[Rhythmbox-devel] MiniDisc Walkman (NetMD/HiMD) plugin support

Dear Rhythmbox developers,

recently Rhythmbox added device support for the iPhone and iPod touch
handhelds which I highly appreciated since I own an iPod touch and now
I'm able to put music on without having to use iTunes, thanks!

Before the iPod (or flash MP3 players in general) became popular, one
of the most common digital portable music players was the MiniDisc
Walkman. Originally, MiniDiscs could only be filled with music by
recording from analog or digital input with a MiniDisc Recording
Walkman or deck. In order to be able to compete when the iPod was
born, Sony added capabilties to transfer music to their MiniDisc
Walkman over USB, so called NetMD [1]. NetMD transfers tracks to the
Walkman from the PC but not vice versa, using an AV/C protocol from
Sony. There are alot of MiniDisc devices with NetMD, however they can
only be used on Windows (32 Bit) with Sony's proprietary software
SonicStage [2]. NetMD uses the same on-disk format like conventional

This changed in 2004, when Sony introduced HiMD [3]. HiMD extended the
disc capacity to 1GB and used FAT-formatted media together with a
proprietary file format to store the music on the filesystem. Like
NetMD, SonicStage is required on Windows to fully use HiMD devices
with a computer.

Recently, we have started the linux-minidisc [4] project which wants to
get rid of these limitations and allow to use both NetMD and HiMD
devices on Linux and other operating systems with a free
software. Since we already have some useful functionality in a
library, I was wondering whether you, the Rhythmbox developers, might
be interested in writing a plugin for our libraries so that Rhythmbox
users can use their MiniDisc devices with Rhythmbox like they already
can with the iPod handhelds from Apple.

In any case, we'd be very interested to hear your comments on this
idea and any input is highly appreciated.



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiniDisc#NetMD
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SonicStage
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi-MD
[4] https://wiki.physik.fu-berlin.de/linux-minidisc

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