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Welcome to the linux-minidisc wiki, dedicated to collecting as much information as possible regarding NetMD/HiMD hardware in order to get it to work on Linux, MacOS X and *BSD.

The project is managed over at Github:

If you came here for the upload (from MD to computer) of ATRAC tracks as announced by the ffmpeg project, you want to go directly to NetMDPython. Digital upload works only with the RH-1 and on all unprotected tracks on MD formatted media. It does not work with Hi-MD formatted media, but on the other hand, the application QHiMDTransfer also offered by the linux-minidisc project can transfer all MP3 tracks and unprotected LPCM recordings from Hi-MD media.


Source Code

The current source code can be checked out with git anytime:

git clone


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Current amount of received donations: 519,92 Euro

The money is intended to buy new hardware to support development. We already bought two MZ-RH1 HiMD Walkman to support hardware development.

What and Why ?

The original software supplied by Sony supports Windows and, for some MiniDisc models, Mac OS X only. We want to create a simple transfer software for HiMD and NetMD walkman which will run under our preferred operating systems and is free of any of the annoying "features" of the original software. Unlike iPods or other well-known portable MP3 players, Sony MD devices employ a highly secured and encrypted storage and transfer system of the audio data, which makes an understanding and implementation of software for these Sony models much more difficult. However, thanks to the stubbornness of some guys on the net, there has already been some progress in understanding the Sony software and thus there might soon be free transfer software for at least the HiMD models.

Contact us

Some of the information posted here is only accessible to users of this wiki. However, you can easily request a user account for the wiki by simply dropping me an email. If you have any technical questions, please refer to the mailing list.

If you would like to participate more actively in this ongoing development and documentation effort, feel free to join us anytime on IRC. The channel is #linux-minidisc on the popular FOSS network FreeNode ( Be prepared that you may have to wait some hours before you get an answer to your questions on IRC since, even though most of us developers are logged on the IRC channel, we're not sitting in front of the computer all the time. We always try our best to answer all questions, however. Just be patient.

Mailing List



Please also check out the FAQ which covers most of the questions we receive.

Current feature / functionality matrix

Feature/ MP3 files AT3/3+/PCM MP3 files AT3/3+/PCM AT-SP/LP2/LP4 PCM/AT-SP/LP2/LP4 Edit disc List disc
Hardware to PC (HiMD) to PC (HiMD) to MD (HiMD) to MD (HiMD) to PC (NetMD) to MD (NetMD) meta data meta data
HiMD (any) YES YES YES *1 *2 NO YES *4 YES *3 NO YES
NetMD (any) NO NO NO NO YES *4 YES *3 YES *3 YES
  • 1 = Write support is still experimental, use with "toy" media only.
  • 2 = MP3s can be played back on 2nd or 3rd gen HiMD devices only.
  • 3 = Use either Python scripts (see Python NetMD) or libnetmd (through qhimdtransfer or netmdcli).
  • 4 = Analogue upload only, MiniDisc device will be controlled by PC, audio data will be transferred over analogue cable.
  • 5 = May not work with some tracks previously transferred with SonicStage.

Building and Running

CompilingOnMac - Compiling this software on a Macintosh (building on a Mac requires XCode and MacPorts)

CompilingOnLinux - Compling this software on Linux (the original development platform; builds easily on Debian/Ubuntu)

CompilingOnFreeBSD - Compiling this software on FreeBSD

CompilingOnHaiku - Compiling this software on Haiku

CompilingWithMingw - Compiling the software with MinGW on Windows (MinGW builds can be cross-platform built on Linux and on Windows; they run natively on Windows)

NetMDPython - Python scripts to upload NetMD via analog output and to perform digital upload of unprotected tracks with the Sony MZ-RH1


WriteAndSubmitPatch - How to write and submit your first patch

Translation - How to translate the software into other languages, help us !

Features and Roadmap

AutoDetect - MD/HiMD media auto detection

AutoUpdater - Mechanisms to automatically update QHiMDTransfer on MacOS and Windows

PortingNetMD - Porting the Python NetMD to C and integrating with QHiMDTransfer

ExtendingLibHiMD - Tasks to extend the functionality of libhimd

SCSISupport - Implementation of SCSI commands into libhimd

Releases - Planned releases and milestones

MiniDisc documentation

HiMDMusicTransferforMac - All about the transfer software from Sony for Mac OS X which might help development a Linux-clone of it (not public).

HiMDDiskFormat - Debugging information about the on-disk format of the HiMD

NetMDLinux - Things known about NetMD support in Linux

HiMDLinux - Things known about HiMD support in Linux

MDUSBIDs - Paste the output of lsusb of your MD Walkman here

QHiMDTransfer - Ideas for a Qt-based ( software for HiMD transfer under Linux

libhimd - Documentation of and notes for the libhimd library

HiMDSCSI - The HiMD Walkman is a USB block device, i.e. SCSI over USB. This page documents the SCSI commands used

ScsiDrmInfo - Information about the HiMD SCSI DRM-commands (non-public)

WindowsDLLs - Information on the HiMD/NetMD DLLs used in the Windows software (this is not public, contains confidential stuff)

Hardware - Our hardware for testing

Integration - Integration of the software into existing operating systems and applications

Tasks - A list of things that need attention

Brainstorming - Collect new ideas here


SonicStageWineHowTo - How to get SonicStage running under Wine (German).

VariousSonicStageInformation - Various texts collected from forums, unfortunately in German.

MiscInformation - Information collected by other users in the forums

Links - Related links.

Contributors - People, who have helped :-).

start.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/01 09:09 by thp

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