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Personal Minidisc Recorder

James C

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OK - this appears to be of a general technical nature, so I'll bung it in here, despite the topic leaning towards audio a smidge:


I bought a Sharp Net MD Personal Minidisc recorder over Christmas. Didn’t go for the equivalent Sony, as I knew there were restrictions over the checking-in and out of albums via PC with their software, and there were a variety of cables bundled with the Sharp. Ironically, The “Beatjam” software supplied by Sharp appears to be Sony “Sonicstage” software anyway, just with a different skin, but that’s not the end of the world.

What IS the end of my world, however, is the refusal of the supplied CD to load the necessary USB controller software, meaning that my XPHome PC won’t acknowledge the existence of the USB-connected MD player anyway. Apparently Sharp technical support “aren’t trained to support the PC side of things”, and the people they contract who are, reckon it’s a Sharp Hardware cable fault. I suspect, however, that the visible lack of the driver in device manager is a more likely culprit (the manual clearly states that It should load automatically from the CD, and it hasn’t). Anyone else played with one of these and found a similar problem, or able to point me to which file on the CD might be the necessary driver, and advise me on how to install it manually?


I’ve hit the Sharp UK website which turns out to be very helpful for those wanting advice on PDAs or LCD TVs!


I’m desperate to avoid a slanging match in Currys, resulting in them sending it away for the mandatory 8-week repair period…





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Hi James


generally the install of drivers is controlled by a .INF file. If you right click on one of these you get an 'install' option which allows you to manually do it. I suspect you might find a few .INF files in different directories, hopefully the directory name will give a clue as to which one to use.


The other install method is via a .EXE file, often SETUP.EXE or something similar.


How many files are on the CD?




just found this with a quick Google (yes I know it's in Japanese)...

From Sharp

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Thanks, Brian. Well, I gave up trying to solve the problem myself, and took it back to Currys, They were obviously having an off-day, as they swapped for another of the same model without any of the usual haggling and messing around!



New toy works well - dumps an album from my PC onto MD in a few minutes, and sounds pin-sharp, even if the (fixed, as far as I can see) rec level is a little quiet when recording from PC.


Curiously, the headphones & socket are 4-pole (I assume L+, L-, R+ & R-). The sound is very involving indeed, though the downside of using the supplied earphones is that it's a bit like trying to cram a plastic wagon-wheel in each ear! Fortunately, they supply a 4-pole to 3-pole adaptor for use with regular phones.


SO...lots of treats in there, but some compromises. All-in for £100, I'm most pleased with my new toy. Only real shame is choosing a model that didn't have a mic input. Agonised for a while over this when purchasing, then realised that I'd only use mic input for work anyway, and if they need to record anything on the hoof, they can pay for their own toys!


For someone not in the market for an Ipod, this does what says on the tin.

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No - forgot to mention that. Doesn't have a remote, though it does have one of those rectangular sockets either side of the headphone socket suggesting that one might be available as an extra. The four poles really are all audio.
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Didn?t go for the equivalent Sony, as I knew there were restrictions over the checking-in and out of albums via PC with their software, and there were a variety of cables bundled with the Sharp.

James, do you know what the problems are with the Sony Net MDs?



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From a T3 review of Sony's "Sonicstage" software:


You can only copy each track from your PC to a MiniDisc three times – after this, you’ll have to delete one of the copies using the PC before you can copy it somewhere else. And – surprisingly – you can’t transfer recordings you’ve made directly to the recorder onto the PC.


However, the Sharp software has all sorts of references to Sonicstage and Sony in it's Licensing details, so I suspect that the two packages are one and the same. Not much of a problem for me, as I'll mainly use it for whole albums rather than my own compilations, so won't need to "check out" the same track from the PC that often. Strange about not being able to upload analogue recordings to PC though. again, the Sharp is the same in this respect.

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