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Q: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 07 Jul 2004 04:53 PDT
Expires: 06 Aug 2004 04:53 PDT
Question ID: 370753
I am thinking of possibly buying a Sony Walkman Minidisk Recorder ...

I have also seen some other kit that has a USB connection ...

I believe that mpeg and MS Media Player may provide a way forward ...

But is this best way and what is the best kit to get considering that
the recipient may only be able to play mpeg?

Budgetwise maybe 200 (Pound Sterling) but this is not a constraint
for an exciting solution.

And, of course, where to source?

The World is my Oyster provided that the kit carries an International Guarantee.

So come on Guys & Gals ... Show me the way!

Many thanks.

Request for Question Clarification by palitoy-ga on 07 Jul 2004 05:31 PDT
Hello probonopublico

Can you please clarify a little what it is you are actally after? 
Your question title refers to "transferring audio files over the net"
but the question detail appears to refer more to movie files.

Also how do you want the files to be transferred over the net?  Do you
want to play these from a location on the net or to download them from
the net?

The most common audio format is MP3 but you stated that mpeg may be
the way forward, when someone mentions an mpeg they usually think
movie file (although MP3 is an mpeg format).

://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Ampeg
://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Amp3

You also stated that MS Media Player was probably the way forward and
that mpeg files were probably the only type that could be played.  If
the recipient is using Windows/Media Player they will probably also be
able to play WMA (Windows Media Audio) files which would open a number
of alternative doors.

Let me know what you are after and I am sure I can provide you with
the solution you need.

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 07 Jul 2004 07:56 PDT
Hi Probonopublico-ga:

A few points to keep in mind as you refine your criteria. From your
question, I take it that you are looking for a solution that will
allow you to record audio 'events' (which could be as simple as Daisy
talking to her most recent seagull suitor, or as complex as
'bootlegging' the live-in-the-nude Macy Grey concert), then transmit
those audio 'events' to recipients who may only be able play them
through a free audio player such as Windows Media Player.

For the Sony minidisc recorders, one key thing to note is that all of
the modern units use Sony's ATRAC compression instead of MP3, WMA, or
any of the other encoding methods available. This means that when you
want to transmit the audio file to someone over the Internet, you will
need to use the software included with the recorder to convert the
ATRAC data into MP3.

Unfortunately, the new hard-drive based player from Sony, the NW-HD1
that is being released in late August, does not support recording. So,
the best available (price no object) is one of the Hi-MD units
(MZNH900 or MZNH800); either will do what you're looking for, and a
whole lot more.

Before providing you with an Answer based around either of these units
though, I wanted to test your willingness to look at alternatives that
are not Minidisc based. I'm referring to flash-memory-based MP3
player/recorders. So, what sort of audio events are you planning on
recording, and what level of recording fidelity is required?

Thanks,

aht-ga
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 07 Jul 2004 08:43 PDT
Hi, Palitoy & Aht

I'm not interested in movie files; I simply want to dictate some audio
stuff that I can shoot across the Net for transcription by someone who
already handles mpeg.

At present, I have two portable hand-held Dictation Recorder/Players
(Standard and Micro) but one of my friends is now using a Sony Walkman
Minidisk Recorder/Player which looks like the wave of the future.

I already have a Sony Personal Minidisk System but (as far as I can
see) this only allows for Recording from the built-in Radio or the CD
player. Even if I could plug in a mike, I wouldn't want to because I
require the portability of the Walkman (and my present Dicatation
machines) with their built-in mikes.

I do like the Minidisk format but ease of transfer to my computer and
then to the intended recipient are the main criteria.

Over to you!

(Sorry that I didn't make it clearer from the word 'Go' but I knew
what I meant even though I couldn't communicate it very well.)

Bryan

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 07 Jul 2004 09:43 PDT
The current line-up of Sony-branded minidisc recorders all require the
use of an external microphone... I take it that this is not
preferable, based on your comment regarding your existing digital
audio recorders.

There are some very small microphones available that can plug into
Minidisc recorders that have a mic in jack, does this make it viable?

Thanks,

aht-ga
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Question Clarification by aht-ga on 07 Jul 2004 10:08 PDT
There are also digital dictation machines such as:

http://products.sony.co.uk/productdetail.asp?id=1_50_1563

to consider. Your thoughts on these?

aht-ga
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 07 Jul 2004 11:05 PDT
Hi, Aht

I would certainly consider a Memory Stick based solution.

I am not dead set on a Sony Walkman Minidisk but I was pretty sure
that my friend's did have a built-in mike but, if not, then a small
plug-in mike would be acceptable.

Whatever's the most appropriate.

Many thanks. again!

Bryan
Answer  
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
Answered By: aht-ga on 07 Jul 2004 12:49 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
 
Probonopublico-ga:

Your question, as always, is an intriguing one... in this case,
enquiring minds are probably wondering what it is that you are
dictating these days... a revealing book, an autobiography, or perhaps
espionage? Only you and Daisy shall know...

Using a Minidisc Recorder as a dictation device does not seem to be a
priority for Sony, as they have moved away from using built-in mics in
the past couple of years. Instead, their upper-models all provide a
'powered' microphone jack that can let the user use whichever
consumer-grade (and even some professional-grade) microphone. This
also means that the user needs to buy an external microphone, of
course!

The newest innovation for Sony Minidisc devices for 2004 is the
introduction of their Hi-MD series. With this series, and the
appropriate recordable media, it is possible pack 1 GB worth of data
(music files or any data file) onto a single minidisc:

Sony UK: New Products
http://products.sony.co.uk/thumbnails.asp?id=1_0_

However, unless you plan on dictating something the length of War and
Peace, storage capacity is probably not the issue here, utility is.

As you will have seen from the last link I provided in the Question
Clarification section, Sony does make dedicated-duty dictation devices
that use Memory Sticks instead of tapes, thus allowing for a small
size, no moving parts, and ease of transfer for the files to your PC.
The problem here is the price... here's an example:

http://www.pixmania.com/uk/uk/43809/art/sony/icd-ms515.html?srcid=369

For that kind of money, I'd personally steer towards a higher-end
Minidisc Recorder, and invest the difference in a good quality
microphone!

So, here's the 'kit' I would get if it were me:

----------

Sony MZ-N910 
http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=1751&langId=-1&categoryId=12783&productId=87009

- note: sale price and special bonus offer end July 23rd, 2004

SOUND PROFESSIONALS - SINGLE POINT STEREO "T" MICROPHONE
http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-SPSM-1

- note: this is a US-based retailer that ships internationally
- any microphone will do, this one just happens to be extremely good
and would let you take full advantage of your Minidisc recorder's
capabilities

----------

Alternatives, if the prices are too high, are:

Sony MZN710 Net Silver MiniDisc Walkman Recorder
http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=1751&productId=83022

- a few less bells and whistles versus the 910, but still a great unit

SONY ECM-T6 Tie Pin Microphone
http://products.sony.co.uk/sonystylelink.asp?id=14_42_250&ssid=ECMT6

- mono microphone, involves "yet another cord" to manage, but decent
price for something that you can wear inobtrusively

SONY ECM-DS70P Microphone
http://www.avland.co.uk/sony/ecmds70/

- similar to the unit from The Sound Professionals, but pricier

SONY ECM-719 Microphone
http://www.avland.co.uk/sony/ecm719/

- recommended by Sony for use with MD recorders... so its expensive

----------

In any case, with either of these Sony "Net MD" Minidisc Recorders and
any of the microphones, you will be able to digitally record your
thoughts, then transfer the recorded audio data to your PC (using the
software supplied by Sony with the device) and convert it into a
format suitable for transmitting over the Internet.

As always, please let me know if you would like me to clarify this
answer, and good luck with this!

aht-ga
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by probonopublico-ga on 07 Jul 2004 22:09 PDT
Hi, Aht

Many thanks for the insights. The route that you have set out looks
ideal (I now hate Memory Sticks) but I would appreciate your further
advice on:

QUOTE
Transfer the recorded audio data to your PC (using the software
supplied by Sony with the device) and convert it into a format
suitable for transmitting over the Internet.
END QUOTE

What format?

And will the recipient (who uses mpeg) be able to handle the audio
data that I transmit?

Many thanks.

Bryan

Clarification of Answer by aht-ga on 07 Jul 2004 23:49 PDT
The easiest format to send to someone who is using Windows 2000 or XP,
is MP3. Even if they do not have a player installed, they can easily
obtain a free one from Microsoft (Windows Media Player), Real Networks
(Real One Player), Apple (Quicktime), as well as a myriad of other
less-well-known programs. While the MP3 format is not optimized for
basic voice recordings, it would still result in smaller files than
the WAV format that is supported by Windows natively.

However, at this point, I have to beg your forgiveness for an
oversight on my part. It turns out that the method for transferring
your voice recording from a NetMD recorder to your PC is a slow one.
Basically, it requires you to transfer the audio through your sound
card, which is not an acceptable solution if you are dictating long
speeches. The new-for-2004 Hi-MD units support transferring recordings
to the PC through the USB connection, but the NetMD's apparently do
not. What most people do when they need to accomplish this with a
NetMD is connect the Line Out of the NetMD device to the Line In of
their sound card, then record it as first a WAV file, then convert it
into an MP3 file. This is much more difficult than what I would
consider acceptable if your main purpose in buying it is as a voice
recorder for Internet transmission. If you dictated for an hour, for
example, it would take at least an hour to transfer the recording to
your PC through your sound card, then another ten-twenty minutes to
convert it to MP3. Is this even acceptable?

If not, then your best bet may well be the new-for-2004 Hi-MD units
after all. Unfortunately, they come at a much higher price, and many
of the models will not be available until the end of summer.

The other option would be to look at the removable-memory recorders
such as the ICDMS515 (
http://products.sony.co.uk/productdetail.asp?id=1_50_1563 ). This one
can actually be a little less cost than a Minidisc solution:

http://www.dealclick.co.uk/product/58549/SONY_ICDMS515.php

However, this does become a dedicated solution that you would only use
for dictation. Can you please let me know which direction you prefer
to lean on this matter, so that I can provide a replacement Answer?

Thanks,

aht-ga
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by probonopublico-ga on 08 Jul 2004 01:50 PDT
Wow, Aht ...

Many thanks for your update.

I shall now have to ponder the options before deciding the way forward.

Will get back to you soon.

Regards

Bryan

Clarification of Answer by aht-ga on 08 Jul 2004 08:07 PDT
Thanks, once you have decided on a course of action I would be happy
to continue the investigation as a Clarification to this Answer.

Regards,

aht-ga
Google Answers Researcher
probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, Again, Aht

Not the easy facility that I was hoping for.

Many thanks for your efforts, I am sorry that you have had to spend so
much time without a more productive solution.

Warmest regards, as ever

Bryan

Comments  
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 07 Jul 2004 06:31 PDT
 
Hello Bryan,
             Nice to "see" you again.  Good luck with question but I
note that at this time of day answers to comments and questions seem
particularly scarce. I posted  question a cupla hours back but no
bites as yet.

 ..anyway havea good day.

 P.S We beat you in Rugby a week or so back, at last.

 John From Melbourne
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
From: crythias-ga on 07 Jul 2004 06:56 PDT
 
I have, like, and use a Sony "S2" Net MD Walkman MZ-S1, which I use in
conjunction with Real Player. However well I like the unit, it
wouldn't be something from which I would stream audio on my website.
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
From: probonopublico-ga on 07 Jul 2004 08:45 PDT
 
Hi, John

Great to hear from you again.

Have you been to the States or Indonesia (or wherever) yet or is that
a joy to come?

All the Best

Bryan
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 08 Jul 2004 08:39 PDT
 
Bryan,  I left a small comment for you on question I asked yesterday
that may be of some interest. If so then offer stands;we need to
practice ona couple of people. Otherwise see you next time.


 John
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 08 Jul 2004 08:46 PDT
 
.. gee forgot what I meant to say. No bryan my Indonesian wife and
daughter are still a  threat to the security and well-being of the USA
apparently. My brother-in-Law  in North Carolina did what he could 
but to get a visa for travel is very  difficult from a country such as
Indonesia which is on a listing of countries recognised as a
sancturaty for anti-American terroists.

 I must be straight down the line however so to be perfectly fair, of
course the above is not the answer that came back from our efforts but
it was made clear to us that we would not geta visa with only a few
weeks notice.
Subject: Re: Transferring Audio Files Across The Net
From: probonopublico-ga on 08 Jul 2004 09:43 PDT
 
Hi, Again, John

We sure do have to take security issues very seriously.

Did you hear abou today's 'incident'?

Kennedy Airport, New York

An individual, later discovered to be a school teacher, was arrested
today after trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a
protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.
 
At this morning's press conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft
said he believes the man is a member of the notorious  Al-gebra
movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math
instruction.

"Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Ashcroft said. "They desire average
solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a
search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y'
and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they
belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with
coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used
to say, ' There are 3 sides to every triangle'."
 
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had
wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have
given us more fingers and toes."

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