Planning to purchase HD-based mp3 player - need advice
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Tenhauser

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I am planning getting a HD mp3 player

The number one requested feature is best sound quality (amongst the contenders) and the ability to hold data files as well

Which should i choose from?

Apple
Iriver
Karma
Philips
Creative

or wait a little and go with Hi-MD?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Watchdog

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I have a 30GB iPod and I'm reasonably happy with it, however I'm not sure I'd buy again if I were in the market now.

I'd take a long hard look at the Karma because of it's ability to play FLAC.

The one thing that really annoys me about the iPod (Austonia posted about this as well) is that you can't turn it off. It goes into sleep mode. I've had problems with this in the past, when I thought I had the player in sleep mode and I came back to it hours later and found it had been playing the whole time. Of course now the battery was run down and I didn't have my charger with me, so I couldn't use the iPod until I got home. True it's only happened 3 times in a year and I use it quite a lot, so maybe it only happens once every 50 - 75 times I use the player, but it's still really annoying when it happens!

I also have an MD and I'm really looking forward to HI-MD. The battery life of MD is great and I like the ability to use full PCM on HI-MD.

Perhaps you should also post in the Headroom forum, I believe they did an evaluation of the sound quality of the various HD based players. I believe the iPod did quite well, but of course I wouldn't recommend based on the above


Sorry I couldn't provide better insight. Perhaps you should pm Austonia and ask him to reply to this thread.
 
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Damage

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If storage (over sound quality) is your primary concern, stay the heck away from HiMDs. You're better served by a HD-DAP if you need a secondary HD that can also double as a DAP.

If sound quality is your primary concern (over storage, greatly), you should think about the HiMDs, specifically, the NH-1 and NH-900. These two models will have the highly touted HD-Digital Amp. Several ancedotal references tell me that these sounds far and above much better than most portable devices. The ability to play PCM files is a huge plus for these units (though you're limited to about 1:30 with one 1GB disc), but HiSP (Atrac3plus encoded at 256kbps) sounds transparent to my ears (with SonicStage and new CD Walkman playback). Far and away, I'm pretty sure that these units will sounds decidedly better than most of the HD-DAPs you're looking at.

Of the HD-DAPs, I've heard good things (sound quality wise) with iPods and Creative's Nomad series. The latter has the best price-performance/gig ratio. It's cheap, but it works quite well. Creative also regularly claims something like 100dB-ish SNR ratio (like their Audigys). I've read many a positive reviews of the Creative units, and would buy one if I were so inclined.

Me, I wouldn't go with iPOD. Dunno, I guess I hate Apple more than I thought.
 
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ixeo

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it really depends on your need.
i'm looking for a portable player too and here's my current overview of the situation

HD Based Players ->
+large storage capacity
+support for different codecs (again depends on the specific hd player, all supports mp3 and some support codecs like flac, wma etc.)
+depending on model, shuffling technology (ipod plays most fav tunes, rio karma has its own algorithm)

-battery life
for all HD players, the battery runs out before you can even listen to all the songs you would want to listen to on the player. its like buying more milk than you can drink before it expires.. in a way. then again, you won't run out of milk since there's plenty
-internal batteries
not really user changable, you risk killing it. or you spend a lot of money to get someone to have it fixed (so far i only know ipod has "changable batteries" and none for Dell DJ or Rio Karma) *i dont want to buy something knowing that it will be a paper weight once the battery dies
-harddisk
mechanical drive, tendency to fail, can't really take drops and too much bumps. if it dies you losing gigs of music
-size
still larger/heavier than MD players


MD Players ->
+uses MD
music is safe, durable
+battery
depending on model, some runs on gumstick and some on AA, some runs from both, easily sourced & easily changed, most have 10hrs of playback, new Hi-MD models have 16hrs of playback *NH1 model and combination can go up to 30hrs+
+in theory at least, these things will last longer than HD players..since HDs do wear out.. i know my discman by sony is still going strong after so many years..but i know i have had a lot of HDs that died on me

== small, but you will have to carry extra MDs for more music

-MD size, 1GB
as of now the Hi-MD are only 1GB, but i do believe that it will increase further in time.
-new Hi-MD players also act as a portable disk drive, but it has a limited bandwidth of 9.8mbps - roughly 1MB/s which is slow (USB 1.1)
-ATRAC only. unable to play other formats. mp3, wave, flac etc will all be converted to ATRAC. i believe when converting an MP3 -> ATRAC will be worst than converting from CD -> ATRAC as mp3 is a lossy encoding and so is ATRAC.
-copy protection can be a PITA
-have to carry more MDs if you want more music


now if only the Hi-MD players had USB 2.0 and a higher transfer rate, plays MP3 (since you can use it as a portable disk drive, you can store mp3 on it, only if you can play it. - then again ATRAC is sony's proprietary codec and they get paid for it so they would want to force people to use it) and has 4GB disks or larger..then its a winner in my book.... USB 2.0 will come, and i believe 4GB disks as well..but playing mp3 is something that will never happen...then again 2 out of 3 is good enough for me IMO

i'm still leaning towards the MD as i know it won't turn into a paper weight if i accidently dropped it, or use it for a few years. my friend has a MD player, 94' which is still going strong today..

the only problem is i can't wait till they come up with USB 2.0 and 4GB disks on the MDs....


decisions..decisions..
 
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Actually the Creative 100db thing is probably not true. Though the drivers can put out 100db, the most you can get is closer to 98db. The Rio Karma can also put out 100db, but in real tests, only did 98db, which is why the company used those statistics. I love my Rio Karma, it is just awesome, aweseom sound, and if you want to improve the sound, use the 5 band parametric equalizer, or some of the preset settings, or just the bass and treble. Also has a really nice dock, that, get this, glows! It can pulse to the music! Also has ethernet, will soon have mass-usb support, comes with Sennhieser MX300 earbuds, and is all around a great player. I love the Rio DJ, so many options, like random fav, random all, top X number of songs, the list goes on and on. Though if you will be doing any recording, get the iRiver, but I am REALLY happy with the Rio Karma. Though, I don't know how well the iRiver records, or if you can name it and such, and the database startup is a pain. Rio starts in 5 seconds. Well, enough of my rant, but I took the time to say how happy I am with my Rio, so its not like I am trying to just get you to buy one. Also, if you get a Rio, go to the riovolution.com, really great community.
 
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ixeo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jet_fighter00
Actually the Creative 100db thing is probably not true. Though the drivers can put out 100db, the most you can get is closer to 98db. The Rio Karma can also put out 100db, but in real tests, only did 98db, which is why the company used those statistics. I love my Rio Karma, it is just awesome, aweseom sound, and if you want to improve the sound, use the 5 band parametric equalizer, or some of the preset settings, or just the bass and treble. Also has a really nice dock, that, get this, glows! It can pulse to the music! Also has ethernet, will soon have mass-usb support, comes with Sennhieser MX300 earbuds, and is all around a great player. I love the Rio DJ, so many options, like random fav, random all, top X number of songs, the list goes on and on. Though if you will be doing any recording, get the iRiver, but I am REALLY happy with the Rio Karma. Though, I don't know how well the iRiver records, or if you can name it and such, and the database startup is a pain. Rio starts in 5 seconds. Well, enough of my rant, but I took the time to say how happy I am with my Rio, so its not like I am trying to just get you to buy one. Also, if you get a Rio, go to the riovolution.com, really great community.


nods, indeed. i would get a rio karma over an ipod if i was getting a hd based player. but the only thing that troubles me is the battery and the warranty as it only has a 90 day manufacturer warranty.

if your getting the rio karma do get it from best buy and purchase the replacement warranty. that way you won't have to worry about the battery or the unit dying on you.
 
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ghesekki

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I'm going to have to throw in my vote for the Dell DJ. I also have a NJB3, which I'm selling, and this player actually fairs very well compared to it. Very good sound, great battery life, great build quality!, buttons light up in a nifty blue, only $199 for 15 gig version, and a 1 year warranty. Only plays MP3s, WMAs, and WAVs but a great player if you don't need ogg. Oh, and it won't work as a UMS device, but you can use it to store data files from any computer that has the Dell DJ driver (and Dell Explorer) installed. I think people at first were put off by the nascent firmware, but I immediately upgraded the firmware to the latest version when I got my DJ, and it works great. People also complained about having to use MusicMatch, but Dell released the Dell Explorer which works very well for me.

I was also considering a Rio but was scared off by all the reports of failed harddrives. I'm sure there are problems with the Dell DJ also, but at least it comes with a 1 year warranty as opposed to the 3 month warranty from Rio.

Please read up on the Dell DJ before making a decision. I was skeptical at first because of Dell's crappy laptops, but the Dell DJ is surprisingly a very well-built little gadget.
 
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Tenhauser

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jet_fighter00
Actually the Creative 100db thing is probably not true. Though the drivers can put out 100db, the most you can get is closer to 98db. The Rio Karma can also put out 100db, but in real tests, only did 98db, which is why the company used those statistics. I love my Rio Karma, it is just awesome, aweseom sound, and if you want to improve the sound, use the 5 band parametric equalizer, or some of the preset settings, or just the bass and treble. Also has a really nice dock, that, get this, glows! It can pulse to the music! Also has ethernet, will soon have mass-usb support, comes with Sennhieser MX300 earbuds, and is all around a great player. I love the Rio DJ, so many options, like random fav, random all, top X number of songs, the list goes on and on. Though if you will be doing any recording, get the iRiver, but I am REALLY happy with the Rio Karma. Though, I don't know how well the iRiver records, or if you can name it and such, and the database startup is a pain. Rio starts in 5 seconds. Well, enough of my rant, but I took the time to say how happy I am with my Rio, so its not like I am trying to just get you to buy one. Also, if you get a Rio, go to the riovolution.com, really great community.


Can Karma hold data files along with music files? If yes - how? Does there a need for a special soft for transferring files (just like Creative)?
 
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ixeo

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the rio karma needs a special program installed, the Rio Taxi
pretty stupid IMO cause you would need to carry a diskette or cd with the taxi program around (or download it) if you want to use it..not true plug and play.
 
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philodox

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get an archos player...

I know its not in the list... but the newer archos players have sound quality equaling or exceeding all of the manufacturers on your list... automatically recognises as a hard drive, no software required... so it works perfectly as an external hard disk... and if you get one of the non video models it will be cheaper than anything else you can find... with the exception of maybe the dell dj
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
get an archos player...

I know its not in the list... but the newer archos players have sound quality equaling or exceeding all of the manufacturers on your list... automatically recognises as a hard drive, no software required... so it works perfectly as an external hard disk... and if you get one of the non video models it will be cheaper than anything else you can find... with the exception of maybe the dell dj



As you know philodox...I'm a huge Archos fan. But there are some reports that some of the new ones (thinking gmini 120 and 220) have questionable sound....

I haven't heard one yet however....
 
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philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfen68
As you know philodox...I'm a huge Archos fan. But there are some reports that some of the new ones (thinking gmini 120 and 220) have questionable sound....

I haven't heard one yet however....



this is true... I guess if style isnt much of an issue you could go for a recorder 20 or a FM 20 then... hopefully they will work out the problems with the gmini line... its too bad really, the av3xx's are so good... dont see why they would take a step backwards with the gmini's
 
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Note that the next firmware, will most likely have mass usb support. So it should happen soon.
 
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