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Searching for an "mp3-player"

Hi,

for my wife/gym, maybe also for me, I need to buy a portable player. A small one. My requirements:

Must!:
- Sound quality. I'm willing to buy relatively expensive speakers.
- Nero AAC or Ogg vorbis support.
- Good battery life

May:
- Browsing should be done by filenames/folders
- Simple file transfer, ideally access as a drive under Windows
- Gapless playback (I'm not too optimistic here)

Unimportant:
- Fancy display, Video crap, fm radio

Do you have recommendations? The market is flooded and intransparent.
What do you think about this Sony player?

TIA

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #1
I haven't been keeping up with mp3 players lately so I cant personally recommend a player, but i can say that you should ask the people at www.dapreview.net , they keep up with mp3 players and can make some recommendations
My $.02, may not be in the right currency

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #2
Must!:
- Sound quality. I'm willing to buy relatively expensive speakers.
- Nero AAC or Ogg vorbis support.
- Good battery life

May:
- Browsing should be done by filenames/folders
- Simple file transfer, ideally access as a drive under Windows
- Gapless playback (I'm not too optimistic here)


Try trekstor. http://www.trekstor.de/en/products/mp3.php.  I had some experience with vibez 12 GB (this size has apparently been discontinued, now you can get 8, 16 or 32 GB), and it has much of you want. Sound quality seems to be decent to me, though I have not tried it with more sophisticated equipment. I am almost sure that browsing can be done by folders. File transfer is simple. Gapless playback, Ogg, and FLAC are supported, not sure about AAC.  It also has a replaceable battery, which may be useful in the future. Charging is done via USB. I think that the design/appearance of vibez is pretty nice.

The only thing you may like less about vibez is size and battery life - I am not saying either is bad, but it's a HD-based player. They have a big range of Flash-based players as well, though with smaller memory sizes.
Ceterum censeo, there should be an "%is_stop_after_current%".

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #3
Try trekstor. http://www.trekstor.de/en/products/mp3.php.  I had some experience with vibez 12 GB (this size has apparently been discontinued, now you can get 8, 16 or 32 GB), and it has much of you want.

There are no HD Vibez available anymore. They promise a flash version of this player soon. See Vibez Forum if you are interested.

I really like the features of my 12GB HD Vibez. The new flash Vibez should have the same features.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #4
There are no HD Vibez available anymore. They promise a flash version of this player soon.


Good to know, thanks
Ceterum censeo, there should be an "%is_stop_after_current%".

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #5
What do you think about this Sony player?

I have this exact same player, I bought it at launch last year. Audio quality is great without any EQ although a little bass boost sounds nice, the bundled earphones are really nice (they come with extra rubbers in different sizes), navigation is also great, it has a few different modes (I love the cover art-only browsing mode, you'd like the folder structure mode) and the UI is responsive enough to not be annoying.

What you may not like is that to get the nice browsing features such as cover art and tag info-based browsing, you must load the music files through WMP. If you just drag-n-drop to the music folder on the player via windows explorer, all that's available through the player's UI is folders and filenames. AAC can only be loaded through drag-n-drop so there's no chance of any art or tag data being used by the player.
we was young an' full of beans

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #6
Hi,

for my wife/gym, maybe also for me, I need to buy a portable player. A small one. My requirements:

Must!:
- Sound quality. I'm willing to buy relatively expensive speakers.
- Nero AAC or Ogg vorbis support.
- Good battery life

May:
- Browsing should be done by filenames/folders
- Simple file transfer, ideally access as a drive under Windows
- Gapless playback (I'm not too optimistic here)

Unimportant:
- Fancy display, Video crap, fm radio

Do you have recommendations? The market is flooded and intransparent.
What do you think about this Sony player?


TIA


I have been eyeballing the Cowon iAudio models on Amazon for a couple weeks now.  They support flac and ogg along with wma, mp3 and wav.  They seem (from what I read in the reviews) to have good battery life.  I was focused on the flash based players which I found up to 16gb.  Comparable to the new iPod nano in that sense, but $50 cheaper.  See here http://www.amazon.com/iAUDIO-I7-16RD-Porta...3720&sr=8-2

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #7
Hmm, maybe something like Trekstor iBeat organix 2.0. They even know about the existence of vbr mp3. BTW I wouldn't use mp3 (too artifacts prone on target bitrate of ~150kbps), my favorite codec is Vorbis here. Good at quality, lightning speed encoding possible via Lancer.

OMG, I read reviews. Often, they are not helpful. "Not enough bass. May be because I used mp3 192 - you have more bass at 320 kbps"

Trekstor iBeat Organix: Hardly available?

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #8
I recommend u rockbox based player. It has all you want and much more.  But you would have to install additional firmware, simply process though.

So simply looking at buyers guide, you can choose best available option.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #9
If you're willing to give on some of your "may" criteria, one low-cost option is the Sansa Clip. It's simple, relatively cheap (currently around $60 for 4gb model), and is reputed to have very solid sound quality. It plays Ogg vorbis but not AAC. Battery life is pretty good. It also has simple file transfer as either MTP or mass-storate device - you can sync using an audio player as well, but I just drag-and-drop.
Browsing is only by tags though, and it doesn't have gapless. People clamor for both, and there is a fairly active forum discussion board, and Sansa has added features through flash updates.

The Clip is intended as a competitor to the Ipod Shuffle but has a small screen and is easy to navigate and is reputed to have much better sound quality. It's ideal for gym use with a built-in clip.

edit: reputed to have good sound quality
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #10
The Clip is intended as a competitor to the Ipod Shuffle but has a small screen and is easy to navigate and has much better sound quality.

You have anything to back that claim up?
Creature of habit.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #11
You have anything to back that claim up?

It's the general consensus of many reviews. Past Sansa players (e.g., e200 series) had okay sound quality but nothing impressive, which is apparently what people were expecting would be the case with the Clip. However, lots of reviews expressed surprise and raved about the Clip's sound quality. Not elite but very good, especially for its class and price.
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #12
You have anything to back that claim up?

It's the general consensus of many reviews.


It is also the general consensus of many reviews that $1000 power cables sound better than $1 power cables.
I did not think this was the kind of place where we humored that kind of talk.
Creature of habit.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #13
It is also the general consensus of many reviews that $1000 power cables sound better than $1 power cables.
I did not think this was the kind of place where we humored that kind of talk.

While you're free to go ABX-nazi on me, I understand the need to weed out unfounded and BS claims. But a few points here:
1. I should have said "is reputed to have good sound quality" instead of "has good sound quality"
2. any equivalent to ABX testing of mp3 players is much more difficult, on a practical level, than with audio files and formats
3. I don't have the best ears to be confident in my own judgment here
4. the OP was looking for practical help in choosing an mp3 player based on a variety of criteria, and my main claim is not about the Sansa Clip's sound quality
5. with high-end speaker cables and other types of equipment, audiophiles have incentive to make a big deal about "I bought this cool super-expensive stuff and it sounds better" - that is, major expectation-bias effect on perception. with the Sansa player, it's a cheap player and any expectation bias would have been in the other direction because previous Sansa players were not reputed to have impressive sound quality
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #14
Another point in favor of the Sony player: excellent build quality. Mine has been in constant use for a little more than a year and it still looks new, the screen is very scratch-resistant and buttons are solid. The only part that feels flimsy is the data/charging connector which is a proprietary Sony design. It could easily survive a few drops from pocket height.

EDIT: Looks like this thread is headed in another direction. I believe most regular users/readers of this forum know how to interpret subjective views, opinions and reviews coming from outside sources (like these mp3 player reviews). I personally was able to grasp timcupery's idea from his first post in this thread, and I think others did too, there was no need to clarify and go off topic.
we was young an' full of beans

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #15
AAC/Vorbis is meant as either/or.
Sound quality is a big word. I want best available quality at prices <80 EUR. Stop your ABX debate  It's just a player used in a gym with some amount of background noise. I have honestly no idea if todays "walkmans" sound pretty similar (lets say they play lossless) if I'd e.g. replace a CD player at my home stereo by them. Or if there's really crap around.
Your subjective opinions are an indicator. Hey, I'm asking at HA, not at smileydingdongIpodKiddieforum.org.
Currently I have Trekstor or the mentioned Sansa on my target list. Not sony, the screen offers Album Art which I will not maintain.
In a shop I've seen pretty stylish Philips players. Looked like a silver ball. Is Philips worth a mention?
Hmm. Sandisks current models are not rockboxable? c/e200 are older models I guess?

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #16
Quote
It is also the general consensus of many reviews that $1000 power cables sound better than $1 power cables.
I did not think this was the kind of place where we humored that kind of talk.


There is difference though. Those you can ABX. We have seen countless test's performed. 

Quote
2. any equivalent to ABX testing of mp3 players is much more difficult, on a practical level, than with audio files and formats
3. I don't have the best ears to be confident in my own judgment here


I made the same claim about Foobar2000 being based on high-quality playback and I got yelled at (They claim there is no "difference" in the output quality of most players, but I beg to differ I have yet to see any test's that have been performed (from what I understand there are only a few that were done with MAD decoding that was about it). There are exceptions though to making unsubstaintied claims if there is no way to measure the output. I understand where you are coming from. It's very difficult to measure the output quality of DAP's. I saw somebody attempt to do it once on this forum, but it's a complicated process so I will take your word for it. This person btw was attempting to measure the output quality of the IPod, which they came to a technical conclusion was very good

Quote
AAC/Vorbis is meant as either/or


I am going to second you looking to the Cowon models. They have support for both of those codecs out of the box and support a lot of other features if you aren't into Rockboxing your player.

Edit: HA web server got real sluggish and slow for some reason and double posted my comments.
budding I.T professional

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #17
I understand where you are coming from. It's very difficult to measure the output quality of DAP's.

There are loaded RMAA tests for many popular players out there, and the testing procedure is not hard. 

Call me "nazi" all you want ,but since there is an easy objective test of player sound reproduction quality, second hand anecdotal sighted reports of "sound quality" really seems more like the realm of another website, not HA.
Creature of habit.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #18
As for the Cowon iAudio 7: They look very interesting. I'll have to buy a power supply separately? What are the specs?
EDIT: OK, I found I could load it via USB.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #19
Quote
There are loaded RMAA tests for many popular players out there, and the testing procedure is not hard.


Running RMAA tests is anything but simple! It's certainly not as easy performing ABX tests. You sometimes get different results if you perform different tests to which is consistent with RMAA tests. Yes, but did they show a subpar performance on any of the players that Tim mentioned above?. If the answer "yes" then maybe his claims were a bit bold. If we use the same logical then I can come to the conclusion that the IPod has high quality playback. Afer all if has been proven by this test if you follow the RMAA. 

http://www.bsstudios.com/downloads/iPod_via_FF400_t2.htm
budding I.T professional

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #20
What do you think about this Sony player?

I have this exact same player, I bought it at launch last year. Audio quality is great without any EQ although a little bass boost sounds nice, the bundled earphones are really nice (they come with extra rubbers in different sizes), navigation is also great, it has a few different modes (I love the cover art-only browsing mode, you'd like the folder structure mode) and the UI is responsive enough to not be annoying.

What you may not like is that to get the nice browsing features such as cover art and tag info-based browsing, you must load the music files through WMP. If you just drag-n-drop to the music folder on the player via windows explorer, all that's available through the player's UI is folders and filenames. AAC can only be loaded through drag-n-drop so there's no chance of any art or tag data being used by the player.


In order to have album art without installing WMP 11 you have to embed all the album art inside the ID3Tag.

And be careful, if you install WMP10 ( I don't know if the same happens with WMP 11), you cannot drag and drop aac files.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #21
In order to have album art without installing WMP 11 you have to embed all the album art inside the ID3Tag.

And be careful, if you install WMP10 ( I don't know if the same happens with WMP 11), you cannot drag and drop aac files.

Cool, I usually don't embed cover images so I didn't know this. I have WMP 11 and I can drag-n-drop AAC files to the player via windows explorer, not WMP.

EDIT: I don't have any DirectShow filters installed, maybe that's why WMP won't read AAC files.
we was young an' full of beans

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #22
Quote
There are loaded RMAA tests for many popular players out there, and the testing procedure is not hard.


If we use the same logical then I can come to the conclusion that the IPod has high quality playback. Afer all if has been proven by this test if you follow the RMAA. 

http://www.bsstudios.com/downloads/iPod_via_FF400_t2.htm

Note my use of the word "loaded"
Creature of habit.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #23
I do NOT want to start an ABX debate.

BUT: when people talk about Sound Quality in DAPs, are they mostly talking about SQ with manufacturer-supplied 'phones, or with their own known-good/optimal/standard 'phones?

This actually matters to OP, since an otherwise excellent player that comes with crappy 'phones would be easy to fix, and for gym use 'phones are a consumable, anyway.

FWIW, my very undisciplined personal impression is that iPhone earbuds are not the best I own, but with, e.g., Sennheiser PX100s I can't hear any difference between an iPod and my iRiver H120. But that is very impressionistic, and I have tin ears.

Searching for an "mp3-player"

Reply #24
Is it possible for the mods to split off the discussion of ABX equivalents in the DAP world, into a separate thread? I should have said "is reputed to have better sound quality" in my original statement about the Sansa Clip, it wasn't my main point and I wasn't trying to divert the thread into yet another you're-just-a-pseudo-scientist discussion. I believe that those discussions have their place and relevance, but it's a fairly different question from helping the OP find a DAP which fits his criteria.
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

 
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