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Seeking Recommendations on a 120GB+ Player

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a Digital Audio Player that can store 120+ GB of music and lectures.


At the risk of losing credibility on this forum, I have to say I'm much of an audiophile...I currently use an older Creative Vision: M player upgraded with an 80GB hard drive, and the sound has been "good enough" for me...but I need more storage--I want my full collection on my player--and the interface on the Vision: M is starting to choke on the number of albums/songs/lectures I have.


My criteria are:

  Storage capacity--I'd like to get at least 120GB, but would be interested in expansion possibilities

  Interface--Something that can be operated with one hand, with a well-organized, responsive interface requiring a minimum of "clicks" to get to, and play, an album

  Easy File Transfer--I'd like to be able to transfer music without having to use proprietary software, e.g., iTunes,etc.

  Inexpensive--hoping to get something for less than $300 (including cards)...but might be willing to raise my price point for something compelling.

  Fidelity--My ear is no match for others on this forum. My guess is that I would be happy with "decent" but not "great" audio. Most of the time I listen to lectures. But I'm open to recommendations.


My audio collection is a combination of MP3 and WMA for spoken word files, and FLAC or Lossless WMA for music.


I've been frustrated at not finding anything with large capacity except for iPod (proprietary)/Cowon...but then I happened upon the Fiio X3 and began exploring the higher end of audio. There are a lot of players/companies I've never heard of...some of which may be an option for me.


So I've been looking through the forum, but I haven't yet found an explicit answer for my specific needs. I thought I'd consult the experts.


What players are available that can store 120+GB of audio?

Many players take SD cards...but sometimes it's not clear whether large capacity cards (e.g., 128GB) cards...which models should I consider given the criteria above?

How does the responsiveness of Hard-Drive-based units compare to those using memory cards?


Any recommendations and/or advice is very much appreciated.



post #2 of 14
I would have thought the IPod Classic would be your only option. The Fiio X3 is a bargain of a player that I have been most impressed with since buying a few days ago. I am not a proper audiophile and I can comfortably tell the difference from previous players. That said, it tops out at 8GB + 64GB card, so nowhere near your requirements in terms of memory.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response rossntu. I've looked at the iPod Classic and may bite on it, but I'm annoyed by iTunes and it's limited support for file formats (e.g., WMA, FLAC).


I was hoping that one of the higher end players could handle 128GB cards (or two 64GB cards).


Just thinking through this........one possibility would be for me to put all my lectures on one 64GB card and all my music on another 64GB card and swap them as needed.


In your experience...is the X3 responsive when inserting a new card....or does it have to do some kind of indexing that prevents you from using the player for a significant amount of time.

post #4 of 14
I would have thought it would need to index, although to be honest I've never tried it. One thing you could do is wait for the Fiio X5, which is due "soon" - from what I have read probably in the next few months it will arrive for purchase. That has capacity for dual cards and will be (I think) $350. I am not sure how much memory the dual cards would allow for, but I think it would safe to assume 128GB at least. Someone else might know this for sure. The sound quality is allegedly going to be better than the X3 too, so if that is true it should be pretty special.

I am in the UK and got my X3 for £160, so I will be interested to see how much the X5 ends up costing here. Usually we get things for $=£ price,so I am expecting the likelihood will be about £350, but I am hoping for cheaper. I will certainly be awaiting reviews with interest.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Again...thanks for the info. I'll check it out.

post #6 of 14

If Itunes is what bothers you, you could get an ipod 160 GB and rockbox it. Yes, it's not perfectely stable stable and the sound quality isn't comparable to a Fiio or a cowon player, but it does the trick, and cheap enough, too. 


Just be cautious if you would go for a second hand ipod. I got a 160GB one and the harddrive started to fail real quick, so I'll be replacing it soon. only 50 euro or so, yeah, but I wouldn't have bought it if I was educated enough to first run a HDD test on it :(

post #7 of 14

Just get an iPod and use Winamp. Winamp recognizes the iPod and handles management of the library/playlists without the need for any type of add-on or modification.


Regarding the responsiveness of HDD vs. flash players, you're only going to notice a pause when you first select music to queue up and play; navigation of the menus and options will be just as snappy on either, and once playback has started there won't be any pauses either.

Edited by adamantium - 1/2/14 at 7:47pm
post #8 of 14
I have an AK100 (iriver) that has 32 GB onboard and can take two micro sd cards. I have two 64 GB cards in it (they need to be fat32 formatted, i used my mac for that) yielding a total of 160 GB (minus op system and some other files).
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

controllerboy and adamantium--Thanks for the suggested options with the iPod Classic....Rockbox will apparently play all of my files in their native format....I presume that Winamp will transcode WMA/FLAC files to formats the iPod will play?


MarkIV--would love to get the AK100...and appreciate the confirmation that it can handle 160GB...but the price is a bit out of my range ($700 at Amazon). Any cheaper brands/models allow this amount of flash storage?

post #10 of 14

I am positive that it transcodes WMA on the fly when transferring to the iPod, and I am 99% sure about it transcoding FLAC. I will test it out later this evening and let you know.

post #11 of 14

Hello! Consider getting the latest iPod Classic in 160gb and Rockbox it. It's a really simple process and it allows you to play and manage your files completely without iTunes.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the recommendation, Ashton18.  What are the advantages of using Rockbox over something like WinAmp that can transcode the files into Apple's acceptable formats? The interface looks pretty Spartan compared to the usual Ipod interface.

post #13 of 14

I just checked, and Winamp will indeed auto-transcode FLAC files when sending them to your iPod. You will need to go into your media library preferences and enable auto-transcoding for your iPod, but that's it.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the confirmation, adamantium. I appreciate your following up.

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