Need Recommendation - Touchscreen portable media player that can sort by Genre/Album Artist/Album
Jan 25, 2011 at 10:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 29

audioqueso

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Hello Everyone,
 
I really don't know anything about portable media players, and I tried searching for this, but I come up with all sorts of results.
 
I'm looking for a media player to play music and video.  No need for apps and stuff like that.
 - Will be used in a car.
 - Require touch screen (for easier navigation)
 - Can sort music by genre/album artist/album <----Most important 
 - Can play common video files so that I don't have to bother converting a video just to play it.  (I only care for DVD quality. Doesn't have to be HD)
 - Video output.  I want to have the media player connected to my monitors in the car so that I can see the album art while music is playing, or see the video being played.
 - Size capacity: at least 64GB
Don't really have a budget.  I'm open for anything.
 
Any recommendations?
Thank you in advance.
 
Jan 25, 2011 at 11:10 PM Post #2 of 29

BotByte

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Cowon J3
 
It meets 99% of your list perfectly.
 
-Nice square body to find easily while driving
-touch screen, nice btw
-Sorts by everything you can think of, can also go by folders
-Plays most, except a couple oddballs. I prefer h.264 because it best fits the player, haven't tested other codecs and such because covertion is fast for h.264
-Video out through hdmi, or component. I haven't used it, but said to work great. You can buy the cables for like $10
-Largest one at 32gb, add a 32gb micro sd card and exchange them out for 16gb cards if you wish to add more space. 32+32+64
-Not budget friendly, to the features offered, yet totally worth it
 
Cowon X7
 
Same as above, yet not as good UI, not as good screen (rivals ipod touch) has HDD, so up to 160gb. I have been told it can use most, like 95% video formats without a problem.
 
I would say the j3 would be best, because it has the best value over the x7, unless you want more space.
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 12:38 AM Post #4 of 29

audioqueso

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Did you mean 32+32=64?  I'm not sure what you mean by 32+32+64.
However, I must ask.. the price for the J3 plus a 32GB micro SD card, I could get an Apple iTouch 64GB.  I don't really know anything about Apple stuff (or any media players), but what would be the pro and cons of the J3 vs the iTouch?
 
Quote:
-Largest one at 32gb, add a 32gb micro sd card and exchange them out for 16gb cards if you wish to add more space. 32+32+64
-Not budget friendly, to the features offered, yet totally worth it
 
Cowon X7
 
Same as above, yet not as good UI, not as good screen (rivals ipod touch) has HDD, so up to 160gb. I have been told it can use most, like 95% video formats without a problem.
 
I would say the j3 would be best, because it has the best value over the x7, unless you want more space.



 
Jan 26, 2011 at 1:12 AM Post #7 of 29

ppmd

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Just quickly checking my J3, I don't think you can browse by album artist, but the other tags seem fine.
 
The J3 does have support for browsing by cover art out of the box, but its in grid style thing and lags terribly. There is a great custom browser and music screen for it though, but requires some fiddling.Worth a shot if its important to you though.
The touch does have better album art browsing out of the box by far, assuming its retained its speed from the 2nd gen.
 
On the other hand, file support for the J3 is much better for me personally as xvid avi files are supported. But h.264 isn't yet officially supported but I think there is support for very specific settings.
If videos are that important, the J3 would work well with its file support, otherwise I think the touch is better suited for in car use as it has a bigger screen and there is so much support with docks and video out and such.
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 1:55 AM Post #8 of 29

audioqueso

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Thank you for your input.
 
I don't really mind messing with custom software.  I will be messing with it a lot loading all the music, getting things right, etc.  So what I want is the final product to be great.  So once it's in the car, it does what I want.  Video is somewhat important.  The whole reason I mention common formats is because let's say I go on a short notice trip.  I want to throw in a few movies to play in the car.  Most of the formats I have are divx, xvid, mkv, wmv, etc.  A quick glance at the iTouch specs, it looks like it's pretty much mp4 or mov files (if I am wrong, please correct me.  I just don't know much about media players).  But what I don't want is something that I can't just throw in a video on it because I would need to convert just to get it to play.
 
Quote:
Just quickly checking my J3, I don't think you can browse by album artist, but the other tags seem fine.
 
The J3 does have support for browsing by cover art out of the box, but its in grid style thing and lags terribly. There is a great custom browser and music screen for it though, but requires some fiddling.Worth a shot if its important to you though.
The touch does have better album art browsing out of the box by far, assuming its retained its speed from the 2nd gen.
 
On the other hand, file support for the J3 is much better for me personally as xvid avi files are supported. But h.264 isn't yet officially supported but I think there is support for very specific settings.
If videos are that important, the J3 would work well with its file support, otherwise I think the touch is better suited for in car use as it has a bigger screen and there is so much support with docks and video out and such.


 
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 2:02 AM Post #9 of 29

rroseperry

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Sorry I was short.  It looks like the Touch would be a poor choice  given that you want to play your own movies.  In terms of interface, you probably can't beat it, but you're chained to Apple.
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 2:46 AM Post #10 of 29

ppmd

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I don't think theres a way around converting some files, .mkv among them, but the J3 can take the others well. 
 
Just for reference, the custom uci's with excellent coverflow speed here and the music uci here.
 
I do think there are other players with more support with video playback though. Off the top of my head theres the Cowon O2,  there could be others that are better, but the O2 worth looking into as theres even .mkv support. I haven't tried it myself so thats all i can say about it.
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 5:51 AM Post #11 of 29

audioqueso

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I don't need support for any type of video file.  I'm just saying, like in my example, if all of a sudden I want to add a video, can I just drop it on the J3 and not worry about reconverting the video file like I believe I would have to with an iTouch?  I don't really know much about the iTouch, but the little I've seen, it's not very friendly with popular video formats.
Quote:
I don't think theres a way around converting some files, .mkv among them, but the J3 can take the others well. 
 
Just for reference, the custom uci's with excellent coverflow speed here and the music uci here.
 
I do think there are other players with more support with video playback though. Off the top of my head theres the Cowon O2,  there could be others that are better, but the O2 worth looking into as theres even .mkv support. I haven't tried it myself so thats all i can say about it.



 

rroseperry, so that is true that the Apple products don't really support other formats well?  I don't really care about the "out of the box" stage.  I don't mind messing with software and apps to get it to do what I want.  But would I be wrong to say that even with changes in the software (3rd party, apps, etc), the iTouch does not really support other formats?
 
In terms of interface... what do you mean?  You mean the GUI is better than the Cowon?
Quote:
Sorry I was short.  It looks like the Touch would be a poor choice  given that you want to play your own movies.  In terms of interface, you probably can't beat it, but you're chained to Apple.


 
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 1:05 PM Post #12 of 29

rroseperry

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Quote:
 
 

rroseperry, so that is true that the Apple products don't really support other formats well?  I don't really care about the "out of the box" stage.  I don't mind messing with software and apps to get it to do what I want.  But would I be wrong to say that even with changes in the software (3rd party, apps, etc), the iTouch does not really support other formats?
 
In terms of interface... what do you mean?  You mean the GUI is better than the Cowon?
Quote:
Sorry I was short.  It looks like the Touch would be a poor choice  given that you want to play your own movies.  In terms of interface, you probably can't beat it, but you're chained to Apple.


 


I don't do much with video, so I can't speak to that, but as far as music formats go, an Apple player will only let you use mp3s or their proprietary formats mp4 and ALAAC ( I may have an extra A in there).  No flac, not wma, no wav, no ogg vorbis.  If you add something with a wma or wav format to your iTunes library, it will reformat it to mp3 before it will play it.  This is the main reason why I'm re-ripping all my CDs and using MediaJukebox and foobar for handling my library. I expect that they're about the same about movies, but I can't say for sure.
 
I have a Cowon iAudio 9 and love it, but the Apple interface is more intuitive (imo). The learning curve is about as flat as they get.  They have brilliant industrial designers. I'm not sure about 3rd person apps wrt videos.  I'd download a copy of iTunes and look around on the app page before making any final decisions.
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 1:18 PM Post #13 of 29

kitkat12012

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i have a J3 and i'm lovin it
 
 
but I would also guess that you can get way more car kits and connectivity accessories for the itouch
 
If you know the exact connectors you want to use, you might wanna check them first
 
 
 
here's an example.  Some new cars today support music streaming via bluetooth.  I would guess that they can support the itouch natively, not sure about the J3
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 6:13 PM Post #14 of 29

audioqueso

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@rroseperry
MP3.  I already have my entire CD collection ripped to entirely to FLAC.  Then I made a copy of that collection in MP3 to save in on a portable harddrive.  So my collection is readily available in MP3 format, properly tagged and all.
 
@kitkat12012
I would be using analog RCA inputs.  My car already has RCA input jacks.  So I was going to buy a mounting kit for media player to mount on the dash, and run the wires inside the dashboard to the RCA input location.  No bluetooth or FM transmission or anything like that.
 
Jan 26, 2011 at 7:42 PM Post #15 of 29

macrocheesium

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I'm going to vote J3, there just really isn't a comparison to the LED screen. The Touch 4G's screen is a lot better, but IMO still not as good and can't be viewed at angles. I'm not sure if battery life is important, but if you need it long, again no comparison to the J3. Apple = apps. Cowon = media.
 

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