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I’m continuing to have great experiences with my Hi-MD Walkman, a
Sony MZ-NHF800.

I’ve been using Duracell Rechargable NiMH 1800mAh cells with it
and getting the excellent playback performance the format is known for.
However, since most of my recording has been done while it was plugged
into AC power, I hadn’t yet tested the unit’s limits when recording while on
battery power. There’s a sticker on the back of the unit that
discourages recording or editing a Hi-MD disc while not on AC;
presumably recording to a standard MD requires less power because of
the lower data rates in that situation.

I took the Walkman and my new Sound Professionals mics to record
our Brutal Deluxe trophy presentation ceremony last night, and figured
it would be an excellent candidate for the test. I recorded to a
Hi-MD disc using the PCM (uncompressed) format, which is the recording
mode that requires the most power. With a freshly charged cell, the
NHF800 blew me away; it sat there are recorded about 85 minutes worth
of our conversation without the battery meter going down at all. I
expected it to at least drain 50% of the cell’s power, and was fully
prepared to change batteries if required.

The SP mics performed admirably. I clipped them together in a Y-pattern
and set them directly on the table at first. I immediately set the
Walkman to record at low sensitivity once I saw the meters peaking on
my first test. After realizing the mics were probably picking up
table noise (I didn’t monitor the recording on headphones, since this
was casual), I set them on my unused napkin roll. That seemed to
suspend them well enough; the recording is very listenable. There’s
also a slight stereo effect; Scott and I sat on one side of the table
and Chuck was on the other.

I was also pleased with the performance of the newly-released
SonicStage 3.0; the transfer process is much smoother compared to my
SonicStage 2.3 experiences. The major change for me is the fact that
the program offers to convert uploaded analog recordings (like this
one) to WAV after they’ve been successfully transferred to hard disk.
It was very convenient. Also, the app is now programmed to create a
time-stamped file name for untitled material; it previously used the
filename “untitled”, and subscripted multiple untitled files with
“(1)”, “(2)”, etc.

Now I just have to stitch together our conversation into a new BDFL
podcast, encode, and upload! This is fun.