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Looking for a quality MP3 player (playlists and video)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have spent the past few days reading.  I'd like to think I appreciate quality audio but after all the reading, I think I am just an audio enthusiast that appreciates good sound.

 

I currently have a little Sandisk Sansa MP3 player.  It has been pretty reliable.  I don't know if I ever had a problem with it until lately.  It seems that the phone-jack is going out.  I have to keep the earphone jack in just the right spot or I don't get quality throughput.  My current earbud is the Bose IE2 (I have really liked these. They don't fall out when I am on the road or exercising at the gym)

My little Sansa has taken a LOT of abuse.

First, I am a road bike cyclist so it goes with me on my long rides and it gets beat around.  Next, I am a spin instructor at a gym and it is getting plugged into the big sound system.  What I like about this unit is that it is small, light, robust, and it can hold all my playlists (used mostly for spin classes).  

 

With the jack going out, I am looking for a new MP3 player but have added a new "want".  As mentioned, I do some bike training.  I would like to be able to load some of my training videos onto the device so I can go someplace other than my garage to do my training.  If the videos are on the device, I can go to my local gym or to a training area away from a wifi area.

 

I have read a lot about the COWON, Nationite, and Sony.  These seem to the the 3 brands I have interest in.  The Nationite seems like a really nice unit but from what I can tell, it does not support playlists.  The COWON is said to have great audio and good video support too. 

 

The danger of reading the forums for too long is it is harder to decide what to get because I get more confused the more I read.

Bottom line is I need a new unit.  As such, I have a few requirements.

1.  Prefer the price under 200. max is 300

2.  Must have playlist capability (or some alternative I can play custom music list for gym classes)

3.  Prefer to have video capability to play training videos

4.  Decent battery life

5.  Excellent sound quality

 

If not to make it any more difficult, there are less expensive units like the Creative that now offers GPS (Creative Zen 2).  It has stuff I dont need, like a camera but it got me thinking.  I don't own a smart phone.  But, there are times when I am out riding, it would be great to stop and take a photo.  It would be great to use software that can track my riding route that can later be loaded online for analysis.  It would be nice after a day in the saddle to post a message from Tokyo Joe's (using their free wifi) about the ride, or send the photo to my riding buddies.  While this is not audio related, it is all stuff I would "like" to be able to do but does it come at the cost of poor sound quality?  If I owned a smart phone, this would all but a non-issue.  I am old school....simple phone.  

 

Question is....if you were in my shoes, what kind of units would you be looking at to meet the 5 items listed above and why.

 

Thanks for any feedback.  BTW, I really like this forum!

post #2 of 9

You can get cowon players of various models at that price

there is the J3, X9, and couple others. There is also some Sony players like the F and Z series that fulfills your need

if you are looking for apps capability the Sony F series , comes with android so you can poke around for apps(no camera though) , but as for it being a phone and thus can do data everywhere , I don't think there is a good device at that price point


Edited by Retrias - 3/9/13 at 1:48am
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

HI Retrias,

 

Thank you for the response.  I appreciate the feedback and I will look more closely at the J3 and X9 as well as the Sony units.  Maybe I am asking too much out of a player getting all kinds of features.  I think the two items of most importance is sound quality and play videos (for the bike training).  Obviously, the playlist is a major component too.  

 

Do you think COWON is more reliable that Sony?  Any idea what makes one brand better than the other?

 

Thanks!

post #4 of 9

Cowon is rather rare, you have to get them online and run the risk of having less support than sony player you bought locally, but from what I can see from my friends c2 , the build is rather sturdy and shouldn't break easily. Sony player is of course easier to get support out of since its out in many countries.

 

Cowon advantage includes its own audio enhancing feature like BBE or jeteffect, Sony have their own too like clearbass

post #5 of 9
I think Cowon C2 fits the bill here.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post

Cowon is rather rare, you have to get them online and run the risk of having less support than sony player you bought locally, but from what I can see from my friends c2 , the build is rather sturdy and shouldn't break easily. Sony player is of course easier to get support out of since its out in many countries.

 

Cowon advantage includes its own audio enhancing feature like BBE or jeteffect, Sony have their own too like clearbass

I did notice that there are only a few places to get the COWON. I took a look on Amazon and they have them there so I am not too worried about where to get one.  I am more concerned about which model will best meet my needs.

As for the Sony, I took a look at the Sony USA web site and there only seems to be the F and E series. I had to look overseas to find a Z series.  

I do like the idea of being able to add a memory chip to add  more music.  My Sansa is only a 2gb and I am always having to remove the music so I can add new playlists.  If the nationite had playlist support, I think I would get one of those.  

I appreciate the feedback a lot.  I do think I have narrowed my choices down to the COWON and Sony brands.  Now, I need to narrow down the models to choose from. :)

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

I think Cowon C2 fits the bill here.

I think you are right.  

I found the C2 on Amazon for about $135 (9Mar2013).   I also saw the D3 for $188 (9Mar2013). There is quite a difference in size but there is a big difference in features.  For the small price difference, wouldn't it be make sense to get the D3?  

*** I am assuming the Sony units won't be able to compete with the C2 or D3 when it comes to sound quality, stability, and capacity?  

post #8 of 9

for the capacity it depends on the micro SD card you add on to cowon, Stability , Sony is know to have the more stable device whose UI is more user friendly than that of a cowon, more sane specification too, sound quality is up for grabs , some people like cowon sound signature better, some like sonys better

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post

for the capacity it depends on the micro SD card you add on to cowon, Stability , Sony is know to have the more stable device whose UI is more user friendly than that of a cowon, more sane specification too, sound quality is up for grabs , some people like cowon sound signature better, some like sonys better

the F series found on a site is $300.  I think for the price, I would opt for the C2 or D3.

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