MD Studio : Minidisc Transfer Editor

Minidisc Transfer Editor

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Features

  • Direct lossless minidisc to PC transfer
  • 5x real-time saves time in transfer
  • Repair and recover audio from damaged minidiscs
  • Tracks transferred as individual .wav files (default)
  • Simple to use Drag & Drop interface
  • Auto-transfer an entire disc
  • Transfer a 74 minute minidisc in under 15 minutes
  • Transfer or split a track into subsections using the built in track editor
  • Easy titling of tracks
  • Re-ordering of tracks by dragging the title using the mouse
  • Disc titling
  • Track deletion
  • Automatic defragmentation of transferred tracks
  • Control of SCMS bits (Serial Copy Management System)
  • Control of audio play features of MDH-10 (Play, Pause, Stop)
  • Time-code readout during play
  • Digital transfer of 4 track recording to 2 track audio minidiscs
  • Uses

  • Broadcast transfer facilities
  • Minidisc data recovery
  • Forensic analysis of minidisc
  • Requirements

  • For PC's running 2000 / XP
  • EDL MiniDisc data drive and SCSI interface (normally supplied)
  • The screen (fig 1) provides the primary interface which has been arranged easy and intuitive use. Insert a minidisc into a drive and within seconds the entire track listing will appear in the left hand window. Resize the window if there are a lot of tracks. Click and drag a track up or down to re-arrange the track order. Or drag the track to the PC and initiate a transfer. Double-clicking a track in the PC window starts playback of that track. Rename a track by slow-click on its title in either window. A host of other features are available via right-click context menus such as minidisc track properties where SCMS status can be altered.

    fig.1

    The Transfer Editor provides digital audio transfer faculties to allow the archiving and lossless copying of tracks. i.e. Without ATRAC generation losses caused by decoding and encoding. The read transfer to the PC runs at 5x normal audio rate so time is saved too. Transfer options include easy selection of the desired tracks using drag & drop, or the entire disc may be transferred to the PC with a single mouse click and transferred to another disc with a second click. The items in the host tracklist can be reordered and deleted at will before copying back to the target minidisc. Like the MD TOC Editor it provides a very fast and convenient method of entering track and disc titles. The minidisc is automatically detected upon insertion into the drive and its contents are displayed on the PC in a scrollable list (See fig 1). The track order can be changed by simply dragging items into new positions in the play-list. Tracks can also be deleted from the minidisc. Preview features allow the control of the audio play functions of the minidisc drive. Double-click a track in the play list to Play a track, Pause or Stop. Right-click on a track item to view and change its properties in detail, this sub-menu offers control over SCMS, pre-emphasis, write protection and more.

    Track properties may be controlled by a right-click from the minidisc track listing. This allows setting of track name, time/date, individual track write protection and even the SCMS settings. The track name can also be entered by double-clicking on that name from the main window.

    fig 2

    The integral waveform editor allows you preview the minidisc audio track prior to transfer. Pressing the middle mousewheel button (which is required) immediately plays the audio from that position. Real-time zoom in and out by rolling the mouse wheel back and forth. When you have identified your mark point, double-click to set a marker. 

    Initially there is just a red single segment bar displayed at the top of the view extending from the beginning to the end of the waveform. Following a mark drop there will be two; one from the track start to the mark and a second from the mark to the track end. 
    A context menu is available when the mouse pointer is over the bar to provide segment related actions such as; transfer segment to WAV, play from start, play to end ...

    The purpose of the waveform editor is not to be a full featured editor but to provide a fast means to identify and transfer regions of audio within a minidisc track. 

    fig 3

    The mouse wheel provides zoom action at the crosshair cursor position, horizontal mouse movement allows negligible latency audio scrubbing by dragging any of an unlimited number of markers. The dropping of markers generates segments, identified as red bars (see above), which themselves may be drag/dropped to PC file causing the audio they describe to be moved, silenced from a wider selection, skipped, played, or deleted. Markers can be dragged played up to, played from, deleted or ignored.

    A 'csv' type log of every Minidisc read by MD Studio is maintained for access by a user's cataloguing software.

    fig 4

     

    For fast and easy titling of the minidisc in one go the batch title dialog allows the user to enter tracks as a continuous list, you can even paste an entire track set from another program such as a CDDB database. 

    The first line can optionally identify the minidisc title.

    An indication of free remaining TOC space is displayed at the bottom of the window which dynamically updates as text is entered.

    fig 5

     

    For the technically minded MD Studio provides an emergency disc recovery process. 

    It is possible to reconstruct the TOC from an accidentally, or even deliberately deleted disc and regain the audio from the Minidisc. Minidisc fragment addresses can be directly adjusted through this dialog.

    For forensic use a comprehensive report is generates giving a thorough breakdown of the structure of the audio data layout on the minidisc. 

    This powerful option requires patience and an understanding of the Minidisc. A tool for the brave, or desperate!

    fig 6

     

    The minidisc surface scan facility goes a long way to automating the task of recovering audio from a damaged minidisc. It may also be used for forensic analysis of an audio or data  minidisc to reveal deleted data.

    No table of contents (TOC) is required for this feature as the either a selection, or part of the entire disc is exhaustively scanned for any audio. 

    The scan operation actually creates a TOC from the contiguous audio fragments found on the disc surface.

    This can be further refined using the waveform editor or the structure analyzer features of the Transfer Editor.

    As with the structure analyzer a comprehensive plain text report is created for the user reference.

    fig 7

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    Side notes

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