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The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market - Page 39

post #571 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post


Well technically it ended 2 days ago... :/
http://www.head-fi.org/t/696004/fiio-x5-preview-world-tour-application-20-26-december-2013

I really need to keep my ear to the ground for stuff like this...it seems they're always just sliding out of view for me.

 

Hope you all enjoy testing it out - I look forward to seeing some opinions here!  Perhaps they X5 developers have been tuning in to this thread!

post #572 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saidear View Post
 

Depends on the law of the land.

In Canada, fair use allows us to copy media for personal use provided you don't circumvent 'digital locks'.  Granted, as music DRM is going the way of the dodo bird (Apple did away with it almost 5 years ago) this provision has less a meaning for audiophiles than it does against movie pirates, software pirates, etc.  Plus, the RIAA/CIRA have pretty much been told by the RCMP that pursuing any criminal allegations is "not a priority".

 

I'm sure the RIAA is more interested in going after the people who are uploading the stuff onto the internet to share, than they are with people who legally purchased it and copied into their iTunes.

post #573 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
 

 

I'm sure the RIAA is more interested in going after the people who are uploading the stuff onto the internet to share, than they are with people who legally purchased it and copied into their iTunes.

True.  But this was in response to the Demonoid case - the RCMP told the RIAA/CRIA that they weren't going to devote a lot of effort into tracking down/arresting those behind the site. And at least for awhile in Canada, just placing a file into a shared folder, even on a P2P network, was not considered a criminal offence.  Granted, that case was overturned on appeal but that was because it was deemed the prosecution's case was unfounded, not because the ruling was in error.  

 

Just because something is illegal, doesn't mean it will be enforced.  Many laws exist as 'gateway' excuses in which the police can go after bigger issue. Besides, I now live in a country that is full of pirates.  Getting legitimate copies of something is far more difficult than the cheaper, more accessible bootleg copies. 

post #574 of 1307

my 2 cents:

 

Why is it considered taboo to slam something? Especially something that deserves it. So long as the complaints can be backed up with facts, I would think that they would be a) valuable to those who might share similar needs/attitudes b) easily shrugged off by those who don't have a similar opinion.

 

I recently watched a lost interview with one of the most successful product designers of our time. He was known for being very blunt with the designers on his team. On more that one occasion, he bluntly told them that their designs were "s#!t." They were free to disagree, but he always backed it up. Considering that his products were almost always viewed as the easiest to use, most visually appealing, and best selling despite high price points, it's hard to argue with him.

 

The best point I've seen here = How have these hi-fi products managed to get the hard part right (awesome sound) while missing the mark on software?

 

Considering the fact that some of these devices are WELL over $500, and don't think ANYONE is out of line complaining about bugs, bad UI, poor file management, or lack of responsiveness to normal user needs (i.e. using playlists, having a Mac, wanting to use their entire library).

 

I'm very surprised at the zeal and militarism  folks who may not have these needs have exhibited to those who do and feel the need to speak up about it. Give me a break! If you love the product, fantastic!

 

If I owned the AK100 (as a manufacturer/distributor), I would WANT to know if there were users unhappy with the product. I would want to address their complaints if possible.

 

That's part of being innovative. In my opinion, they have released a half-cocked product. That isn't slamming the device at all. From my perspective if falls dramatically short in many areas. Yes, those areas may not be important to some users, but suggesting that (for example) playlist management via a Mac should be sussed out for a product that cost me north of $700 shouldn't elicit the kind of ire it has.

 

There are a treasure trove of ideas that could HELP these products become more successful in these threads. Those complaints are like gold to manufacturers and designers who actually take good design seriously.

post #575 of 1307
Building an OS from scratched is quite difficult
post #576 of 1307

Here's an observation:  The greater a product's ratio of cost to performance, the greater the defensiveness of those who will justify their purchase.  

 

In other words, if you take two DAPs that offer equally poor performance, an expensive DAP will not only be tolerated by its buyers, it will be vigorously defended, where the inexpensive equivalent could be dismissed with universal disdain.

 

Thus, the higher the pricing (once into the the realm of uber-expensive), the less a manufacturer has to worry about quality control.  

post #577 of 1307
Quote:

Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

if you take two DAPs that offer equally poor performance

 

This is what you will never get people to agree on because people who buy expensive DAP are usually convinced their DAP provides much better performance - and probably about 50% of the time they are right (but who is the judge to decide when they are actually correct)?

post #578 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

Thus, the higher the pricing (once into the the realm of uber-expensive), the less a manufacturer has to worry about quality control.  

 

ahaa that's why 'that DAP' cost so much... in the UK with taxes, cost is $3000 approx.

post #579 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgdinamo View Post
 

 

This is what you will never get people to agree on because people who buy expensive DAP are usually convinced their DAP provides much better performance - and probably about 50% of the time they are right (but who is the judge to decide when they are actually correct)?

 

Excellent point!   But we could also consider poor performance that's more tangible - like knobs falling off of the HM-901, or UI issues, or failure to read SD cards, etc., etc. Those types of issues aren't so "debatable" and yet the folks who suffer these issues with really expensive DAPs, seem to take it all in stride and constantly argue for the "glass half full" rather than the "glass half empty."

post #580 of 1307
What's more annoying to me is the "it works great for me, so you must be a mental idget," attitude.
post #581 of 1307

Yeah!  An arrogant denial of reality!  

post #582 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by MParrott View Post
 

my 2 cents:

 

Why is it considered taboo to slam something? Especially something that deserves it. So long as the complaints can be backed up with facts, I would think that they would be a) valuable to those who might share similar needs/attitudes b) easily shrugged off by those who don't have a similar opinion.

 

I recently watched a lost interview with one of the most successful product designers of our time. He was known for being very blunt with the designers on his team. On more that one occasion, he bluntly told them that their designs were "s#!t." They were free to disagree, but he always backed it up. Considering that his products were almost always viewed as the easiest to use, most visually appealing, and best selling despite high price points, it's hard to argue with him.

 

The best point I've seen here = How have these hi-fi products managed to get the hard part right (awesome sound) while missing the mark on software?

 

Considering the fact that some of these devices are WELL over $500, and don't think ANYONE is out of line complaining about bugs, bad UI, poor file management, or lack of responsiveness to normal user needs (i.e. using playlists, having a Mac, wanting to use their entire library).

 

I'm very surprised at the zeal and militarism  folks who may not have these needs have exhibited to those who do and feel the need to speak up about it. Give me a break! If you love the product, fantastic!

 

If I owned the AK100 (as a manufacturer/distributor), I would WANT to know if there were users unhappy with the product. I would want to address their complaints if possible.

 

That's part of being innovative. In my opinion, they have released a half-cocked product. That isn't slamming the device at all. From my perspective if falls dramatically short in many areas. Yes, those areas may not be important to some users, but suggesting that (for example) playlist management via a Mac should be sussed out for a product that cost me north of $700 shouldn't elicit the kind of ire it has.

 

There are a treasure trove of ideas that could HELP these products become more successful in these threads. Those complaints are like gold to manufacturers and designers who actually take good design seriously.

 

To paraphrase that well-worn adage: ideas are like ********, everyone has one.  The problem boils down to implementation.  I am engaged to a developer and it is her job to build solutions for a given task at her company.  What seems like a simple thing "Make X do Y" can often involve workarounds due to the limitations of the framework and this is using an established SDK/IDE for her particular field. Even simple upgrades to the framework involve a over dozen people across two continents and months of work - and that is working on a company's Intelligent Voice Recognition platform.

 

Sure companies can and should invest more in the user experience, but look at it from a cost-benefit perspective.  Hardware costs are fixed relative to volume - the more you buy, the lower they get.  After a certain point the amount of money spent in research will be paid off and the device will be profitable. Software costs, however are fixed relative to sales.  The more you sell, the easier it is justify software development.  Given that very few of these audiophile DAPs will sell in their entire life, what Apple makes on the iPod Touch in North America on a single day.. the profit margin offers little room for that level of development in many cases. You may find a skilled developer who is willing to do it as a labour of love (that is how mom & pop shops get their great reputation after all) but not always and they are not always the best talent for that particular job.  

post #583 of 1307
It's so funny that you opened with that phrase. It's the exact one I used to try and stave off the jerks, but it didn't work.

I just think it's unethical to release a half baked product. And forgoing the expense of doing it right because its hard is not an excuse.
post #584 of 1307
Quote:
Originally Posted by MParrott View Post

It's so funny that you opened with that phrase. It's the exact one I used to try and stave off the jerks, but it didn't work.

I just think it's unethical to release a half baked product. And forgoing the expense of doing it right because its hard is not an excuse.

Not so much 'hard' but that the cost doesn't exactly outweigh the benefits.  Upgrading the user experience at the amount of volume these DAPs are selling is not a meaningful investment.   It takes a large number man hours to implement, test and rollout even a simple 'feature' which costs money.  So to maintain the same profit margin, you need to either sell more units (unlikely with a niche market) or raise the price to the point on a device that many consumers will already feel is overpriced. Sadly, when it comes to gadgets, the user experience is one of the things that is the least tangible and often the least considered when it comes to determining which is the better 'value'.

post #585 of 1307
I hear what you are saying, but I highly doubt that a $700 MP3 player is low margin. I may be wrong. I do understand your point, but this understanding isn't sufficient to overcome my disappointment.

I haven't had any other iRiver product, but surely they could have leveraged SOMETHING to make playlist imports doable.
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