Sony sends you insane!

Recently I bought a portable Sony MiniDisc recorder (discounted to only $99) so that I can make recordings outdoors and then transfer them to the PC to edit and produce. (I wanted to buy the antiquated MiniDisc format for a particular reason to work in with existing infrastructure - otherwise I would have gone with a portable hard disk recorder) I was enticed by the USB connection on this portable recorder. I assumed that having a USB connection it would allow me to transfer my recordings digitally to my PC. I installed the ridiculous software that came with the unit and rebooted my PC as it required. I started the software and it activated the portable unit and showed me the four recorded tracks I have on my MiniDisc. I selected them and clicked on the transfer button to transfer them to my PC. After whirring away for about 4 seconds, it just came up with an unexplained error message saying that it can't transfer them. No reason why not. I googled to see if anyone else had had this problem and there are lots of people who have experienced this. There is no technical reason why the audio data can't be transferred off the MiniDisc onto my PC, just that Sony have restricted the device or the software from allowing it to occur. The other users offered two suggestions: 1. analog transfer into the PC (no thanks!) or 2. buy an optical card for my pc and use an optical transfer cable to record it into my PC. This still has to be done in real-time. Sony is ridiculous. How do companies like this stay in business? After a similar experience with a Sony MicroMV video camera, I don't think I will ever buy another item from Sony.