I already know that there is no Shuffle option on the TASCAM HD-100 MkII. I've read the entire manual. It's similar to the PCM-M10 - you have to select and play one folder at a time. Put everything in one folder and you still can't shuffle - you can only scroll through the list. No search by album, by artist, by song, no play lists.
I'm already accustomed to this with the PCM-M10, so all I'm hoping for is the possibility of a "better" Line Out, but I hear you.
What I really want doesn't exist: A portable device with good battery life that has a card reader with gap-less playback support for FLAC to 96/24, with the simple UI of even a Sanza Clip+, but with a killer DAC to Line Out, no headphone amp, and no other bells or whistles whatsoever. Keep the parts list down and the quality extremely high. I just want a card reader to Line Out with a good UI - with which to drive a portable amp of choice. This market has so many portable amps to choose from, but where are the portable sources that don't have a built-in amp to headphone out?
Instead, the closest I can come to my dream device is a selection of buggy DAPs, where early adopters live for the next firmware download. Relatively speaking, these Japanese field recorders are bullet-proof. They are exceptionally well-documented and thoroughly tested before they are released to the market. And the pricing reflects the fact that they are sold in much greater numbers than the half-baked DAPs that are slopped onto this tiny headphone enthusiast market.
In short, I'm a lot happier putting up with a device that's doing exactly what it was designed to do, even though I'm pressing it to serve a different purpose, than I am putting up with a device that, even in its last firmware revision, continues to fail at doing its intended purpose.
Anyone who hasn't spent 30 minutes with a PCM-M10 would be amazed at how well made it is and how well it functions. It's a gem compared to most of the portable DAPs out there. I can live without sort, search, and shuffle features - if that's what it takes to enjoy a player that's bug-free and robustly built.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
I do most of my listening through a Cowon C2 now, it does all I want and although the headphone out is definitely NOT the best, this little player has EXCELLENT battery life, has a bunch of playback options and formats, reads 64gb microSD cards, etc. One of these days the holy grail of DAPs will come out... I'm sure of it...