Simplifying my gear... Creative MuVo2 4GB?
Mar 6, 2006 at 10:10 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

The_X

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I'm going to be downsizing all my audio equipment. I need to sell my larger HDD players just because I think I've invested too much into them. There is a MuVo2 (mini-HDD) on sale here that I am interested in. I kind of want to go down to a mini-HDD player for convenience and just have CD's for the rest of my library. It seems like I am constantly upgrading larger HDD players to accomodate my growing music collection, and it's becoming a money pit. Also, I really like the sound of regular CD's and want to go back to that format. All the hard drive players I've tried have had the same, dry "compressed" sound that my D-777 and XP-EV501R PCDP's do not have. Of course I could rip all my music in FLAC which I suppose would make it sound better, but that involves even larger investments--new hard drive for my computer, stronger batteries for MP3 player, etc. Basically, I need to go simpler and focus on the music more.

Does anyone own one of these MuVo's? How does it sound? I'm looking for a small, Mac-compatible player with a smooth and natural sound, perhaps a bit of midrange prominence. Needs to be a good match with KSC-35's. Storage capacity is unimportant. Would maybe an iPod Nano serve my needs better? Or would the MuVo work well for my needs?
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 1:50 AM Post #2 of 9

LaBreaHead

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Well, the Creative would sound good, but that's an interesting "retro" choice. It's kind of large by 2006 standards, and it looks like an Eastern Bloc camera, circa 1970. I don't know whether I've heard anything about the build or reliability, so I can't comment there. I was going to ask whether Creative still sold that, but as far as I can tell, they don't take anything they've ever made off the market.
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As a Happy Rio Carbon owner, I'd say try to find a new one of those somewhere online, if you want to go retro. (I actually like some Creative stuff, and was actually considering the Muvo you're looking at when the Carbon came out. The Carbon came and went rather quickly, but that's a reflection on Rio's business plan more than it is on the player. Easy to operate, easy to pocket, and easy on the ears.) Or go more modern and look into the new hard-drive Cowon micro-hard-drive player.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 2:08 AM Post #3 of 9

DigDub

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i used to have a 5gb muvo2. the sound quality is excellent, with a 4 band EQ. the microdrive speed is kinda slow, but everything else is good. the body is made of plastic, but it does not feel filmsy.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 4:29 AM Post #4 of 9

IpaqMan

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I have both the Rio Carbon, the Muvo2, and the Ipod Nano. I prefer carrying a small light player rather than the larger high capacity players.

I got the Muvo2 because of the user replaceable battery and replaceable CF drive and low price on Ebay.

I like the Muvo2 for its great sound (warm and smooth), replaceable battery, standard mini-USB port, standard 5 volt power jack, replaceable HD, ruggedness, and UMS support. My gripes include the small screen and the miminal user interface.

Back in October, I picked up a factory refurbished Rio Carbon from Ebay. It looked brand-new. It has performed very well. I like the Carbon for its slimness, large bright information LCD screen, its support for UMS, long battery life (over 20 hours), navigation by folders and tags, Audible.com audiobook support, bookmarking, self-databasing for tags, USB charging, and 5gb capacity. My gripes include Rio going-out-of-business, the fragile volume wheel, and the lack of a remote. With a new hacked firmware, the Rio Carbon has on-the-fly playlists and a sleep timer.

Recently, I decided to try the Ipod world by getting a Nano 4gb. The Nano is extremely small, thin, and light. It has a powerful user interface, a lot of accessories, good sound quality, Audible.com support, USB charging, fast music transfers, and built-in extras (games, PDA stuff, and stopwatch). Surprisingly, writing to the Nano memory is faster than reading from it. According to some reviews, file transfers with the Nano are faster than with the Ipod 5g. My gripes include no navigation by folders, proprietary connector, easily scratched surface, and cost per gigabyte.

Currently, I mostly use the Carbon and the Nano. The Carbon gets used for music and mp3 audiobooks. The Nano gets used for music and Audible books.

BTW, I just got the KSC75s from RS for $15. It works fine with these three players, but I did find that they take more power than my usual EX71s, MD33s, or E888s.

The Rio Carbon is probably the best bargain in terms of features and capacity of these three, but it is probably the least rugged of the three.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 7:50 AM Post #5 of 9

LaBreaHead

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Interesting, IpaqMan, that you say the Carbon is the least rugged (I am very gentle with the wheel, that's for sure). And, LOL, you make we want to go out and get a Muvo -- much of what you describe about it makes so much sense, to me -- on the go, my players spend most of the time in a pocket, not in my hand. The iPod Nano sounds like a major step forward for flash players (4GB is a great leap forward), in a lot of ways, but my pocket won't care about the color screen (of course, mine was the last family in our time zone to get color TV, too, and I was among the last in the northern hemisphere to get a DVD player
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).

"I prefer carrying a small light player rather than the larger high capacity players."

I know I like to be unemcumbered while in airports, on planes, etc. Makes me wonder whether 4GB - 6GB micro-hard-drive players will be around a few years from now. Will there be a polarization between 30GB - 60GB (and beyond) hard-drive players and 1GB - 10 GB flash players?

Anyway, The_X -- the iPod Nano would certainly be a streamlined way to go, if that's what you decide. If you're OK swapping material in and out, even 2GB would be a healthy capacity, and 4GB would be that much nicer.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 2:37 PM Post #7 of 9

Sparky191

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Quote:

Originally Posted by The_X
I'm going to be downsizing all my audio equipment. I need to sell my larger HDD players just because I think I've invested too much into them. ..... I'm looking for a small, Mac-compatible player with a smooth and natural sound, perhaps a bit of midrange prominence. Needs to be a good match with KSC-35's. Storage capacity is unimportant. ....


Have you tried a iPod Shuffle? Even cheaper now. I've a few players but I tend to come back to the Shuffle a lot. Cheap, sounds great, robust, tiny. With out any features you can't help but focus on the music.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 5:07 PM Post #8 of 9

IpaqMan

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The boot-up time is one of the major issues for me, too. I often play/pause my music or audiobooks, so it is a big waste of time waiting 30 seconds for a boot and then to press play. Some players will boot directly to play.

The Muvo2 will boot up in less than 4 seconds unless you haven't used it in a day or so (kind of like a sleep mode). The Nano boots instantly into playing if you have been using it recently. I REALLY like that, but, of course, that uses battery time to keep up the sleep mode. The Rio Carbon takes up to 10 seconds to boot and you have to press play after it boots.

BTW, if you can get a Muvo2 FM 5gb along with its included remote, you can just pocket the Muvo2 FM and change tracks and volume from the remote clipped to your pocket. I bought a Muvo2 FM shell from Ebay and added the drive and battery and remote (also from Ebay). The FM remote seems more rugged than the FM wired remote of the Muvo2/NJB3. I went through four of those remotes (cord flexing breakage problems). If I need to re-charge the power, I either swap batteries or plug in an Ipaq battery pack charger.

When I want to use my Rio Carbon, I keep it in a small cloth bag and clip the bag to my shirt and stuff the Carbon barely inside my shirt. I can then feel and press the D-pad control as needed and twirl the volume wheel. To charge the Carbon on the go, you can use a battery pack USB charger.

With the Nano, I use the new Apple Radio Remote and clip that to my shirt and control the tracks and volume. The Nano goes into my shirt pocket behind my nerdy pocket protector with pens, box cutter, pen-like screwdriver combo, laser pointer, lens brush, penlight, etc. There are some USB battery pack chargers for Ipods but I don't know how reliable they are. For portable use, I have a Powerjolt auto charger which I plug into a 12 volt cellphone battery pack.

Pros and cons:

Muvo2 pros: Rugged, easily disassembled for repair and replacement, replaceable inexpensive battery, fast bootup, accelerating FF/RW, standard 5 volt DC jack, standard USB jack, UMS support, multi-band equalizer, navigation by folders, (FM version - FM radio, FM recording, voice recorder, simple remote).

Muvo2 cons: box-like design, small dim screen, simple Muvo interface, no clock, no Audible.com support, no id-tag navigation, no on-the-fly playlist support, no sleep timer, no bookmarking.

-----

Carbon pros: slim design, easy to operate controls by sight and touch, long battery life (20 hours or more), Audible.com support, large bright screen, very informative screens, accelerating FF/RW, multi-band equalizer, USB charging, UMS support, navigation by folders and by id-tags, on-the-fly playlist support, sleep timer, bookmarking, low pricing on Ebay, voice recorder.

Carbon cons: don't drop Carbon on volume wheel, ten second bootup time, very hard to disassemble, no 3rd party replacement batteries currently, no radio, no optional remote.

----

Nano pros: Itunes, very slim and small, very rugged, very bright large screen, great user interface and controls, great looking, lots of accessories including replacement batteries, Audible.com support, scroll wheel support for quick access to progress bar, navigation by id-tags, on-the-fly playlist support, sleep timer, bookmarking (by Itunes), very fast transfers, optional radio and remote, flexible docking port usage.

Nano cons: Itunes, no music UMS support, expensive, scratchable, must use hold switch when pocketed, no voice recorder, proprietary port.

----

I have had my Nano for only a week (actually had to exchange it because of static during charging on the right channel), so my views on it may change. The Carbon has been my constant companion along with the Iaudio 5.

The Iaudio 5 would be my main player IF it had Audible.com support and it had 4gb of storage. The I5 is rugged and easy to operate clipped to my shirt pocket. Moreover, you can memorize the menu structure and operate the I5 blindly.

Cowon is releasing an Iaudio 6 with a miniHD but the controls are different. The new Sandisk E200 6gb flash player looks interesting and it will probably support Audible.com (other Sandisk players do). It comes with a replaceable battery and a color screen and is Nano-like in size.

It's a tough choice. That is why I have all three and am keeping them. I probably didn't need to get the Ipod Nano but the bug bit me.

I hope this is enough information for you to make a decision.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 6:04 PM Post #9 of 9

GSTom1

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The Muvo2 is a decent sounding portable player. If you're lucky, you might be able to find the FM version that also comes with an FM/voice recorder and remote control (though not really needed). Compared to the iPod Nano, the Muvo looks big, but most players look big compared to the Nano. Even in 2006, the Muvo2 does not seem that big or outdated at all.

I think the main consideration is how you organize and listen to your music. If you like id3 tags to organize your music then this player is probably not for you. Although it reads and displays and artist and song title from id3 tags, your music needs to be organized in folders. Also, you can't browse down to an individual song, only to the folder level. Generally I use this setup and everything is fine:

Genre --> Artist --> Album --> Song

How you listen to your music should probably be the biggest deciding factor since navigation is the Muvo2’s biggest weakness. Plus the one-line display doesn’t help. If you like to listen by artists and albums or random play all tracks, then the Muvo2 works reasonable well. However, if you like to browse music and change tracks a lot or make playlists-on-the-fly, then the Muvo2 is not a good choice. The Muvo2 doesn’t have a selected music queue like other Creative players so you can’t add tracks or move music around or make playlists-on-the-fly. In this regard, I would recommend a Zen Micro instead.

Otherwse, not a bad little player in my opinion.

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