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Old 12-23-2009, 06:52 PM
williambloke williambloke is offline
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Default Software use for NWZ-S545

I am considering getting the NWZ-S545. I currently have a NW-HD3 that uses SonicStage software to manage the files. Can I convert my data easily over to it without having to rip all my CDs again?
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2009, 07:51 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williambloke View Post
I am considering getting the NWZ-S545. I currently have a NW-HD3 that uses SonicStage software to manage the files. Can I convert my data easily over to it without having to rip all my CDs again?

Hi williambloke:

Just cruising and saw your post.

CAVEATS:
- I am not an S545 owner [I have nearly identical E345];

- I have never and will never install/use SonicStage [am guessing it is included Sony software you installed on your PC to view/manage your music collection]

- I am trying to help out - please do not think anything I post here to be condescending or patronizing;

- If you know this stuff great!

- There are lots of friendly and extremely knowledgeable folks here who hopefully will respond to you / clarify / correct what I say.

- I apologize in advance for being long winded...

First and foremost: Why on earth would you need to re-rip all your CDs to use a new mp3 player???? There should be absolutely no need to touch your existing mp3 collection in order to use any new mp3 player you purchase. NEVER!

All you need to know is:
- exactly where your music collection is located on your PC;
- some kind of "recent" Windows PC [XP likely, possibly Vista or Win7].

Pretty much all current mp3 devices are/should be MTP capable - basically meaning that they will be recognized by most PCs immediately as a USB plug and play device as soon as you connect it via USB cable.

Therefore, you will be able to see these devices using Windows Explorer and will be able to perform all normal copy/move/delete/rename functions as if the device were simply another disk on your PC.

SO! You have absolutely no need to install any additional software to "interface" with your device [unless you really want to or like the software that comes with the device].

- You can buy the S545;
- Plug it into your PC;
- Copy via Windows Explorer all the songs you want onto the device.

Again, there should NEVER BE ANY NEED to re-rip any of your existing mp3 content just to use a new player. No need to convert anything provided your collection exists as standard mp3 files.

SonicStage [and other software like it] probably presents the user with a "friendly" interface to make copying your songs onto the device easier. Fine, use it if you wish.

However...you should know that there are LOTS and LOTS of EXCELLENT, FREE and EXTREMELY VERSATILE media/mp3 library managers out there. These will play/manage/detect your mp3 devices perfectly, allowing you to easily copy whatever songs you want to your player.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

- Winamp;
- MediaMonkey.

Both are totally free, exceptionally reliable and small and considered by many to be the best music managers/software players available.

I have been using both Winamp and MediaMonkey and for many years and with nearly all my MTP capable mp3 devices.

Tip:
The S545 you are looking at and the E345 I have are virtually identical devices. The S545 adds: built-in speakers, FM/Voice recording, some additional sound processing software and possibly supports more video formats than the E345. Other than that, the 2 devices are identical in specs and sound quality.

I can tell you from current experience that Winamp sees my E345 perfectly and I can copy/delete/create playlists on the E345 via Winamp with no problems whatsoever.

MediaMonkey sees the device but is unable at this time to show me an ALL TRACKS listing - it only shows me the tracks by Artist/Album view.

So finally, to answer your question:
- NO, you will not need to re-rip or convert your music collection to use the new S545;

- You do not NEED to install any additional Sony software that comes with the device; You CAN if you want to.

- You would do well to look into Winamp / MediaMonkey as your PC media player/manager/mp3 device interface.

FYI, if you have Windows Media Player 11 installed on your PC, you can use that to manage/interface with the Sony as well. But my advice is TO STAY AWAY FROM WMP - almost all experienced users will tell you WMP is HORRIBLE for a zillion different reasons and to avoid it like the plague.

Really hope this helps and sincere apologies if any/all of this is old news to you. Hopefully others here will chime in as well.

The E345 is my first Sony mp3 player. Overall, I love it but have some serious issues with what I consider to be basic features which IMO should be on ALL mp3 devices - but I have learned these basics are missing from nearly all Sony mp3 players. However, the E345 sound quality, form factor, battery life, capacity and overall design and fit/finish are all excellent and cannot be beat, especially for the price.

If you do not need the external speakers of the S545 [basically crappy] or the voice/FM recording [equally useless], I highly recommend you check out the E345. You will save a good chunk of change, get a significantly smaller/slimmer device and lose nothing with regards to sound quality or capacity.

Good luck, happy holidays and cheers!
-lestatar
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:02 PM
williambloke williambloke is offline
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Well maybe someone can chime in who has also worked with Sonicstage. It creates all these folders and file names. When I ripped my CDs it created Atrac files. There are backup files etc. Looks like each time I back it up it creates copies of the folders. I had to follow this format because when I reformated my PC it thought i was a new PC and wouldn't allow me to add new files to the mp3 player. I had to re-rip the Cds again. The files are OpenMG format when I look at them. I have backup folders and files with just numbers. And some others labled as album names. So you are saying I can just drag these folders into the new MP3 player and it will group them by artist etc?
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:20 AM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williambloke View Post
Well maybe someone can chime in who has also worked with Sonicstage. It creates all these folders and file names. When I ripped my CDs it created Atrac files. There are backup files etc. Looks like each time I back it up it creates copies of the folders. I had to follow this format because when I reformated my PC it thought i was a new PC and wouldn't allow me to add new files to the mp3 player. I had to re-rip the Cds again. The files are OpenMG format when I look at them. I have backup folders and files with just numbers. And some others labled as album names. So you are saying I can just drag these folders into the new MP3 player and it will group them by artist etc?

williambloke: I had no idea you have ATRAC files. Definitely you need advice from a SonicStage expert here!

Sorry to butt in but was trying to help...

Possibly you may wish to consider re-ripping your collection [if you end up having to do it anyway] to a universal, non-proprietary format like mp3 / aac [lossy] or FLAC [lossless].

I, like most other folks, generally stay as far away from proprietary formats whenever possible to avoid exactly the issues you are having now. Having your media in proprietary formats like ATRAC severely limits your options on all fronts, software and hardware alike.

Plus, as far as I know, there is no compelling reason [from a audio quality perspective] to choose ATRAC over mp3.

Properly encoded mp3 files are nearly indistinguishable from the originals - nearly everyone will be unable to tell them apart in listening tests.

Here are some links to Wikipedia with info on OpenMG and ATRAC...please note the criticisms/severe limitations of both. Also, see the link to info about SonicStage - it seems there may be better, open-source alternatives for this proprietary app as well.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATRAC3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenMG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SonicStage

Best of luck to you!

cheers,
-lestatar

Last edited by lestatar; 12-24-2009 at 02:26 AM.
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