Tips for using OpenMG Jukebox with the Sharp IM-MT880

Mick Gardina
March 2002
([email protected])

I am now the proud owner of a Sharp IM-MT880, recently imported from Hong Kong. I've played around with it a bit, and have some observations.

  1. After installing the software that came with the unit, and discovering that some of the buttons were in Japanese, I stumbled on a solution. I first uninstalled the Sharp version of OpenMG and all the associated drivers. I then downloaded the Sony version of OpenMG from the OpenMG website and installed it. It's important that you only install the OpenMG software, and not the Sony drivers. I then reran the install from the Sharp CD. The Sharp install attempted to install OpenMG, but discovered that one was already on the system, and left it alone. It went ahead installed the rest of the software, including the MT880 driver. I now have a fully English version of OpenMG that works with my Sharp MD. (BTW-the Japanese button on the player says 'shuffle').

  2. I have a large MP3 library (about 12,500 songs, 1000 CDs) that took FOREVER to import into OpenMG (this is on a 1.7 Ghz Pentium4). Unfortunately, the import died about 1/2 way through, no matter what I did. I then imported CD directories selectively, and happened upon a directory that caused the import to fail every time. It seems that during my ripping cycle, I had an error which resulted in a song file with a correct name, but had zero length. This song crashed OpenMG every time. Simply deleting the song eliminated the problem.

  3. It is a huge pain in the neck to make up a playlist. The way that the windows are organized, you select a song from one window, then you have to scroll down to the new playlist, select it, and drop your song into it. The interface really needs another window where the playlist under construction is available at all times.

  4. The restriction on 3 checkouts of an individual song is not a real big deal. If you need more copies, you can re-import the song and you get 3 new 'wishes'. I think that this speed bump is there to limit mass copying.

  5. Another big restriction is that once you re-encode from MP3 to a particular LP format, that tune will have to be deleted and reimported if you want to change the encoding rate. I like to have LP2 for discs that I listen to at work, but use LP4 for discs that I use when I work out. This is a real pain.

  6. Lack of SP support is a real drawback. Naturally, most of my existing equipment is SP only, and I'd like to be able to make NetMDs that I can listen to there. You can make SP discs, but you don't get the higher sampling rate that I'd like to have. I may end up having an MD-MT831 and a JVC CD/MD deck for sale.

  7. Making the discs is faster than a standard line/optical input, but it's by no means fast. I haven't done any real measurements yet, but some are published in that great evaluation at:

  8. The unit itself is much like my MD-MT77, but some of the functions have moved to the remote, and there is a somewhat more intuitive menu system on it. You can read the details in the link above. Sound is excellent and if you like Sharp MDs, I don't think you'll be disappointed in any way (as long as you carry the remote).

Although it sounds like I might be bashing here, I'll have to say that I am in fact quite happy with the MD unit and the software. I'm assuming that this is first generation stuff, and that (hopefully) the software will improve rapidly.

I asked Mick about installing the OpenMG Jukebox software from Sony's web page since their website seems to only provide "upgrades" of previous OpenMG packages. He replied:

Tthe upgrade packages are really full installs. Go to then OpenMG site, click on USA, click ENTER on the splash screen, go to Software Updates (on the top of the page), and select Upgrade to version 2.2 in the Version 2.0 column. On the next page hit accept license info, and you are taken to the model page. Enter a serial number (I entered 1234567, clearly they are not checking these), then select the NW-MS7 for Win2K (if you are using Windows 2000), and Win2k as the OS.

The link to the download page is:

There are 3 downloads: the software (57 Meg!), the drivers, and a help file. I only installed the SW, and then used the install from my Sharp CD.

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