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Sony to ship Mac-compatible MiniDisc Walkman

MZ-RH1 to let MDs be archived on computer

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Sony may have embraced the digital music revolution, but it hasn't left its MiniDisc format behind and today announced that it's fighting back with a new high-density model that will even - well, eventually - offer Mac support and the ability to archive MiniDisc content on a computer.

sony mz-rh1 hi-md walkman

The 1.5cm-thick MZ-RH1 supports Hi-MD media which offer a 1GB storage capacity and can hold the usual Sony-specific ATRAC, ATRAC 3 and ATRACE 3 Plus formats, along with MP3 for broader compatibility and LinearPCM for lossless sound. It also has a recording facility and a range of EQ pre-sets to customise the output - and a sound-level adjustment capability to ensure a consistent volume throughout. The rechargeable battery provides up to 19 hours' playback time, Sony claimed.

Just in case it fails to win the hearts and minds of consumers, Sony stressed the MZ-RH1's suitability for studio usage: the control layout has been changed to make the machine easier to use, and there's a backlight on the display "so that the product can be used in a dark recording studio". It also possesses a "high capacity coupling condenser [which] allows an authentic reproduction of bass".

The MZ-RH1 is due to ship in Europe in May, initially as a PC-only product - Mac software will come "Summer 2006" in the form of a download from Sony's MZ-RH1 website. Both versions of the application will allow computer users to store data on MD media, and to upload music to the host machine via a USB 2.0 connection.

There's no word yet on pricing - Sony merely said it would be "competitive". ®

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