Minidisc.org has confirmation on the new minidisc recorder, MZ-RH1, that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. The new unit is remarkable both because it’s a sign that Sony isn’t ready to kill minidisc just yet. But also, this model does away with several bothersome limitations.
The MZ-RH1 now allows any audio recorded via the analog or optical digital inputs to be uploaded to a PC. Even better, this model will now upload audio from any legacy minidisc, including regular MDs and MDLP-mode discs, provided the audio was recorded from the analog or digital inputs. Audio transferred from a PC via USB to NetMD recorders won’t be uploadable, presumably because of copyright.
It’s too bad that it’s taken Sony more than three years to realize the full potential of the Hi-MD format, but I’m glad to see it happen. And I find it very tempting to add the MZ-RH1 to my stable (perhaps the last one I ever buy?). I have hours of archives of old radio shows I’ve done and other material I’d love to just upload via USB 2.0 to my PC. Sure, I could do it via a real-time dub, but obviously I haven’t done it yet because of the time involved.
To be fair to Sony, my understanding is that at least one of the hurdles against allowing uploads of legacy MDs was technical, since the Hi-MD spec marked a major change. But I’m glad to see Sony overcome it both technologically and philosophically.