Most people are remarking on the sound/hardware/mods, so I decided to share my thoughts on the software side of the unit. These are my observations using the 1.33 software. I am a software developer by profession and have an idea of their underlying implementation. It's mostly complaints.
Startup time is still to slow, even with auto sync turned off. It's not as bad as it was initially, but still painful. It doesn't need to be instant-on but should be close to it.
(Auto) Sync is still to slow and should be smarter about what it needs to scan. Rescanning the entire library each time is inefficient.There are better ways...
Navigation is still to clunky and inefficient. I hypothesize that the clunky-ness comes from a cheap touch display component. The navigation could be improved greatly if they tried to stay close to the three-click rule; it's not just for the web anymore. Also, an easy way to return to the main menu from any location would be useful.
Poor id3 tag recognition. Some tracks have to be re-encoded (yes, re-encoded) entirely even though they work fine with other players.
Bad disc/track ordering within the UI. Disc 2 Track 1 should not come before Disc 1 Track 2.
Useless feature: Bluetooth, who uses this? Audio over bluetooth is attrocious. No self-respecting audiophile (that I know) would use it.
~These are mostly my complaints from developing my own sync tools for my non-windows machine. It's easy to get around and I know they did it because they were lazy.
Poor image data storage. 8bit unicode string in an a dat file indexed from the track db... this isn't 1995. Even just using the filesystem would be better.
Poor (non-existant) playlist format support. That thing they call a playlist, they shouldn't be trying to do their own thing especially when there is no benefit.
Overall my verdict is that everyone is paying 700$+ for a player that has a excellent 3.50$ DAC
. The device likely cost <$50 total in parts. I would expect the software to be amazing at that price range. Right now, I can't recommend it to anyone (with or without a mod) and if I worked on the software for it I would be embarrassed to claim that I did. Of course I shouldn't hate, the software is par for the course for products directed toward the high-end audio market... poor quality.
Not to be all hate, some things I do like about it. The Sound. The Form Factor & Shell, HW controls (except that ****ty volume knob). USB Charging, Expandable storage, although the sd slot needs to be more shallow for easier access.