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Over-rated, Over-Priced, Misleading memory claims

A Review On: Astell & Kern AK120

Astell & Kern AK120

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Price paid: $1,200.00
Beethoven Lover
Posted · 53568 Views · 16 Comments

Pros: Excellent SOund

Cons: Only uses 64GB of the claimed 192GB of memory. Indexes songs alphabetically.

Do not buy an Astell & Kern 120.  It claims 192Gb memory, but it indexes and uses only the internal memory - 64gb. The external SD cards carry files but do not show up on the device.   Money spent on the two mini SD cards is totally wasted - the files for all intents and purposes do not exist.  The software index the tracks alphabetically so you must listen to your music in random order.  When using iRiver Plus4 the software does NOT rollover automatically from one memory unit to the next, so you have to monitor your usage constantly - takes forever to load the device with music.  Buy a 5.5G iPod which has the Wolfson DAC already in it.  Have Rapid Repair upgrade the memory to 240gb and you will have a far more useful music player at 1/3 the price.   The reviewers only transfer and listen to a few files so they have no idea how the device actually works.  There is no intention to fix the software defects.  There is no customer support.  It is a rip-off and guilty of false and misleading advertising.


ouch :< i feel you man 
Ask for a refund or tell them to fix it. There have been firmware issues so I have been looking elsewhere too.
Have seen people using x2 128G SD to mini SD cards with the device, you need to update the firmware and reconsider your review.
That's too bad... I've been using mine for some time with 2 64gb cards filled to the brim and upgraded firmware and its been working well for me... I hope you'd take the time to try it again :)
Mine occasionally decides to rescan the library for no discernible reason, then sometimes fails to re-recognize one or both cards. A further rescan usually clears up the problem. Annoying, but I still don't regret buying the AK120.
Also make sure your SD cards are Fat32 format :)
Has to be a firmware issue, mine runs fine and did so out of the box.. although yeah, haven't used any cards with it yet.
I must admit most firmware for Players are designed for Pop Music and uses SONGS (i.e. that is ONE Song per track) as the basis of organizing and playing the music, totally ignoring the fact that much of classical music works (=ONE SONG) have 4 or more tracks that must be played in a particular order for the music to make sense. I have had a complicated way of labelling tracks in order to use such Potable Players for Classical Music. It is also frustrating that they play only one track and do not automatically rollover to the next track in order to play ONE COMPLETE PIECE of a Classical Music Track.  I found Cowan players easier to manipulate to get what I want in the ordering of tracks etc. PLEASE MUSIC INDUSTRY DO NOT BE SO SIMPLE MINDED ABOUT DESIGNING STUFF ONLY FOR POP MUSIC.
i've had one for nine months  and am using it with 2 64gb sandisk cards the are nearly full  and it has the latest firmware
its a good sound , and i would buy another
library scan... do you have the scan set to manual or auto ?, it can make a diference 
this is not really a review...or is it ?!?
I think the reviewer needs to take the time to learn about his device before reviewing. 
On the home screen in the upper right hit the golden 'gear' icon.
Scroll to the bottom of the list and hit 'advanced'. 
Then hit 'Auto Library Scan'
Then hit 'Scan Library'
Like magic it will catalog your two drives.
I agree with the previous comments from owners who own the unit. I would surmise that Beethoven Lover either received a defective unit or really didn't read the instructions and therefore didn't know how to use his AK120 properly. My unit has about 60GB on loaded up on two microSD cards and the same on the internal memory and the AK120 sees every last song. I have the unit set to manually scan the library as it is only necessary to re-scan when you make a change to the files.
I have never used the IRiver software yet I have loaded about 180GB of FLAC files, over 900 CD's onto my AK120 and microSD cards without any difficulty and my AK120 see's all my album art and can sort my music based on: Genre, Album or Artist. I simply use windows explorer to copy entire folders from my "FLAC" folder to the AK120 or my micro SD card using a USB 3.0 card reader. When tagging the folders to copy I made sure to use the "properties" command (right click the mouse and it is usually at the bottom) so as not to exceed the storage limits of either the AK120 or the card I am copying files to. I loaded 59GB onto the AK120's internal memory and the rest onto two microSD cards, separately of course. I have over 7,000 songs on my AK120 and it boots up in less than 10 seconds, you only need to scan your memory once when you first load all the files. Do you have it set up to scan all the memory every time you turn it on? You can change that under settings for much faster boot-up.

You are correct that searching by Genre brings up all the song in that Genre by song title in alphabetical order, not by album and I have also complained to tech support and written them a very detailed letter as to how it should be ordered. That said, I search by Artist and when you do, it brings up every album by that artist, showing the album cover for each album and within each album, will play the songs by track number, not alphabetically or you can pick and play just the song you want by tapping the song title on the screen. You can also search by Album and it will play the songs in that album based on track number or you can just play a specific song in that album by just tapping the song title on the screen. If that is not your experience, check to see if your files are properly tagged so that the AK120 can properly identify them. I have several other DMP's including a Cowon Z2, Sony NWZ-A729, Apple iPod 5.5 (Rockbox v.3.13) with memory upgrade and have had no issues with any of them being able to read my ID3 tags so when I loaded the very same FLAC files onto my AK120, it too had no difficulty recognizing them.
As an aside, there is no way in God's green earth that the iPod 5.5 comes anywhere near the SQ of the AK120

There is a free program called Mp3tag which enables you to edit any of the ID3 tags associated with your music files, shows you exactly what tags are associated with each folder and it automatically searches for the album art for you (top menu> Tag Sources> Cover Art). It will also search the net for the proper tags and if it doesn't find them, you can just type them into the proper fields and click save and that's it! So any changes that the iRiver program may have done to your files can be easily corrected using this free program with the ability to edit just one song title or make changes to the entire album (such as rename a genre) as long as you remember to click "Save" before you exit. Any change to the file(s) can be re-edited by just opening the folder again with Mp3tag, it is a great program. BTW, use the "control A" command to make changes to the entire album/folder (Title, Artist, Genre, Album Artist, Disc Number), while changes to individual songs are done by just highlighting that song, such as to correct the track number. Remember to save the changes!
Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. It appears that you posted a one star review on every forum you could find when perhaps the "fault" may not have had anything to do with the player. I hope you have found a player that you like.

Guys, wait for AK120 2nd generation. It will feature same interface as that of AK240 and will have folder browsing function. 
I've got an AK120 with Firmware 1.4 and 2. 128GB mSD cards and it works flawlessly.  Once in a while it stops reading one of the cards and reboot fixes it.   My only complaint with unit is that it is a little sluggish moving between menu items - which I think is ridiculous for a $1300 player - but the sound is incredible married up to a pair of SE535s  - It sounds amazing in the car too!
I own the AK120 MK1 VERSION.

Goldlion973 12/18/13 at 2:37amFlag
Have seen people using x2 128G SD to mini SD cards with the device, you need to update the firmware and reconsider your review."

I run x2 128gb MicroSDXC's made by SanDisk on my AK120.

I don't even use the IRiver programme for anything really TBH with you.
Format a 128gb microSDXC Card into FAT32 using your PC Visa a card reader or something.
Load all you music files be them Flacs/ Aiff's or even Mp3's then remove your 128gb microSDXC Card & put it back in your AK120 = Scan Library & it'll find all your music you dragged & dropped onto that card.
If you have another 128gb microSDXC Card do that same procedure.

As for using the AK120'S INBUILT 64GB FLASH STORAGE? Well that 1's simpler, again don't bother using iRiver software, just attach your AK120 VIA it's USB LEAD & then simply drag & drop the required files

Your AK120 can hold 128gb x2 in microSDXC storage + 64gb in on board flash storage, that's a FACT!

So yours & everybody else's AK120 MARK1 CAN HOLD 320GB'S OF MUSICAL FILES.
It's not such a big deal having to remove the MicroSDXC cards to store/ remove music from them as if you use a cheap'ish sub £10 USB3 CARD READER it transfers your music faster too.

I plan on holding onto my AK120 Mark/ Version 1 for as long as I can cause apart from the AK240 IT HOLD THE MOST GB'S of music & sounds superb


Some people are indeed better sticking to their IPODS IMHO or perhaps researching/ troubleshooting before they go into meltdown & blame a faultless product.
320GB'S storage with great sound when paired with decent cans & a great battery life, he'll it's the best all rounder yet IMHO & I've tried a few
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