Sansa c150 2GB - first impressions
Mar 23, 2006 at 8:05 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

evh7

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I was considering ordering either a 1GB Cowon G3 or U2 (G3 was winning because of the replacable battery and long battery life), but, instead, I picked up a SanDisk sansa c150 2GB flash player last night at Best Buy on a whim -- I'd gone there because of a rumor that they had XBox 360 Premium Kits in, which turned out not to be true. The c150 was $159 with a $10 instant rebate (which ends 3/25) so I ended up spending about $163 with tax, which seems to be not bad for this player; I see slightly lower prices for it online, but it's not really in stock in many places, and I wanted the option of taking it back with no arguments or shipping if I wanted to. The G3 would have been $35 less, but I got a whole gig for the price difference.

This is a much better-looking device than the the earlier Sansa players. It looks a bit like the U2, except more bulky, obviously, because of the battery. There's a silcone case available, which I considered but did not purchase. It also comes with a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck, something I strongly suspect I'll never do. But you never know.

So far, after a few hours of trying it out, I'm happy with the player. It's got a cute little color screen that's easy to read, runs on a AAA battery (they say 15 hours of battery life; we'll see about that), and a fairly decent FM tuner, not the best FM radio ever, but okay. It records FM and has a mic on it, and I've tried out neither of these things. I suspect the mic sucks, because why wouldn't it? It also displays pictures. The sample pictures looked good enough, though extremely tiny; I deleted them immediately so I could put more music on it.

I think this sound is pretty good on this thing; I've listened to it using my Grado SR80s and my Shure E30Cs and I'm pleased the sound quality. My 192 bit songs sounded great, the 128 songs sounded a little less great, no surprise. There's an equalizer with custom settings too, so you can shift things around to your liking. Maybe the Cowon products would sound better? I don't know, these things are so subjective anyhow. I had hoped to listen through my bus ride today, but sat next to a chatty person who had a lot to say to me, so I still haven't gotten to spend the kind of time I'd like to listening to the thing.

The menu system seems to be driven by id3 tags. I thought I had mine pretty much in order, but apparently I didn't, so some of the menus are a little bit of a mess for me. I'll need to work this out with some tag editing.

My biggest problems with the player come from user error, I think.

This is an MTP device, and I'm not sure I quite understand it. I've never used MTP before, and it's slightly befuddling to me. When I connect it, my XP computer asks me if I want to sync it using Windows Media Player. I didn't want to, but I tried it once, trying to be open-minded, and, sure enough, I didn't like it. I ended up deleting everything and using drag-and-drop to add songs in a way that made more sense to me.

There's also a few files it wouldn't play correctly, and I don't think there's anything wrong with the files. They're low bit rate, 32-bit speech files, but they start to play and then resolve into a high-pitched squealing noise. That's unpleasant. The device plays some of my other 32 bit files, so it's not simply the low bit rate that's causing the problem. I suspect it has something to do with the transfer protocol, and I don't know enough about that yet. Maybe somebody here does.

When I connect my player to my PC in MTP mode I see the icon in my desktop tray for only a second. If I click it, or if click initial box that asks me if I want to sync with Windows Media Player or take no action, the icon disappears. I can still see it in my My Computer folder and it shows up as an audio player, and I can add or delete files, or I can sync it with WMP, but I can't find anywhere to make sure I'm safely disconnecting it when I pull the plug on it.

I'd prefer if I could use the device like a UMS device, and it does have an MSC mode, but when I looked at it the file structure was different than when it was in MTP mode. I'm sure there's someplace I can learn more about this stuff; I assume I'll be able to figure this out.

Overall, though, I think this is going to work out. Wanna see some pics?

c150_lipbalm.jpg


c150_back.jpg


c150_side.jpg


c150_hand.jpg


c150_E3Cs.jpg
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 2:17 AM Post #4 of 9

IpaqMan

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Questions:

1) How fast does it boot up to play? Does it start playing immediately from power-up or do you have to push play after power-up?

2) Is there a sleep timer?

3) Does it support Audible.com audiobooks?
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 2:36 AM Post #5 of 9

evh7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IpaqMan
Questions:

1) How fast does it boot up to play? Does it start playing immediately from power-up or do you have to push play after power-up?



It boots up in about 4 seconds from the moment you push the power button, and the music starts immediately, no need to push play.

Quote:

Originally Posted by IpaqMan
2) Is there a sleep timer?


Yes, there's a sleep timer with settings for 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, and 120 minutes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by IpaqMan
3) Does it support Audible.com audiobooks?


Yeah, it sure does!
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 3:15 AM Post #6 of 9

stubby

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About the sleep timer. Do you have to reset it to your desired minutes after every boot up or does it remain set (as the Creative Zen does) until you disable it? I'm probably one of the few who would like the timer to stay on all the time.
Thanx
Eric
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:52 PM Post #7 of 9

evh7

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Quote:

Originally Posted by stubby
About the sleep timer. Do you have to reset it to your desired minutes after every boot up or does it remain set (as the Creative Zen does) until you disable it?


Yeah, it seems that you do have to reset it to your desired minutes after every boot up ... tested that this weekend.
 

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