Having given up on the FiiO X3 firmware ever approaching a bug-free state, I've been following the FiiO X5 thread, only to get more discouragement.
I posted this just now: http://www.head-fi.org/t/661411/fiio-x5-thread-info-updated-on-jan-17th-2014/6345#post_10438397
Note that my $249 Sony PCM-M10 recorder/player, that has been trouble-free with nearly daily use for over three years and counting, is still running version 1.0.0 firmware - and Sony has never offered an upgrade to that firmware - because it's bug-free.
I'm taunted by the fact that Sony has begun shipping their new, DSD and 192 kHz PCM-capable recorder/player with a 32-bit proprietary DAC, gap-less playback of DSD, WAV, FLAC, MP3, WMA and AAC-LC formats on SD, SD-HC,or SD-XC cards, plus both Line Out and Optical Out - with 25 hours of play time on four AA batteries - and... you can make recordings with it!
$800 will get you a rather bulky and heavy but (extremely probable) bug-free transport, that offers a weak headphone amp, but for those willing to carry a portable amp, this thing would would be a potent transportable source and could likely do a very good job as a desktop source, too.
Can you imagine what the retail price of this machine would be if it weren't produced in huge quantities? If a niche-market manufacturer like HiFiMan, iBasso, or FiiO tried to produce something with this feature set and quality, in small quantities, we would have to pay more than $10,000 for it. Ask yourself what the retail price of a a HiFiMan HM-901 would be if they could sell thousands of them instead of hundreds(?) So why not take advantage of using this mass-produced device in ways for which it was not intended?
Some people would answer: It's ugly. It's heavy. It's bulky. I don't want to pay for mics and pre-amps I'll never use - even if the bang for the buck is enormous compared to something like a HiFi-Man HM-901. It only offers folder browsing. I can't search by artist. I can't search by album. I can't search by song. It doesn't have repeat. It doesn't have shuffle. It doesn't support playlists. Its headphone out is weak. I don't want to carry a portable amp. It doesn't have an OEM DAC chip I recognize. I don't need 192 kHz PCM capability. I don't need DSD capability. I like small all-in-one DAPs with expensive, proprietary battery packs that only last 5 to 6 hours on a charge. I like torturing myself with products that don't work the way they're intended. I love waiting for firmware upgrades and applying them regularly, never actually achieving a bug-free experience.
I don't suffer any such thinking, myself, but I'm holding out (feeling foolish for doing so), waiting for a less expensive, bug-free solution. Meanwhile, my PCM-M10 is holding down the fort.
Tick, tock, tick, tock...
Edited by zilch0md - 4/8/14 at 6:48am