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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Price:£209.99+ £4.59 shipping
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on 2 February 2003
I'm going abroad for several months and I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my music collection behind me. My CD discman only plays CDs at about 3 a.m. on a Thursday for some moody reason, and only then if there's no hint of a scratch on the CD; my old cassette walkman, well, is a cassette walkman, which, apart from the fact that you need a rucksack to carry it, is useless for recording lots of albums; so I turned to Minidisc and I bought the latest to Sony's NetMD range.
Its obviously an entry level recorder so doesn't have some of the cooler features like backlit LCD and the remote is very basic. Its light and looks good (apart from the plastic back), sound quality is excellent even with the basic headphones. The bundled software Sonic Stage seems to work well with both MP3s and CD audio, no serious problems yet.
Everything else you would expect from a Sony MD recorder is there: MDLP for squeezing up to 320 mins on one MD, G-Protection Jog proof, optical cable included, rechargeable battery included, Group function for grouping albums/genres etc, and blah blah blah techie stuff.
For those confused with the concept of NetMD, it is what they call a 'format extension' as opposed to a brand new technology. Its aimed to rival MP3 players in that you can 'download' MP3s to your MD recorder. You could still record MP3s with ordinary MD recorders but NetMD is designed to make the process faster and easier. Faster is the key to it, it uses your PCs USB port to whizz the songs over to be burned onto the Minidisc, whereas you have to actually play the songs through your computer to record on ordinary MDs. Incidentally, the MD doesn't actually play MP3s, the bundled Sony software converts your MP3s to the Minidisc's native ATRAC format, but its all done pretty quickly and painlessly.
You can just drag and drop your playlists from PC to MD in the recording window and make yourself a beverage.
I did hope for something a little more solid feeling, with better headphones, and a fancy remote, but then I'm a cheapskate who wants the best. You don't get the best unless you pay more.
And lets face it, some of the costly MP3 players just don't cut the mustard. Until they sound as good as a minidisc and until they are as versatile, I would stick with MD technology.
Overall, I would say it is a good introduction to minidisc recorders and shows the advantages of the NetMD format extension very well. Musicians and professionals will want to pay more to get more (the MZ-N510 doesn't have a microphone input so won't appeal to budding bands), but if you want a personal portable player which sounds as good as CD, can be used to record/play a range of music formats, and from a variety of sources, then you'll be happy with this.
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on 14 January 2004
I bought my net MD player to replace an old MP3 player. I installed the SonicStage software which I found quite complex, even though I work with and develop software for a living. I then loaded my first CD of music onto a disc. This also included a one-time registration with CDDB which thereafter fills in the blanks as regards Artist, Title, Song and Genre. Saves LOTS of typing.. SonicStage also ensures that you can't check out a track more 3 times.
I was impressed by the speed at which the transfer took place - previous MD reviews I had read mentioned recording at the same speed as the CD played: Sony have done well here and it's almost as convenient as my old MP3 player. The battery life is fantastic - nearly a month on average with a Duracell, easily over 2 weeks with the supplied rechargeable battery. Once you get used to the complexities of the menu system it's a very slick device. The quality of the sound is very high indeed and there is no discernable noise. I have also found it to be largely immune from skips and dropouts when I walk around: can't comment on running though :-)
Once thing I take issue with though is the heavily publicised Electronic Music Distribution (EMD). If you're in the UK, you're going to be disappointed when you go the OpenMG web site and find that they only have the facility in Japan. They have been promising a European service sinc at least October 2003 and nothing has appeared. If Sony intend to attract consumers by using EMD then they are wasting their time. My advice would be to buy the device for it's CD-handling capabilities and wait until Sony and other distributors realise that other countries other than the USA listen to music.
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on 30 May 2003
There is only one word that describes this MiniDisc player, quality!!
The player/recorder is not the most fancy looking MD that Sony bring out but it gives you great sound, is totally jog proof and as it is a Net MD allows you to record MP3's onto it.
So what are you getting for you £130. Firstly you get a well built MD player that allows you to record from a CD or DVD player as well as from a PC. You get an optical lead to plug into a CD or DVD player and a USB cable to go into the PC. You also get a rechargeable battery and a charger so you don't have to spend lots on batteries. The MD player gives you CD quality sound if you record in sterio along with being pocket sized.
The only down side is that the buttons are plastic and the LCD screen is quite small. But these are only minor problems. This player gives you everything that you need and is at a great price. In my opinion if you buy a more expensive Song MD you are buying looks or the little LCD stick. With this MD you get great sound, Net MD and a jog proof player plus a case. All you will every need at a great price.
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on 13 March 2004
Well i bought this Net MD a few days ago seperately from AMAZON and i think its brilliant. i have 2 criticisms are that it could be so much better with a lcd remote and also the software supplied is utter trash. i used it for a couple of hours and decided to search for an alternative AND I FOUND ONE!! Real One Player has a NET MD plug in which can be downloaded free which eliminates the mission of importing all your music into the ATRAC3 format you just import your music into Real One from your hard drive. The interface of real one is great and much more aesthetically pleasing compared to SONIC STAGE
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on 2 March 2003
...I was suprised at how great it is. If you already download mp3's you should definately get one of these. Once you have the songs on your PC use sonicstage to put them into the right format then simply wire up the MD to the PC and it will take about a minute to put 10 songs on it.
If you are unsure on whether you want a netMD or a MP3 player go for this because with this you have a choice on whether you want to keep the discs with certain tracks on it or change them. With an MP3 player you cant unless you fancy forking out quite a bit of cash for another memory stick.
I would say with this specific NetMD you should get some new headphones, the wire from the remote is rather short and it can be tricky to put the remote somewhere within its length.
Also if you hook the MD up to some speakers it tends to be rather quiet, but i dont find this much of a problem, i use headphones most of the time.
The best aspects of the netmd are that its extremely light and if using it for going jogging it performs a 1000 times better than a cd player, it never jogs!
So if you're thinking of buying a netmd that isn't too pricey but is still good quality, get this one!
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on 13 January 2004
I was after an MP3 player, thank god i ended up with this little cracker. For the price you get everything you need to get listening within half an hour. It really is that easy, the sonic stage software takes a few minutes to install and its not as hard to use as some make out. In fact its simple to take tracks from different discs pop them onto the 'music drive' copy and paste them into one playlist and transfer them all onto the mini disc player via the supplied USB cable. The sound quality is top notch, though i would reccomend investing in some headphones , the cable between the phones and the in line remote is stupidly short rendering the clip on the back virtually useless. I have had the player a month and have listened to it endlessly from two and half hours worth of charging.
All in all i cannot reccomend this player enough, it does what it says on the tin. Excellent Sony, well done.
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on 5 February 2003
Well , what can i say. Brand new range. I was first sceptical to buy this because it is a brand new range and there did not seem to be much info about it anywhere. I took the chance, and am glad i did.
Its fantastic so far. The software is fine. It just takes abt 30 mins to work out whats what.
The remote control is fantastic, even though it doesnt have LCD.
As for the main unit, its not too complicated and doesnt take long to work out. Although there arent as many function as you may think it has every i need, and probly you aswell. The Net Md is fantastic, transfering abt 10 songs takes roughly a minute depending on your PC, mines a 1Ghz 64mb NVRAM, which isnt too good but not too bad and the software runs fine.
The manual isnt a huge great catalogue type on, its small and well co ordinated, just keep it next to you when your stuck and youll find what you want in seconds.
All i would say is get a new pair of headphones. The ones that come with have a very short cable, and if your not wear a shirt with a pocket on the chest its very aukward, not that im
complaining there only a few quid.
Great player, great size, great price for a brand new range.
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on 29 June 2004
I am a professional musician and I bought this MD primarily to record live performances and speech (with the hope of using this for samples), however the playback of these recordings is so quiet, even with the rec vol on 30 that it is virtually useless.
It may be an excellent way to store music but for my purposes it was ultimately a disappointment. I was also unhappy that the MD recordings were unable to be checked into my computer and therefore unable to be transferred onto CD - which is another reason I purchased it.
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on 4 July 2003
I was a bit hesitant when first buying this MD recorder as it is the cheapest in the NetMD range. However, I am now very pleased with my choice. It does everything I expected it too and also looks very nice.
It took me a while to work out what to do but I found the manual very useful.
The sound quality is excellent and the inline remote is very useful!
Overall, I would say that Sony have produced another excellent quality product! Well worth the money!
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on 7 December 2012
I'm not going to wax lyrical about how good NetMD is - just here to say how to get it going with Windows 7 64bit and Windows 8.

SonicStage should run OK on any these OS's without resorting to compatibilty mode, the problems are related to the drivers. Download Sonicstage 4.3 Ultimate from the SonyInsider Website.

For NetMD mode in Windows 64bit you need the 64bit NetMD driver from the SonyInsider website. You can use WindowsKey + PAUSE to access the Device Manager. (with the Net MD connected). Double click on the NETMD driver and choose reinstall from a folder on the computer. Browse to the folder where you have extracted the 64bit MD driver and install. If you look on youtube there's an instruction video too.

Also I have it running fine in Windows 8, but IN ADDITION you need to "disable driver signature enforcement in windows 8". Just search for the text in quotes - it involes restarting the PC in an advanced mode and selecting from a menu.
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