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Re: Sonic Stage

Subject: Re: Sonic Stage
From: "stoatwizard" stoatwizard
Date: Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:54 pm (PDT)

I would suggest you have a fault here. While SS has a bad rap, 3.4 is 
not generally as error prone as you experience. There are some things 
that should not be the case, which may point to the problems - 

> imagination has lead me to try and identify "success factors" with 
> downloads:
> 1. A fully recharged MD battery seems to work better

This is bad from the start. I have just taken the battery _out_ of my 
MZ-NH700 and transferred a track. The MD should be powered (not 
necessarily recharged, but powered) from the USB, as this test shows. 

If you are using a laptop note that laptop USB power is sometimes 
flakey and not capable of the 500mA ISTR USB spec. I had a Dell 
laptop that wouldn't keep a Logitech Quickcam Pro powered - it would 
fail after a couple of minutes. You can get round this by using a 
separate powered USB hub. Also try a different USB cable in case the 
power pins on yours are frayed or otherwise faulty. It goes without 
saying don't move the MD or its USB cable, though I've just given 
mine a good rattle during the batteryless transfer and SS didn't mind.

> 2. Before going out to record I frequently re-format the minidiscs, 
> firstly from the MD player itself, but since I got the error mesage 
> described I have also done it from SS itself (the button bottom 
> gives that option).

There is anecdotal opinion on MDCF that this is a bad idea - instead 
erase all the previous tracks on the deck - and carry on. 
Reformatting isn't a good idea according to them. Also avoid editing 
in-place on the MD. Record, and just transfer the tracks you want. I 
did edit on the HiMD on the only track I lost completely, a one-off 
concert recording. Fortunately I had my old MD recording in parallel 
as backup :)

> 4. Simply repeating the transfer process over and over again is my 
> final recourse (watching TV whilst you do this helps a lot !!)

Agreed - it is always worth another go. The MD is slow to spin down 
after one read - if you are palying tracks skipping between them on 
SS and try to transfer immediately you have located a track you want 
you can sometimes get the error you indicate, which clears on the 
second go if you let the deck settle so the display isn't flashing.

> 5. I use my external hard drive as my data storage device, I will 
> store on minidiscs as I have no confidemce I will ever transfer the 
> data.

I have never had trouble with the few times I've used that to 
transfer the odd text file from work. Hwever, it is hopelessly slow 
and not practically useful anyway.

> So that's my pain. 
> BTW to the others: I live in Switzerland and mostly record in the 
> mountains between here and France - feel somewhat isolated, so want 

Interesting - I may be on vacation in Switzerland in September - any 
location tips?

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