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Getting the most out of a HD5 :)

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by davisneil, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. davisneil

    davisneil
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    I thought I would try to help as many people as possible with some of the questions on here regarding whether the sony HD1/3/5 has certain features and how to get it to do what you want.
    I have got a lot of experience of Sony walkman. Ive been listening to em since I was 7 and when you upgrade every year, you see, through evolution, what to use and not to use. Ive also had an ipod (crap sound, battery, and white is a REALLY bad idea as the dirt accumulates on the headphone socket and click wheel...). Now Im back with Sony Ive played with my HD5 and discovered various things:

    Gapless Playback

    Sony products have a Double Buffer derived from the Minidisc. This means that one half the buffer RAM is used to stream music to the headphones and the other half is used to fill the blanks/errors and also to queue up the next track. This is what achieves gapless playback-a continuous data flow. The ipod has a single buffer, and the gap is caused by the next track not being ready when the playing track ends(!)
    To get good gapless, you should observe the following:
    1. mp3, due to technical reasons, cannot play gapless without a click or perceivable gap. Therefore you will need to encode your gapless albums in Atrac, as this works the best with the double buffer.
    2. Make sure you tell your player if there is more than one CD in the set! If you name say Ministry Clubbers Guide as just that for both CDs, the player cannot tell which track belongs to which CD! therefore it will interlace the tracks spoiling the continuity. You need to label CD1 as say Ministry Clubbers Guide CD1 and label CD2 separately. You will find then that the track order will be retained.

    Atrac 3plus files

    Atrac3 is an older codec developed for OMGJukebox for use with the first Network Walkmans. It gives a good sound but the quality gap with the equivalent MP3 is not too great. eg A 105k sounds the same as 128k mp3, 66k the same as 96k mp3.
    Atrac3plus was developed around the launch of the nw-ms70d chicken nugget player. It offers an updated codec giving a greater quality gap and more effective compression. A 64k atrac3plus file is about the same as 128k mp3.
    How many songs you get on the player depends on how intense the music is. The following a rough guide.

    48k atr3plus (yuk) 13000
    64k 10 to 11000
    105k about 8000
    128k mp3 about 5000
    256 atr3plus 2500

    If you use low to mid range 'phones, i recommend the 64k setting. However using high end phones with this will show up its limitations, so use 256k for your favourite music. Quality is awesome.

    Remotes

    The RM MC40 elk remote works fully with the player. The MC20 (i think) works and you have display of track title, but limited search facility (no scroll wheel etc)
    Other remotes may work for track skip, but menu buttons and the display will not work properly.

    Sonicstage

    UUUUUURRRRRGGGGGHH!

    Its very poor. No doubt about it..

    Try ripping and organising all your music using itunes/mp3 then dragging and dropping into sonicstage. You can then convert to atrac3plus or transfer as mp3 and keep all your ID tags. best of both worlds. Dont do this for gapless stuff though. it wont work.

    Playlists are ok on the hd5. It only copies the list not the tracks again. but not on the hd1 and 3.

    If I think of other stuff ill post it on here...but im off to bed now. Hope this is handy

    :)
     
  2. Rick1486

    Rick1486
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    What are id tags? Sorry for being a thickie.

    Rick
     
  3. mikeynl

    mikeynl
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    Does this mean that if I have a remix CD (one long remix split in several tracks) I have to rip it directly to atrac and that the gapless thing won't work if I rip to mp3 and then convert mp3's to atrac?

    Thanks for all the info ... keep it coming!
     
  4. yonny

    yonny
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    exactly
     
  5. davisneil

    davisneil
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    They are the standard tags attached to a music file that give it an identity eg artist, track, album, year created and so on. Theoretically the information if given, on an id3 tag, is standard across all software that will play that file, so id3 tags created on, say, itunes, will transfer over if you import your files on sonicstage.

    Youre not a thickie. noone can know all this stuff automatically. any more questions about mp3 players etc, just ask. :)
     
  6. Rick1486

    Rick1486
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    thanks for that reply mate very helpful.
     
  7. Catastrophe

    Catastrophe
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    is it worth converting 128k mp3s to 256k atrac3plus? since the original file is normal quality, is it more efficient to just convert 128ks to 64k atrac3plus?
     
  8. mushu

    mushu
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    Cross encoding is one thing, but cross encoding to a higher bit rate is just pointless. Not only will there be quality loss going from a lossy track --> another lossy track, but the MP3 won't have all the frequencies which a 256k track would normally have. But I suppose encoding to 64k atrac3plus wouldn't be too bad.
     
  9. Kaledii

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    Maybe its worth pointing out that although Atrac3 132kps is an older codec than Atrac3+, it still sounds very good at that bit rate- to my ears better than 64kps (which is very good considering the small file size) and worth using if you need more space than 256kps would allow. I use a Hi-MD player and it is 132kps I use most of.
     
  10. Catastrophe

    Catastrophe
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    so u mean its a better idea to just encode 320k mp3s to 256k atrac? and anyway less than 200k mp3 should be encoded to 64k atrac?
     
  11. clivem2

    clivem2
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    Results will vary by type of music but there can be no point encoding from a more lossy setting to a less lossy setting. There won't be any hard and fast rules but assume that ATRAC (of any type) 64k is equivalent to about 128k MP3.

    I suspect that MP3 320k to ATRAC 256k won't be as good as lossless to ATRAC 256k. Also don't forget that in throwing away information MP3 and ATRAC will throw away different parts on the waveform so going from one lossy format to another will yield unpredictable results.
     
  12. davisneil

    davisneil
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    you cant get any more out than you put in...
     
  13. davisneil

    davisneil
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    Just thought of something else...

    Scroll through your tunes even faster!

    when pressing the down or up arrows to scroll through tunes, try releasing the button then immediately pressing it down again. whoooosh!
     
  14. PeeweeOnTour

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    Does that mean there is no way of setting up a playlist on the HD3 without recording the tracks on to the player again?!? I've only just got mine (and I'm currently travelling around SE asia so I haven't had much opportunity to play around with the software) That seems a big oversight on Sony's part.

    Also when I charge the battery I, it stops charging and I get a little lightening symbol through the battery symbol. Does this mean its fully charged? Sorry if its a dumb q but like I say, I haven't had much chance to look at the manual or software.

    cheers!
     
  15. briankai

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    In SonicStage, you can change the name of or add "group" folders. From there, you can move the files around without the need to recopy them. I do believe there is a max file limit to how many songs can be in each group (999 I think).

    And yes, when you see the lightening symbol, it means your player is full charged. ^_^

    Kai
     
  16. TheBigLebowski

    TheBigLebowski
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    Anyone know whats the best way to listen to your HD5 in the car? i.e. Which holder is best? How to connect? I was thinking of buying a mobile phone holder and using the tape cassette insert thing. Anyone got any better suggestions?
     
  17. Kaledii

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    I have used minidisc for years and up until now used a set up as you describe - cassette adaptor into the head unit. Well recently Sony and company called Connects2 have developed a system to connect Sony Walkmans (any device with the std Sony remote protocol, which includes minidisc and HDD) to SOny head units via the multichanger bus. Whats more, connecting the Walkman in this way allows you to control the Walkman from the head unit and artist and track information is displayed on the head unit.
    So I now have a CDX-R6550 and Connects2 device, the model number I can't remember at the moment (something like the HD1adaptor) installed in my car and use a Hi-MD unit to play music. I plan on getting a HDD device later in the year and I can assure it will work with all current and past Sony devices sporting a remote socket.
     
  18. joseph82

    joseph82
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    I am the proud new owner of an NWHD5, I love it and it is a true iPOD killer! However, getting the right bit rate is essential. I have tried various bit rates for MP3, ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus. I have chosen ATRAC3 @ 132kbps cos it provides excellent sound and fair compression.

    My question is: why are neither ATRAC3 or ATRAC3plus not available at standard rates of, say, 128kbps? I can choose stupidly low 64kbps or stupidly high 256kbps bit rates for ATRAC3plus with no middle ground. why is this? ATRAC3plus @ 64kbps sounds impressive for such a small file, but it really does not compare with MP3@128kb in terms of quality. Any answers?
     
  19. Kaledii

    Kaledii
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    SonicStage 3.2 (latest update) now offers a whole host of new bit rates inclusing 128KPS and 192KPS ATRAC3+. As far as I am aware on the 192KPS is compatible with the HD5.
     
  20. bamzandu

    bamzandu
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    I've seen the signatures of many members on the forum detailing "jigs" / "cans". I guess I am being a thickie but are these slangs for the music systems? Forgive my ignorance :confused:
     
  21. p9ul

    p9ul
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    I have a Q regarding bitrates.

    I did have all my stuff at 192 (mp3 on an iPod) and decided to recode it all to 320 as I had tons of free space so thought I'd try an maximise the sound quality without going to lossless.

    anyway - I tried VBR set to a min of 320 all my tracks come in at 320. but set the minimum to be 256 then all the tracks do vary - anything between 260-305kbps.

    does this mean that 320kbps is virtually lossless as all tracks will be less than 320?

    :lease:
     

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