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  #1  
Old 01-06-2010, 02:43 AM
Word-Weaver Word-Weaver is offline
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Default Thinking of buying this seemingly amazing player but some advice would be nice.

Okay, sorry if this is a long or pointless post but I'd like some advice as to whether or not the 16GB Cowon S9 is right for me. Thanks in advance.

I've recently been working hard and got some money. I was first going to buy a laptop but I already have a desktop and it will blow my budget completely so I'd have to borrow. >.< Then I was looking at fancy media devices and found this. Currently I use my Philips GoGear SA3345 which I've had for nearly two years, and I still love. However, I guess I'd like to update and I love the looks (& sounds) of the S9 but should I? Considering my player is still working. Mine is 4GB, a tiny amount of room and I need lots more.

Info about whole situation. I'm female and 17 years old, nearly a university student. I'm not particularly a fan of ipods so I naturally discovered ABI. Ipods, seem to me, over advertised and popular in-thing that’s seemly set the 'standard.' For example when allowed to listen to music in class a teacher would say "You can use your ipods." Not a mp3/4 device? Does that mean I can't use mine? *sigh*

I think some ipod features and stuff (etc.) are cool but are missing some stuff I really like/want. Like a text/document reader (Very important and handy, for me), Voice recorder (Again, useful and used a lot) and Radio (Don't use as often as I'd like but still cool). But most importantly its the MUSIC and VIDEO quality etc. that I use most and is a significant part of my life. So I hear that the music and video quality etc on Cowon S9 is beyond anything and superior? This is good. I also listened to my sisters Samsung T10 and the sound quality difference was incredibly good! It wasn't the headphones, we tried different kinds, it was the player that gave good sound. Was it a good sound player, so the sound on S9 is mind blowing?

I've read and looked at tons of different reviews etc. for this player and liked the sounds, bar clashing impressions, but wanted to get your personal opinion as to best player for me, your experiences and love this player?

My Dad and one of my friends have the ipod touch and I was playing around on that. I like touch devices. The internet on the touch was wonderful and awesome but compared to losing all the features above (text etc) that are not in ipods, I don't want to lose. o.O If that made any sense. Also, I don't use itunes, at all. Or Macs, I'm a Windows girl. So the limitations of an ipod annoy me slightly. Cowon is drag and drop, freely usable? Oh and the photos/pictures are great too.

What is the flash stuff like? Is there much apps etc around? As a computer and Technology savvy and loving girl; I'm a website, media and graphic designer, would it be a good player? I love customizing and personalizing, so wallpapers etc is good.

It's $480 NZD at my local retailer, I'm still nervous and not sure. What do you think? Thankyou. - I might add more later, because I have a really I'm missing a few things.

Last edited by Word-Weaver; 01-06-2010 at 02:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:33 AM
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Mf1232 Mf1232 is offline
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bottom line. you will not be disappointed with the s9. brilliant picture/video quality. and amazing sound. people listen to my s9 with me after they just got done with their player, and they immediately ask what kind of headphones i have. then i inform them that it's the s9 pumping out that awesome sound, with my customized EQ. not the headphones. and the voice recorder is excellent quality as well.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:57 AM
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If the most important thing for you is Music and Video the S9 will not disappoint. It's the BBE options that make it special. To my ear the BBE ViVA setting is pretty difficult to beat with custom EQ. I've been working on various custom Eq for various phones and am always disappointed (yet happy) that this built in preset seems to beat the lot of them. The AMOLED screen for video is seriously impressive and wipes the floor with the ipod touch and everything else except the Zune HD from what I read.

The text reader does what it says on the tin - reads text files. There is a UCI text reader on iAudiophile (can't remember the name off the top of my head) that is superior allowing you to easily change tracks while reading.

Radio I have to say I've never used yet, though have heard reports reception isn't great.

I've heard people say the voice recorder is great. My own experience of it is it not very impressive from the in built mic SQ wise, which is exactly what I'd expect since a decent digital recorder is an expensive item. It'll certainly be cool for recording lectures though, if your lecturer allows you to place it on her/his desk. A external mic might make a world of difference too. Bottom line, it does the job.

My experience of the S9 has been overwhelmingly positive and I love mine. There are a few things it doesn't do well though that you should be warned of:

Photo viewer is rubbish, doesn't zoom well and just isn't very well conceived.

UI has a bit of a learning curve unlike an ipod touch.

On-board resizing of album art is a little poor. For best results you need to resize.

But there are so many other things to praise it for - MSC file transfer, battery life is brilliant, AMOLED screen is a wonder to see, scratch resistant glass, tactile buttons for play/pause, forward and back tracks, volume…

In terms of Flash - I don't really use games and aps and stuff as they seem to be to be a waste of battery and not really what I'm after…

What I do love though, is UCI that improves the functionality and appearance of the UI.

You say you're into graphic design - well your own S9 can be your canvas, as you can design your own UI for the device - if you have Flash skills you can code it and release it to the community, if you don't, you might be able to find a flash designer to work with.

There is some great UI out there. Claw UI (or wallpaper as is its official name) lets you customise everything about the unit, adds multiple dynamic playlists, auto resume and various other new functions. Dnw/fdx does some fantastic graphic design and functionality with his Aero and Dark Evolution UI. There's a lot out there and there will be plenty more to come.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2010, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Word-Weaver View Post
Okay, sorry if this is a long or pointless post but I'd like some advice as to whether or not the 16GB Cowon S9 is right for me. Thanks in advance.

I've recently been working hard and got some money. I was first going to buy a laptop but I already have a desktop and it will blow my budget completely so I'd have to borrow. >.< Then I was looking at fancy media devices and found this. Currently I use my Philips GoGear SA3345 which I've had for nearly two years, and I still love. However, I guess I'd like to update and I love the looks (& sounds) of the S9 but should I? Considering my player is still working. Mine is 4GB, a tiny amount of room and I need lots more.

Info about whole situation. I'm female and 17 years old, nearly a university student. I'm not particularly a fan of ipods so I naturally discovered ABI. Ipods, seem to me, over advertised and popular in-thing thatís seemly set the 'standard.' For example when allowed to listen to music in class a teacher would say "You can use your ipods." Not a mp3/4 device? Does that mean I can't use mine? *sigh*

I think some ipod features and stuff (etc.) are cool but are missing some stuff I really like/want. Like a text/document reader (Very important and handy, for me), Voice recorder (Again, useful and used a lot) and Radio (Don't use as often as I'd like but still cool). But most importantly its the MUSIC and VIDEO quality etc. that I use most and is a significant part of my life. So I hear that the music and video quality etc on Cowon S9 is beyond anything and superior? This is good. I also listened to my sisters Samsung T10 and the sound quality difference was incredibly good! It wasn't the headphones, we tried different kinds, it was the player that gave good sound. Was it a good sound player, so the sound on S9 is mind blowing?

I've read and looked at tons of different reviews etc. for this player and liked the sounds, bar clashing impressions, but wanted to get your personal opinion as to best player for me, your experiences and love this player?

My Dad and one of my friends have the ipod touch and I was playing around on that. I like touch devices. The internet on the touch was wonderful and awesome but compared to losing all the features above (text etc) that are not in ipods, I don't want to lose. o.O If that made any sense. Also, I don't use itunes, at all. Or Macs, I'm a Windows girl. So the limitations of an ipod annoy me slightly. Cowon is drag and drop, freely usable? Oh and the photos/pictures are great too.

What is the flash stuff like? Is there much apps etc around? As a computer and Technology savvy and loving girl; I'm a website, media and graphic designer, would it be a good player? I love customizing and personalizing, so wallpapers etc is good.

It's $480 NZD at my local retailer, I'm still nervous and not sure. What do you think? Thankyou. - I might add more later, because I have a really I'm missing a few things.
Many reasons you point here for buying a S9 match with my reasons, for example the customizing and personalizing-part, it's really great, and you can easily change the whole look and feeling of your player by dropping a single file on your player (check out the UCI-part of the forum). The player is fully usuable as a drog and drop player, although you can synchronize with other software lik WMP (which i use) and other media players (not tested by me yet). The flash part is mostly games that a gathered from the internet, but if you search around a bit, you can find some usefull apps like unit-converters and calculators and stuff. (Depends on what you need in daily life). Photo and video quality is really good, and it's handy that the video doesn't need conversion (which most other players do, including the iriver SPINN i owned before) and subtitles are supported as well (.srt and msui as well i think, not shure). The audio-quality is amazing (i was used to iriver-sound, which isn't bad at all, but the Cowon steps just that bit higher, and i love it) and easy customizable to your preferred needs of music. You'd might have to buy a other set of earphones or so with the player, the standard was aren't really a tribute to the player.
Further the rest, i've got my Cowon 2 weeks now, and i'd buy it again if i had to!

I would give it a go if I was you ;-) (although it's a bit expensive for a beginning university-student (same situation here))
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2010, 06:52 AM
shopao shopao is offline
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piece of advice, do not think twice of buying this amazing product, i repeat, do not think twice, just buy it! you will be soon thanking yourself for having one.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2010, 08:02 AM
bart bart is offline
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For watching pictures:

You want to be able to navigate through pictures in landscape mode without having to zoom in / out every time. and navigate with prev / next track.
To do that;

Go to settings;
Click on Hold Mode;
Set it on Touch screen only

Now browse to photos,
view 1
tilt the S9 so it pops into landscape mode.
Lock the player
Now you can browse with prev / next track while keeping photos full size.

I did resize my photos; i recommend this: http://www.softpointer.com/tr.htm
You edit the settings, batch all your photos and done
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2010, 04:43 PM
maitremiyamoto maitremiyamoto is offline
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I own both an ipod nano and a S9. I bought the S9 because it plays FLAC and because I wanted to be able to play videos. Unfortunately, the user interface on the S9 is so bad that I barely use it (except when I need to watch videos, on the train for example).

If you like to use playlists, do not buy this player. If you like to use your player with one hand, do not buy it either. Going through menus is also a major pain in the neck. Buying this thing made me understand why Apple is so popular, despite all the things I don't like about Apple. At least I can synchronize my ipod with a music player like mediamonkey and convert music on the fly to the ipod, including playlists made with mediamonkey. I can also change tracks while running or biking. Try and do that with your S9, even with practice.

Anyway, feel free to buy the S9 but be warned that it is extremely frustrating to use unless you want to spent more time on forums looking for answer than actually enjoying music. I can't believe people would be so ecstatic about it without without warning about its giant downsides.

Last edited by maitremiyamoto; 01-06-2010 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Typos
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:07 PM
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It's clear that the user-experience is a personal thing :-)
However, changing tracks while biking or running is way more easier with the S9 thanks to the tactile controls on top of the player, and with your ipod you have to touch that stupid scrollwheel-bad-functioning-thing before you can skip songs properly.. And the menu structure is while browsing music rather the same as the ipod... So I suggest people that want to buy one, check out some vids on youtube, so you get an idea of the UCI
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2010, 08:37 PM
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^^^^^
yes
The ui is odd at first but I got the hang of it in an hour. Otherwise you'll be blows away with customizing. Use Claw's ui and it's awesome.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2010, 10:34 PM
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The one thing no one has mentioned yet that might disappoint you about the S9 is the touch screen. From what I've witnessed, it's not as quick and responsive as the iPlop range. It's also single touch, as opposed to multi touch, so you can't put your thumb and index finger in a reverse pinch action to zoom in and out.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2010, 04:27 AM
Angelix Angelix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invertedskull View Post
The one thing no one has mentioned yet that might disappoint you about the S9 is the touch screen. From what I've witnessed, it's not as quick and responsive as the iPlop range. It's also single touch, as opposed to multi touch, so you can't put your thumb and index finger in a reverse pinch action to zoom in and out.
I also got that impression, but upon using it I found that the scrolling etc. was nearly flawless. It's not much of a loss over the iPod Touch.

Also, Word-Weaver, me being from Australia, I know the pain of exchange rates and extreme prices due to living out in the middle of nowhere. You'll find that local retailers charge much more than what the player would cost if you converted the price directly from USD. You might like to try eBay. Despite what people say, the possible fakes you need to be careful of are more popular ones like iPods. Here's a search to get you started.

In response to what maitremiyamoto said, it's not really frustrating. I came straight off from using a Zen Vision:M (which has an incredibly easy-to-use UI) and it didn't take me long to get used to the Cowon S9 at all. If you come from an iPod you will think differently, naturally. The Cowon S9's UI isn't bad per se, it's just different to what everyone's used to. If you've more than half a brain you will get the hang of things. It's like driving a manual car versus an auto; driving a manual might have a steep learning curve but the experience is more rewarding and you'll feel superior to everyone else for being able to.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2010, 05:25 AM
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I pretty much wholesale disagree with maitremiyamoto.

The fact is a Cowon player has a lot more functions and options than an apple player, this means the UI will have to be more complicated as more icons, lists, control mechanisms are needed.

I did say the UI has a learning curve, and I stick by that, but this is based around learning what the often abstract icons on the footer bars mean. That isn't hard - you press them and see what they do.

If you can't learn how to use the UI in half an hour to an hour you can't really have tried. Besides this, you can download UCI if you want to change it anyway.

I've never tried to synch my S9 with a media player - why would I buy a player with the vastly superior, simple to use and easier to control "drag and drop" method of file transfer and then go to some software and ask it to do it for me? Why does anyone use synching? I'll never understand it... That said, I've never heard of anyone saying the S9 does not synch fine either.

The comment that it is impossible to change a track on an S9 compared to an ipod is ludicrously innacurate - did you not notice the tactile buttons on the top of the unit? Back track, forward track, play/pause and volume can all be controlled by simple button presses... what about that process caused you so much trouble? Isn't clicking a button on top of the S9 identical in every way to clicking on on the face of the ipod? In fact it is easier because if it's in a pocket it will be easier to find.

Sorry if this seems a little harsh, but someone here is asking for advice and you are giving them utterly mis-leading information. The S9 has faults, all players do, but be realistic please...
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2010, 06:01 AM
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I agree with EddieE :-)

my grandmother who is 85 years old was watching and browsing through pictures and she doesn't know how to use a pc. So it can't be that hard i guess
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maitremiyamoto View Post
Unfortunately, the user interface on the S9 is so bad that I barely use it (except when I need to watch videos, on the train for example).
Oooh, I've used iPod Classic/Nano & iPod Touch UIs, S9 ain't inferior in usability if not superior, default UI also gives 1-2 tap access to everything you need regularly & unlike Apple's junk you can install a custom UCI on S9. I've seen a Zune like text based dead simple UCI for S9 as well (check UCI forum here), I doubt it gets any simpler than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maitremiyamoto View Post
If you like to use playlists, do not buy this player.
Yeah & what reason do you give for that? S9 can have playlists in both MTP mode & MSC mode (using Claw's UCI). Also on the go playlist (temporary) can be made which I dont think is possible on any of Apple junk, now is it??!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maitremiyamoto View Post
If you like to use your player with one hand, do not buy it either.
The only time I hold my S9 with both hands is usually when watching video or playing a game, otherwise I hold it in one hand & use it with the thumb of that hand - single hand operation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by maitremiyamoto View Post
At least I can synchronize my ipod with a music player like mediamonkey and convert music on the fly to the ipod, including playlists made with mediamonkey. I can also change tracks while running or biking. Try and do that with your S9, even with practice.
Yeah, that can be done in S9 as well & not just with Media Monkey but via Cowon's Jet Audio or Windows Media Player or Winamp or any other software which supports MTP. It can also take playlists via MTP & it also supports the standard M3U playlists!! Changing tracks is easy, no messing around with the wheel of iPod Classic/Nano & no taking it out of pocket, just press the next track or previous track switch & you're done. If you're not using default earphones with S9 & if your headset has volume & track buttons, you can use them as well.

Oh & btw, you can install one the UCIs which support shake gestures & then you can just shake your S9 to one direction to change tracks. Can you do this with your lil' Nano?

I think the problem is that either you are an Apple fanboy who bashes anything which hasn't been blessed with an eaten apple or you just never tried out S9 beyond a brief 1st look of 20 seconds which resulted in your last post which has everything but valid points!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:24 AM
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maitremiyamoto Couldn't be more wrong...


/Agree with amit's above post.



Cowon S9, the best player around for music customizability and video (Compared to other non-orientated video players).
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2010, 11:45 AM
Libelaum Libelaum is offline
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Although I won't say everything what the maitreblabla dude said was 100% true or even near the truth, but you're kind of overprotecting the S9 here dude, don't turn this around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
Yeah & what reason do you give for that? S9 can have playlists in both MTP mode & MSC mode (using Claw's UCI). Also on the go playlist (temporary) can be made which I dont think is possible on any of Apple junk, now is it??!!
Ahh, just like the ipod could do WITH NORMAL UI, you can make a playlist on the s9 using a UCI a lot of people won't use. Obviously that makes it just as good.

And yeah, a temporary playlist is so much better than just making one just about the same way but not temporarily...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
Changing tracks is easy, no messing around with the wheel of iPod Classic/Nano & no taking it out of pocket, just press the next track or previous track switch & you're done. If you're not using default earphones with S9 & if your headset has volume & track buttons, you can use them as well.
I'm pretty sure he ment switching to a specific track, which you have to browse to and select on both machines. Not sure which is easier though, honestly I'm leaning towards the ipod one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
Oh & btw, you can install one the UCIs which support shake gestures & then you can just shake your S9 to one direction to change tracks. Can you do this with your lil' Nano?
Yeah a lovely little feature to play with. Who's actually going to use that though? Don't make it a competition, they're nowhere near eachother pricewise. And if you do, don't talk about useless features, the ipod touch, which is more in the pricerange of the s9, could probably easily beat the s9 on that part.

And no I'm not an iPod fanboy. I'm just thinking that if you think someone is majorly biased, don't do the same thing the other way around. It doesn't work that way
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:04 PM
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The problems with the UI fall into two categories:

1. Things you can't do. Cowon has been diabolical in "forgetting" to include simple things that almost any MP3 player can do. For example, you can record FM, no problem, but you can't change the volume without stopping the recording! There's no way to know the size of a file without connecting the S9 to a PC. You can't have it automatically start the player when you turn it on. You must go to the main menu first and select it. Nothing else would make sense to Cowon so nothing else should make sense to you.

I have a whole laundry list of simple things Cowon just plain forgot or never thought of. Don't listen to the people who say add-ons like Claw can "do anything". They add workarounds to some of the S9's deficiencies and make the apps more presentable but Cowon has purposely made some things impossible.

2. Things you can do but you'll forget how. Learning the UI is more a matter of relearning things over and over. Want to delete that video you just watched? Hey, why is the X, I mean the "delete button" gray? Can't you delete videos? Of course you can. You just have to exit the video player, go to the browser, find that video again, and delete it. Oh, and hope you deleted the right one. Why does it even bother to show a grayed out X if you never delete the video from there? My Creative Zen just lets me delete a video after I've watched it.

Why can't I shuffle play some songs? You can of course but you can't just select "shuffle play" like other players. You have to select a song before it starts shuffle playing or it will just stare at you.

Again, there's a whole list of "How do I do this again?" S9 functions. If you don't do them very often you'll forget how to do them and maybe even wonder if they're possible. Many functions rely on strange icons instead of English and in some cases are counter-intuitive (deleting is "X" but confirming the delete is "O", not "X") so if you forget what the strange splotches on the screen mean, you're out of luck.

The S9 sounds great, looks great, but the UI was designed by people who have never seen another MP3 player.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:26 PM
Yazad Yazad is offline
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if you want music, go for it. if you want a durable player with good built quality, loads of supported file formats and almost as good sound/video quality go for samsung p3. if you want a really snappy UI and wifi go for a zune HD. so go ahead pick your choice you can't go wrong.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:28 PM
maitremiyamoto maitremiyamoto is offline
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Funny how some users jumped on my comments whereas I really wanted to like that player (else I wouldn't have bought it and got excited about the possibility to play FLAC and AVI files). As Scowl said, I realized that "The S9 sounds great, looks great, but the UI was designed by people who have never seen another MP3 player."

Now if all other users manage to go from one track to another with the S9 in their pockets as mentioned somewhere above, I must be having some serious coordination issues. Since it's a touch screen, unless you lock it, it keeps making these annoying beeps in your pocket (at best). If you lock it (hard to do with one hand, even harder to do without accidentally activating something on the touch screen), you can't skip tracks. This lock got to be one of the most poorly designed thing for a player like this, and it's on the wrong side of the S9.

As for the playlists, I won't use my player to make playlists since I have a giant FLAC music library on my computer and just add songs to my playlists in mediamonkey (or am I supposed to do that when I hear a good song on the S9 while it's in my pocket?).

Anyway, I would say that this player is great if you are sitting on the bus and have nothing to do but play with your player. If you just like to dump things on your music players and go out and do stuff, forget about it. Not sure this player is going to improve in the future since people around here seem so happy with the interface anyway.

Btw I never said I did not know how to go through the S9's menus, I just said it was lousy.

Last edited by maitremiyamoto; 01-07-2010 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maitremiyamoto View Post
Now if all other users manage to go from one track to another with the S9 in their pockets as mentioned somewhere above, I must be having some serious coordination issues. Since it's a touch screen, unless you lock it, it keeps making these annoying beeps in your pocket (at best). If you lock it (hard to do with one hand, even harder to do without accidentally activating something on the touch screen), you can't skip tracks. This lock got to be one of the most poorly designed thing for a player like this.
Well, like I said, you didn't check out the S9 settings much. There's an option there to keep the play/pause, volume & track buttons unlocked & lock only the screen when you use the lock switch at the bottom. So you can engage the lock which will just lock the screen, put the S9 in your pocket & skip tracks, pause or play & adjust volume without taking it out of your pocket & without taking your eyes off whatever you're looking at!
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