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Marantz PMD580 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 1 customer review
  • Barry
    from Claremont, CA October 10, 2011Music Background:
    Recording engineer

    Good... but one major problem

    This product delivers on most of its promises, has decent sound, seems simple and reliable to operate. But there is one problem that prevents me from using it as I had intended to... and this may be the case for many potential purchasers.

    The Web GUI is nice, and as long as you have a browser window on one computer open continuously during operation, it works fine. But once the PMD starts recording, you can only stop it from the same window in which you started recording. If you navigate away, and then return to the PMD, it shows a login screen, but when you attempt to log in it says "Please stop recorder before logging in". If you want to be able to start and stop recordings over the web - say, via your cel phone or laptop - this is a big problem. You can start ONE recording, then access the machine again only when the card fills and recording stops.
    If you have, say, a 32GB CF card in there, that means that if you initiate recording remotely, it'll be at least 32 hours (weeks if recording MP3) before the card fills, recording stops, and you can access the machine remotely again.

    You can physically hit the stop button on the machine... but that defies the point of remote access.

    You can initiate a scheduled recording, with a predefined stop and end time, but that takes time, and you can't access the machine during that scheduled time. This is currently the best workaround, but takes away a lot of spontaneity, and has a lot more room for error. In my situation, there are a lot of times when end-times of events and rehearsals are undefined; to plan for that, I'd have to set the recording times very long... and in a busy academic hall, THAT would often prevent me from remotely recording the NEXT thing someone wants to record.

    I asked the folks at Marantz if there was any chance that they would 1) allow later logins to take precedence and get to the transport window of the GUI or 2) at least have a checkbox on the login screen to say "stop recording and log me in" - but they said nothing like that was in the works.

    So, just a warning from someone who tried to investigate every aspect of this machine in advance, and was unable to get enough detail to cover this. You can't use the web GUI from multiple locations to start and stop recording.

    This is still the best solution around, and the scheduled recordings work well. I haven't tried the auto downloading to a server, but directly downloading via the web gui (after recording has stopped!) works well.

    I wish Marantz would just add a way to stop a recording and access the GUI remotely... until then, I will have to be running in to push the stop button a lot more frequently than I had hoped.

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