Higher quality from NetMD [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-02-2004, 12:56 PM
After doing some reading recently on http://www.minidisc.org/NetMD_faq.html#_q82
I discovered that even when I transfer music from my computer (either .mp3 or even CDs) that the music is always compressed into a format called LP2. While LP2 is pretty good, I know older Minidisks could support SP format, which is a higher quality (perhaps even lossless, though I haven't investigated enough) format. Apparently when I try to transfer SP format to my MD it automatically gets compressed by the software, Sonic Stage 1.5. Does anyone know a way around this so I can get higher quality audio? I know Sony has now put out Sonic Stage v.2.2 which supposedly has various improvements, does this new software allow for uncompressed transfers? Any other software recommended?

11-02-2004, 02:11 PM
Nope, MD compression isnt lossy. Its sth they call ATRAC, which is indeed a lossy format. Not only is it lossy, but it is also asymmetrical, meaning that a copy using a optical cable from a CD or from one MD to another one wont be identical. cool huh?
With sony's software, you're screwd. It just sucks very badly. HOWEVER if u have a soundcard with an optical out, its the best way to go...
honestly, depending on what u are using ur md for, lp2 should be more than good enough. If you use it for walking in the street, its definately more than good enough, and if u listen to it at home, dump ur md, get a pair of electrostatic headphones and listen to your good old CD and amp combo.
I havent tried this myself (mainly because my system's imaging and overall musicality sucks) but from what i've heard ANY lossy compression format will screw the imaging, so unless u dont care u dont wanna hook ur MD up to your good quality home stereo unless for casual listening where i'd guess sound quality isnt a prob

11-02-2004, 03:31 PM
See, I guess this is my problem, right now my MD player is the highest quality ouptut device I own. My laptop (from which I transfer the files to MD) produces sound that is nowhere near the quality of the even cut down LP2 format. I think getting a better sound card would help the situation. Even if its microphone jack isn't any better, I might find one with optical output to send to another sound processing device.


11-03-2004, 10:44 PM
I believe they make some EXCELLENT external usb soundcards. Creative makes them. If your laptop is fairly new you'lll have USB 2.0 and no problems, if its not so new then ur options are fairly limited. The original Extigy is a pretty decent soundcard, it'll give you 20-bit DAC and all kinds of inputs and outputs, including optical. a friend had it back at school and i was MOST impressed.
if u have usb 2.0, then u can all get of fancy little things like an Extigy 2 or one of those very sexy Audidy NXs. These will definately 1: waaaaaaaaaay better than the MD sound
2: burn a hole in your pocket.
if i were you i'd consider the possibility of getting a REAL CD deck, and buying real, uncompressed music. that will beat the hell out of mp3, computer soundcards and minidisks. However if budget doesnt allow, Extigy 2 is what i would get.

11-04-2004, 11:37 AM
thanks for the reply, I do have USB 2.0, so i'll definitely look into that. If my MD sounds amazing now, I can't imagine how an even better sound card will sound. I will eventually have to replace my speakers, which are a set of 2.1 creative computer speakers I got at bestbuy for $50, but for right now I listen to most stuff on my headphones, which are excellent. I would eventually like to get real cd decks, turntables and a bunch of vinyl to go with it, but unfortunately i've got another expensive hobby right now, photography, and there just isn't room for all that stuff in my dorm room. I do regret the fact that most of my stuff is downloads, but I almost listen exclusively to the trance/house/electronica genre, and the selection of good trance music in my area is disappointing. I'm a very big fan of live sets, a lot of which I legally download from http://www.tranceaddict.com They are .mp3's but at 192kbs of pretty good quality when played off my MD using headphones. Outside of NYC, living in the US makes it pretty hard for me to find a good selection of music.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
11-04-2004, 02:15 PM
but from what i've heard ANY lossy compression format will screw the imaging, so unless u dont care u dont wanna hook ur MD up to your good quality home stereo unless for casual listening where i'd guess sound quality isnt a prob

Dts is a lossy compression format, and the imaging is dead on when compared to the original master tapes. The only thing lost in this format at 754kbps is the upper octaves(above 15khz) where most people cannot hear anyway. When full bit rate Dts is used, nothing is lost in the encoding.