MiniDisc to PC Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jazzbo, Nov 2, 2001.

  1. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    My MiniDisc player (Sony MZ-R700) came with a PC-link (USB port). As I understand it, I can take songs from my hard drive and record them to a MD, but I want to do the exact opposite, I want to take data from the MD, and save it to my harddrive, but I want to keep it digital.

    Do I need special software? Do I need a different cable? Is this possible? I don't mind what format they're in when they're saved, because I assume I could always convert it to mp3.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    You need a card with a digital in (usually SP/DIF).

    connect the digital out of the MD player with the digital in of the sound card.
    You probably can't do it via USB without special software.

    Select the digital in as recording source in Windows and/or your recording software (Soundforge, Wavelab, Cool Edit, etc.).
    Hit record in the software and then play on the MD player. You'll get a wav file.

    You need to cut the wav files to size afterwards, split it up depending on how many songs there are, and you can convert it to mp3 if you like.

    CDex is a cool freeware tool for that (chose the Lame encoder for optimal results).

    Hope that helps.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I do it with an analog cable, 'though I'm considering a new sound card that has optical SP/DIF ports.

    JMX is right - there's no way of doing it with the PC-link device AFAIK.

    Try for more info.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for the help guys. I'm going to have to try this out. Here are the responses I received, for the same question, from my friends over at

    Any thoughts regarding all this?
  5. gluified


    Aug 11, 2001
    Yeah, I think that the MD has to have a digital output...Unfortunately, a lot of the newer ones don't.
  6. If it has a Opitical (Digital) out, then I highly suggest getting a MD-Mate Sound card. SPDIF in via an optical card. Uses the TosLink fiber cable. Or just a standard Digital input also. But the fiber is super quiet/good/cool/neat :)

    Friend of mine has the setup, and it works great. I have a MD-Mate, but will redo my computer for various reasons. Then I will stick the card in and try it out.

    Go to and search for MD-Mate. Should be like $40 w/ shipping if I remember. Great card too, super quiet, lots of options. One of the best find's I've had for a while.

  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I picked up a pair of older Sony home decks for $20 just for squirting files into my PC. (I've had 'em for a year now, and I still haven't gotten a sound card with optical input - I'm not in any hurry.). They didn't record anymore, but they're fine for playback.

    Look at used home decks, but be careful - not all decks have optical out.
  8. I didn'y think you could actually do this.

    Instructions on my mini-disc recorder says it wont give out a recordable digital signal to prevent copying etc. It's a Sharp one.

    If you use a decent analog cable and record digital surely you'll get a copy so good human ears cant tell the diference anyway?

    I could be very wrong of course!
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas has mucho info about the copy-protect scheme. If you record live, you can make one generation of D-D copies without restriction, but not digital copies of those first copies. There's widgets you can build or buy to defeat the copy protection, and most pro gear doesn't have it.