Sony Recorders Sony portable md recorders have the following general characteristics: End Search




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Sony Recorders

Sony portable MD recorders have the following general characteristics:
* End Search Sony recorders do not automatically record new audio segments at the logical end of the medium. To ensure a recording is placed at the end, the END SEARCH button must be pressed before beginning a recording. Failure to do so can cause previously recorded material to be overwritten, depending upon the last audio segment accessed.
A petition was made asking Sony to Drop End Search. They replied politely in July 2000, and the MZ-R900, Sony's latest portable MD recorder, has the option to automate the End Search function. Thank You Sony!
* Recording Level Sony units will, by default, set recording levels with an Automatic Gain Control (AGC) circuit. This may be changed to Manual Recording Level control by holding the REC slider for two seconds on older units or by selecting it from the menu on newer units. Once in manual mode (on units prior to the MZ-R909) the recording level can only be changed while the unit is in REC-PAUSE mode. The level is adjusted using the |<< and >>| track positioning buttons. The manual record level setting is forgotten when the disc is changed.
* Auto Track Marking on Analog Input When recording from analog inputs (line or mic) Sony units will make track marks whenever 2 seconds or more of silence occurs. This cannot be disabled.
* Analog mono recording In mono, the analog-in is mixed into one channel on an internal chip, so input to either mic channel will be recorded, and any other devices connected to the microphone (via splitter) will still get a stereo signal (Left is not shorted to Right).
* Sony remotes generally interoperate among the various portable units. Gerald Tomyn adds: Sony sells a replacement wired remote control, the RM-MZE1. It comes in silver or blue (both see-through) and has a backlit LCD screen. This remote can be used with ANY of the following recorders/players: MZ-R30, R37, R50, R55, R90, R91, R4ST, R5ST, E25, E30, E33, E35, E44, E45, E50, E55, E70, E80, EP10, EP11, EPS11.
* Glossary Modern (ca. 2002) Sony MD portables have so many different possible features that a glossary is necessary. (Check individual unit entries to determine which features each unit offers).
Recording Features
* Auto Time Track Mark When recording from analog inputs, unit can be set to automatically place a track mark at regular intervals (5/10/15 minutes). (MZ-N10 track mark interval can be set from 1 to 99 minutes).
* Digital REC Level Control Volume levels of recordings made from digital sources (via optical link) may be be adjusted, allowing "mix" discs made from several CDs to have consistent volume levels.
* Name Bank Allows user to store frequently used names and words in the recorder's internal memory (up to 600 characters worth) to speed up track titling. Dropped beginning with the MZ-N10.
* Joint Text A feature allowing MZ-R909/R900/R90/R91/R55 recorders to be coupled to particular Sony CD walkman (e.g. Model D-EJ2000, etc.) with a special Sony RK-TXT1 cable. When coupled with this cable (as well as a normal digital optical audio cable), a "CD-Text" CD (i.e. CD with track title information) can have its track titles transferred to Minidisc during recording. Note that as each track is recorded, several button presses on the MD unit are required in order to capture the text information. Given these factors, and that most CD-Text CDs were released with the titles set to "COPY-PROHIBIT", it is not surprising that this feature disappeared beginning with the Sony MZ-N1/N10/R910 units.
Listening Features
* Bookmark Track The portable can be set to play only certain tracks from the currently loaded MD. Up to 20 tracks may be selected. The player's memory of these selected tracks is lost when the MD is ejected. (See "New Play Mode" below.)
* Personal Disk Memory The portable associates its internal settings with up to 20 MDs. The settings are reloaded whenever one of those 20 disks is inserted. Settings that can be remembered are:

* Program play setting.

* Tone adjustments (bass/treble or equalizer settings)

* Volume

* Play mode

* Group mode ON/OFF (MZ-N10, MZ-E909)

* Playback speed
* VPT ("Virtual Phone Technology") Uses internal DSP to provide "Studio, Club, Live, or Arena" acoustic effects. (Cannot be used in conjunction with 6-band equalizer.)
* 6-band Equalizer Tone control in 6 bands (each band adjustable from -10dB to +10dB). Includes 4 presets "Heavy, Pops, Jazz, Unique" and the ability to store settings in 2 user "custom modes". (Cannot be used in conjunction with VPT)
* Digital Sound Presets Bass and Treble controls that can be adjusted in 8 steps each (-4 to +3). Settings may be stored in 2 user custom modes.
* Play Mode Four basic modes:

1. All track play

2. One track play

3. Program play (user selected tracks in user selected ordering)

4. Shuffle play

These 4 can be set to play once or repeat, giving 8 patterns. These 8 can be set to run with group mode ON or OFF, giving 16 patterns.


* New Play Mode Eight basic modes:

1. All track play

2. One track play

3. Bookmark play (play only bookmarked tracks)

4. Shuffle play

5. Program play

6. Group play

7. Within-Group shuffle play

8. Group program play

These 8 can be set to play once or repeat, giving 16 patterns.


* Digital Pitch Control Playback speed can be adjusted in 13 steps from -50% to +100%, yet the original pitch is retained (in other words, Digital Pitch Control is used to compensate and prevent the normal pitch shift that would occur with a change of playback speed). Useful for language learning (listening slower than normal) or skimming recordings of meetings (listening faster than normal).
* Digital Speed Control Playback speed (together with pitch) can be adjusted from -80% to +110% in 7 steps (5% per step).
* Three color info LED LED gives info about group mode and battery condition:

* Normal (non-group) mode playback: Red

* Group mode playback: Green

* Group skip mode: Orange (goes orange after pressing "group" button and stays orange for 5 seconds, indicating that use of the |<< or >>| buttons will skip to the next group).

* Battery conditition: Charge level indicated in 3 steps (on, slow-blink, fast-blink)

Sony MZ-NF810


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

Photo: AV Watch (Japan)



Sony MZ-NF810 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 04/2003 US$280

Availability:

In: line, mic, optical. Data: USB. Out: heaphones
Features: NetMD Recorder with AM/FM/TV/Weather radio incorporated into LCD remote. Bookmark track function, Six Band equalizer and Virtual Phone Technology (see Sony glossary).
Included accessories: AC adapter, "Car Kit" (including cassette adapter and Remote Commander (in-car mountable remote)), Charging Stand.
Links:
* Sony digital images for the unit.

* Sony Winter CES announcement.




Reviews:


Battery Life Play

AA x 1 56(?) hr



Sony MZ-NF610


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1132x928)



Sony MZ-NF610 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 04/2003 US$200

Availability:

In: line(?). Data: USB. Out: heaphones
Features: NetMD Recorder with AM/FM/TV/Weather radio incorporated into LCD remote. Bookmark track function (see Sony glossary).
Included accessories: AC adapter
Links:
* Sony digital images for the unit.

* Sony Winter CES announcement.




Reviews:


Battery Life Play

AA x 1 56(?) hr



Sony MZ-NE410


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1500x958)



Sony MZ-NE410 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 03/2003 US$130

Availability:

In: line(?). Data: USB. Out: heaphones
Features: Entry-level NetMD recorder. No remote. No microphone jack.
Links:
* Sony digital images for the unit.

* Sony Winter CES announcement.




Reviews:


Battery Life Play

AA x 1 56 hr



Sony MZ-N510


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

Photo: AV Watch (Japan)



Sony MZ-N510 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 03/2003 US$150

Availability:

In: line(?). Data: USB. Out: heaphones
Features: Entry-level NetMD recorder. Bookmark track function (see Sony glossary). Non-LCD remote.
Included accessories: AC adapter, "Car Kit" (including cassette adapter and Remote Commander (in-car mountable remote)).
Links:
* Sony digital images for the unit.

* Sony Winter CES announcement.




Reviews:


Battery Life Play

AA x 1 56(?) hr



Sony MZ-N710


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions


Sony MZ-N710 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 03/2003 €265

Availability:

In: mic, line/optical. Out: heaphones/line
Features:
* ATRAC DSP Type S

* Max 32X download speed (LP4 mode)

* 200 second (?) G-Protection

* Charge stand w/USB connection

* Jog Lever

* Automatic time-based track marking (5,10,15 minute internval)

* LCD remote


Links:
* my-minidisc.com page for the unit.


Included Accessories: USB cable, OpenMG v2.2, Charge stand, backlit LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell, battery case, AC adapter, digital cable.
Reviews:


Battery Life Play Record Recharge

NiMH


AA

Both 85 hr 41 hr 3.5 hr



Sony MZ-N910


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions


Sony MZ-N910 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 03/2003 €335

Availability:

In: mic, line/optical. Out: heaphones/line
Features:
* ATRAC DSP Type S

* Max 64X download speed (LP4 mode)

* 200 second (?) G-Protection

* Bookmark function.

* 3 line display on main body

* Charge stand w/USB connection

* Personal disc Memory

* Melody Alarm

* Jog Lever

* Variable playback speed (80-110%)

* Microphone sens. selector

* Name bank

* Joint Text (!)

* Automatic time-based track marking (5,10,15 minute internval)

* Date/Time stamp recording

* backlit LCD remote




Links:
* my-minidisc.com page for the unit.


Included Accessories: USB cable, OpenMG v2.2, Charge stand, backlit LCD remote, Headphones, NiMH cell, battery case, AC adapter, digital cable, carrying case with clip.
Reviews:


Battery Life Play Record Recharge

NiMH


AA x 1

BothH 56 hr 16 hr 3.5 hr



Sony MZ-N10


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions
Photos: AVWatch
Photo: PocketFad
Photo: Sony
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)
(1000x750)

Photos: MDMan.net (1000x750)

Photos: Minidisco
Photo: PCOnline.com.cn
(1746x1722)
US Model
US vs. Japan remote

Sony MZ-N10 portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 9/2002 Est: JPY40,000

Availability:

IN: microphone, line/optical. OUT: line/heaphones. DATA: USB. DC IN: 6V excl. protrusions: 78.5 x 73.3 x 13.8mm (min. thickness: 12.9mm)

incl. protrusions: 83.8 x 74.3 x 18.9mm

weight: 84g (incl. battery)
Features: Sony's 10th anniversary Minidisc recorder, with several changes from previous models:
* ATRAC DSP Type-S (see description under MDS-JB980)

* Unit is 30g lighter and 2.6mm thinner than the MZ-N1 (accomplished with new optical pickup and motor (30% thinner) and miniaturized main IC (33% smaller)).

* LP4 audio downloading at 64x realtime (LP2 @ 32x?, SP @ ?x).

* Downloading handled by SonicStage Ver 1.5 software (no mention of OpenMG Jukebox). Note: Japanese model ships with Japanese SonicStage, which cannot be installed on non-Japanese systems.

* Charging and USB connections can be made with or without the charge stand.

* Auto time-mark (places track marks at regular intervals [user settable from 1 to 99 minutes] during recording).

* Personal disk memory on MZ-N10 now remembers group mode (on/off) setting as well.

* User settable option (NORMAL/QUICK) for the unit's fast forward and reverse engagement delay (selecting QUICK reduces battery life).

* Rehearsal Mode: holding the track mark button down for a few seconds enters rehearsal mode, allowing fine +/- adjustment of the track mark's position, just like home Minidisc decks.

* Available in silver and grey.


Common to MZ-N10 and MZ-E10:
* Built-in 3mm Lithium Ion cell.

* Further thinning of the magnesium case.

* Backlit remote has 2-line display for Roman alphabet titles, 1-line for Kanji titles.

* "Virtual Headphone Technology Acoustic Engine" uses DSP to provide "Studio, Club, Live, or Arena" effects.

* Equalizer allows 7 steps of adjustment (-10dB to +10dB) in 6 frequency bands. Equalizer settings are established with one of four fixed presets ("Heavy, Pops, Jazz, Unique") or one of 2 custom (i.e. user defined) settings. Equalizer and "Virtual Headphone" cannot be used together.

* "Bookmark Track" function can remember up to 20 "favorite tracks" from an MD and allows one to subsequently play just those tracks (tracks are registered by holding the joystick button down for 2 seconds while listening).

* Adjustable playback speed from -50% to +100% (factor of 0.5x to 2.0x) in 13 steps without change of pitch.

* "New" Play mode (See Sony portables glossary).


Other features incorporated from previous unit: 3 line LCD on main body, Jog-dial (now apparently a "Jog-knob" similar to the JVC XM-R700), manual REC level control selectable for digital and analog signals, MDLP group function, G-Protection Jog-proof, battery remaining indicator on main body and stick controller, one touch eject.
Features dropped: No Name Bank.
Remote: RM-MC35EKLU
Variants: European edition: Silver color only
Links:
* Sony's Japanese press release (mech. translations: Babelfish (courtesy Peter Ravn), Translingo).

* Sony Minidisc 10th anniversary page (mech. translation).

* AV-Land (UK) coverage (good photo).

* Minidisc T-Station coverage.

* Spanish coverage at Quesabesde.

* AV Watch page (mech. trans) has coverage of the MZ-N10/E10 and LAM-10 units.

* PocketFad (Shenzhen China) has further photos of the unit.

* MDMan.net (Korea) posts several snapshots of the unit.

* Available from Japan-Direct for US$420 w/shipping.


Reviews:
* Brian Youn's comprehensive MZ-N10 review.

* Howard Chu's MZ-N10 counterpoint.

* Sony MZ-N10 reviews at eCoustics.com (1)


User Comments:
The Japanese model comes with Japanese software only, so beware. I was able to install the new drivers that came with it and it worked with Open MG 2.2 and Sonicstage 1.2, but I was not able to install Sonicstage 1.5. The menus would be gibberish anyway unless you had a Japanese OS or some kind of Japanese language support. The operation manual I got contains no English.
You can attach the USB cable without the cradle, but not both the USB cable and the external power or the AA battery pack at the same time. This is due to the fact that the external power comes in through the AA battery pack which attaches to and covers the USB port. The USB connector is a flat thin one I have never seen before. The power supply is 6V, no doubt due to the LIon battery charging needs.
There is a power option that selects between NORMAL and QUICK. I don't know if that is new, but it seems to reduce the delay that happens on older units when you fast forward or reverse play.
The mechanism is very quiet, quieter than my N505 and much more so than my R900. Nice and small and light. Controls seem intuitive and easy.
Transfer Speed Improvements: For LP2 mode, which I use the most, transfers are much faster, but the TOC update time limits the benefit. I tried a single 33 minute track and the N10 ran at about 30x real time while the N505 ran 15.5x realtime, so the N10 was almost 2 times as fast. With a 64 minute album of Miles Davis, which contains 7 tracks, 5 of which are about 10 minutes long, the improvement over the MZ-N505 was a factor of about 1.5 (it took 3 minutes 5 seconds to completely tranfer the disc). This is using OpenMG 2.2 or SonicStage 1.1. I don't think SonicStage 1.5 makes any difference to the download speed, it must be recorder and driver dependent.
Rehearsal and Bookmark Mode: When you add a track mark with the track mark button on the unit, you can hold the track mark button down for a few seconds to enter "REHEARSAL" mode and adjust the position of the track mark. This works just like on the home decks, although I am not sure if you can select how fine the increment of changing the position is. This is a very cool feature that is a first for Sony portables (Aiwa portables have had this since the AM-F5). Bookmarks are made by holding down the joystick for 2 seconds while playing.

-Leland McArthy


Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW into 16 ohms. 20-20kHz +/-3dB.
Included Accessories: (Japanese edition) Backlit Remote, AC power adapter, USB cradle, USB cable (1.5m), SonicStage Ver 1.5 CD-ROM (download software), attachable AA cell case, carrying pouch.
User Manual: MZ-N10

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4)

"was" refers to Sony's pre-release figures Play Record Recharge

LiIon

LIP-3WMB - 3.7V, 340mAh builtin 17/20/24 hr



(was: 23/27/30) 8.5/11/14 hr

(was: 9/13/16) 100%: 3.5 hr (cradle or direct), 80%: 1 hr

AA x 1 27/32/36 hr

(was: 32/40/43) 7.5/10/11.5 hr

(was: 11/16/20)

Both 42/52/58 hr

(was: 58/71/77) 15/20/26.5 hr

(was: 22/33/41)



Sony MZ-R910


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

Sony MZ-R910 Portable MDLP recorder

Intro: 6/2002 ``Open''

Availability:

IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: headphones, DC IN: 3v 78.9 x 72 x 17.1 mm, 108g body only (135g w/batt)
Features:
* Non-NetMD.

* Quite similar in features to Sony MZ-R909, but with battery life of the Sony MZ-N1. Differs from MZ-R909 as follows:

* It lacks Joint-Text, a feature for copying track titles from CD-Text type CDs to MD. (Given that most CD-Text CDs had copy-prohibited titles, and that a special cable and Sony CD player was required, the feature's disappearance is not surprising).

* LCD pixels and symbols are black instead of th MZ-R909's blue.

* Magnesium shell makes the unit a bit lighter than the MZ-R909.

* Case edges are more contoured than the MZ-R909 (see T-board comments).

* Personal Disc Memory (remembers program play, treble & bass, repeat mode, playback speed (80-110%), and volume settings for up to 20 discs within the unit.)

* Available in silver, blue and pink.

* Playback speed control without pitch change.

* Digital sound presets (8 step treble and bass adjustments that can be stored as "preset 1" and "preset 2")

* ATRAC Type-R


Links:
* Sony's Japanese page for the unit (mech. trans).

* Sony's Japanese spec sheet comparing the MZ-N1, MZ-R910, MZ-R909 and other units.

* AV Land (UK) page.

* Minidisc T-Station page.




Reviews:


Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record Recharge

NiMH


NH-14WM 30/38/42 hr 12/17/21 hr 6h cradle, 3.5 hr direct)

AA x 1 45/52/62 hr 12/19/23 hr

Both 79/95/110 hr 30/43/52 hr

Sony MZ-R701


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions


Sony MZ-R701 Portable MDLP recorder

Intro: 5/2002 Street: AU$527, HK$1600

Availability:

IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: heaphones, DC IN: 3V
Features: Appears quite similar to the Sony MZ-R700. ATRAC DSP Type-R, Non-LCD remote. No NetMD support.
Links:
* Found on Minidisc T-Station catalog scan (m2_2.jpg).


Dealers: Available from Dick Smith Electronics (Australia).
Reviews:


Battery Life Play

AA x 1 53 hr



Sony MZ-G755


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1280x1114)



Sony MZ-G755 Portable MDLP recorder w/AM/FM tuner

Intro: 5/2002 Street: £165

Availability:

IN: line/optical, mic, OUT: heaphones, DC IN: 3V 81 x 28 x 74.4mm, 144g w/batt
Features: MDLP capable, ATRAC DSP Type-R. Remote has built-in AM/FM tuner with 40 presets. No NetMD support. Differences from Sony MZ-G750: ATRAC DSP Type-R, (... and ?).
Manufacturer's Specs:
* Built in tuner remote comtroller

* Digital FM/AM tuner with 40 pre-sets (35 FM/5 AM)

* G-Protection Jog Proof

* MDLP


* ATRAC TYPE-R DSP for high quality

* 4-position control key on the unit for ease of use

* Digital Mega Bass

* Up to 48 hours battery life

* 1 x AA sized battery goes inside the unit (battery not supplied)

* Digital recording level control

* Pop Up eject


Accessories: Euro-model: Remote control with built-in AM/FM tuner, headphones, NiCd rechargeable battery, AC power adapter/charger, TOSlink to 3.5mm mini jack optical cable, carrying pouch with belt clip
Available From:
* TechTronics (UK)

* my-minidisc.com (Germany)




Reviews:


Battery Life Play Record Radio

Alkaline AA x 1 36/42/56 hr 9/13/16 hr 28.5 hr

NiCd (NC-WMAA) x 1 11.5/14/16 hr 4/6/7.5 hr 9.5 hr

Sony MZ-S1


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

Still from publicity film shows mockup with "MZ-0000" badging


(note orange gaskets) (1024x768)
Backlight (1024x768)
Compared to MZ-R900 (1024x768)
Photos: M. Wiley, IGN (1024x768)
Sony Feature Comparison Chart

Sony MZ-S1 "Sports" portable NetMD recorder

Intro: 4/2002 MSRP US$180

Availability:



Sony MZ-S1 $138.95 IN: line/optical, no mic input, no remote jack, DATA: USB (mini-B), OUT: heaphones, DC IN: 3V 97.3 x 104 x 40mm, 215g body only (3.5" x 4" x 1.5", 7.5oz)
Features: First "Sports" Minidisc portable. Second (after the MZ-1) Sony MD recorder to incorporate backlit LCD on main unit (amber backlight). No remote; "one-thumb" joystick control on top of unit. "Buckle"-design case latch for improved ruggedness. Bright reflective surface (presumably to reduce solar heating and make finding a dropped one easier). Sony states "Splash Proof Water-Resistant(1) Design with high-impact plastic housing is designed for outdoor fun, with rubber gaskets, bushings, and waterproof seals that help keep out water, moisture, and dirt" but clarifies "Not meant to be immersed in or come into continuous contact with water". No Mic input, no remote jack.
Links:
* SonyStyle page for the unit.

* A One9ine (great name!) quicktime movie clip of Sony's "Sports" gear includes the unit.

* IGN review of the unit.

* Simple Burner Windows application for direct transfer from CD to MD that Sony ships with US model NetMD gear. (~1.7MB .zip)

* Planet Minidisc's Sony 2002 portables feature comparison chart.


Included Accessories: AC Adaptor, Headphones, Handstrap
Manufacturer's Features List:
* Easy One Hand Joystick Operation

* Backlit LCD Display

* Splash Proof Water Resistant(1) Design

(1) Not meant to be immersed in or come into continuous contact with water.

* Reflective Hand Strap Supplied

* Reflective Casing And Rugged Buckle Mechanism

* G-Protection(tm)

* Up To 54 Hours Playback Using One "AA" Battery (LP4 Mode)

* Internal Battery Compartment Holds 1 "AA" Type Battery

* "Easy Skip" Group/Folder Function

* Plays Back In ATRAC3(tm) [and ATRAC. -eaw], Supports Multiple Internet Audio Formats (MP3, WMA, WAV)

* New NetMD Simple Burner Quick Rip CD Dubbing Application (Supplied) allows you to swiftly and easily dub music tracks from your CDs directly to the NetMD Walkman with no need to store files or manage music on the hard drive

* Compatible With Windows(r) 98/98SE/2000/Me/XP Operating Systems

* Music Management Software Supplied

* Ability To Record From Multiple Sources (PC, Portable CD, Home CD Unit, Radio)

* MDLP Long Time Stereo Recording And Playback (Up To 320 Minutes/Over 5 Hours Of Music) On One 80 Minute Disc (LP4 Mode)

* Digital Mega Bass(r) Sound System

* Remaining Recording/Playback And Battery Time Indication On Unit LCD

* Multiple Playback Modes, Normal - all repeat, 1 track, 1 track repeat shuffle, shuffle repeat, program, program repeat; Group - all repeat in a group, 1 track in a group, 1 track repeat in a group, shuffle in a group, shuffle repeat in a group, program 1 in a group, program repeat in a group; or lets you play through a MiniDisc from start to end.


Reviews:
* Sony MZ-S1 reviews at eCoustics.com (2)


User Manual: MZ-S1

Battery Life Play Record

AA x 1 40/49/54 hr 9/13/16 hr



Sony MZ-N505


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions
(1280x976)
(1280x931)
Note "MZ-R550" badging of these early publicity photos (1280x950)

Note USB port built into body

Courtesy AV-Land (1409x963)
Sony Feature Comparison Chart

Sony MZ-N505 Budget NetMD Recorder

Intro: 3/2002 (US) MSRP ~US$200, Street: ~US$150

Availability:



Sony MZ-N505 $109.95 IN: USB, line/optical no microphone input, OUT: headphones 81x27.9x74.7mm, 104g (body only), 130g (w/batt)
Features: Cost-reduced NetMD recorder, allows direct PC to MD downloading of compressed audio (i.e. ATRAC) data via USB. MDLP. Available in gold (yellow?), silver, and blue. No microphone input!
Variants: Euro-version has non-LCD remote, North American version has no remote.
Links:
* Sony's NetMD announcement mentioning the MZ-N505.

* The unit is available from SonyStyle

* AV-Land (UK) page for the unit.

* Simple Burner Windows application for direct transfer from CD to MD that Sony ships with US model NetMD gear. (~1.7MB .zip)




Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone amp
Included Accessories (UK): AC power adapter, Remote Control, NC-WMAA Rechargeable AA NiCd battery, Headphones, Optical cable (TOSlink to 3.5mm-jack), 1.5m USB cable, OpenMG Jukebox V2.2.
Reviews:
* Sony MZ-N505 reviews at eCoustics.com (3)


User Manual: MZ-N505

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record Recharge

NiCd 15/16/20 hr 4/6/7.5 hr 3 hr

AA x 1 42/48/56 hr 9/13/16 hr

Sony MZ-N707


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1125x850)


(1130x864)
MZ-N707 with car adapter
Courtesy AVLand (UK)

(1000x990)

Photo: Henke
Sony Feature Comparison Chart

Sony MZ-N707 Portable NetMD Recorder

Intro: 3/2002 (US) MSRP ~US$250

Availability:



Sony MZ-N707 $162.00 IN: USB, line/optical, mic

OUT: headphones 81 x 27.7 x 74.4mm, 116g body only, 142g w/batt


Features: NetMD recorder, allows direct PC to MD downloading of compressed audio (i.e. ATRAC) data via USB. MDLP. Additional features over MZ-N505: microphone input, remote control (with editing capability), charging stand, included car-adapter kit (via dummy cassette). Available in two-toned black/red and blue/silver. No microphone sensitivity setting.
Notes:
* Unlike the European MZ-N707, the North American MZ-N707 comes with the same editing remote as the MZ-R700 which is the RM-MZ-4R. The European version comes with the RM-MC10L, a remote similar to the RM-MC11EL (used for the MZ-R900 & US MZ-N1), but molded in black and presumably lacking a backlight. -Nassib Khayat


Links:
* Simple Burner Windows application for direct transfer from CD to MD that Sony ships with US model NetMD gear. (~1.7MB .zip)

* Henke's MZ-N707 interior photos.

* Planet Minidisc's Sony 2002 portables feature comparison chart.


Supplied Accessories (UK edition): AC power adapter/charger, Headphones with LCD remote control, NC-WMAA NiCd (AA cell shaped), Optical Cable, Recharge Stand, 1.5M USB cable, OpenMG Jukebox Ver2.2 CD-ROM, Carrying pouch with belt clip.
Specs: Frequency Response: 20-20kHz +/-3dB, Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW
Links:
* Sony's NetMD announcement mentioning the MZ-N707.

* AV-Land (UK) page for the unit.




Reviews:
* Sony MZ-N707 reviews at eCoustics.com (3)


User Manual: MZ-N707

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record Recharge

NiCd


NC-WMAA 15/16/20 hr 4/6/7.5 hr 3.5 hr

AA x 1 42/48/56 hr 9/13/16 hr



Sony MZ-R501


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

Sony MZ-R501 portable MD recorder

Intro: 1/2002 208 EUR

Availability:



Sony MZ-R501 $139.99 IN: optical/line, NO MIC or REMOTE JACK. DC IN: 3V

OUT: line/headphones 83W x 27.8H x 75.8D mm, 113g (body only)


Features: ATRAC Type-R, MDLP capable, G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, End Search/Auto End Search, Group function. Appears to be nearly identical to the MZ-R500. Note: Unit does not have microphone input or remote jack. A microphone or remote cannot be used with this unit.
Links:
* my-minidisc (Germany) page for the unit.


Supplied Accessories: AC power adapter (European and Chinese models), Headphones, Optical cable (not USA model), PC Link kit (MZ-R501PC only), Digital PC Link Kit (MZ-R501DPC only)
Reviews:

User Manual: MZ-R501

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record

NiCd


AA x 1 36/42/48 hr 7.5/10/13.5 hr

Sony MZ-N1


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1210x1029)


Sony Feature Comparison Chart

Sony MZ-N1 Portable MDLP recorder with NetMD interface

Intro: 12/2001 ``Open''

Availability:



Sony MZ-N1 $263.99 IN: line/optical, mic, DC IN: 3V

OUT: headphone/line

I/O: USB (on cradle) 78.7x71.8x16.9mm, 90g (body only)
Features: (First) NetMD equipped portable MD recorder, allows direct PC to MD download (but not upload) of compressed ATRAC audio at up to 30X real-time for LP4 audio (16x for LP2, and ~2x for SP mode audio. MDLP. ATRAC Type-R. (System Controller/ATRAC DSP IC: CXD2677-202GA) Docking cradle provides USB port and charging function. New stick controller with Kanji (Chinese character) display. 3 line LCD on main body. Magnesium case. G-protection. Group function. USB interface can be used for titling, limited editing, and control of the unit from a PC. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). "Ultimate Skip-Free G-Protection Technology" (Sony's 3rd generation shock recovery system that combines a lighter servo mechanism and improved electronic circuitry. Adds shock protection to the pick-up mechanism, thereby minimizing the loss of position. It continues to provide quick recovery from both horizontal and vertical shock.)
Software: PC download application is Open MG Jukebox 2.2, and allows CD, WAV, and MP3 tracks, as well as music purchased on the Internet to be downloaded to MD (being converted to ATRAC in the process, as necessary). OpenMG system will ensure that a bonafide NetMD recorder is connected before allowing a transfer, and will prevent ATRAC audio files created on one PC from being played, downloaded or used on a different PC. Open MG Jukebox is SDMI compliant and allows up to 3 track 'check-outs' from PC to MD, tracks can subsequently be 'checked-in', deleting them from the MD. (Check-in transfers the track "rights" back to the PC, but not the audio).
Included Accessories: Backlit remote, headphones, USB cradle, USB cable (1.5m), OpenMG Jukebox V2.2 CD-ROM, AC adapter, rechargeable NiMH cell, battery carrying case, external dry-cell adapter case, carrying pouch.
Notes:
* The Japanese MZ-N1 comes with software that installs an English version if an English language version of Windows is running, however the installer and help file is in Japanese.

* Though the MZ-N1 can display Kanji titles on its remote, it only writes Kanji titles to MD with the Japanese version of the software.

* The US MZ-N1 comes with the same remote as the MZ-R900 (RM-MC11EL/S).

* The US version does NOT include the carrying pouch (the soft cloth bag) that is shown in Brian Youn's review of a Japanese unit. The manual, which lists all of the equipment and accessories included, does not mention a carrying case either. -Haemish Edgerton




Reviews:
* Brian Youn's detailed look at the unit.

* Nick Riley's impressions of the Sony MZ-N1 and OpenMG.

* Sony MZ-N1 reviews at eCoustics.com (9)


Links:
* Sony's MZ-N1 announcement (mech trans. of NetMD equipment and Initial NetMD announcements).

* Sony's (Japanese) MZ-N1 product page (trans)

* Sony's (Japanese) NetMD page

* Sony's (Japanese) NetMD equipment page

* AV-Watch (Japan) coverage of Sony's NetMD gear (trans)

*

* MiniDisc T-Station page for the unit.



* AV-Land (UK) page for the unit.

* Japan-Direct's page for the unit.

* Available for pre-order from SonyStyle.

* Simple Burner Windows application for direct transfer from CD to MD that Sony ships with US model NetMD gear. (~1.7MB .zip)

* Unit is available from Superfi UK.

* Julian Zhu's MZ-N1 interior photos.

* Planet Minidisc's Sony 2002 portables feature comparison chart.


User Manuals: MZ-N1, German

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record Recharge

NiMH


NH-14WM 30/38/42 hr 12/17/21 hr 6h cradle, 3.5 hr direct)

AA x 1 45/52/62 hr 12/19/23 hr

Both 79/95/110 hr 30/43/52 hr

Sony MZ-B100


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions
Sony MZ-B100 MDLP business recorder

Intro: 10/2001 ¥35,800

Availability:



Sony MZ-B100 $299.95 IN: microphone, optical/analog line in

OUT: headphones 81.2 x 108 x 25.7 mm, 180g (160g body only)


Features: MD recorder intended for business use (dictation, recording meetings). Internal stereo flat microphone and monaural front speaker. Voice-Operated Recording function automatically starts recording when it senses sound, and stops recording when the sound stops. MDLP compatible, Group mode functions. Easy Search function allows skipping ahead or back one minute per button press. Two types of track marker let you indicate the importance of recorded events. Jog dial for easy speed control and editing, Large LCD with 3 lines of display, Playback speed control function (+10% to -20%). Click alert indicates disc is out of space. Operating instructions: English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Spanish.
Tips: Hitting FF or RR for about 1 second or a bit more, releasing, then immediately hitting FF or RR again, results in an instantaneous response.
Links:
* Sony's official English description for the MZ-B100.

* Sonystyle Japan has another page for the MZ-B100.

* Radio World review of the unit.

* Minidisco page for the unit.

* Minidisc T-Station page for unit.

* MD-21 (French) page for unit.

* Planet Minidisc's Sony 2002 portables feature comparison chart.


Specs: 2.8cm speaker. Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW, 20-20kHz +/-3dB
Reviews:
* Sony MZ-B100 reviews at eCoustics.com (1)


User Manual: MZ-B100

Battery Life (SP/SP-Mono/LP2/LP4) Play Record

AA x 1 Speaker: 25.5/30/27/30 hr

Headphones: Add ~10hr 9/12/12.5/15 hr

Sony MZ-R909


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

RM-MC11EL


Photos: Japan-Direct
(1024x768)
Photos: MDMan.net (1024x768)

Sony MZ-R909 portable MD recorder

Intro: 8/2001 MSRP: ``Open''

Availability:

IN: microphone, analog, optical

OUT: headphones, line out 80.0W x 75.5H x 20.5D mm, 110g (137g w/batt)


Features: Updated and improved version of the MZ-R900. ATRAC Type R, group function, 3 line, 9 character LCD, speed-sensitive jog-dial (fully rotatable), combined headphone and line out jacks (use the unit's menu system to switch between the two different modes), LCD on remote (remote is RM-MC11EL, same one as used on the MZ-R900. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). Available in silver, blue, and red. Other improvements over MZ-R900: In manual recording-level mode, recording levels can be adjusted while recording is underway. Dual VU meters on left and right channels during recording and playback, LCD contrast adjustable in 8 steps, SOUND settings can be changed from the main unit (without the remote), Playstation-like control pad (push for PLAY, rock left, right up or down for other functions). (Courtesy Brian Youn)
Notes: The MZ-R900 will fit into the MZ-R909's charging cradle and charge properly.
Reviews:
* Brian Youn's comprehensive review of the MZ-R909.

* Sony MZ-R909 reviews at eCoustics.com (5)




Links:
* Sony's official Japanese press release announcing the MZ-R909 (English machine translation also available).

* AV-Watch has further photos and Japanese information on the MZ-R909.

* Japan-Direct has several clear photos of the Sony MZ-R909.

* AV-Land (UK) gives some initial MZ-R909 coverage, with listed features and photos.

* Japan-Direct's clear photos and page for the Sony MZ-R909.

* MDMan.net's (Korea) gallery of side-by-side MZ-R909 & MD-MT770 snapshots, shows how similar Sharp and Sony's latest now look.




Specs: 5mW + 5mW headphones output, 100VAC.
User Manuals: MZ-R909, German

Battery Life

SP/LP2/LP4 Play Record Recharge

NiMH 24/27/31 hr 8.5/11/14 hr 3.5 hr

AA x 1 34/40/45 hr 7.5/12/15 hr

Both 64/75/84 hr 20/28/37 hr



Sony MZ-G750


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions


Sony MZ-G750 Portable MD recorder with built-in AM/FM tuner

Intro: 1/2001

Availability:



Sony MZ-G750 $229.95 IN: optical/line, mic. DC IN: 3V

OUT: line/ headphones 81W x 28H x 75D mm, 118g (144g w/batt)


Features: Similar to MZ-R700 but includes AM/FM tuner (in remote). MDLP capable, G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, Manual End Search/Auto End Search. Tuner contained entirely within LCD remote control, hence cannot record from tuner. Internally the MZ-G750 differs from MZ-R700, containing 5 additional ICs and several circuitry changes (see the service manual for details).
Manufacturer's Specs:
* MDLP recording and playback

* G-PROTECTION JOG PROOF

* Up To 48Hrs Battery Life

* Digital FM/AM Built in Tuner Remote (DOES NOT RECORD FROM THE RADIO)

* MDLP Long time stereo recording (up to 320 min. recording) and playback

* Jacket sized light-weight MD recorder

* Takes 1 x AA battery

* Easy Pop Up Eject mechanism

* Digital Recording Level Control

* Manual Recording Level Setting

* Record mode setting (SP/LP/LP2/MONO)

* End search/Auto end search

* Track Mark ON/OFF (Divide/Combine)

* Erase (1/ALL) / MOVE / Character Input

* Digital Mega Bass


User comments: Mark Litgenstein: The MZ-G750 is exactly the same size as the MZ-R700, the only difference is the headphone out, which comes with power out to power the remote. The remote includes the radio, the player doesn't. So you can't listen to the radio without the remote, but you can listen to MD without the remote. I can really recommend this unit. It's not cheap, but the radio is a very welcome addition.
Links:
* A table of feature differences between the Sony MZ-R900/700/500 and MZ-G750 machines.

* AVLand has information on the MZ-G750.

* Mark Bausch scans in pages from the Spring 2001 issue of Sony Style magazine that describes the MZ-G750.

* Peter Ravn has put together a review of the MZ-G750.

* Pages from the Spring 2001 issue of Sony Style magazine describe the MZ-R700 and MZ-G750.

* An official Sony press release states that all of 2001's MDLP portable recorders (MZ-R500, -R700, -G750 and -R900) will be available in the United States.

* Video-direct's comparison table lists this unit and other current Sony models.


Reviews:
* CNETAsia review of the MZ-G750.

* HiFi Choice review of the Sony MZ-G750.

* Sony MZ-G750 reviews at eCoustics.com (5)


Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.
User Manual: MZ-G750
Service Manual: MZ-G750

Battery Life Play Record Radio

Alkaline AA x 1 36/42/48 hr 9/13/16 hr 28.5 hr

NiCd (NC-WMAA) x 1 11.5/14/16 hr 4/6/7.5 hr 9.5 hr

Sony MZ-R500


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

MZ-R500PC



Sony MZ-R500 portable MD recorder

Intro: 1/2001 US$180

Availability:



Sony MZ-R500 $125.00 IN: optical/line, NO MIC or REMOTE JACK. DC IN: 3V

OUT: line/headphones 83W x 28H x 76D mm, 113g


Features: MDLP capable. G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, End Search/Auto End Search. Optical cable supplied with unit. Note: Unit does not have microphone input or remote jack. A microphone or remote cannot be used with this unit.
Links:
* A table of feature differences between the Sony MZ-R900/700/500 and MZ-G750 machines.

* AVLand has photos and specs on the MZ-R500.

* An official Sony press release states that all of 2001's MDLP portable recorders (MZ-R500, -R700, -G750 and -R900) will be available in the United States.

* Planet MiniDisc has the MZ-R500 in stock.

* Video-direct's comparison table lists this unit and other current Sony models.


Hacks:
* By changing the unit's EEPROM values several MZ-R900 features can be added.


Reviews:
* Sony MZ-R500 reviews at eCoustics.com (4)


User Manual: MZ-R500
Service Manual: MZ-R500

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record

NiCd


AA x 1 36/42/48 hr 7.5/10/13.5 hr

Sony MZ-R700


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1.2MB) (2164x2132)


MZ-R700DPC (includes PC Link Kit)

Sony MZ-R700 portable MD recorder

Intro: 1/2001 $250 USD

Availability:



Sony MZ-R700 $160.25 IN: optical/line, mic. DC IN: 3V

OUT: line/headphones 81W x 28H x 75D mm, 116g (142g w/batt)


Features: Similar to MZ-R900 (MDLP capable, G-Protection anti-shock, digital and analog recording level control, Manual End Search/Auto End Search). Optical cable is supplied with unit.
Differences from MZ-R900: Non-LCD remote, battery is AA formfactor (i.e. round, accepts AA drycell or AA shaped rechargeable), does not have 1) double jog lever 2) Joint-text recording (transferring titles from special CD-TEXT CDs when recording with special Sony cable from special Sony CD players) 3) date-time stamp recording 4) Personal disc memory 5) Microphone sensitivity switch.
Variants: In Asia the "PC" version of the unit is apparently shipped with an analog version of the USB audio adapter.
Reviews:
* Niels Pijck's MZ-R700 review.

* CNETAsia review of the MZ-G750 mentions the MZ-R700 comes with the analog PC link in Asia.

* CNet comparison of the Sharp MD-MT877, Sony MZ-R900 and MZ-R700.

* Sony MZ-R700 reviews at eCoustics.com (9)




Links:
* A table of feature differences between the Sony MZ-R900/700/500 and MZ-G750 machines.

* AVLand has photos and specs on the MZ-R700.

* Mark Bausch scans in pages from the Spring 2001 issue of Sony Style magazine that describes the MZ-R700.

* An official Sony press release talks of the MZ-R700DPC, MDX-CA680X, and MXD-D40 units. (Browse to third page of the CES Press Releases.)

* Pages from the Spring 2001 issue of Sony Style magazine describe the MZ-R700 and MZ-G750.

* An amusing advertisement for the Sony MZ-R700DPC has a typo describing how you can use your R700 to create your own "personal MD complications."

* An official Sony press release states that all of 2001's MDLP portable recorders (MZ-R500, -R700, -G750 and -R900) will be available in the United States.

* Planet MiniDisc has the MZ-R700DPC in stock.

* Video-direct's comparison table lists this unit and other current Sony models.

* Walmart sells Sony's MZ-R700 online.




Hacks:
* By changing the unit's EEPROM values several MZ-R900 features can be added.


Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.
User Manual: MZ-R700
Service Manual: MZ-R700

Battery Life

SP/LP2/LP4 Play Record Recharge

NiCd 13/14.5/18 hr 4/6/7.5 hr 2 hr

AA x 1 40/46/53 hr 9/13/16 hr

Sony MZ-B50


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1000x777)



Sony MZ-B50 portable MD recorder

Intro: 10/2000 ¥47,000

Availability:

IN: line/optical, microphone

OUT: headphones 90 x 123.4 x 28mm, 220g


Features: Built-in stereo microphone and speaker, voice-operated recording, track mark button on remote, 1.6x speed playback capability, 40 second anti-shock protection. VOR (voice activated recording) function. "Clear-voice" speech playback enhancement function to ``emphasize the left-right orientation of individual voices, making them easier to distinguish and hear'' (only works on stereo recordings). No End-Search: unit is the first Sony portable since the MZ-1 to be entirely free of manual end-search -- new recordings are always appended to the end of the disc. No manual recording level control, recording levels are always set automatically. Selectable (HIGH/LOW) microphone sensitivity control. Record-start function available on remote.
Reviews:
* Dan Robinson's comments on the unit, including a response from Sony.

* Sony MZ-B50 reviews at eCoustics.com (1)




Links:
* Sony's Broadcast and Professional website has information on the MZ-B50.

* Sony has a German page for the MZ-B50.

* The MZ-B50 is mentioned in this Sony advertisement.

* A Japanese electronics page describes the MZ-B50 (English machine translation).




Specs: 5mW+5mW headphone output.
User Manual: MZ-B50

Battery Life Play Record

AA x 2 18 hr 6 hr



Sony MZ-R900


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

MZ-R900DPC

Aiwa AM-F90

R900/F90 comparison (1024x491)



Sony MZ-R900

Aiwa AM-F90 portable MD recorder

Intro: 9/2000

Availability:



Sony MZ-R900 $112.00 IN: optical/line, microphone. DC IN: 3V

OUT: line/headphones 78.2 x 17.1 x 72.0mm, 94g (120g w/batt)


Features: ATRAC IC: CXD2671-201GA. First MDLP mode portable recorder. Record-breaking battery life as of its release. A unique disc based settings ("Personal Disc Memory") feature remembers program play, treble & bass, repeat mode, playback speed (80-110%), and volume settings for up to 20 discs within the unit. 'Double' jog dial. First Sony portable with program play mode. Shock proof memory capacity depends on record mode-- LP4: 160s, LP2&mono: 80s, SP: 40s. Date stamp, digital REC level control, 8 step bass and treble settings, 1-99 minute melody timer. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). Aluminum body. Unit can be set to do END SEARCH automatically (no more accidentally erased recordings!); this settting is in NVRAM and remains even when batteries are removed. Available in silver, white, blue and red. 9 character backlit remote display. G-protection (anti-shock mechanism) present on US and Euro edition but not on Japanese model.
Notes: End-Search can be permanently automated on the MZ-R900. Quoting from its user manual as follows:
How to Set Rec-Posi: If you wish to avoid overwriting the currrent contents of an MD, do the following procedure. All new material will then be recorded from the end of the current contents.
1. While the recorder is stopped, press the jog lever, flip the lever repeatedly until "Rec-Posi" flashes in the display, and then press the lever again.

2. Flip the jog lever repeatedly until the "From End" flashes in the display and then press the lever.

The Japanese section of the manual notes that these settings are retained even if the power is cut (oddly, the English section of the manual incorrectly translates this point). Overwrite recording is done by first positioning with Play-Pause at the overwrite point.


User Comments on features: (noted by Leland McArthy)
* Beep on remote is defeatable.

* Offers auto track marking at selectable time intervals 5 min, 10 min, 15 min.

* Mic sensitivity low and high are user selectable via software switch (not physical switch on the unit as with MZ-R50 and earlier).

* Line Out mode will not drive headphones, leading me to believe it differs from the Line Out mode in the R90, which will. Might be quieter?

* LP2 mode sounds quite good. LP4 mode is useable for music, but not for the most demanding listening.

* Unit's startup, track switch, and esp. FF/REW times are improved over the MZ-R90, though still not offering the responsiveness of the older (e.g. MZ-R50) class machines.




User Comments on LP mode quality: (Ed Heckman) I've spent a couple of hours checking out the sound quality on my MZ-R900 and comparing it to my MZ-R50. To do this, I recorded "The throne room and end title" from the Star Wars suite digitally to a disc on the R50, then moved the disc to the R900 and recorded it again using standard stereo and LP2 modes. Then I listened to all 4 recordings through the R900 using my Sony NC10 earbuds. (The CD was played through the R900 with the R900 paused in record mode.) On a scale of 1-10 with the CD being placed at 10, this is how I would rank the sound quality of the various recordings:

Recorded on R50: 9.5

R900 stereo: 9.8

R900 LP2: 9.2I didn't specifically test the LP4 mode in this manner, but I have used it. I would probably rate it somewhere around 7.6. I should note that it took very, very careful listening with my eyes closed and as little outside noise as possible for me to be able to hear the differences between the 4 versions. I would say that under normal listening conditions there would be no detectable differences between the recordings.


User Comments on distortion: Tim Corcoran found distortion on two different MZ-R900 units. This problem does not exist on all units.
Reviews:
* Brian Youn's wonderfully detailed review of the unit.

* A user's detailed comparison review between the Sharp MD-MT66 and Sony MZ-R900.

* IGN's positive review of the Sony MZ-R900.

* Sony MZ-R900 reviews at eCoustics.com (11)




Links:
* A table of feature differences between the Sony MZ-R900/700/500 and MZ-G750 machines.

* Sony's Japanese page for this unit (machine translation).

* Sony's official page for the MZ-R900 tourist model.

* Aiwa's official English AM-F90 page (a clone of the MZ-R900).

* A machine translation of a Japanese news blurb on the AM-F90.

* T's Tables has further information on this unit.

* MDLand has an e-tailer page for the MZ-R900.

* David Console Shop has the Sony MZ-R900 for USD$275.

* FelsWeb offers the Sony MZ-R900 for USD$358.

* Japan-Direct has useful information on the MZ-R900 posted on their site.

* T's tables has photos from recent MD brochures for the Sony MZ-R900.

* MD Portal, a Singapore-based online MD vendor, is selling the Sony MZ-R900.

* A fanpage called Minidiscland has several photos of the unit.

* Defeat the SCMS on your MZ-R900 by following Brian Youn's step-by-step directions.

* Video-direct's comparison table lists this unit and other current Sony models.

* Consumer level Sony MZ-R900 review on TechTV.

* CNet comparison of the Sharp MD-MT877, Sony MZ-R900 and MZ-R700.


Hacks:
* By changing an MZ-R500 or MZ-700 unit's EEPROM values several MZ-R900 features can be added.


Specs: Headphone amp: 5mW+5mW
User Manual: MZ-R900
Service Manual: MZ-R900

Battery Life (SP/LP2/LP4) Play Record Recharge

NiMH 21/23/26 hr 8/10.5/13 hr 3.5 hr

AA X 1 30/35/38 hr 7/10/14 hr

Both 53/60/66 hr 19/26/30 hr



Sony MZ-R70


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1298x985)



Sony MZ-R70 Portable MD Recorder

Intro: 1/2000 MSRP US$300

Availability:



Sony MZ-R70 $125.95 IN: mic, optical/line. OUT: headphones/line (x2). DC IN: 3.0V 81x26.2x74mm, 115g (155 w/batt & MD)
Features: Cost reduced Sony recorder of ca. MZ-R90 generation but with non-LCD remote (RM-MZ3R), no jog dial, no joint-text (i.e. CD->MD track name copy), and no date/time stamp recording, no microphone sensitivity switch. Includes digital rec level control, 40 second shock memory, pop-open eject. Unit accepts one AA cell internally. Colors: silver, blue, black.
Comments: Unit is relatively thin except for the round hump on the back to allow room for the drycell battery. MZ-R90 LCD remote will operate properly with this unit (including backlight function).
Variants: MZ-R70PC version comes packed with a (Sony badged) Xitel MDPort-AN1 USB to analog audio converter. A Sony press release describes the MZ-R70DPC in more detail. A downbeat MacNN article that expressed disappointment at Sony's apparent lack of Macintosh support for the MZ-R70DPC (though unofficially supposed through 3rd party drivers) prompted Dale Greer to write the MacNN article's author.
Links: Superfi (UK) has further photos of the unit. Superfi posts zoomable, rotatable scans of this unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit. Christian Almind submits a review of the MZ-R70. The December 2000 issue of PC World includes a "Gift Guide" recommending a Sony MZ-R70PC. eTown posts a generally positive review of the Sony MZ-R70PC.
Reviews:
* Sony MZ-R70 reviews at eCoustics.com (8)


User Manual: MZ-R70
Service Manual: MZ-R70

Battery Life Play Record Recharge

NiCd (NC-WMAA) x 1 6.5 hr 3 hr

AA x 1 17 hr 3 hr

Sony MZ-R90/R91


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

MZ-R90

MZ-R91
MZ-R55 vs. MZ-R90 optical block

Sony MZ-R90

Sony MZ-R91 Portable MiniDisc Recorder/Player

Intro: 10/1999 R90: ¥46,000

R91: ¥44,000

Availability:

Sony MZ-R90 $249.99 in: optical/line, microphone

out: line/headphone R90: 78.9x17.3x72mm, 105g, 148g w/batt & disc

R91: 78.9x18.0x72mm, 110g, 153g w/batt & disc
Features: "Jacket Size" MD Walkmans, world's smallest size and weight for a recording portable (as of Aug 24 1999), longest recording and playback times (as of Aug 24 1999), smaller size achieved through redesign of the optical pickup mechanism (MZ-R90/91's pickup is 50% smaller in frontal area than that of previous model MZ-R55), "One Touch Eject" feature, "Name Bank" function (allows you to store up to 600 characters worth of commonly used words in the unit for easy MD titling), "Smart Stick Controller" with titling and editing functions, "Joint Text" feature records the titles from a CD while recording (not achievable with all CD players), digital recording level control, 40 second shock memory, Synchro Recording from digital source. Headphone and line out are combined into a single plug (switchable between the two functions with a jog lever). No microphone sensitivity setting. MZ-R90 only uses high stiffness magnesium alloy for top of case.
Mis-features: Longish start from power-off state (ca. ~9 seconds) and track seek times (ca. ~2-5 seconds) due to slow [power saving] drive motor spin-up gives unit a sluggish feeling response to user input.
Links:
* Sony's Japanese release announcement for this unit.

* Sony's MZ-R90 Japanese page and MZ-R91 Japanese page.

* Sony's Tourist model page for the MZ-R90.

* Sony's Tourist model page for the MZ-R91.

* Sony's Japanese release announcement translated into English.

* Sony Europe's MZ-R90 announcement, claiming the unit is due out at the end of November 1999 in Germany.

* Japan-Direct posts several MZ-R90 snapshots.

* Minidisco has a rotatable 3-D spinning image of this unit.

* ZDNet mentions the Sony MZ-R90's February arrival in the US (near the middle of the page).

* Superfi (UK) offers the Sony MZ-R90 with a local price matching guarantee.

* Superfi posts zoomable, rotatable scans of the MZ-R91.

* According to this ARM web page, there are parts of the MZ-R90 that utilized their chip technology.

* David McGahn has some advice for MZ-R90 owners suffering from a damaged battery compartment door.


Reviews:
* Brian Youn's exquisitely detailed comparison of the Sony MZ-R90 and Sharp MD-MT831.

* Robert Nguyen also contributes a detailed comparison of the Sony MZ-R90 and Sharp MD-MT831 portables.

* Robert posts a detailed Sony MZ-R90 review to his site.

* Marc Wielage made a careful review of the MZ-R90.

* Ian McFarlane writes an MZ-R90 review.

* Glen Wintringham describes his fondness for the Sony MZ-R91.

* MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.

* Simon Wilson has made a handsome comparison report of the Aiwa AM-F70 and Sony MZ-R90.

* Ferdinan Wirawan reviews the Sony MZ-R90 and wonders if the MZ-R50 isn't a better unit.

* HiFi Choice magazine (UK) has a review.

* Sony MZ-R90 reviews at eCoustics.com (12)

* Sony MZ-R91 reviews at eCoustics.com (9)




Specs: Sampling rate converter converts to 44.1kHz from 48kHz/44.1kHz/ 32kHz sources, frequency response: 20-20,000Hz +/-3dB, max output level: 5mW+5mW, AC100V.
User Manual: MZ-R90
Service Manual: MZ-R90

Battery Life Play Record Recharge

Ni-MH 12 hr 6.5 hr 3 hr

AA x 1 16.5 hr 4 hr

Both 29 hr 14.5 hr



Sony MZ-R37


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

surface scans (989x1352)



Sony MZ-R37 Portable Recorder

US

Intro: 3/1999 MSRP $300

Availability:

Sony MZ-R37 $86.95 IN: mic, line/optical. OUT: line, headphones. DC IN 4.5V 116.8 x 18.5 x 86.1mm, 160g (body only)
Features: ATRAC 4.0 (IC: 2652AR) Sony's first "cost reduced" portable recorder (apparently for US and European release only). Unit is of ca. MZ-R55 generation but slightly larger than MZ-R50. 40 second shock memory. Editing and titling functions available on remote. Unit includes 2 rechargeable (AA size) NiCad batteries [MZ-R37SP version comes without batteries or AC adapter], but can also run on Alkaline cells. Synchro start recording, sampling rate converter. Difference to MZ-R55: no microphone sensitivity setting, no "erase" button ("delete" function appears under edit menu), and no date and time stamp. Included remote has no LCD, but MZ-R55 [LCD equipped] remote works properly with it, including backlight function.
Variants: MZ-R37PCIF version is the same base MZ-R37 unit bundled with a USB to analog line-out interface adapter (reportedly made by Xitel), allowing easy recording from a PC. MZ-R37SP ("Self-Powered"?) version was released a year after the initial version, it ships without the AC adapter, and Sony quotes slightly longer battery life figures for it.
Links: Sony Japan's MZ-R37 tourist model page. A Sony announcement stating that the MZ-E33 player and the MZ-R37 recorder will be released in the US in February. PASS (UK) makes an oversized wired-remote button box for this unit. MiniDiscussion has collected user reviews for this unit.
Specs: Freq. Resp: 20-20kHz +/-3dB
Reviews:
* Sony MZ-R37 reviews at eCoustics.com (10)


User Manuals: MZ-R37, MZ-R37SP

Battery Life for MZ-R37 Play Record Recharge

NiCd (NC-AA) X 2 5 hr 3 hr

AA x 2 13 hr 5.5 hr

Battery Life for MZ-R37SP Play Record Recharge

NiMH WMAA X 2 11.5 hr 8 hr

AA x 2 15.5 hr -- hr

Sony MZ-R55


Picture Name Desc Price Connectors Dimensions

(1207x985)


Aiwa AM-F70 & MZ-R55

Sony MZ-R55 Portable Recorder

Intro: 10/1998 MSRP ¥46,000

Street ¥36,000

Init. Mo. Prod: 70,000 units

Availability:



Sony MZ-R55 $183.25 IN: line/optical, mic. OUT: line, headphone, DC in: 3V 78.9 x 18.9 x 84mm, 147g (190g w/disc and NH-14WM rechargeable),
Features: ATRAC 4 (IC: CXD2652AR). Unit is small, 75% the volume of the MZ-R50. 40 sec shock memory, backlit remote "stick controller" with 9 character display (vs. 6 in previous versions). Operation, editing and track labelling functions available on remote as well as main body. Titling may be done while recording is in progress. Clamshell opens via pushbutton (rather than slider). Two step bass boost. Selectable microphone sensitivity (HIGH/LOW). First recorder with 1.2V drive. Uses NiMH gumpack rechargeable (NH-14WM). Available in gold, blue, yellow.
Sony announces the upcoming release of a USB to MiniDisc connection kit that will be bundled with the MZ-R55.


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