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  #1  
Old 06-15-2008, 01:41 AM
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Plan303e Plan303e is offline
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Default Recommend a new player for college/studying

I'm transferring to UCSD by the Fall, and I need to get something before September that'll last me for two years. Budget will be tight for the time I'm at college, and it's meant to help me concentrate while I study, not bother me with problems and what not. And before anyone questions that, it's a habit I picked up from AD in high school, from studying every day for hours on end. I will get much more restless, and quicker, without music.

I have a PSP, but really it's just for videos. It's quite bothersome for music, since it's so huge, difficult to pocket, and I'm paranoid about that big screen, so I keep it in a bulky protector all the time unless I'm using it [with a wriststrap]. So, I really won't be needing a video-capable player, and I definitely don't want another big-screened device to worry about and InvisibleShield it.

I'll cut to the chase and just make a list of descending priorities.

1) Flash memory with internal of at least 8GB (really gunning for double-digits though)
2) Great sound
3) Expandable memory (preferrably SDHC, since it's cheaper than the MicroSD, right?)
4) Ease of use, going to live and study with it for at least two years, I don't want something annoying like the PSP for playing and messing with music, finding music, layout and playlisting of music (see additional paragraphs below)
5) In liu of the two years, has to be fairly durable (accidental drops, etc)
6) Pocketable and portable (ironically, unlike the PSP)
7) Battery life at the very least slightly better than iPods. But with flash, it ought to be expected
8) Ease of music transfer
9) Gapless playback, since I have a few old [Dancemania & trance] CDs I really want to back up and listen to.
10) Better than average codec support (ie, OGG at least; MIDI has a low priority)
11) Not ugly (subjective)
12) Reasonably priced, I can pay the price for good internal memory and expandable memory.
13) Bluetooth (fairly low on the list, because the headphones I have are crap)


I'm pretty outdated when it comes to music players. I've never had an iPod, but using iTunes only is a definite no-no. And I've never used music libraries or programs to organize my music or put it on my player (sans the horrible SonicStage for the MiniDiscs), so I need some help there.

I might bother with Windows Media Player (not Classic) to make a library for me, but is there stuff other there that's better? I have WinAmp, but I'm really not sure. I like the idea of iTunes, but I just hate it because it's a resource-whore.

I'd also like to be able to "sync"( or whatever it's called) my music (a la #4) because pure drag and drop was a bother with the PSP since I couldn't organize it without renaming. So a program to do that for me would be fantastic, since I lose track of what songs are on my player and laptop.

I was looking at the Cowon and iRiver brands, particularly Cowon's 7 (although it lacks expandable memory, fairly high on the list), but wasn't too sure since new stuff is coming out too. I was kind of interested in the D2, since it's expandable, but if a D3's coming out I'd ignore it. That, and it's video, and so it'll be kind of a hassle like the PSP (unless you can inform me otherwise)


I think that's it for now. If there's anything else I should consider in a player, please let me know.
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Last edited by Plan303e; 06-15-2008 at 01:50 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2008, 08:45 AM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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It sounds like you want a D2, especially if you want support for music formats besides mp3 and wma, and a full sized SD card slot. If you really want bluetooth, then your choices will be severely limited. My opinion is that bluetooth for an mp3 player is not a good idea. It greatly limits the selection of headphones, might decrease sound quality significantly, gives you a second item that needs charging, and might give you interference problems in crowded areas, etc.

Another thing to consider is if you want to listen to podcasts and lectures on your player, then you will probably want a player that allows browsing by folders(as does the Cowon players), as many podcasts or lectures are missing ID3 tages, or don't have tags that will sort them in the appropriate order. They are typically set up to be in the correct order based on file/folder. You will also want support for lower bitrate files, and bookmarks(or at the very least a reliable resume feature so you wan't lose your place in a long lecture). The Cowon D2 and i7 also provide long battery life, listed as 52 and 60 hours(real world usage probably more like 38 and 45 hours?) Since you want a player of at least 8 gigs but prefer having well over 10 gigs, the Fuze wouldn't be a good choice. Those who want 12 gigs could get an 8 gig Fuze plus a 4 gig micro SD card for around $135(Amazon?). The Fuze doesn't navigate by folder though, and battery life is listed at 24 hours(perhaps real world use under 20 hours?).
The D2 also comes with a charger, which imo is a great plus. Some don't like the touch screen on the D2 and want more buttons instead. The weight and size of the D2 is more than most players(it is 0.7" thick,3.1 ounces vs 0.3 for the Fuze or 0.375 for the Sony A810 series. Those other players also weigh much less. Something to consider if you want to keep the player in a shirt pocket).
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2008, 09:00 AM
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HipHopScribe HipHopScribe is offline
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You shouldn't avoid the D2 because of the D3, as far as I know it's just a rumor, I haven't even seen any solid estimate for a release date, you shouldn't let that kind of stuff halt your decision, only time you should is with a company like Apple that has a relatively predicatable schedule of announcements and releases, definitely don't worry with Cowon, who knows when it will be out. The D2 fits all requirements except bluetooth and gapless, though it may be more video oriented than you want, and if you're paranoid about screens, the touchscreen may cause some anxiety, though it is pretty durable.

Another option would be the Sansa Fuze, it's very affordable, has excellent sound quality, not video focused at all, very small. It currently fits 1-8 on your list it seems, except I'm not sure which iPod you're using as the battery life standard, their current models mostly have good battery life, the Classic gets 40+ hours, perhaps you're thinking of older iPods? As mentioned, the Fuze gets about 24 hours, so you can judge is that's enough. The Fuze doesn't current have Ogg Vorbis, but it's a good bet it's coming soon, the Sansa Clip just got Ogg Vorbis, and apparently Sandisk intends to add FLAC & Ogg Vorbis support to both players. With the 8GB Fuze currently being $113 on Amazon, it would currently cost $127 to have to have 12GB total with a 4GB microSDHC card, and $150 to have 16GB total with an 8GB MicroSDHC card, this is significantly less than reaching the same capacity level with the D2, and given you just want music, you might not want to pay for all the extra feautres on the D2.

Last edited by HipHopScribe; 06-15-2008 at 09:09 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-15-2008, 11:02 AM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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Will the D3 be a substitute for the D2, or a more expensive luxury edition of the D2? It seems unclear. It is also unclear when the D3 might be released, especially in the US. If you plan to wait, you might keep waiting for the next best thing then go for many years without buying anything.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2008, 05:03 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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You should look unto the D2 (yes, another vote). Except for gapless, we all wan't it, and blue tooth it's the player your looking for. D3? Don't hold your breath as it prob won't be out till the middle of next year (2009) if at all. There is also 1 other choice I will recommend and it's also a good player - the Samsung P2. I'm partial to the D2 myself and prefer it over the P2!! Here's a link to ABi>Compare:

http://anythingbutipod.com/compare/c...-samsung-yp-p2

Compare is 1 of the great features of ABi!!!

PS: I threw in the iAudio7 to spice it up a bit!!!

Last edited by The DarkSide; 06-17-2008 at 06:45 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2008, 12:17 AM
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Plan303e Plan303e is offline
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I guess the D2 sounds good, but that $239.99 on Amazon for a 16GB actually seems kind of iffy. It almost makes me want to buy a Zune. Any better places to buy it?

Ok, if I don't prioritize expandable memory, would the iAudio7 be more viable than the D2? It's cheap and does come with 16GB at most, and my library isn't that big yet (I think, I'm too lazy to get everything from my hard drives and I'm picky about putting entire CDs since some songs will inevitably suck).
Is it better to use than the D2, on to go? What really irritated about the PSP was the need to look at it for just a simply change or a encore of a song I really liked, and the D2's 3 hardware buttons sound like a bother. I read the review, it looks pocketable, but are the controls that bothersome? Mind you, I'm looking for something better than the PSP, or old MD players.

Finally, if I bother to opt for better headphones [than what I currently have, first gen V-Moda Vibes], what should I get? Microphonics can be easily dealt with, even while I'm walking. Biggest issue was isolation, however, as I find myself raising it just a bit more even while studying. I really liked the sound quality and details the Vibes gave, though.

Lastly, where's the best place to get Cowon stuff? It's definitely not a brick&mortar product. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll probably pick something up by July or August, to break it in and get used to it before I leave.
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2008, 12:36 AM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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If you don't have that much music, you could get a 4 gig D2 for around $150, and get a 16 gig SD card for around $60. So for $210 you get the D2 with 20 gigs of storage. Spending $240 for a 16 gig D2 doesn't seem like a good idea unless someone really needs 32 gigs of storage.
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2008, 03:08 AM
starZz starZz is offline
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The zen seems cheaper and more portable in size. It's way lighter too. See http://www.anythingbutipod.com/compa...s-creative-zen
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