Recommend me an all-singing flash MP3 player.
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bangraman

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I've decided to clear out my flash player inventory and start anew. The DAH-1500 which I reviewed before stays as the 'fun' player, but I'd like something which is significantly better featured.

I'm looking for the following:

- 1Gb
- 32-320K MP3 playback, WMA/Ogg not important.
- Built-in Mic for recordings of up to and including 128K MP3
- Line-in for recordings of up to and including 320K MP3, with easily adjustable recording control. External Mic preamp a plus.
- FM Radio with radio recording
- Sleep in both playback and record modes
- Decent sound quality.
- User EQ with at least 5-band control.
- UMS and able to recognise files in nested folders
- Quick fast forward/rewind (better than a minute a second), or ideally direct placing by time in a track.
- Alternative databased playback with correct track order a plus
- Real USB2.0 speed transfers (i.e. transfer a 120MB 256K MP3 album in/under a minute)
- Not less than 12mw into 16 ohms per channel.
- Not less than 10 hours real-life battery endurance (with 256K MP3 files and EQ enabled).
- Clock
- Not too huge
- Either a standard USB Mini socket, or a built-in USB jack.


Basically, the works



And most importantly:
- No noticeable bugs in daily use, which in my experience definitively rules out iRiver. I was considering the iRiver T20 for a while, but I'll pass. iRiver has easily been my most problematic and time-consuming manufacturer in terms of workarounds to bugs, general annoyances etc and I've decided I'll monitor the boards for reports before buying another iRiver again.


What I look for isn't actually that obscure or difficult... it just has to do what it says it does and work as advertised. I'm really hoping I don't have to do what I usually do, which is buy a whole bunch of stuff, spend time working through each player's bugs and find one or two out of that mountain with no serious bugs. Instead, for once I'd like someone else to have gone through that grief



Anyone? Thanks.
 
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c.you

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iAudio U2
 
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bangraman

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I'd be grateful if people could post recommendations, then your experience with the player as an answer to each of my requirements. It's some typing work I know, but I really don't want to buy more than one player this time. I know a number of players on paper meet the vast majority of my requirements, but I've found in real life that specs almost never match the claims, and there's always the spectre of irritating bugs making the player less than usable.
 
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erikzen

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I like the iAudio 5. It seems to meet most, if not all of your requirements, although I'm not quite sure about recording bit rates.

-The 5 comes in varying storage sizes, 1 gb being one of them

-In playback it supports MP3 at the bit rates you've specified

-Built in mic for voice recording at up to 129 kbps; I'm not into recording at the moment so I don't know how well this functions but I have made a short voice snippet so I know it does work.

-In the line in recording area, this may be where the product falls down. I have not tried it but I believe it only supports up to 128 kbps.

-FM receptions is not great but it can be recorded

-Sleep timer can be set for up to 180 minutes; I never used it so I'm not sure if it works with listening and recording. It seems to be a global setting.

-Sound quality is decent. I'm happy enough to walk around with just the iaudio and a set of E3s.

-Unit had 5 band user adjustable eq as well as presets

-I don't know what UMS means (shame on me!) but the unit seems to recognize nested folders. That is how I organize my music: genre/artist/album/#-track

-Quick ff and rewind, but no direct placing by time in a track

-"Alternative databased playback with correct track order a plus" - I don't think so. I'm not that sophisticated a user to even understand what this is.

-Supports USB 2.0

-13 mW at 16 ohms

-unit is rated at 20 hours with 1 AAA battery. I'd say it's closer to 15 hours

-unit has a clock but enabling the clock eliminates artist/album display so only song title is displayed.

-unit is pretty small - 76.8 x 35.0 x 18.0 mm

-has standard USB mini socket and also comes with "key" adapter for direct plug into USB jack on computer.

There are no serious bugs with this player, at least in the way that I use it. I transfer a lot of files back and forth from my 40 GB collection of songs. But basically I just put the thing on shuffle and listen. My only complaints are long boot time - which takes about 10 seconds - and the cover of the USB min jack which does not seem to fit all that well. It seems like the big shortcoming for you would be lack of quality when doing live mic recordings.
 
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Asr

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The iAudio U2 meets every one of your criteria except it goes up to only 128 kb/s MP3 recording for line-in/voice/radio (or 32 kHz WAV).

I don't know what a "standard USB Mini" jack looks like but I'd guess it has one since my digital camera has a similar-looking jack.

I haven't officially tested its battery life yet but it's a good 14-16 hours in reality (they claim 20 hours). Although you can expect less if you fiddle around with it a lot (the LCD's blue backlight turns on every time you press a button). And you didn't say which battery type you preferred; the U2 has a lithium-polymer and recharges through the USB connection.

It might be pretty expensive (got mine for $174, 1GB model) but I'm pleased with it, it's an excellent full-featured flash player. My biggest caveat with it is that it looks good enough you don't want to "hide" it in the leather carrying case but it's not very rugged otherwise. Of course flash players are made to be dropped, that's not what I'm talking about...just that the plastic looks scratch-prone. And it catches fingerprints really easily.
 
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bangraman

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Thanks. Could both of you time a 100MB data transfer (assuming you're using USB2.0 PC's) to your respective iAudio's? Many thanks.
 
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erikzen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bangraman
Thanks. Could both of you time a 100MB data transfer (assuming you're using USB2.0 PC's) to your respective iAudio's? Many thanks.


Sorry, I'm a late adopter.
My computer only supports 1.1 at this time.
 
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saint.panda

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I apologize if this is slightly off topic. Bangraman, are you not satisfied with the Muvo V200 anymore? I was just considering purchasing one based on your lobbying.
 
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necropimp

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when i noticed UMS and recording requirements higher than 96Kbps my recommendation of an iriver player went out the window... also the transfer speed is seriously reduced with UMS firmware
 
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bangraman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by saint.panda
I apologize if this is slightly off topic. Bangraman, are you not satisfied with the Muvo V200 anymore? I was just considering purchasing one based on your lobbying.


I was very satisfied with it and it got a lot of use. Especially with the speed of loading and the built in jack. But you know, it seems a bit... un-bangraman like to get the same thing after I lost it. The loss, and puzzling over what to replace it with actually prompted the whole re-fresh idea. For various reasons I was not 100% happy with any of my other flash players (I never use the Sony for example), so I decided to sell/give the current inventory away and refresh/reduce my flash player count.
 
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yeeyy

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Then how about Zen Nano Plus?

It is smaller than MuVo V200 and with additional Line In feature, though the max for Line In Encoding is only up to 160kbps.

However, it use mini USB socket as compare to standard USB jack of V200.
 
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saint.panda

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bangraman
I was very satisfied with it and it got a lot of use. Especially with the speed of loading and the built in jack. But you know, it seems a bit... un-bangraman like to get the same thing after I lost it. The loss, and puzzling over what to replace it with actually prompted the whole re-fresh idea. For various reasons I was not 100% happy with any of my other flash players (I never use the Sony for example), so I decided to sell/give the current inventory away and refresh/reduce my flash player count.


Thanks, good reason indeed. But after reading your DAH-1500 review, I'll probably opt for one of these instead. Good luck on finding your ideal flash player.
 
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