Sony Says “Uh, maybe?” to Mindisc-to-PC Uploads

  • Sony Says “Uh, maybe?” to Mindisc-to-PC Uploads
    Sony has replied to the on-line petition sponsored by asking that their netMD recorders allow users to upload to computers audio recorded on their MD recorders in addition to being able to download audio to MD from their computers. It seems like this one-way transfer is in place to somehow discourage pirating, since the Sony software that enables computer to MD transfers has built-in rights management that limits how you can download your music to MD (at high speed). I guess Sony is worried that MDs could be used to help share music between computers if you could quickly upload an MD that a friend put music on. Of course, this logic is absurd when you realize how much easier and cheaper it is to do this with CD-Rs. Reasonably, the only thing MD to PC uploads are truly useful for is getting your own self-produced and self-recorded audio onto your PC easily and quickly.

    Sony’s response to this request is expectedly vague and noncommittal:

    “We are aware that many users are interested in having the audio uploading feature added to Sony Net MD Walkman recorders. We have and will continue to evaluate the inclusion of this particular feature into Net MD, though at present we have no immediate plans to do so. “

    Thus,’s webmaster Eric Woudenberg gives his interpretation:

    I suppose we can look on the bright side, he did not indicate that there would be no hope of having such a feature as long as Sony Entertainment was part of the equation…. I remain puzzled why a NetMD upload feature seems so uninteresting to Sony. Sony could easily charge extra for such a capability, introducing it in an elegant prosumer Minidisc recorder fashioned along the lines of their venerable TCD-5M cassette recorder…. My assessment is that adding NetMD uploading would have essentially no negative impact and I think the only reason such a feature has not appeared is due to Sony’s misunderstanding of their customer’s needs.

    If anyone at Sony is reading this (since they do read the news and forums) — please enable NetMD to upload the interviews and other audio I record myself to my PC at high-speed. You see, I already have several MD recorders and really have no incentive to buy a new one without this very helpful feature. I promise not to use my MD for piracy… really. I have CD-Rs and file-sharing networks for that.

    blogger’s note: normally a post about minidisc or other tech-geek stuff would go to the DIY files portion of the site. But I barely post there monthly, meaning most people would miss this post, so I’m questioning whether or not it makes sense to have a separate blog there. Instead I think I’ll use the section for equipment reviews, tips, tricks and major news, and move the occasional links about geeky tech stuff to the mediageek blog. I’m also readying a transition to different blog software that has categorization features that further render separate blogs unnecessary. Any comments or thoughts on this are welcome.

  • Posted





    18 responses to “Sony Says “Uh, maybe?” to Mindisc-to-PC Uploads”

    1. Joshua Avatar

      So is there any decent high quality/low cost way to record personal audio that doesn’t cost a ton of time to deal with?


    2. john Avatar

      They probably don’t include the upload feature because it would make it really easy to get audio files from your stereo system to the computer. Most people don’t do the computer geek thing and connect their computer to the stereo system, and that’s probably not going to change. Most people find recording audio onto their computer to be difficult, and an uploading recorder would make the process accessible to a wider range of people.

      There are some compact-flash based recorders out there, and they cost around $1200. There’s also an Archos product that records to disk, and has a usb connection.

    3. Anonymous Avatar

      In response to: “ There you find a program for the MD=>PC Way!! Posted by: Unknown on March 27, 2003 09:45 AM” This only works for non-Net MD Players. We need a solution for Net MD Players.

    4. Nick Avatar

      I bought a Sony Net MD Walkman to record my children playing their music to email to family and to record local bird songs to get on-line identification. I was most disappointed to find I wouldn’t be able to do this, despite what the girl in the shop told me you could do with a net MD player. Can’t someone write the softwear if Sony won’t do it?

    5. Matthieu Ricaud Avatar
      Matthieu Ricaud

      I bought a Sony Net MD to record huitar session with friends. I also recorded gipsy playing some django Reinhardt songs, and I wanted to send them a audio CD. I can’t althougt there’s a USB connection, so I know it’s technicaly possible but the software wasn’t written for this goal. This is incredible. The MD which cost 250 euros is not half so usefull as it might !
      Sony, please do something…quick !
      or someone else …

    6. Amy Avatar

      I bought the Sony NetMD as a gift for a friend. His trombone recital was last night–a very important, one time event. After successfully recording the recital (an amazing thing for this technologically impared girl to do), we rushed home to burn copies for friends and family member…only to find that this is not possible with the NetMD recorder! What a waste of money–and now, how do we explain to everyone that this didn’t work. Sony–get with the program, people want this feature, not to pirate music, but to record important moments in our personal lives.

    7. Nick Dosh Avatar

      I just bought a Gibson guitar and am playing and recording my own stuff wherever I feel like it without taking my laptop with me… then I get home and go “I’ll save version 1.5.1 of my newly written rock song on the PC so my mates can listen to it…” bloody hell. no flipping way to do it… so why the hell did they include a mic socket in the thing? How am I goin’ to take out what I put in…. it’s bad enough that they lock you (in my model MZN707) to the crap ATRAC-3 OMG encrypted format…. and now I can’t take out my OWN music…. I used to work for Sony in the UK… bunch of disconnected-from-reality guys… no wonder they are in deeeeeep shit now…

    8. Jim Keane Avatar

      One thing that may interest Sony is a market they have recently managed to loose by their refusal to include an upload feature – those who use MD as a Dictaphone.

      This is of major issue in the area in which I work – disability.

      In the UK university students with a disability are supplied with equipment to help aid them, one very typical device is a high quality Dictaphone, for which the MD’s sound quality, low media cost and LP modes made it the primary choice for a number of years.

      However with the appearance of similarly priced digital voice recorders, such as those produced by Olympus. These could upload the files to pc for archiving, organising, editing, including in other files and dictation, whereas the MD could not.

      This has lead to a cessation of any future sales in this lucrative market, a loss of sales that I’d estimate at roughly £2-4 Million GB Pounds every year (My best guesstimate is somewhere over £4.5 Million – based on 22,500 sales or 150 Students per UK University with a spend of £200 each – which is the current spend per digital recorder).

      Now call me stupid, but IÂ’d be worried if IÂ’d just written off that amount of regular revenue, but then IÂ’m not an executive at Sony, so what would I know about it?

      Jim Keane

      Anyone who wishes to discuss this further may contact me via my email address

    9. Michael Kelleher Avatar

      Here! Here! to all the flaming of SONY for thinking that leaving out this feature (true MD to PC) is going to protect their revenue from CD sales. Hooey! I’m a professional and have used MD’s for recording my band for years. I have software from Syntrillium (now Adobe Audition) that allows me to do what it seems Chrisitan Klukas’ software does. I paid $60 for the software but now you have to pay Adobe $299. Yikes.
      Anyway I’ll check out Klukas’ software and post back. If anyone is desperate to get mp3’s or wav’s from their MD’s shoot me an email. I’ll charge a nominal ($15/hr) rate for the operator time (not the recording duration.)
      Let’s hope SONY figures this one out. I’d be ecstatic if I didn’t have to dump all my music with an analog line in real time….


    10. MB Avatar

      On reading the letter about the petition to sony i was wondering wether there is any way to disable the code that stops the checking in of music from a sony netmd.


    11. ironjustice Avatar

      Just connect the headphone output to any other device to record from a minidisc, it’s the easiest thing in the world. Why have you people above not thought of doing that?

    12. Duncan Avatar

      Flaming gready record industry strike again.
      WHAT A STUPID IDEA THIS IS. why do they not jus ban all music on tv radio etc then you have to buy a cd that only plays 10 times .whatever next.if you want to record good old analog gets round all this crap so why bother.Just a waste of time.

    13. -jason- Avatar

      Question to Michael Kelleher: Does Adobe Audition really work? can you upload with a NetMD to PC using USB?


    14. bea Avatar

      Hello Sony
      and I thank you very much.
      I have just bought the MD-MZ710 and I don’t think it will be of much use for me…I couldn’t imagine that it wouldn’t be able to upload from the MD to my computer. And as for many users, it’s definitely not a question of pirating : I just wanted to upload some seminars I record….
      So all I have to do is to give it back.
      Thank you Sony.

    15. Mike Avatar

      I have lost my softwear for my sony Net MD Walkman MZ-N505 Type-R. Is there any one on this web site, that can help me. If so could you please e_mail it to me, or send me an e_mail and i will give you my MSN address and the softwear can be send that way.

      TKS Mike.

    16. Ade Avatar

      I bought a MD-MZ710 this week, looks and sounds great. WHY CAN I NOT RECORD MY BAND PLAYING LIVE AND UPLOAD THE FILES INTO MY PC???. I remember the original ads for the minidisc featuring the lad who “got his record deal” by turnig up with his live recording at the meeting with the record company (Reef’s album btw – really good).

      Surely a natural progression would be to allow musicians to upload to the PC for editting etc. Be true to your market SONY and stop worrying about a crappy copyright issue that is uncontrollable due to CD-Rs anyway.

    17. J1 Avatar

      It’s really ridiculous! I spent this much money to get a “highly recommended” piece of JUNK!!

      Put in the bloody upload function now! Thats wat i want the MD for??! To record bands sessions, dj session….etc…

      Value for nothing… Sony: the ‘CON’.
      Stop cheating on consumers, we know the deal!

    18. paul Avatar

      I notice that this post is getting a lot of traffic from people looking for info on uploading their music from MD to PC.

      While it’s true that you can’t do it with USB on current models, Sony has announced new MD recorders that will do this. They’ll be available in April.
      See these posts on this website:

      For those of you who are thinking about buying MD, my advice is to wait until April.

      For those of you who already have MD gear, you can still transfer the audio from your MD to your PC, but only in real time.

      Get a 1/8″ stereo cable with male plugs on both ends — Radio Shack is a good place. Connect one end to the headphone jack of your MD and connect the other to your PC’s sound input jack, usually near the speaker jack, and has a symbol that looks like an arrow going into a circle ( ).

      If you get an MD deck with a digital out (like the MXD-D400 and you have a soundcard with digital in (like a Sound Blaster Audigy), you get the best quality.

      Check out for lots of info!

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