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Old 10-31-2009, 06:22 PM
bassbinotoko bassbinotoko is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, South America
Posts: 24

I wouldn't call a flash player that can't be upgraded an investment. Especially not if it has an internal battery that can't be replaced easily. I've been using a 2GB "Omnitech" player from Staples ($20) for the last six months. Sound quality seems perfectly adequate, it holds an awful lot of music, it has a display, and best of all, it runs on a replaceable AAA battery. So, if I'm halfway up a mountain and the battery runs down, I just swap in another. I don't have to carry a second MP3 player, or some kind of USB charger to keep the music going. One minor down side, though: it bricked. Fortunately, I'd bought a second (intending to give it as a gift), and found enough information and software to help me copy the firmware from the good player to the bad one.

The player I _invest_ in will use upgradeable flash memory, like multiple SDHC slots. It'll run Rockbox, or at least support most audio formats including lossless. It'll have a connection for a wired remote, and a battery that can be easily swapped, so I can carry a spare when on the road. And, hopefully it'll also record in high quality lossless from line level inputs. S/PDIF I/O would be nice.

As to the original question... my experience with the Staples player suggests that it is smart to buy locally (from a big box retailer that has good customer service) and have an over-the-counter warranty. I've also heard there are players formatted to look like they have more memory than they really do. So your 4 GB player could turn out to be 1G or 512M. The Coby players sold by Walmart and others look cheap, but reviews are positive (at least compared to the number of folks that have bricked an Omnitech like mine). I bought a basic 2 GB Coby (no display) for $12.95 locally on sale here in the wilds of Canada. Pretty hard to beat that bang for the buck. [edit] I just stuck a battery in the Coby... it works. And, usefully (at least if you listen to a lot of very long tracks like DJ sets or audio books), it resumes at the same point after shutting down.
MP3 CD players: Genica Tavarua, Panasonic sl-mp35, Sony D-NE500, D-NE510 Flash: RCA Lyra RD1022, RD1028 Hard drive: Nomad Jukebox 6 gig upgraded to 20 gig

Last edited by bassbinotoko; 10-31-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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