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Sony's ATRAC based CD Walkmans


Angry the Clown
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My current portable CD player is playing up on me and I'm considering a new one. Sony's latest seem to be their ATRAC based units, the ones that come bundled with PC software to put 490 odd tracks onto a single CDR. The DNE1 seems to be their flagship one, and can be found for about ?130.

 

Anyone played with these?

 

Daniel

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Any reason for not considering a HD based player like the iPod or Nomad devices? I am a Mini Disc refugee and couldn't be happier with the iPod, the size is so convenient I don't have to think about carrying it, it stays in my jacket pocket. The 30Gb version holds ~400 CDs worth of music. You can mix and match different formats, including uncompressed audio. It has a dock, which I use to connect it to my home stereo...

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ATRAC does sound really great to my ears, but if this uses a similar scheme to their minidisc players (and it looks like it does with the SimpleBurner reference), you will be required to convert your MP3s to ATRAC to put them on a disc -- in effect putting them through a second generation of compression.

 

Further, your CD's will be burned by the Sony software in ATRAC format -- so no editing the contents in Nero or dragging a song back to your PC. Plus you now have a time lag because your stuff is being converted to ATRAC before copying to a CD.

 

I've also heard some complaints about the Sony minidisc software's stability, although I had no stability problems with their latest versions.

 

-j

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Caroline has a Net-MD, which uses the same algorythm. It sounds great on the disc, but I really have to question the worth when its such hassle to do so. DRM means you have to check in and out every track, rather than using the non-encrypted mp3 files of other CD walkmen.

 

Really though, I'd really have to question why, if you're going to use ATRAC anyway, you wouldn't just get a Net MD anyway - haven't you got an MD recorder already? They are just so much smaller and more convenient than a big CD walkman - Caroline's MZN710 is smaller than my Gameboy SP, and twice as funky.

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Ed,

 

Price of the ipod is my general concern as far as that goes.

 

Iain,

 

I like Minidisc size too, I have a minidisc player/recorder myself as your rightly point out. The appeal of CD however is that if I go into London and buy a cd, I've got the portable CD with me to listen to it immediately on the train home. These small devices are all well and good, but useless when I've just bought a new album or a film score with desire to play it as soon as possible.

 

Daniel

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Originally posted by iainl@Sep 26 2003, 02:50 PM

DRM means you have to check in and out every track, rather than using the non-encrypted mp3 files of other CD walkmen.

No kidding. I've been eyeballing the MZNF810 for a while now, but the DRM "features" (required conversion to ATRAC of my MP3s, check in/out, no uploading especially) were a real deal breaker.

 

It's a real shame because it would fit my needs precidely without those issues.

 

Dan, what about the other MP3/WMA CD players out there? I have a Rio that seems to fit your needs -- without the DRM issues.

 

-j

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  • 3 months later...

Right, well I thought I would dig up this old thread as this weekend I bought one of the Sony ATRC CD Walkmans as it was on sale with ?30 off the retail price at a Sony Store in London. It's a rather swish looking model;

 

B00008XYII.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

 

It performs very well on CD playback. I've not had the chance to install the ATRAC software yet (actually ATRAC-PLus). I can make ATRAC discs with CDRs or CDRWs. I can also make CDRs and CDRWS with MP3s on, and the walkman will play those MP3s direct as well. It's just what I needed.

 

Daniel

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I've done a test to a CDRW.

 

I mastered all three Lord of the Rings scores to a disc, each between 70 and 76 minutes. They barely took up 10% of the disc space mastering at the top ATRAC Plus bitrate rate (which claims to allow some 360 songs on one CD). It was easy to arrange the tracks too, as I wanted to take the bonus 'Farewell to Lorien' cue from the ltd edition Two Towers CD, and put it amongst the music Fellowship as there is where it belongs.

 

It was easy to name the tracks as well, and the the album and track titles all show up on the display of the dinky little remote which also allows for easy navigation through however many albums one puts onto a disc.

 

The audio quality is excellent. I'm very pleased with this gadget to say the least. Now I don't have to cart so many titles from my collection everytime I fly up to Scotland or travel overseas. One interesting thing it seems to do when it begins to play a track is read from the CD, then it stops spinning, so perhaps it reads and then stores the track in a memory to play it. This does seem to slow the transition from track to track ever so slightly, which is a bit of a pain as some cues on the Lord of the Rings score flow into one another (Breaking of the Fellowship flows into May it Be for example)....

 

Daniel

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