HiMD
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vorlik

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I am looking into a HiMD player when Sony releases them in April, specifically the MZ- NH900. On the HiMD site at Sony, the little comparison chart says that the player "supports multiple popular music formats such as mp3 and WMA." Does that mean that I can record my MP3s directly onto the minidiscs, or do I have to re-rip all my CDs into ATRAC3plus before sending them to the disc? Please answer, this is a deciding factor between me purchasing this or an iHP-120.

Additionally, will the NH900 support "tags" allowing me to search for all tracks by a partcular artist or album on the disc?
 
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vorlik

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Also, what is APS? I heard about it, and I think its a bitrate or something... how can I get it?
 
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ezra2323

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Quote:

what is APS


Alt Prest Standard. Its variable bit rate. See HydrogenAudio.org for more info.

Quote:

do I have to re-rip all my CDs into ATRAC3plus before sending them to the disc


Probably not, but Sony will convert your MP3s to ATRAC3 which means more loss of quality. Sony's refusal to directly play any format but ATRAC3 is killing them in the market. Did they not learn from betamax????
 
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vorlik

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Thanks. One question though:

Since it will convert my MP3s to ATRAC for MORE loss in quality, can I counter this by ripping higher-bitrate mp3s for similar-sounding music?

Also, what is teh general concensus on this board about minidisc versus harddrive music players? Will this view change when HiMD is released?
 
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Sczervok

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When HiMD comes out, it will simply be like CD mp3 players... only they have 300 megs of space more, and a significantly smaller size, as well as media editing right on the player itself.

HDD players will not be affected too greatly be the new release however... it just means they gotta be more competetive (which means prices drops... probably...)
 
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ch1nkster

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Yo vorlik, you mught want to check out mindisc.org and the forums over at minidisct.com. There are lots of good info about Hi-MD there waiting for you to read.

Sony says that it supports WMA and MP3's but what the new recorders do is just re-encode all your music files into ATRAC3 format that the minidisc players use to read. Hi-MD is probably a good choice for you if you are okay with around 131 kbs audio in LP2 format. I suggest that you get the iHP-120 for your situation.
 
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bangraman

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It's quite likely at this stage that the Hi-MD release will slip. Hi-MD has three ways to get music into it:
1. Rip CD's directly to ATRAC.
2. Convert media held on HDD to ATRAC. (MP3, WAV, WMA, etc)
3. Buy/download secured ATRAC files from Sony Connect.


1. Will be the best option. However it's not as fast as I've been led to believe... iTunes, Musicmatch, etc all do the ripping thing a lot faster.
2. There is a certain loss of quality. You'll hear it in low-bitrate files, but the transcoding process is not too bad... just not very fast.
3. No experience of it thus far. Will probably have soon.


I really wouldn't worry too much about the Digital Rights Management issues of the Sony units. It doesn't really impede on a regular joe's daily use of it.


Having said that, I haven't heard one enough to be authoritative but at this point in time I think an iHP is a better proposition if the increased size/weight doesn't bother you. It does practically everything that Hi-MD does and quite a bit more. Still, there's something to be said about a much lighter and smaller unit... depends on how you use it really.
 
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pho_boi

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im very confused wiht sony's decisions.....

their new sonic stage software doesn't have the download or upload restrictions anymore, so there copyright 'protection' is no longer there, so why make us convert our files to atrac so we can listen to them on our MDs. its just plain stupid!!! IMHO i think they trying to be stupid and trying to lose in the portable audio market........ i understand they also own a record company and all. but there attempt of protecting this with the upload and download limitations are no longer present so why bother with ATRAC!!!!!

sorry

*end rant*
 
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D555

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As for a HiMD release date, I'm hearing either *very* late April, or, more likely May.
 
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IpaqMan

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Ripping from CDs to Atrac3plus will definitely be the best approach. From the technical reviews that I have read out of Germany, all of the Atrac3plus encodings from 64kbps and up are as GOOD or BETTER than 128kbps MP3s. Sony has put several years of research into this new Atrac version. So why listen to poorer (comparatively speaking) MP3 encodings of your CDs.

As to overall sound quality, Sony MD players will sound better than the IHP (I have both). The top of the line Sonys will have digital amps. The only problem is the Sony output power. You will need sensitive earphones or an amp.

An advantage of the HiMDs is that your encodings of your CDs are archived in playable format. MDs have been very reliable in long term storage as opposed to your hard disk. MDs have been dropped, dunked, and run over with high survival rates.

If you plan on doing a lot of recording (class or live music), then the Sony HiMD is your player of choice. For this reason alone, I plan on getting a HiMD recorder. I like that the IHP-120 can record but it does not compare to a Sony MD recorder, not even close. And the new Sony HiMD recorders can record in PCM or Atrac3plus format and upload to your PC.

If you plan to do a lot of recording on the road, the replaceable battery option of the Sonys is important.
 
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ATRAC3 sounds quite good at high bitrates. The new HighMD format looks promising, it's a good alternative to CDs and MP3 players, although the DRM and software doesn't sound so great. I've been waiting for an update to MD for a long time... this might be the one.
 
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vorlik

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Do you think if I convert FLAC files (lossless compression) into ATRAC3plus, the sound quality will be satisfactory? Also, what ATRAC bitrate is the closest in quality to 160-192ish kbps mp3?
 
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bangraman

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The sound quality will be fine in Hi-SP (256K ATRAC3+). Ipaqman is also probably right when he says the amp on the MD's are better than the iHP's, although of course the iHP does not have MD's pathetic output power.


The only major problem is the relatively slow transcoding time. Also converting Flacs will have to be done by the Flac->WAV->ATRAC method and AFAIK there is no way to transfer song tags in that case of course, so you may have to go FLAC->MP3->ATRAC...
 
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IpaqMan

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Please note if it is not already obvious, that ATRAC3PLUS is a new codec from Sony. Because HiMD is not compatible to older players, Sony was free to use their best codec for the new HiMD recorders. The lower Atrac3+ bitrate encodings are much better than the older Atrac3.

It will be interesting to see how close Hi-SP recordings compare to lowless encodings.
 
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Watchdog

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IpagMan, why do you say the IHP's recording function isn't as good as the MD on the Sony? Kind of curious, not that I use my mic in.
 
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