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Are there any harddrive MP3 players that sound as good as MD? - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by MacDEF
A good HD-based MP3 player storing uncompressed WAV/AIFF will sound better than any MD player, provided it has a good headphone jack (e.g. iPod). Most MD players at standard speed will sound better than most MP3 players using 256k, or even 320k MP3s, simply because ATRAC is superior to MP3 compression, and most MD players have better headphone circuitry. But there are exceptions and other variables.
That's what I thought -- at first. But I've researched this and found that most mp3 players will only record at 160kbps. Which is why the MD format is second only to DAT in terms of digital live recording -- even though devices such as the new Archos ought to be atomizing MD dino tech.

Also: are you certain that iPods and so forth will play uncompressed audio files? Manufacturers seem not to want to give us the option of copying uncompressed audio to a portable audio device (except in the case of what they can't control: ripped CDs).
post #17 of 34
Scrypt, what do you mean? Usually it is not the MP3 player that does the recording. You rip and encode on the computer then put the file on the MP3 player. If you mean most MP3 players will only play back at 160k that's not right.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Scrypt, what do you mean? Usually it is not the MP3 player that does the recording. You rip and encode on the computer then put the file on the MP3 player. If you mean most MP3 players will only play back at 160k that's not right.
Either you've misunderstood or I haven't made myself clear. If I've expressed myself too vaguely, I apologize.

I'm talking about two distinct concerns.

1. For an mp3 device to be useful to me, it has to be able to record. The Archos does this; so does the original Nomad. Unfortunately, the Archos is limited to recording at 160kbps. Nomads prior to the new one seem to have had similar limits -- the original Nomad didn't even have a decent out. Since earlier Nomads didn't have removable media or two-way USB connections, they were effectively useless for live musicians like me. If I can't transfer recordings digitally, I'm using the wrong machine. With MD, you can always buy a deck with an optical out.

Of course the iPod doesn't record. Then again, I hadn't mentioned the iPod in that context. I mentioned it as part of my second concern.

2. I was asking whether iPods and so forth will really play uncompressed audio. I asked because I have no experience with those machines and can't take hypothetical specs for granted.

I once went to J&R and asked several burning questions that no floor salesman answered accurately. None of the salesmen knew they were selling mp3rs that could only record at 160kbps. Therefore how can they be trusted to give me specs on playback-only devices? I can't assume that a device will play recordings at higher resolutions just because I think it should.

In the keynote speech in which he unveiled the iPod, Steve Jobs kept saying that 160 kbps was "high-quality audio." No, I didn't think he was saying the iPod was limited to 160. But neither am I going to trust that it can play 290 kbps unless someone who owns or has tested an iPod confirms this.

--Ypt
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by scrypt
Also: are you certain that iPods and so forth will play uncompressed audio files? Manufacturers seem not to want to give us the option of copying uncompressed audio to a portable audio device (except in the case of what they can't control: ripped CDs).
Yes, the iPod can store and playback uncompressed audio (AIFF files, in the Mac world, equivalent to WAV files in the Windows world).
post #20 of 34
I have a Neo 2200 jukebox. Plays mp3 VBR or CBR up to 320. I encode my mp3's using the latest version of Lame (I think it's the latest...3.9?). The sound from this player is incredible for this kind of a unit and it can even power my Sennheiser HD 600's without an external amp. The sound is great (did I say that already?)

P.S. the Neo can be "buggy" and you should check out the Yahoo members forum to read about the various problems that can arise. Most of us feel that the trade-offs are well worth it!

P.P.S. the Creative Nomad Jukeboxes (there's a new one out soon) also play wav files, so you can get CD quality sound in archival quantities.
post #21 of 34

Thanks.

Quote:
Yes, the iPod can store and playback uncompressed audio (AIFF files, in the Mac world, equivalent to WAV files in the Windows world).
Thanks for that. If I were interested in a playback-only machine, it sounds as if I'd be best served by the machines you've mentioned, the Neo and the iPod. The person who asked the original question should probably buy one of those and never use MD again.

If I can return to another topic briefly, I'll try to be succinct.

Older Nomads might be able to play uncompressed files, but as mobile recording devices, their compression rate is relatively low. (You'll find that borne out by specs on the Creative Lab web site.) I can't speak about the newer device because I don't know the specs.

The only reason I use DAT and MD is because portable HD record/playback devices, which ought to be the best digital recorders, are the worst for the simple reason that companies want to manipulate our ability to record and copy audio at high resolutions. The nastiest effect of this strategy has been on the musician. In the mid-eighties, when I was twenty and first came to New York, I caught a glimpse of the old studio system, in which a Sony digital 24-track cost $250,000.00, which meant that musicians had to go into big studios with controlling producers. What I worry about is a partial return to those talent-enslaving days. Companies like Sony want to limit recording features in all but their most expensive machines, and copy protection is their excuse for removing features that consumers want and musicians need to record music competitively.

There is no reason for us not to have a portable recorder that records to HD or optical media uncompressed and at full resolution. No reason but manipulation. That's why I keep hoping one of the smaller companies (like Archos or Creative Labs) will put out a cheap HD mp3r that gives us the option of recording without compression. At twenty gigs, I'd say space is not the issue.

--Ypt
post #22 of 34

Re: Thanks.

Quote:
Originally posted by scrypt
[B]There is no reason for us not to have a portable recorder that records to HD or optical media uncompressed and at full resolution. No reason but manipulation. That's why I keep hoping one of the smaller companies (like Archos or Creative Labs) will put out a cheap HD mp3r that gives us the option of recording without compression. At twenty gigs, I'd say space is not the issue.[B]
The Nomad Jukebox records uncompressed WAV files.
post #23 of 34
Circuit CIty has the Classic very tiny jukebox for about $280 and I think that records analog wise.
post #24 of 34

Yes and no (mostly no)

Quote:
Originally posted by jcorkery


The Nomad Jukebox records uncompressed WAV files.
Up to a point. Go here and look at the specs:

http://www.nomadworld.com/products/Jukebox/specs.asp

It might (and I mean might) record uncompressed WAV files from an "external device" (mere computer or analog source, such as a mike?), but what the Nomad does record is unavailable except through the headphone jack or analog outs. Here's what the specs say:

Quote:
[Specs]
Voice Recording: Line-In Recording
InterfaceUSB (digital data port offering up to 3.2Mbps transfer rate)
Audio Codec Support: MP3 and reprogrammable firmware for future formats (eg.WMA)
[Features]
Dual Stereo Line Out for front and rear speakers
Line-In for direct stereo audio recording in WAV format from external devices
Note that there is digital "line-in recording" but not line out. The USB connection, like that of Net MD, is strictly one-way.

A friend of mine owns this machine. He tells me there is no way to get the recording out of the Nomad digitally, which makes "line-in recording" effectively useless. If there were a Nomad deck with an optical out, then things would be more costly. But they would also be different.

Another thing: Note that WMA will be supported in the future with a firmware upgrade. That is a different thing from playing WMA now. If that is no longer true, then the Nomad's specs should be rewritten.

--Ypt
post #25 of 34
Quote:
It might (and I mean might) record uncompressed WAV files from an "external device" (mere computer or analog source, such as a mike?), but what the Nomad does record is unavailable except through the headphone jack or analog outs.
The NJB DOES record uncompressed WAV files. However, I've heard that it works best from amplified sources. You should use a microphone with a preamp. If you're serious about finding a product that will suit your recording needs, you really should do a little more research. www.nomadness.net is a pretty good source of information for the Nomad. Also, instead of just looking at the specs for the NJB, you might want to download the manual and read it.

Quote:
Note that there is digital "line-in recording" but not line out. The USB connection, like that of Net MD, is strictly one-way.
You can transfer files both ways via USB.

Quote:
A friend of mine owns this machine. He tells me there is no way to get the recording out of the Nomad digitally, which makes "line-in recording" effectively useless.
Your friend is mistaken. The only quirk about recording on the NJB that I've heard of is that it splits everything up into ten-minute segments, but those can easily be recombined into one long track on the computer.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by jcorkery
If you're serious about finding a product that will suit your recording needs, you really should do a little more research. www.nomadness.net is a pretty good source of information for the Nomad. Also, instead of just looking at the specs for the NJB, you might want to download the manual and read it. . . .
Not to be unappreciative of the help you've offered, but it's you who should be giving more evidence of research. You've been making a series of claims about what a Nomad Jukebox will and will not do without giving URLs or any other sources for those claims. (You did offer a general site, and you did say I should read the manual, but you indicated no more than that.) Meanwhile, I have been telling you exactly where I got my information. I'm not saying your information is wrong necessarily. I'm only pointing out that, until you offer sources -- personal experience or specific web pages on which that info appears -- I can't do anything with it.


Quote:
Originally posted by jcorkery
You can transfer files both ways via USB.
I've just scoured the manual and found it has this alone to say about a USB connection:

"[Use this connection] If you want to use PlayCenter 2 to download MP3 songs to your Nomad Jukebox." (p.14, or 2-2)

There is also mention of the USB being for "data transfer" and being an "interface" on page A-1.

Nowhere in the manual does it say the USB connection can be used both ways. If you can show evidence to the contrary -- and mind you, I'd be happy if you did -- then please do.

(I've just looked at your profile and see that you actually own a Nomad. If you yourself have been able to upload files to your CPU via the USB, I'd love to know how.)

Quote:
Originally posted by jcorkery
The NJB DOES record uncompressed WAV files.
Language on p.30 (or A-2) of the Jukebox manual suggests the Nomad will rip mp3s at any resolution -- though only the minimum resolution for decent audio is mentioned (128kbps).

However, there is (a) no mention of the ability to record WAV files from an analog source (not that important, since you can burn mp3s at any resolution, it would seem) and (b) still no mention of any digital line out -- including the USB being usable in such capacity.

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally posted by jcorkery
However, I've heard that it works best from amplified sources. You should use a microphone with a preamp.
I don't expect you to know this (nor does it make me right about anything), but you're speaking to a studio keyboardist who has played on roughly fifty albums, someone who made his living playing on albums for over a decade, someone who's been interviewed in Keyboard, etc., etc. Yes, yes, I do realize that digital players with nascent recording features (like the Nomad and Archos) lack any sort of mike pre whatsoever.

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally posted by jcorkery
Your friend is mistaken. The only quirk about recording on the NJB that I've heard of is that it splits everything up into ten-minute segments, but those can easily be recombined into one long track on the computer.
My friend said nothing about the ability to record. What he complained of was the absence of any way to get said recording out of the Nomad digitally. If you want to insist that the USB is a two-way connection no matter what source I offer, then please offer evidence to the contrary -- a specific page or quote or personal experience.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Not to be unappreciative of the help you've offered...
Hmmm. I don't know... Your last post sure seemed pretty unappreciative to me.

Quote:
...but it's you who should be giving more evidence of research.
Really? After the condescending and argumentative tone of your last post, I don't think I SHOULD be doing anything! I didn't know I was entering into a debate here. I thought I was just trying to offer some helpful information, but now I'm required to "give more evidence of research"? Maybe I should've listed my qualifications for posting information to this forum and my professional credentials up front...?!

Quote:
You've been making a series of claims about what a Nomad Jukebox will and will not do without giving URLs or any other sources for those claims. (You did offer a general site, and you did say I should read the manual, but you indicated no more than that.)
Well, I was trying to help you out, but apparently you don't want to be helped. I gave you information gathered from firsthand experience and I've given you a URL that hosts a forum for hundreds of other NJB users where you can either do a search or post questions. I even suggested that you download the manual, which you say you "scoured," but obviously not in the right places.

Quote:
I'm not saying your information is wrong necessarily,...
Necessarily? That one word says it all, doesn't it?

Quote:
I'm only pointing out that, until you offer sources -- personal experience or specific web pages on which that info appears -- I can't do anything with it.
What I just can't comprehend is this: you obviously have very little knowledge of the NJB, so why would you just automatically assume that I don't know what I'm talking about and continue to believe that your unfounded assumptions are correct? It seems to me that you're a lot more interested in instigating silly arguments than actually finding out the facts. I own the product. I know the facts. If you don't want to believe me, that's fine, but maybe you could at least try to appreciate the fact that I went out of my way to try to be helpful to you. Insisting that I support my "claims" with evidence before you'll offer me the least bit of credibility is just plain obnoxious. For future reference: don't expect to receive many helpful replies when you adopt that type of attitude. AND, if you intend to be condescending and argumentative, AT LEAST be relatively sure you know what you're talking about!

In the interest of demonstrating how your information-gathering skills just *might* need a bit of honing and how you just *might* want to be a bit more considerate of the help others decide to pass along to you, let me add the following:

Quote:
Nowhere in the manual does it say the USB connection can be used both ways. If you can show evidence to the contrary -- and mind you, I'd be happy if you did -- then please do.
Page 27:
Creative PlayCenter 2 allows you to manage the contents on your NOMAD Jukebox:
❑ Play MP3 files on the Jukebox.
❑ View and manage the contents of the NOMAD Jukebox.
❑ Upload non- protected MP3 files and other files to the NOMAD Jukebox.
❑ Download the contents (except protected MP3 files) to the computer.

Page 30:
To transfer files from the Jukebox to your computer:
1. In the My Computer window, open the folder to which you want to copy the file from the Player.
2. Select the file in the Player that you want to copy to your PC’s hard disk (or other destination).
3. Click the Upload button on the NOMAD Jukebox window to copy the file to your PC.

Quote:
(I've just looked at your profile and see that you actually own a Nomad. If you yourself have been able to upload files to your CPU via the USB, I'd love to know how.)
Again, you seem to automatically assume that I haven't. Why is that? Please see above, starting with "Page 30:". However, the button in my version of PlayCenter actually reads "Transfer", not "Upload". Anything else you'd "love" to know?

Quote:
Language on p.30 (or A-2) of the Jukebox manual suggests the Nomad will rip mp3s at any resolution -- though only the minimum resolution for decent audio is mentioned (128kbps).
Yeah. If you actually read the manual a bit more closely, maybe you would've noticed that this is in reference to the PlayCenter software that is installed on the computer. PlayCenter encodes MP3s; the Jukebox itself does NOT.

Page 23 (in reference to creating/saving/listening to an audio recording on the Jukebox itself):
Use PlayCenter 2 or SoundJam to encode your recording to an MP3 track to reduce its file size or to fill in the track details.
(This takes a bit of deductive reasoning, but if you need to use PlayCenter to encode the audio recording into an MP3 file, it must mean that it's not recorded as an MP3 on the Jukebox.)

Quote:
My friend said nothing about the ability to record.
And I said nothing about your friend saying anything about the ability to record. Your friend is mistaken about having "no way to get the recording out of the Nomad digitally." Perhaps he has some very early firmware in his NJB and never bothered to update it. If you require more specifics, please re-read this post starting from "Page 27:".

Quote:
If you want to insist that the USB is a two-way connection no matter what source I offer...
What sources are you talking about? The only semi-reliable source you've mentioned is one friend who couldn't seem to get the thing to work. I guess you consider this to be conclusive evidence?

Since you're unwilling to give my own words any consideration OR do your own research--gollee gee, looka here--a couple of quick searches on the www.nomadness.net NJB forum turned up the following posts:

"Q: I'm seriously considering picking up a Jukebox, but can someone tell me if you can transfer MP3's (and other files for that matter) from PC to Jukebox, and more importantly, from Jukebox to PC?
A: With the latest firmware you can tranfers MP3's, WAV's and WMA's to and from the Jukebox."
(By the way, the firmware that allows this was released in Nov 2000.)

"Also, if you record directly to the NJB the NJB records tracks as multiple files. So it's likely you would then have to transfer several humongus wav files to a PC via USB to stitch these segments together."

"i recorded over 2 hours yesterday (level=0, boost=off @ 44.1khz) and the results were great - no audible noise during quiet parts. it's no big deal that the recordings are broken into 112MB tracks, as the NJB will play them smoothly and they can be linked back up with a basic wave editor."

Conclude what you'd like from all of this, but I'm not gonna argue about it anymore...

P.S. If you had replied in a friendlier manner, I would've done the same.
post #28 of 34
Jcorkery: I have to add that this sort of attack that you experienced is the same sort of thing I've experienced when trying to offer helpful advice as well. I was reamed recently over a suggestion to upgrade headphone cords.
post #29 of 34
I love the sound of my Pocket Concert...128 megs does make me a little claustrophobic at times though. I have heard my brother's Archos, however, and decided the good sound is worth the lack of space.
post #30 of 34
Sorry for the above post that is completely irrelavant to this discussion about hard drive players...yeah.
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