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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Before we get started, I've Googled it.

I have a music library that expands at the rate of about one cd every month. I encode all of my music as FLAC files and then lock my little plastic discs away for safe keeping.

I had a Rockboxed iPod with a 60GB drive in it, but I have long since outgrown it. I could have expanded the Hard Drive, but I am looking for something with native FLAC support and better hardware.

I don't mind discontinued devices being listed, but I would like to see what is currently out there too. I'd say the player should provide a minimum of 3 hours of play time on a single charge, 8 would be 'cherry.'

I need to be able to put music on it with out proprietary transfer software.

The player will be plugged into a pair of ATH M50s and will be listened to by someone who puts his hands over his ears when a track from iTunes is played.

A good bonus would be support for 96khz/24bit files, but I'm not holding my breath.

Lastly, I'm looking at spending less than $200USD. If it is a little over budget and meet the aforementioned requirements perfectly, I'd still like to know about it.

Thanks in advance for your time.

  • hlloyge
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #1
Wasn't there iPod with 160 GB drive? something like Classic? 249$, 160 GB of space.
Transcode all music to Apple Lossless if you insist of listening to lossless files on the go - I am not aware of any other device that has that much capacity.

Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #2
Before we get started, I've Googled it.

I have a music library that expands at the rate of about one cd every month. I encode all of my music as FLAC files and then lock my little plastic discs away for safe keeping.

I had a Rockboxed iPod with a 60GB drive in it, but I have long since outgrown it. I could have expanded the Hard Drive, but I am looking for something with native FLAC support and better hardware.


Get a bunch of the biggest possible Sansa Clip or Fuze and expand them with the biggest possible uSDHC cards.  For the price of an iPod you can get a number of them. ;-)

You might be able to get by with just one player by swapping uSDHC cards as needed.  You might be able carry terabytes in uSDHC cards in an Altoids case! ;-)


  • eamon123
  • [*]
Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #3
The sansa clip might be what you're looking for, you can carry extra SD cards to get 120 GB. It is more than 5mm thick though (34.7 x 55 x 15.33 mm).
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2012, 09:33:58 AM by eamon123

Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #4
The sansa clip might be what you're looking for, you can carry extra SD cards to get 120 GB. It is more than 5mm thick though (34.7 x 55 x 15.33 mm).


About half the thickness is the clip, which is easy enough to do away with...  ;-)

  • skamp
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Developer
Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #5
Put rockbox on a used iPod Classic (160 GB). Much more convenient than swapping out microsdhc cards IMO. A prayer is often required after transfering files via USB though.

Or, transcode your FLAC library to a lossy codec at a transparent setting and put it on a 32 GB microsdhc card for use with a rockboxed Clip+. That's the cheapest option I think, and it's pretty convenient.
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2012, 12:54:28 PM by skamp
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • eahm
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #6
Even better if you like lossless, 240GB iPod Classic 7th Gen: http://www.head-fi.org/t/604266/review-mod...b-hdd-from-ebay
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2012, 12:55:29 PM by eahm

  • yourlord
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #7
I know it's not what you want to hear, but honestly, the days of portable media players with that kind of storage are gone, for at least a little while longer.. Until flash storage at that capacity gets within the reasonable cost range you're gonna be stuck with constrained storage..

Like you, if storage wasn't an issue, I'd love nothing more than to carry my entire library around in flac format. I detest having to transcode my flac library to lossy to get a reasonable music density on my devices. That being said, I don't detest transcoding because of a problem with the audio quality, but just because it's an extra step in the process.

Get an 8GB Sansa Clip+, add a 32GB uSDHC card and transcode your library onto the thing using Ogg Vorbis at quality 5 or 6. If you think you can hear a difference between that and flac, you're wrong.. If you have a friend who thinks they can hear a difference, they are wrong too (unless they/you provide positive ABX results that say otherwise). It's your best CURRENT option for high music density on a portable device. You won't even need to rockbox the clip+ to play Ogg Vorbis (unless you just really want to rockbox it)..
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2012, 04:40:39 PM by yourlord

  • eahm
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #8
It's your best CURRENT option for high music density on a portable device. You won't even need to rockbox the clip+ to play Ogg Vorbis (unless you just really want to rockbox it)..

Why is that "the best"? I rather using and find more practical AAC for example. AAC performs also better than Ogg Vorbis at the same bitrate so you can go lower. Lower = smaller files = better for portable use.

Jonathan217, use ALAC, use whatever makes you happy.
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2012, 09:27:37 PM by eahm

  • yourlord
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #9
Sorry, I let my love of freedom bias me.. The quality difference between AAC and Vorbis is small enough to be essentially dismissed at bitrates of 96kbps and higher, and the freedom aspect makes it a no brainer to me.

Plus, the clip+ supports Ogg Vorbis out of the box. 

But, by all means, he can use whatever floats his boat.
  • Last Edit: 18 October, 2012, 10:01:28 PM by yourlord

  • Soap
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #10
I am looking for something with native FLAC support...


What is the difference between native FLAC support and Rockbox FLAC support in your mind?

... and better hardware.


Help me understand what the problem with the iPod 5th generation's hardware is and I can better help you.
  • Last Edit: 19 October, 2012, 09:29:33 AM by Soap
Creature of habit.

  • J.Philippe
  • [*]
Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #11
I am looking for something with native FLAC support...


What is the difference between native FLAC support and Rockbox FLAC support in your mind?


I can only speak for myself, but native support means you don't have to install 3rd party software such as Rockbox -- Some people like when things just work out of the box, no pun intended. In any case, I would encode my music into a natively supported format, and not the other way around... ie. trying to find a player which supports my favourite format.

Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #12
I am looking for something with native FLAC support...


What is the difference between native FLAC support and Rockbox FLAC support in your mind?

... and better hardware.


Help me understand what the problem with the iPod 5th generation's hardware is and I can better help you.


The difference in support is based on information I gleaned from Rockbox that pointed out there was a lot of extra work the iPod had to do to decode the FLAC files.

As far as the hardware is concerned, that is based of unverified information that the quality of the audio components in the iPod is mediocre compared to something made by Cowon, for instance.

Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #13
Wasn't there iPod with 160 GB drive? something like Classic? 249$, 160 GB of space.
Transcode all music to Apple Lossless if you insist of listening to lossless files on the go - I am not aware of any other device that has that much capacity.



It's your best CURRENT option for high music density on a portable device. You won't even need to rockbox the clip+ to play Ogg Vorbis (unless you just really want to rockbox it)..

Why is that "the best"? I rather using and find more practical AAC for example. AAC performs also better than Ogg Vorbis at the same bitrate so you can go lower. Lower = smaller files = better for portable use.

Jonathan217, use ALAC, use whatever makes you happy.


Unless it is dinner time, Apple is a bad idea. ;-)

  • saratoga
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #14
The difference in support is based on information I gleaned from Rockbox that pointed out there was a lot of extra work the iPod had to do to decode the FLAC files.


What do you mean?  Why would rockbox have to do "a lot of extra work"?  FLAC is a very efficient format . . .

As far as the hardware is concerned, that is based of unverified information that the quality of the audio components in the iPod is mediocre compared to something made by Cowon, for instance.


No, the Classic in particular is probably better then anything Cowon makes.  Or at least good enough that you shouldn't care about the difference between it and the alternatives.

FWIW, I'd get the Classic and either use ALAC in the apple firmware, or use Rockbox + FLAC.

  • yourlord
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #15
Still, it doesn't make sense.

Ipod classic 160GB from Amazon is $229
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-classic-Black-...ds=ipod+classic

Using FLAC -8, which tends to compress slightly better than ALAC, and assuming an average compressed audo file size of 30MB you can store about 5300 songs on the ipod classic 160GB.

Now, get a sansa clip+ 8GB from Amazon at $55
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Sansa-Clip-P...eywords=clip%2B
add a 32GB microsd card at $21
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Mobile-micro...s=32gb+micro+sd

You now have 40GB of storage.
Using Ogg Vorbis at q2 yielding ~96kbps files, averaging 3MB per file you can fit 13,300 songs on it. You can DOUBLE the bitrate/quality of Vorbis to q6, roughly 192kbps, which is audibly transparent to all but the most dog earred freaks of nature and you STILL can store over 6600 songs on it.. Perceptually the same audio quality as the lossless files, more of them, and a total cost of $76..

1/3 the cost of the ipod..

It's your money.. You can choose to waste it if you really want to.
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2012, 01:03:16 PM by yourlord

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #16
How many 192kbps files can you get on an iPod classic?  Don't forget that it can also play back video.
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2012, 01:40:21 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • db1989
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #17
As far as the hardware is concerned, that is based of unverified information that the quality of the audio components in the iPod is mediocre compared to something made by Cowon, for instance.

No, the Classic in particular is probably better then anything Cowon makes.  Or at least good enough that you shouldn't care about the difference between it and the alternatives.

In any case, this site is not for unverified information, particularly about subjective audio quality.

A good bonus would be support for 96khz/24bit files, but I'm not holding my breath.

This is definitely overkill. Whilst I might not have been as adamant as yourlord, I was inclined to agree somewhat, under the impression that you presumably have at least one master copy of your library; in that case, it would make little sense to carry around another if you do not have to (unless of course you want to use that as a backup copy, but we all have some idea of what hard disks can be like). The reason that it makes little sense is that portable usage makes the listener even less likely to encounter artefacts or other perceptual degradation than would listening at home.

But in terms of questionable logic, it makes infinitely less sense to want to preserve a portable copy in a resolution that humans are physiologically incapable of appreciating, even were they to be card-carrying √úbermensch in a hermeneutically sealed listening chamber.
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2012, 01:28:48 PM by db1989

  • yourlord
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #18
How many 192kbps files can you get on an iPod classic?  Don't forget that it can also playback video.


Over 26600.. If he has that many songs and wants to carry them all around on his portable device, then the ipod classic 160GB is the only logical choice.

I was simply trying to demonstrate he can get better transparent lossy density on a $76 solution than he can using lossless with the most capacious device on the market.
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2012, 01:54:34 PM by yourlord

  • greynol
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #19
Can you still use the Classic as a portable hard drive for storage and transport for non-media and media files alike or has Apple hidden that away from the user, ostensibly (or worse) tying it to iTunes?
  • Last Edit: 26 October, 2012, 01:43:44 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • skamp
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  • Developer
Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #20
Yes, you have to tick a checkbox in iTunes, which will make the iPod accessible as a mass storage device.
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.

  • saratoga
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #21
Can you still use the Classic as a portable hard drive for storage and transport for non-media and media files alike or has Apple hidden that away from the user, ostensibly (or worse) tying it to iTunes?


It connects over MSC, so you can pretty much do anything you want with it.

  • greynol
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #22
So it still behaves like the older iPods and not like an iPhone or iPod Touch, IOW.  That's good!
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • db1989
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Looking for at 120+GB FLAC Player, dimensions L<=6 W<=3 D<=.5
Reply #23
Yes, you have to tick a checkbox in iTunes, which will make the iPod accessible as a mass storage device.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought mass storage was always available - and that said checkbox was only to enable manual addition of files to the player's library via iTunes, as opposed to automatic syncing of everything.