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Portable Audio Player Project

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Update 19 Sep 09
Heres a concept I did on MS PAINT as thanks for all your replies ENJOY.

AJ Lazaro© :P
It's not really clear, but the bottom part has headphone out, usb for i/o(DACmode) and line out jack(obviously redundant, coz of the internal amp but for users who will connect to their home amp). This bottom part can be unscrewed and pulled out, thats where I proposed will be the amp section, with a similar formfactor to the Emmeline shadow amp. Ideally it would beable to be swapped out ala HIFIMAN, no op-amp rolling in this design, I doubt it could be supported at this size. The screen is oled capacitive touchscreen...with oleophobic coating. Playback buttons on the side for blind control.
No external gain switch...because I imagine in one's pocket that could poke, be broken, or change by itself...(*hint**hint* amp designers)
Ideally the dimensions would be around 0.5"x1.45"x3"
After drawing it I realised that I havent address volume control...and the fact that ergonomically, it looks like it's made for a left hander(when you see it...). Oh and the weird line in the middle of the bottom part, is coz I tried to render chrome and failed.




Original 16 Sep 09
Hi Head-Fiers,
I'm currently doing an Product Design project for uni and was wondering if you guys could help me out in regards to my design.
The project is to design a portable audio player for a user group, and my user group happens to be audiophiles like yourselves.

So if you could fill out one of these little surveys that would be great.

Portable Player Survey:-
What is your current portable audio player?:

Do you use it with an amp?:

If so does it fit in your pocket?

Do you use headphones or IEMs?

What do you like about the controls?

What do you hate about the controls?

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?

In general what do you like about your player?

In general what do you hate about your player?

Any suggestions?

Thankyou,
post #2 of 39
Hey mate, I'll try to answer for you.


What is your current portable audio player?:

Creative Zen Vision M 60gb

Do you use it with an amp?:

No

If so does it fit in your pocket?

Do you use headphones or IEMs?

IEMs, Westone UM3X

What do you like about the controls?

User customisable button, touch strip

What do you hate about the controls?

The outside buttons don't 'click' as nicely as they could. Overall not too much to complain about.

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?

Yeah, just unhold and hit left or right. No biggie.

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?

Don't use it. Just sync via WMP. It's not the best process but it's easy enough

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?

It is easy because I have the option to do it the way I want... i.e. drag and drop, sync via a program, whatever. I don't really want to be forced to do it one way.

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?

No, USB only. Not a problem though.

In general what do you like about your player?

It's basically adequate for my needs although a bit old. I'm planning to get the new 64gb touch to replace it, although it is a good player.

In general what do you hate about your player?

It's kinda fat. I have the early 60gb version. :P

Any suggestions?

*shrugs*
post #3 of 39
Quote:
What is your current portable audio player?
Ipod 5th gen 240gb w/rockbox.
Quote:
Do you use it with an amp?
Never used an external amp.
Quote:
If so does it fit in your pocket?
I haven't had a portable player that didn't fit in my pocket (except for CD ones, of course).
Quote:
Do you use headphones or IEMs?
Earbuds, namely, audio-technica CM700 (they've broke for a fifth time since september 2008) and yuin PK3.
Quote:
What do you like about the controls?
Well, at least it is not a touch-screen.
Quote:
What do you hate about the controls?
Clickwheel.
Quote:
Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
I can, but it is a difficult job, and with zune it was just a slightly less difficult. Controls on kenwood HD60GD9 are a lot better, and on sony NW-HD5 are just great.
Quote:
Does it have packaged software?
Yes, it does.
Quote:
What do you like or hate about it?
I hate everything about itunes; however, i'm not using it.
Quote:
Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
It is a relatively easy process; however, copying is just a terribly slow, even under original apple firmware i'm getting about 10MB/s speed (that is ipod's by-design issue).
Quote:
Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
No and i don't need to.
Quote:
In general what do you like about your player?
Capacity.
Quote:
In general what do you hate about your player?
SQ, ClickWheel, "glamour", dimensions, weight, low battery life (that was actual a several months ago, with a patched version of rockbox i'm getting more than 20 hours, it is still low, but acceptable).
Quote:
Any suggestions?
AMP3 with a larger screen, rockbox and a lot of onboard memory (maybe 128GB?)
Or HD60GD9 with 128GB SSD and rockbox (or, at least, true support of AAC).
post #4 of 39
What is your current portable audio player?:
iriver ih140

Do you use it with an amp?:
No but I plan to

If so does it fit in your pocket?
It's a bit thick, not in jeans but does fit jacket pocket

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
Both

What do you like about the controls?
Hard buttons and LCD remote control

What do you hate about the controls?
Joystick, could do with a larger 5 way thumbpad/buttons

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
Yes

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
It did, you have to sync to use database, but you could still copy to it like a hard drive, and play by folder. Not a problem anymore I've flashed it to Rockbox

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
yes it is, just copy and paste in windows explorer.

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
No

In general what do you like about your player?
Great sound quality, optical out, full LCD remote control, Rockbox support which means it can playback flac, ogg, supports replaygain and gapless.

In general what do you hate about your player?
Not hate but would like it a bit thinner, faster update LCD screen, better joystick, and dock.

Any suggestions?
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
thanx guys, look forward to reading more results soon =D
post #6 of 39
Portable Player Survey:-

What is your current portable audio player?:
amp3

Do you use it with an amp?:
no because amp3 has already good internal amp

If so does it fit in your pocket?
yes, my amp3 is small

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
none of them actually, i use earbuds

What do you like about the controls?
simple

What do you hate about the controls?
the build quality is cheap

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
yes

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
no

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
yes, drag n drop

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
No

In general what do you like about your player?
Good Sound Quality

In general what do you hate about your player?
bad quality control and many bugs

Any suggestions?
DAP with rolling opamp


Thankyou,
post #7 of 39
Portable Player Survey:-

What is your current portable audio player?:
amp3

Do you use it with an amp?:
no because amp3 is a AMP/ DAP hybrid.

If so does it fit in your pocket?
yes, my amp3 is very small

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
I don't like the IEM, it is not comfortable, I like the perfect stocked earbud.

What do you like about the controls?
simple and intuition

What do you hate about the controls?
so times it freez if i am too rush to go to next stage.

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
I can operate it inside my pocket.

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
no

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
yes, drag n drop

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
No, i CAN'T

In general what do you like about your player?
Good Sound Quality and solid construction.

In general what do you hate about your player?
hope the upgrade software can address some bugs.

Any suggestions?
I hope the memory could be larger.
post #8 of 39
Portable Player Survey:-
What is your current portable audio player?:
Apple iPod Touch

Do you use it with an amp?:
No

If so does it fit in your pocket?
N/A

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
Both, UM2 and Apple Premium In-Ear for IEMs, AKG K518 and Senn PX100 for headphones

What do you like about the controls?
Touchscreen navigation makes searching songs a breeze, Adaptable UI for different purposes

What do you hate about the controls?
Blindly controlling touchscreen near impossible, although a remote helps in that regard

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
Yes, remote either bought seperately or on the Apple In-Ears

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
iTunes. Slow and buggy for the Windows version.

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
Relatively easy, add music to iTunes then auto sync or manually drag songs onto iPod

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
No

In general what do you like about your player?
Good UI and touchscreen, tons of useful apps, good SQ for a player without an amp, especially with portable cans and IEMs

In general what do you hate about your player?
A bit pricey, but jailbreaking and firmware updates make it worthwhile
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by penartur View Post
AMP3 with a larger screen, rockbox and a lot of onboard memory (maybe 128GB?)
Or HD60GD9 with 128GB SSD and rockbox (or, at least, true support of AAC).
I'm changing my opinion.
Today a new walkmans have been announced, and this is the only players of everything i have seen for a several years, that i really like. I cannot dream of anything but 128gb of storage in this beautiful devices. The only thing that is preventing me from setting up an alarm on japanese midnight of october 31st to purchase A840 ASAP is that 64GB is not enough for me; i just don't want to spend $440 on something i will use for a half of year. I will purchase 128gb version just as it will be released, even if it will be, say, $600; and i believe that it will be my new player for a several years (the only player i've used more than a half of year was NW-HD5, and i've used it for a three years as a primary player; four years total).
post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
thanx for you input, ive gone with the amp3 hifiman route with the internal amp, design wise its more interesting than a standalone candybar style audio player. ill post up some concepts within the week.
post #11 of 39
What is your current portable audio player?
Sansa E280.

Do you use it with an amp?
No.

If so does it fit in your pocket?
N/A

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
Headphones.

What do you like about the controls?
Good tactile feedback in the buttons and scroll wheel.

What do you hate about the controls?
I dislike that the four main buttons are positioned right against the scroll wheel, and don't have the width to make up for it, making them harder to press than they should be.

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
Yes.

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
It has included video conversion software, but it is clunky and a hassle to use.

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
It's a bit of a hassle to get new content onto the player. It would be nice to not have to open some non-integrated application (such as a web browser, iTunes, or whatever you use to download mp3's) for downloading music on the computer, and either drag/drop or sync with WMP. A slick, integrated, wireless solution like the Zune possesses would be very nice.

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
No.

In general what do you like about your player?
It has a quality feel to it. It fits well enough in a pocket. It has good physical controls. It is easy to use both blind and with one hand. It has sufficient internal capacity, plus it has a MicroSD slot. It looks fairly attractive. It includes an FM radio tuner, radio recording and voice recording. Supports custom EQ. Supports playlists. Supports on-the-fly song ratings, and rating display.

In general what do you hate about your player?
Interface is janky-looking and outdated. Screen is lousy. SQ is mediocre. Video playback functionality is useless, since video has to be re-encoded to a usable format using lousy Sansa software. No dedicated volume controls. Radio reception isn't especially strong. Radio recording quality is horrendous to the point of being utterly useless. Limited format support. No games, widgets, apps, etc., of any kind. No gapless playback support, which is a biggie!

Any suggestions?
A portable audio player should above all have excellent sound quality. It should have a good built-in DAC and amp, and have noise-free, clear, balanced output through the standard 3.5mm jack. I don't want to have to tack on an external amp to get good output for mid- to high-end headphones. Too much to ask?
post #12 of 39
Portable Player Survey:-

What is your current portable audio player?:

Samsung Sansa Clip, 2GB

Do you use it with an amp?:

Not when using it on the go.

If so does it fit in your pocket?

NA

Do you use headphones or IEMs?

Both. Sennheiser CX300 for noisy environments, Koss PortaPros when isolation is not needed.

What do you like about the controls?

Simple, functional, logical. No extraneous buttons or switches. No touch screen.


What do you hate about the controls?

Volume control located too close to the headphone jack. I wouldn't say I hate this, but it can be annoying.

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?

For skipping forward and backward in the queue, yes. To select specific song directly, no. That requires eyeballing the display.

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?

Came with Rhapsody software, which I don't use, since I don't subscribe to Rhapsody.

Like: No special software required! Simply drag and drop under XP. Simplicity is good. Simplicity is very good. Especially after putting up with SonicStage for years while using minidisc machines.

Hate: Nothing.

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?

Couldn't be simpler. Just drag and drop from Windows Explorer.

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?

No.

In general what do you like about your player?

Sound quality.
Excellent format support. FLAC especially.
Simplicity.
Very compact. Tiny, even.
No extraneous features (video, Web browser, fake surround-processing, bass boost, etc.) that I have no interest in.


In general what do you hate about your player?

Lack of an expansion slot. Of course, If I had waited a month, I could have bought the new version, which has a microSDHD slot.


Any suggestions?

Keep it simple -- pretty much as it is -- in future versions. Of course, it will probably sprout all kinds of useless features that I don't want. Present version suits me very well, except for lack of expansion slot.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBenway View Post
Samsung Sansa Clip, 2GB
Wow.
post #14 of 39
What is your current portable audio player?:
Sansa Fuze 8GB

Do you use it with an amp?:
yep

If so does it fit in your pocket?
hardly, for the amp is big and heavy.

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
Headphones mostly

What do you like about the controls?
no ***ing touchscreen, no clickwheel. Simple, intuitive, works well.

What do you hate about the controls?
the on/off-switch seems to wear out

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
yes.

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
not that I know of.

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
I can choose between MSC and MTP - nothing to be made easier.

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
I can´t "sync" in general for the player is about 1/10 the size of my collection. also there´s no wireless anything in the little bugger.

In general what do you like about your player?
small, SDHC-slot, loading via MSC-mode (no Itunes needed, thank god), fairly rugged, good SQ. And with 60 € it was a real bargain.

In general what do you hate about your player?
shiny, glossy surface that scratches and not enough internal memory. Oh, and no line-out cable exists. There´s a DIY-solution but i´m not that handy...

Any suggestions?
more internal memory needed. Glossy surface sucks big time, please more ruggedness. And a slot for microSDXC would be great. no video support and so on needed, who´s gonny watch videos on that microscopic screen anyways. keep it clean and simple.
post #15 of 39
Portable Player Survey:-

What is your current portable audio player?:
DIYmod 5.5 gen 30GB

Do you use it with an amp?:
Mostly yes, although if I can't stand the weight/bulk I will use it without an amp.

If so does it fit in your pocket?
Nope, too big and heavy.

Do you use headphones or IEMs?
Mostly IEMs.

What do you like about the controls?
No need to spam directional arrows to get where I want. Easily used with one hand.

What do you hate about the controls?
Can get quite inaccurate when precision is needed. Lifting my thumb off the clickwheel can accidentally cause a change in volume/selection on the screen etc.

Can you use it blindly, without looking at the player, to change songs?
I can switch off hold and go to the next song without looking, but to select a specific song is impossible without looking at the player.

Does it have packaged software? What do you like or hate about it?
Not really packaged software but iTunes and I hate it. Well I hate how it works as a music player, not how it syncs with the device, that's done really well.

Is downloading music to the player an easy process? what can be made easier?
DRAG AND DROP PLEASE.

Can you sync your player wirelessly with your computer?
Nope.

In general what do you like about your player?
Has a line out. Ease of use.

In general what do you hate about your player?
No drag and drop, no digital output. Low battery life.

Any suggestions?
Nope.
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