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#1801358 - 12/06/11 12:33 PM Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability
susanne32570 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 2
I have a PianoDisc PDS-128 Plus on an 1885 Steinway that we purchased and had installed around 1997. The player has not worked for several years - showed a disk error - and I tried to get assistance but since the player was discontinued, I didn't have any luck. The player will not change from CD mode to Disk mode.
I tried again this week to upgrade instead of repair and found out that there is an upgrade to the Apple Airport Express and a silent function that would work with an iTouch. The quote was way too expensive and required replacing everything. I don't want to replace anything, I would like to try to use what I have since the disk part of the player seems to be the issue.
My question is this, if I have a player that has a CD input, will the airport express work with it? I read on another forum that the later version of my player will work, but couldn't find information on whether or not mine will. I downloaded the MID2PianoCD software that was mentioned and I have an iTouch and iTunes. I know that I can just play CDs through the player with the CD software available from PianoDisc, but wondered if it is possible to use my iTouch instead, or even better yet my computer.
Thanks for any help you can provide.

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#1801442 - 12/06/11 02:13 PM Re: Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability [Re: susanne32570]
Nick Mauel Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 789
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
You might want to consider an upgrade to the IQ system, which is not that expensive and does not involve any replacement of internal parts.

This replaces your existing control unit, and together with an airport express, gives remote operation along with storage of the music files in mp format on your computer or iPad.
_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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#1801447 - 12/06/11 02:23 PM Re: Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability [Re: susanne32570]
Mark Fontana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
You can absolutely use an MP3 player or iTunes+Airport Express to run your PianoDisc system, and this will give you quite a bit of flexibility.

Another possibility for a wireless link (that may be easier to set up) is to buy a Xantech BDXTT Bluetooth Music Receiver, which you'd connect to the CD inputs on the PDS128+. You could pair that with your iPod touch (if that's what you mean by "iTouch") and be able to control the piano from up to about 25' away. I've personally tried a handful of Bluetooth receivers for use with player pianos and found this Xantech unit to be the best. With this approach, you would not need the Airport Express.

MID2PianoCD can create PianoDisc format MP3 files directly, but you'll need to rip and encode any existing CDs you own to MP3 format to load them on your MP3 player. When selecting MP3 encoding options, make sure to use a high bit rate (192 Kbps or higher) and normal stereo (never "joint stereo"). You'll also want to "tag" your MP3 files with title/composer/pianist text information to be displayed on your MP3 player; this can be done in iTunes or on Windows using programs such as MP3Tag.

It will take a little effort to set all this up, but the end result will be well worth it, as you'll have instant access to all of your music in one spot. You'll also be able to make playlists of material from multiple albums.

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#1808130 - 12/18/11 02:50 PM Re: Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability [Re: susanne32570]
susanne32570 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 2
Thank you both for your suggestions. I found out yesterday that my system was installed just before the silent drive system was available, so it doesn't look like I will be able to play from my iPod Touch unless I upgrade the entire system including the solenoids. At this point, I'm not willing to spend $6,500 for the upgrade. Luckily, the technician discovered that my player is fine, it was just a bad disk. I also do not have the symphony card.
Now I am in search of old floppies or cds that are not in the silent drive format. I have searched on the internet and ebay, but can't tell by the description whether or not they are in an old format.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions on where to find the floppies/cds or if it is possible to download them to my computer and burn a floppy or cd.
Thanks for any help.


Edited by susanne32570 (12/18/11 03:05 PM)

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#2264217 - 04/19/14 05:51 PM Re: Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability [Re: Mark Fontana]
Kevin L Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 2
Hi Mark,
I hope you are still available to help w/PDS 128 hacks. I'm trying to avoid spending a few thousand $ to replace my system. It is working fine, but I'd like to access files w/out disks. I noticed your advice above and tried running a piece through iTunes that I recently downloaded off the piano disk site through a bluetooth fob connected to the CD inputs. Nothing happened. So tried to run it again thru iTunes via airport express plugged into same CD inputs. Piano played, but only small runs, as though it were missing a channel. The piano disk system says "Invalid Data! Check CD and Cable" Advice? I thought perhaps I simply couldn't use the newly downloaded file (wrong formats?).
Thank you for any advice you might offer.
Kevin

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#2264273 - 04/19/14 07:28 PM Re: Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability [Re: susanne32570]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7307
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Kevin - Welcome to Piano World!

You might not get much reply from the individuals who posted on a thread three years ago. However, Piano World has a forum devoted to digitals and synths. You can find the forum under the Forum list at the top of the page or in the drop-down at the bottom. That's the place where you will get the answers you need.

Cheers,
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2264353 - 04/19/14 10:51 PM Re: Pianodisc PDS-128 Plus capability [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Kevin L Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 2
Thanks Marty for the advice. I'll check in as you suggested -- knew the thread was old but thought perhaps system was set up such that Mark would be notified that I'd responded to his post. Thanks again!

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