Continuing from my announcement of the new Sony minidisc recorder, here are further details. There's some good news and some bad. I'll summarise for you here so can skip the 30 pages of chatter over at minidisc.org.
Here are the good news features on this third generation unit:
- Those with older format discs can upload their SP and MDLP live recordings via USB.
- File transfers operate at full USB 2 speeds, not just "USB 2 compatible". In practice the transfer rate is twice as fast as second generation Hi-MD.
- There is a switchable normalizer for audio playback.
- Besides volume metering there is a spectral display.
- There is a clock and date stamping.
- Recording settings are remembered when the unit is powered off, but lost when the battery is removed.
- The unit will come with both Windows software and enhance-functionality Apple software.
- The battery charges via the USB connection, so there is no need for an external cradle. The USB cable is also used to connect to the power-adapter, so there is no separate DC input on the unit.
And here is the inevitable downside:
- There is no AA battery attachment.
- Disc, track and artist information appears only on the remote.
- The unit supports only a single-line remote, not the three-line model popular with users.
- The unit display is limited relative to the previous 5 or 6 line displays.
Personally, I find all of these disadvantages relative to second generation units incomprehensible. Why reduce features and decrease ergonomics?
The unit is due for release 21 April 2006 in Japan and the third week of May in Europe. The list price is 40,000 yen. This converts to US$350 but the actual list price should be less. One UK store has the price at £240.
The official press release is another source of info.