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Sony Minidisc Namer

Semi-Automate naming tracks and discs

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A simple device that simulates the remote control for a Sony Minidisc player, allowing the easier entry of track and disc names.

I recently starting messing around with "physical" audio media again, like back in my youth. A recent purchase was a Sony Minidisc player (for those that are to young, think a cross between a CD writer and MP3 player with tiny discs). 

Like a CD and MP3 you can have text saying the disc or track name. Unlike a CD or MP3 you don't have access to a keyboard to do it. It has to be done through the T9-like keypad on the remote. If you don't have the remote, you can still do it but it is even more painful using the rotatory AMS knob on the front of the unit.

However as it is possible to control the player via remote it is possible to automate some of the process, with hardware that probably would have cost more than the player back in the day!

This device uses only a few components. As a minimum it needs an Arduino (I am using a clone SparkFun Nano Pro), an IR led, a transistor, a resistor and a small section of stripboard (plus some little bits of wire). The unit in the picture shows an additional two IR leds (for additional range and wider angle) and another visible LED and resistor to show when the unit is transmitting.

The whole thing is run from a serial interface so only needs something like PuTTY to run it. You could use the Arduino Serial Monitor but it is somewhat painful as PuTTY just sends the raw keypresses. The Arduino you have to type in the box and then press send, so doable but not the best experience. The transmitter also uses the colour coding which the Arduino monitor doesn't show and will show odd escape codes.

minidisc_namer_2.ino

Main software (probably poorly written and not commented well yet!)

ino - 16.79 kB - 05/11/2019 at 14:50

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defines.h

Defines the hex codes for the IR remote commands

h - 989.00 bytes - 05/11/2019 at 14:50

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  • 1 × Arduino Nano Pro
  • 1 × IR LED
  • 1 × 330R Resistor
  • 1 × BC547 Transistor
  • 1 × Visible LED optional

View all 6 components

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