Yamaha Natural Sound HDD/CD Recorder CDR-HD1500 - Hard Drive access

Hello everyone,
The local city council bought this Yamaha CDR-HD1500 about one year ago, and they have been recording their sessions on its 320Gb hard drive ever since.
Noone told them that they should be burning everything on CDs to keep them on file. Or at least to label each album/track on the hard drive so that someone can keep track of what's happening.
Now, they have about 140-150 hours of recorded, unlabeled material on there.
I was given the following task.
First, take all the recorded audio out of the machine's hard drive.
Second, encode everything in mp3 format.
Third, listen to each track with the help of the mayor in hopes of identifying and naming each session and date.
Fourth, burn everything on CDs or DVDs for archival purposes and for a company to type everything up on paper.

And here's the problem I'm having.
The hard drive on this machine is accessible from the back. There's a door that gives me access to the PATA and power connectors of the hard drive.
So, I grabbed my little adaptor that goes from PATA to USB and I hoocked it up to my laptop on the side. The hard drive itself is recognized by windows and ubuntu, but neither system can read anything off the drive.
I tried scanning the drive using Recover My Files but at least he quick format recovery didn't find anything. I haven't had the time to let it crunch away on the complete format recovery.

I know the drive is working fine because once I plug it back onto the recorder, I can access everything that's on there. So basically what I'm looking for is some software that will allow me to read and copy whatever's on there. Something that'll read any format that's out there.

Thanks for the help.
Who is Participating?
DorianISAuthor Commented:
I haven't posted anything so far because I wanted to try everything I could before I moved on.

I gave up on this issue this week, and I'm going ahead with the conventional way of retrieving the data. I'm paying my brother to sit there for a few weeks and swap out CDs. He then extracts the audio to mp3.

Absolutely nothing worked. And Yamaha's not cooperating in the least.
These machines should die and be removed from the face of the earth. They don't help in any way. They just create problems for everyone. A much better job can be done by a laptop sitting on the side of any recording studio.

But oh well, I'm getting paid handsomely for the manual work that my brother's putting in.

Thank you all for the ideas, and I wish there was a faster way to get this audio out of there.
Take care
According to the manual page 38:


CD copying is a function of the unit:

"...Set a new or not finalized CD-R (or CD-RW) disc in
the disc tray.
This unit starts reading the information (type and capacity of a
CD-R or a CD-RW disc) when a CD-R or a CD-RW disc is

Why not copy like that, rather than via a USB adapter?

Since this Yamaha is designed for analog and digital audio...safe assumption that these are not MP3 or similar format files.

The files are probably CD-Audio.  Same thing would happen if you put an audio CD in your computer.  You can't "see" the files.

Audio playback software, or a ripper, will transcode them on the fly.

From  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc
The pits and lands themselves do not directly represent the zeros and ones of binary data. Instead, Non-return-to-zero, inverted (NRZI) encoding is used: a change from pit to land or land to pit indicates a one, while no change indicates a zero. This in turn is decoded by reversing the Eight-to-Fourteen Modulation used in mastering the disc, and then reversing the Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Coding, finally revealing the raw data stored on the disc.
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DorianISAuthor Commented:
Because it would take several weeks, and 200 CDs to go through everything.

This is what I'll do then:
I'll clone the existing hard drive onto another 320gb hard drive just so that I can play around safely.
And look for software that'll RIP or try to RIP music off it.
"...Third, listen to each track with the help of the mayor in hopes of identifying and naming each session and date..."
Surely that will happen at about the same speed??? ("...Because it would take several weeks...")

DorianISAuthor Commented:
I agree. That part will undoubtedly take months. But that's expected.

I just cannot bare the thought of sitting there day after day waiting for this stupid machine to burn each CD at 2-4x speed.
when you have an image, hook that drive to a working pc - it should be able to burn them much faster
also, after a while of listening, you should get the knack for identifying different sessions; that will help a lot in speeding up the analysis
If the secretary is performing necessary duties, each session should start with something like:

"Experts Exchange sub-committee, April 29, 2009, Wednesday, seven-oh-five a.m., special unscheduled administrative session, held at Paul's diner, to discuss methods of cataloging and archiving session recordings.  Members in attendance: DorianIS, ALeghart, nobus.  DorianIS will be buying."

Standard start to any board meeting minutes, deposition, court trial.  Takes little time to write/type.  Takes a few seconds to say on tape.

Very important to have this information at the beginning of any meeting minutes specifically for the problems you are having.  So, even if the catalog of a cassette tape were lost, it would only a bit of scanning in fast forward to listen for the long silent pause, then statement of time (and possibly a gavel rap).
DorianISAuthor Commented:
I couldn't agree with you more.
Unfortunately, all you hear is some chatter for a couple minutes. From the time the microphones are turned on until the secretary calls everyone to order and begins the proceedings. There is nothing said by any member of the council about the date.
The only hope of identifying each session is the contents/topics of discussion. We'll have a copy of all the lists of topics since the purchase of the equipment, and we'll take it one meeting at a time.

I am trying to get them to say these things at the beginning of each session but their minds are difficult to say the least. How hard would it be to go up to a mic and say
"For the record: City Council meeting #1 of 2009. Monday January 1st 2009. The council is called to session for the following major topics. Blahblahblah"

Anyway, I'll go over tomorrow and clone the disk for starters. Then I'll be able to play with the clone without fear of losing anything and going to jail.
Windows Media Player (from the Help file)

To play content faster or slower than normal

You can change the speed at which content plays in the Player. For example, you can slow down the playback speed if you are taking notes while watching a training video, or you can speed up the slow sections of a presentation.

Play a file, and then switch to Now Playing mode.

If the List pane isn't visible, click the Show list button. For more information about Now Playing mode, see Getting started with Windows Media Player.

Click the Options button  , point to Enhancements, and then click Play Speed Settings.

Move the Play Speed slider to the speed at which you want to play the content, or click the Slow, Normal, or Fast link.

To select speeds between the labeled play speeds, in the Enhancements dialog, clear the Snap slider to common speeds check box.

To hide the settings, click the Close button  in the Enhancements dialog.

DorianISAuthor Commented:
Nice. Really nice.
You might get lucky and the files will have a created date. Worth a look.
DorianISAuthor Commented:
The device categorizes things in Disks and Tracks within each disk. Hopefully the guy was smart enough to create a different disk after each session.
We'll see how things go.
Thank you much.   : )
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