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  #1  
Old 11-12-2009, 11:40 AM
jpod jpod is offline
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Thumb Up S9 video specs with firmware 2.50

How would I easily determine the current specs of the S9 running firmware 2.50?

My question arises after reading the S9 forum, there have been significant improvements in the video handling capabilities since its initial release. It seems the firmware has been updated almost monthly. I like that.

I've read/searched through this forum for this information but it's spread throughout . I've browsed through the firmware release notes as well. In summary, I've found the information difficult to find.

Reading the S9 forum I find claims that S9 can handle the same video formats as the Samsung P3. Can someone clarify here?

It seems that DivX/XviD support has been added to the S9 and that H.264 support is somewhat available, but not combined with AAC-LC in a proper mp4 container. Any comments here?

I'm lazy, I don't want to have to transcode my HTPC media library which consists largely of DivX and XviD to play on the S9.

If I recall correctly, Samsung P3 handles DivX/XviD at 800x600, not sure about bit rate. Can someone comment on what the S9 does so that I can determine if my library will need transcoding?

I really like the H.264/AAC Dolby Digital II in mp4 format and plan to add new addition to my library in that format. Can the S9 handle it and at what bit rates?

Has the support for podcasts been improved? In what way? How does audiobook bookmarking currently work? Does S9 separate audiobooks from music so that random play doesn't play books in the middle of music?

Does playback speed include pitch control on audio formats as well as the video? What rates and increments? How easy is it to operate. Is it global or individual setting?
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2009, 02:00 PM
DarkParagon DarkParagon is offline
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Quote:
Reading the S9 forum I find claims that S9 can handle the same video formats as the Samsung P3. Can someone clarify here?
Except for SVI which is a Samsung video format, the formats supported by both are mostly the same (DivX, Xvid, WMV, H.264).

Quote:
It seems that DivX/XviD support has been added to the S9 and that H.264 support is somewhat available, but not combined with AAC-LC in a proper mp4 container. Any comments here?
As of firmware 2.50, the S9 has functional support of MP4 containing H.264 and AAC-LC audio. There may be some problems depending on encoding configurations, but largely does work.

Quote:
I'm lazy, I don't want to have to transcode my HTPC media library which consists largely of DivX and XviD to play on the S9.

If I recall correctly, Samsung P3 handles DivX/XviD at 800x600, not sure about bit rate. Can someone comment on what the S9 does so that I can determine if my library will need transcoding?
The S9 can handle Xvid/DivX video just as well as long as Qpel and GMC were not included in the encoding options. You may want to check your videos using a program like MediaInfo or GSpot to find out if these are enabled.

Quote:
I really like the H.264/AAC Dolby Digital II in mp4 format and plan to add new addition to my library in that format. Can the S9 handle it and at what bit rates?
Again as of 2.50, as long as the H.264 is encoded using Baseline profile (Main and High profiles do not work) with only 1 ReFrame (any more distorts video playback for some reason, may be fixed in a future update), there shouldn't be any problems playing back the MP4 file unless the bitrate is unreasonably high that the processor can't keep up. I haven't done any testing to see the bitrate or resolution limits for smooth playback.

Quote:
Has the support for podcasts been improved? In what way? How does audiobook bookmarking currently work? Does S9 separate audiobooks from music so that random play doesn't play books in the middle of music?
I don't really know much about these topics as I do not use podcasts or audiobooks myself. Maybe someone else can answer this one.

Quote:
Does playback speed include pitch control on audio formats as well as the video? What rates and increments? How easy is it to operate. Is it global or individual setting?
You can enable pitch correction as settings for music and video in the event that you want to speed up or slow down playback without distorting the pitch. Playback speeds range from 50% to 150% in increments of 10%. To change these settings, you have go to player settings then Music or Video depending on what you want to change. Not entirely sure what you mean by global or individual. If by individual you mean on a file-by-file basis, then the setting is global.

I can't guarantee 100% accuracy for my answers, but it should give you an idea of the S9's video capabilities. If anyone spots any inaccuracies or needed relevant info, please add to this topic.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2009, 12:30 PM
jpod jpod is offline
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Smile First Impressions

So far DarkParagon, I'd say your reply was spot on.

I just got a S9. So far I've verified it plays XviD and DivX from my library. Perfect. Just what I wanted. No conversion necessary!

I have a few H264/AC3/MP4 videos. I used Super to convert the audio to AAC-LC and direct copied the video. That was quick.

I guess I'll have to scan my entire library and find all the incompatible files. I know I have some mkv as well. Any suggestions for a tool to scan a large library?

I'll archive all my H264/AC3/MP4 for now. I expect that H264/AC3/MKV will be the future standard and I'll have to go through something like this again down the road.

Next I had to learn how to convert a DVD to H264/AAC/MP4 that'd play on the S9. I used http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...55&postcount=9 as a reference.

Finding an appropriate profile turned out to be tricky. I have several tool-chains that I use. I had trouble finding a profile would yield Baselevel@3.0.

I should probably mention that Baselevel@1.3 didn't work for me.

FWIW, I got Baselevel@4.0 to play. Even though it worked, the advertised spec for S9 is clearly 3.0, so I' stuck with that.

I kept my H264 bit rates <=1500, but I suspect that 2000 might work.

I did see some software in 2.50 for managing podcasts. Some exe files and pdf describing how to get content. I didn't really get into it, but it seemed like you'd copy the exe from the S9 to windows and run the program there to scrape content from web sites and then sync the podcasts to the S9.

The playback and pitch control works nicely ( I tested 130% ) on audio and video. Separate settings for audio/video, which is nice. Yes, the setting is global, covering all, not just selective for a individual play.

I found the whole experience of navagating away from the player to the settings to change speed controls very annoying. I was hoping the UCI would have it right there. Literally at my finger tips. But not so.

I'm glad for the volume buttons, because there isn't any way to touch screen to adjust the volume easily when listening to radio/music/video. At least not that I could figure out.

I messed with some user supplied UCI. I didn't really find anything that made the operational experience easier. I didn't like those UCI that required you to organize and place your widgets on the screen before you could even get started.

I'd have to say that the user interface is cumbersome. I cannot say that it ever really felt easy to use this device. Maybe with time, I'll change my opinion, but for a touch device, I really didn't expect to feel so frustrated so often when using it. BTW, I completely read the user guide before I ever powered on the unit so I had some idea of what I was supposed to be doing.

It's easy to put a picture as the wallpaper, in fact, it's almost impossible not to do it, because the user will inadvertantly hit the icon to see what it does. Just know that it's cumbersome or impossible to remove it. Go figure. I finally just disabled wallpapers.

Using the UCI felt a little like using a MP3 player at 70mph on a Harley with one hand. That's not a good thing.

Overall, it supports all my media without having to do conversion. It plays video/audio/radio nicely. It plays books fine, by organizing the files alphabetically and placing them into their own folder. I put them into the Audibles folder with hopes they would not get played during music shuffle. Haven't tested that yet.

The radio really gets exceptional reception compared to my home stereo.

I haven't done anything with playlist yet. I did see a open playlist icon in my system tray from JetAudio. Also, have only ran on XP so far, not tried Vista or Win7 or W2K8.

I haven't tried the subtitles yet.
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2009, 11:00 AM
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Bravepower Bravepower is offline
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About podcasts/audiobooks: The S9 still treats them the same as other music files. But now you can use .m3u playlists to organise your music however you want; so you can create audiobook, podcast and music playlists separately. It's an extra effort, but at least there's something that works now.

There is no way to alter playback volume using the default UI without using the hardware buttons.

As for the user interface, I've always used the default and find it perfectly fine. Over recent releases, responsiveness and speed have improved significantly. It's not the best UI I've seen in a media player (the old Zen UIs were excellent) and yes, there are loads of mystery meat menus there, but you can easily get used to it with time. Besides, Cowon was never known for its user interfaces - at least this time you get the choice of user-created ones.

The player really shines in video and audio playback (which is really what the player is for, right?). If you learn how to modify the JetEffect settings properly, you can get some fantastic sound experiences from your songs. You should definitely play around with JetEffect with one of your favourite tracks playing to get a feel for the settings.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:04 AM
jpod jpod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravepower View Post
About podcasts/audiobooks: The S9 still treats them the same as other music files. But now you can use .m3u playlists to organise your music however you want; so you can create audiobook, podcast and music playlists separately. It's an extra effort, but at least there's something that works now.
I've been trying to get MediaMonkey configured to work. If you tag the Genre as audiobook, then MM separates the handling of Music/Audiobooks.

You also have to put this in the Sync Device Configuration:
Code:
$If(<Genre>=Audiobook,Audible\<Composer>\,$If(<Genre>=Podcast,PodcastReady\Podcasts\,Music\$if(<Album Artist>,<Album Artist>,<Artist>)\))<Album>\<Title>
That's the good news. The bad news, is that doing auto-sync, creates simple m3u files on the S9, which the S9 doesn't read and MM doesn't generate extended m3u in auto-sync mode.

This means I have to convert each m3u to extended format. I use mp3tag to achieve this. The process is tedious and error prone. You must read each m3u file on the S9 with mp3tag and overwrite them because mp3tag generates extended m3u format.

mp3tag wasn't really designed to optimize this and it really is a PITA.

One of the great features of MM is dynamic playlists so my playlists change often. In other words, after each sync I have to go back and manually recreate each playlist on the S9. Damn Greek Tragedy! I need to find a better way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravepower View Post
There is no way to alter playback volume using the default UI without using the hardware buttons.

As for the user interface, I've always used the default and find it perfectly fine. Over recent releases, responsiveness and speed have improved significantly. It's not the best UI I've seen in a media player (the old Zen UIs were excellent) and yes, there are loads of mystery meat menus there, but you can easily get used to it with time. Besides, Cowon was never known for its user interfaces - at least this time you get the choice of user-created ones.
FYI, Aero Ultimate G2 1.00 supports a touch screen volume control. AU G2 allows you to change playback speed easily without leaving the player (Nice when listening to audiobooks). It also allows direct access to the equalizer settings and the browser. Very handy. I've been using it. Dims screen and screen blanks after a time. It's very solid. Only found 1 bug so far (when changing the equalizer settings and changing to Rock or some other setting, sometimes a hidden menu appears for no reason I can understand, I haven't spent time to report it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravepower View Post
The player really shines in video and audio playback (which is really what the player is for, right?). If you learn how to modify the JetEffect settings properly, you can get some fantastic sound experiences from your songs. You should definitely play around with JetEffect with one of your favourite tracks playing to get a feel for the settings.
Shines in Video and Audio with BBE. Agreed.
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