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Panasonic D-snap SD850N

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Don't know how many will be interested in this, but I wanted to share my joy with my DAP. I bought this in Tokyo last month. The Panasonic D-snap SD850N. I am not sure they sell it outside of Japan. I got the "copper" one

The sounds quality is truely excellent. Easily as good as my Sony NH1 minidisc player and better than most DAPs I have heard. It has a 3.3mW digital amp and very good DSP functions for eq. It takes SD and SDHC cards so if one is willing to carry a few around with them and swap, then one technically can have a very large amount of music on flash. I have a 4GB and 16GB card for mine. And the player has an 80hr battery life. I use it every day for my commute and sometimes at work or around the house. I only need to recharge it every 3 weeks and it only takes about 1.5hrs to charge up. The Li-ion pack should have a very long lifespan. And the battery is user replaceable. And if one wants, a 3min charge will top up the battery for 3.5hrs of playback. And since the SD cards come out, I can load/change music without plugging the player into the USB and burning another charge/discharge cycle on the battery (remember li-ion batteries only have 300-500 cycles on them - hence why typical DAPs die after a year when people tend to put them on the charger every night).

The only problem with the player is that it is based on the SD-audio format. This means one has to use the Panasonic software to load music onto the SD cards and the format has some strange limits. For example there is a max of 999 songs per card, 99 titles per play list or artist list, and a max of 99 different lists (so max of 99 albums per card). Basically with 192k mp3s I can only fill about 7GB of my 16GB card before it complains. Kind of annoying. But 8GB cards would work very nice. And since 8GB SDHC cards are around $35 now, and there are nice slim 6 card holders, I can easily carry 48GB of music on flash around with me for $200 in about the same space as an iPod touch. And I can easily expand. I really like having my music on these large SD cards now. It means I don't need to keep them on my harddrives anymore (don't need two copies of the songs - one on the DAP and one on the laptop). I hope Panasonic updates the SD-audio format (and maybe a firmware update for this player) to fix these limits. But even as is 1000 high bitrate songs per 8GB card is still really convenient.

It is a very simple music player (no color screen, no video) but the interface is very easy to use and it is very light in the hand. And the panasonic software is really quite nice once I got used to it. And as I said before the sound quality is truely excellent. I use it with very nice Audio Technica ATH-EC700 headphones and it gives me a portable that is only one step down from my Stax home rig. I have no problem listening to it at home when moving around even though I have much nicer headphone setups available. I can easily tell the difference between 160k and 192k encoding on this player with the EC700 headphones.

And the best thing. This player is not another disposable 1 year life DAP. Yes it isn't flashy, but I think it has a nice classy look to it, it is different, sounds great, has amazing battery life, and is just plain wonderful for listening to music on. I love it.
post #2 of 37
wow that sounds really good.

so waht formats does it support and how much was it?

also what do you mean you have to use the panasonic software? what do u need it to do?
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
They just released the spring 2008 version (SV-SD870N) so the SD850N was half priced at $100 (11000yen). Came with a 1GB card which I put in my digital camera instead. The Fall 2007 model is the SV-SD950N which has bluetooth. The SD870N has a 100hr battery life and comes with a 2GB card but is selling at 19,800yen right now.

The SD850N supports MP3 (CBR and VBR), WMA, and AAC. But no AAC from the apple store. But I think is supports the Windows copy protection (like from Napster store). I buy all my music on CD and rip to mp3 myself and avoid the online music stores. I am recording now with Lame at VBR0 (192k-320k) with CDex 1.70beta and they sound great.

One can't just copy mp3 files onto the SD cards. The Panasonic software does the same thing that iTunes does for the iPod, it copies the music from the computer to the DAP. This is all part of the "control" thing for copy protection, so that music isn't just copied as files on FAT32 filesystems. The SD-audio format looks like a huge private "database file" when one mounts the SD card as a FAT filesystem. All the music is copied into the protected "database" which can only be accessed by the SD-audio jukebox software or the music players.

The Panasonic software is called SD-JukeBox
SD-Jukebox Ver.6.7 Standard Edition
It is primarily for Japanese only Windows, but Panasonic does have a version for western Windows. This product is primarily made for the Japanese market, but I have read on the internet of westerners buying it while on holiday in Japan, and then contacting Panasonic support and getting a version of SD-jukebox which works outside japan.

I think SD-audio has only really caught on in Japan. It was designed as an SD version to compete with minidisc. Here is the Japanese wikipedia page on SD-Audio. Many mobiles phones in Japan use SD-audio for managing music on microSD cards. Here is the SD-audio website

I think Dynamism and Audio Cubes sells this player in the west.
Dynamism.com - D-Snap SV-SD850N-Specifications
AudioCubes.com - Panasonic SV-SD850N D-Snap 1GB MP3 Player - SV-SD850N

I forgot to mention that the SD850N player also comes with built in noise-canceling. The stock headphones have built in mics and the chips in the SD850N do the work. It actually works really quite well. But I prefer my nicer headphones even though they don't do the noise canceling.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
I was doing a little more searching and Panasonic has been making SD-audio players for a couple years now. These were mainly aimed at the Japanese market and thus are very stylish and similar to the mobile phone market where they change models a couple times a year.

The SD310 was kind of cool looking. It was released in spring of 2006. also an SDHC model.



And the SD710 (also Spring 2006) had a big screen

And an older SV-SD100 from 2005 I think
post #5 of 37
Is it metal (looks like metal). I like metal DAPs and phones, etc, but there haven't been many outside the one or two Sony/iPods

EDIT: Talking about the new player you recently got
post #6 of 37
haha cool tahts quite funky.

and cheap too! i'd buy it just for kicks if i could :P
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4saken View Post
Is it metal (looks like metal). I like metal DAPs and phones, etc, but there haven't been many outside the one or two Sony/iPods
My SD850N is not metal. It is a very interesting plastic. The "brown" (I like to think of it as copper) has a "metalic flake" like look to it. But being plastic means the whole player (with large li-ion battery) is only 43gms. It is super light. The touch surface is a little like a microwave oven, but with tactile clicks when the buttons are pushed.
post #8 of 37
Hm. Looks and sounds interesting. How is the software (for a non-Japanese speaker/reader) in terms of ease of use, etc? Or the interface. Appreciate it if you could take some pics of the interface? You seem to be the only one with it on this forum right now.
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4saken View Post
Hm. Looks and sounds interesting. How is the software (for a non-Japanese speaker/reader) in terms of ease of use, etc? Or the interface. Appreciate it if you could take some pics of the interface? You seem to be the only one with it on this forum right now.
I only have the Japanese version of the software. I have only read on the internet about the export version of the program. I am living in Japan right now. My Japanese is rather crude, but this software is simple enough that I can navigate it just fine. Here is a screen shot


Basically one clicks the middle red button that looks [file list ->] to load MP3 into the "juke box" then clicks the boxes of songs, and then clicks the [->SD] button to copy them to the SD card. There are all sorts of option buttons, but basically this is all there is to it.
post #10 of 37
its a shame its not UMS, great sound quality, great battery life, and all let down becuase you have to jump trough hoops to load music on to it,
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aevum View Post
its a shame its not UMS, great sound quality, great battery life, and all let down becuase you have to jump trough hoops to load music on to it,
It really isn't that bad, but yes it would nice if the world was a better place (people didn't pirate music and music companies didn't demand complex copy protection systems from the big electronics companies). But yeah it would be nice if Apple, Sony, MicroSoft, and Panasonic would abandon copy control systems and just allow us to manage our music with folders and files.

But it really isn't that much different than Sony requiring people to use SonicStage to load music onto walkmans, or Apple requiring iTunes to load music onto iPods. Remember this is a Panasonic product. Panasonic is the biggest brand in Japan (actually bigger than Sony in the Japanese domestic market). Sony has history and prestige because it is such a big brand on the world market.
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Oh one really nice feature of the SD-jukebox software is that unlike iTunes, it does not copy the music when importing it. The original music files can be distributed anywhere (even on removable media) and the "import" just indexes the files into the SD-jukebox system (no extra diskspace used). It is just so easy to use. I like it much better than iTunes or SonicStage for managing a music library.

SD-jukebox also has a nice "mood" system that analyzes songs based on beat, fequency balance, and loudness. It works really well for setting up a random mix based on "feeling". And if one wants to "up the tempo" one can just tweak the tempo up and the next song will be a good pick.
post #13 of 37
would have bought one in 2004 had they had software or just drag and drop that worked without windows. espeically all these language dependent versions of software are annoying.

my md, my sony player etc etc do not work because of this shyte. that and i use windows only to boot up these things but. yeah, it would be very nice if indeed these were available outside of windows.

panasonic do have a decent sound to them as well but they often tweak their sound to make it sound bigger than the amp, over amped spectrum are usually their norm. i've had several panasonics with hd amps or similar and they are good but they do process the sound quite a bit more than necessary.

glad you enjoy it. personally, i do like itunes as i can manage everything well and it is fast (i do not use windows). if drag and drop were available, it would be my cheap nano alternative for excercise
post #14 of 37
im not going to get in to the discussion about how DRM is ignored by pirates and only affects end users, so, anyways,

the thing is that the player is great, sounds good, the battery life is good, SDHC expancion is great, but usless if the administration software limits the ammount of tracks you can load,

also, if to say i hook up the player to a computer at work, can i access the music ? or do i need the software and a "authorized" computer ?
post #15 of 37
That is one nice looking player! Wish they'd sell in here.
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