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Old 08-16-2009, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default Portable music players.

Evenin'

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good portable music player for me? I'm looking to replace my ageing Samsung YP-T10 which is, to be honest, falling apart in my pocket each day and requiring reassembly and fresh sticky tape applying >.<

The only essential requirement is that it doesn't require a piece of proprietary software to transfer music/videos etc. to and from the device. Other than that, there are things I'd like (high capacity, touch-screen, support for Ogg Vorbis, Theora and FLAC files) but aren't totally necessary. I've had a look around and come to decide that things like the Samsung YP-P3, Cowon S9, Creative Zen X-Fi and Sony NWZ-X1050 all seem to offer roughly what I want (okay, open-source codec support only comes with two of those, but I could work around that if necessary) and, heck, if it wasn't for Apple's sheer lack of support for my platform of choice (and the fact that you have no choice but to use a piece of their software to put music and videos on to the device), the iPod Touch would be a spectacular choice.

Problem is, aside from the Touch, I don't know anybody who owns any of the above or anything similar, so I can't ask their opinions. Does anybody own or have experience of any of the above-listed players, or something similar which would fit my requirements?

Cheers,

Joel.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Portable music players.

I have the Samsung YP-Q1 and love it. great battery life, toutch screen, everything you could ask for.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Portable music players.

how portable are we talking about here? archos are pretty good, but are also pretty huge. if you want some cool features and an amazing screen, as well as the bonus of built in speakers then id go for one of these
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Portable music players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_se View Post
how portable are we talking about here? archos are pretty good, but are also pretty huge. if you want some cool features and an amazing screen, as well as the bonus of built in speakers then id go for one of these
We're looking at, ideally, not being bigger than the S9. It will have to be able to fit in to my jeans pocket, as it would be used for the journey to and from work, mostly.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Portable music players.

Cowon I-audio S9:

I'm planning on getting the Cowon S9, the 32GB version soon, but its really expensive here in the UK, at £159. I wouldn't try importing if I were you either (if you ever consider it), as its probably more trouble than its worth.
You can get a 16GB model however for £199.

The size shouldn't be a problem, as its just as big as the Touch (plus slightly cheaper at most retailers for 32GB), but maybe slightly thicker, but as its curved, it doesn't seem to make much difference.

This has been considered the best sounding player around, and also happens to have one of the best screens in a portable media player, a AMOLED screen. I haven't seen it in real life, but I'm sure it'd look spectacular if words are to be taken as truth. It plays a wide range of video formats also of course, and ones it won't play natively can be converted using the software provided.

It also has customisable UI's which I could see messing about with an awful lot; downloading new ones, etc.

It also now offers gapless in most files, FLAC/OGG V/MP3 (Lame codec) in the latest update, etc so if you have a album thats meant to have no gaps, it won't have gaps + like every Cowon player, has folder support, so you don't need to mess with ID3 tags (preferable for me)

It offers no card slot for extra memory though like the D2+ which is worth considering.

Cowon I-audio D2+:

Another player that you may consider is the Cowon Iaudio D2+. It comes with up to 16GB memory, BUT, supports SDHC for unlimited storage capacities (32GB cards for example)

Sound of course being a Cowon is meant to be top notch, but from what I've read, isn't as warm sounding as the S9 but still as detailed as you can get, but still better I'd imagine than most of whats out there.

It plays video like the S9 but the screen is a lot smaller, and is an LCD, and like the S9, its a touch screen, but using a different type of touch screen; a resistance, rather than a capacitive one.

Of course, it won't offer gapless, like the S9 within a firmware upgrade, because it'd offer more competition for the S9. But for me, since its the cheapest option, it may be the most sensible, as it'd probably do all I want; but I'm still not sure on it. I think it may be due to the fact that the S9 is meant to have the better sound, but for the price, and still being a Cowon...

Don't get the D2 confused with the D2+ by the way, as the D2 uses different materials (its better looking actually), but doesn't have support for BBE+ but instead, the older BBE (don't know how much difference there is in sound quality). My old M3+ had BBE only, and I was very happy with it.

Battery on both compared:

Battery life on both devices are also top notch, hitting the 50-60 hours mark, with around 10-11 hours video (using test settings).
I hardly ever had to charge my M3+.

Sound features:

Both offer BBE+ sound settings which make the players sound truely amazing. I had a I-audio M3+ (it died) before I got my Creative Zen Vision M, and I swear, I missed the sound on the Cowon while having the Zen (hard drive has now died) The bass with Mac3bass is spectacular.
Deep, but very tight, especially on my PX-100's which are also amazing headphones for the money.

So, if you want the best, go for the best.
I'm going to be ordering my S9 soon, but the D2+ is still rather tempting, if not just for the unlimited memory for FLAC, and the fact that its a whole lot cheaper.

I've rounded up the others you've mentioned below, trying not to be critical, but based on me:

The Samsung:

I've questioned the Samsung myself, as its going to be £150 for 32GB memory!!! But after many reviews of the sound not being as good as the Cowon (and knowing thats why I'm buying a player in the first place), I have to pass, but if you liked the sound on the Samsung, it may be fine for you, and will offer a lot more than your old model + plays all the sound files you specified.

I'm not sure what that video format is though I'm afraid to know if it'd play that, but conversion should be possible.

Ipod:

The Ipod to me though is a no no. Its far too expensive for me to even consider it as a choice (a lot more expensive than the S9 for 32GB in most retailers), with the sound on I-pods never being great to my ears even with good headphones.
There is a way around the software issue at least, where you don't have to use I-Tunes by the way, but to me would still be far too limiting of a device, even if it does have WI-FI built in.
Sound formats are also non-negotiable for such a device with less to offer everywhere else.
They could do something about the sound, but they don't. Most people wouldn't care.

I for one want a great sounding MP3 player, even if its not one that everyone looks at going "ooooooooOoOo". If it does what its meant to, and sounds great because of it, then thats good enough for me.

Sony:

Sound will most likely be better than the Samsung on the new Sony, and will beat the I-Pod by far if the other players are to go by, but apparently doesn't match the S9, with sound features turned on at least.
The fact it doesn't support open source files though is a turn off for me.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Portable music players.

Archos are very reliable and solid, you might want to take a look at what Mobiblu have to offer. Not as well known but have heard good things.
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Portable music players.

Thanks Kage and SolarOnline. I'll be sure to look in to those. The S9 is certainly seeming like a good option right now, although the price is something that I'm still not convinced by. If I could get a good deal on the S9, I think I would go for it
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