WinNmd: NetMD Realtime Uploading
Christian Klukas has written a Windows GUI program (command line
version available) for uploading audio tracks from NetMD Minidisc
equipment to a PC via an analog* audio connection. It stores the tracks on
the PC hard drive in WAV or MP3 format (with user selectable
bitrates). The MD track titles are read from the MD and used for the
audio filename as well as the ID3 tag on the MP3 file.
*Digital transfer possible with a Sony MDS-JB980 or
Sony MDS-JE780 NetMD
- Unattended uploading. Select the tracks and start the
process, return to find titled MP3 files in a folder on your hard
- Track beginnings and endings accurately determined from NetMD
information (program currently leaves <1.5 seconds of silence at
the beginning and <100ms silence at the end of each uploaded file).
- File names and ID3 tags are created directly from MD track titles.
- Handles SP, Mono, LP2 and LP4 tracks.
- Transfer occurs in realtime.
- Transfer is conducted over an analog* connection.
- Win NetMD (Christian's freeware package) -- includes
- Microsoft .NET Framework (free download [20MB]).
- PC running Windows 98/ME/2000/XP.
- Sony NetMD Drivers (on CD shipped with NetMD equipment).
- Sony NetMD unit with line or headphone output (e.g. MZ-N1, MZ-N505, MDS-N1, etc).
- Stereo patch cable (with 1/8" stereo phone plug on each end --
- Optional: Griffin Technology iMic -- US$35 analog stereo LINE
and MICROPHONE input to USB adapter. Although untested, this should
yield much quieter recordings than those from a typical PC soundcard.
- Make sure the Sony NetMD drivers have been installed.
- Download Microsoft .NET Framework and install it.
- Download Win NetMD and install it.
- Connect the stereo patch cable between your LINE/Headphone output
and your PC's LINE input.
- Play an MD and use the Windows "SOUND RECORDER" program (under
Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment) to record a bit of
audio to make sure the cable is good and audio levels are set
right. Adjust input levels if required (Control Panel -> Sounds and
Audio Devices -> Audio -> Sound Recording -> Volume. You may
need to select Options -> Advanced Controls, then click Advanced
and turn on or off the Microphone Boost).
- Connect your NetMD unit to your PC's USB port.
- Exit OpenMG Jukebox if it starts.
- Start WinNmd. It should read the track names and display them in a window.
- Select the tracks you want to transfer, then "right-click" on one
of the selected tracks and choose "MD==>PC"
- Choose the destination folder and the bitrate (don't choose an
invalid bitrate! Stick with standard MP3 bitrates, e.g. 128, 192,
- Click OK -- transfer starts.
- When the "progress indicator" (which does not progress)
disappears, the tracks have been transfered.
Martin Jahn's comments:
I think the combination of a NetMD deck (the MDS-JE780 starts around
250€ these days!) which features S/PDIF-out and a decent PC soundcard
with S/PDIF-in together with Win NMD (automatic track splitting, which
seems to be exact in its current version, and on-the-fly MP3 encoding
if you want) does a good job in terms of automated uploading of your
recorded stuff, with the ability to preserve also SP-mode
quality. It's only realtime but can be done completely unattended, so
it's not too bad. And if you convert your WAVs to SHN or APE format, which
are lossless and achieve compression factors around 50%, you avoid
generational recompression loss. This means that you end up with about
450MB of data for a 80 minute SP-recorded MD. Acceptable with a 4.7GB
DVD in mind (e.g. for archiving purposes of PC-edited material).
(A decent soundcard doesn't mean expensive! On the contrary, the
SoundBlaster Live! family (and similar) is bad in this regard, as it
inherently does a resampling to 48kHz which means two resamplings if
you record to a 44.1k WAV! I recently replaced mine with a cheap
Zoltrix "Nightingale Pro 6" (available for 40€ at www.pearl.de or
60€ at www.my-minidisc.com, the latter one in English and
with international shipping available) which can run at 44.1 kHz
natively and has been shown in reviews (to be found on the Web!) that
it is able to store the incoming data bit-exact.)