The Squee just keeps on comin…

My love affair with my Sony MZ-RH1 Minidisc player / recorder just keeps rolling along. After a few bumps getting it set up and running, I’m quite happily listening to music off little handheld disks. The player is working great. Soon I’ll be able to test it as a recorder, as a recently ebayed microphone is on it’s way.

Tonight, though, I had my first ‘walkabout’ with the player, listening to it as I went on a hike. Once I had figured out it’s sort of odd ‘Group’ structure for music, I was able to set up my albums and playlists on the one disk I had filled (well, to 700meg) with MP3’s. All works just as it’s supposed to. I once again have a perfectly useable, long battery life, high sound quality portable MP3 player that has the added bonus of having removeable media, be able to do high end recording, AND is the half the size and weight of an ipod.

But that’s not what I’m here to tell you about.

While it’s true the new Hi-MD Minidiscs use a non-standard format for their filesystem, that doesn’t mean the new player doesn’t function well with others. In fact, I randomly plugged the unit into my Linux box, to see if I could see my music filesystem.

[19860885.124000] usb 4-6: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6
[19860885.260000] usb 4-6: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[19860885.456000] scsi2 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[19860885.456000] usb-storage: device found at 6
[19860885.456000] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[19860890.456000] usb-storage: device scan complete
[19860890.460000]   Vendor: SONY      Model: Hi-MD WALKMAN     Rev: 1000
[19860890.460000]   Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 00
[19860890.476000] SCSI device sdc: 494023 2048-byte hdwr sectors (1012 MB)
[19860890.476000] sdc: Write Protect is off
[19860890.476000] sdc: Mode Sense: 00 2a 44 00
[19860890.476000] sdc: assuming drive cache: write through
[19860890.492000] SCSI device sdc: 494023 2048-byte hdwr sectors (1012 MB)
[19860890.496000] sdc: Write Protect is off
[19860890.496000] sdc: Mode Sense: 00 2a 44 00
[19860890.496000] sdc: assuming drive cache: write through
[19860890.496000]  sdc: unknown partition table
[19860890.672000] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi removable disk sdc
[19860890.672000] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[19860895.184000] FAT: utf8 is not a recommended IO charset for FAT filesystems,
filesystem will be case sensitive!

Well this certainly looks promising. And look! I have a new filesystem mounted!

dbs@yawl:~$ cd /media/usbdisk-1
dbs@yawl:/media/usbdisk-1$ df -k .
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdc                987904    665728    322176  68% /media/usbdisk-1
dbs@yawl:/media/usbdisk-1$ ls -l
total 32
-r-x------ 1 dbs dbs     0 2007-02-21 19:15 HI-MD.IND
drwx------ 2 dbs dbs 32768 2007-02-27 20:07 HMDHIFI

Alas, it’s not quite trivial to browse the music I’ve stored on the disk, as it appears Sony has their own way of clustering music. But, I’m okay with this. Sony has finally removed all the DRM insanity that has plagued the Minidiscs since their inception over a decade ago, and now the format is actually useful – in fact, it’s downright sexy.

Stay tuned for a more indepth review of the unit. I need to go play some more.

Update 2/28 9am – Fixed a little formatting problem with <pre>.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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