copy" marker was ignored and left unchanged.
Recording from an analogue source resulted in a disc marked "protected" and "original" allowing one further copy to be made (this contrasts with the SCMS on the Digital Compact Cassette where analogue recording was marked as "unprotected").

Of those recorder/players that could be connected to a PC via a USB lead, although it was possible to transfer audio from the PC to the MiniDisc recorder, for many years it was not possible to transfer audio the other way. This restriction existed in both the SonicStage software and in the MiniDisc player itself. SonicStage V3.4 was the first version of the software where this restriction was removed, but it still required a MiniDisc recorder/player that also had the restriction removed. The Hi-MD model MZ-RH1, was the first such player available.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 07:23 PM

I still have one too, tho rarely used now. The main reason for buying was to get true pitch recordings when I was learning button accordion. My teacher would record tunes to learn on to tape, but even when on mains power you got different tape speeds and recordings could be a semi-tone or more out. Not so with mini-disc, so I could play along with his recordings.
Yes and the copy protection thing was a pain: it didn't seem to exclude even your own recordings of you yourself playing something you'd written yourself!!


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 08:01 PM

If I recall correctly, a very restricted number of pricier domestic Hi Fi deck minidisc machines [Yamaha ?]
were equipped with S/PDIF outputs
and possibly enabled to circumvent / allow digital transfer of your own original recordings..???
eg Band song demos...

And possibly some pro studio decks.. ???

But I can't remember for certain.

There was a Yamaha ? multitrack minidisc portastudio,
but again I no longer have any idea if or how digital tracks could be transferred...?????

Our band recorded in a studio which was very proud of it's 'marvellous' new all in one minidisc mastering machine.

I was concerned that the master disc would be lossy compressed minidisc format.
But was outvoted by the singer who was paying for the sessions.

Thing is, once he was in possession of the masterdisc
he couldn't or wouldn't understand that it would be near impossible
to make bit for bit digital clone copies....


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Mar 15 - 08:35 PM

I had a separates Pioneer minidisc deck that was subject to the same restrictions as my Sony Walkman Hi-MD recorder.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: BobL
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 02:47 AM

I believe digital copying was possible on sufficiently pricey gear, i.e. that meant for professional/studio rather than domestic use.

The Walkman MZ-RH1 didn't quite qualify in spite of its £200 price tag, but its USB connection could be used to import recordings digitally to a PC. No copy restrictions on home-burned CDs & MP3s.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 04:03 AM

That's interesting because I used to transfer tunes between two Minidisc recorders, or from a CD player to the Minidisc - I simply used a mini-jack lead between the "Line out" on one and the "Line In" on the other. I also occasionally used the optical link.

I never bought pre-recorded discs - always bought blanks for my own recordings or to copy from CDs.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 04:35 AM

The problem with recording from the line out of one minidisc to the line in of another,
is that each generation of copy would have further degraded the audio quality
due to the lossy compression inflicted by the minidisc format..

think in terms of photocopies of photocopies...

The later USB equipped models came a few years after my time with minidiscs
so I had no experience of the ease or otherwise of cloning your own original recordings.

Neither did I ever experience using computer data minidisc drives,
so haven't a clue if it was possible to use them to clone minidisc recordings
in any useful way ????

anyone...???


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Gurney
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 03:33 PM

Now, if punkfolkrocker can find batteries for his Aiwa, I'll be really sick. I dumped mine.....
Still have an unopened pack of minidisks if anyone in NZ is interested.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 05:23 PM

I'll be using my Sony MZ RH1 Hi-MD recorder tomorrow night with mics taken from airline noise reduction headphones. I get superb 1 hour and 35 minutes lossless recording in PCM setting on to a 1 gb data disc


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Mar 15 - 07:05 PM

I have a few MD recorders lying around. It wasn't just the copy protection that got to me - the Sony ones seem designed to be unrepairable. I had a socket go wonky on me - this should have been a simple repair, new sockets cost a few pence. But the socket was buried at the very bottom of the case where you needed to remove nearly every screw in the machine to get at it. That was enough to put me off ever buying a piece of Sony hardware again.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: bazza
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 05:43 AM

I have a Sony Minidisc recorder MZ-R50 is there any way I can connect it to a Zoom H4n to record   from Minidisc recordings I made years ago.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 08:51 AM

MZ-R50 seems to have analogue outputs only, so you could only copy in real time to your Zoom, if it has a line input. What I do with old minidisc recordings is transfer from my MZ-RH1 via USB to my PC via SonicStage 4.3 ultimate, which is the only version that will work in Win7, then save as wav files and modify in Adobe Audition.


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Subject: RE: Sony Minidisc player - oldie but goodie
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 09:58 AM

Having read through this thread and never having been aware of recording problems I tried this with my Sony MZ-R70 Walkman. A CD copy of a genuine Billy Joel album was played on my desktop through a MAGIX Lab. programme and the output to the speakers was connected to the mini-recorder instead. It resulted in a perfect reproduction.


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