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Old 10-25-2010, 08:19 AM
drzues drzues is offline
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Default Bookmarking non audible.com files

My iAudio G3 is on the blink (earphone jack cuts out player) so I have been hunting for a new player. I love my G3 and knew it was a good purchase but am only now fully appreciating how many features the little thing has.
I love podcasts, I am a BBC addict. I have a huge collection of MP3 downloads (not many audible.com files tho) from there and elsewhere.
In hunting for a new player I noticed the Philips Vibe (2010 model not old one) has capacity for loads of bookmarks ... Yeah! Only when I got it home did I realise that they only work with audible.com files (.aa)

I am gutted. I like the thing cos it's a beautiful metallic red, same size as G3 but half the thickness. Not fussed about it's dinky video - I just want to listen MP3s and the radio, nothing more.

Many of my MP3s are 40 minutes or more and I often need to interrupt my listening, often changing to a different MP3 when I resume. The G3 had bookmarks for every MP3, just hold down the record button, thats it.

I have scoured the net for bookmark capable MP3 players but posts are 2008 and older (mostly older) and even looking at a supposedly more recent page on cnet still referred to older (mostly unobtainable models) and really only for audible.com files.
But I have found that this is an important feature for the majority of owners, yet there is little response from makers to fulfill this need, except in cunjunction with audible.com downloads.
My idea of bookmarking is just that, you bookmark that file at that place. Most players can resume where you left off, but that is not the same because usually if you switch to another MP3 file and return your position will be lost. Oddly enough, on the video playback for the Vibe, if you pause and go to a different file then return, it will resume playback

So my question is this ... is there a player today that is of small size and still has such a bookmarking function for ordinary MP3s?
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2010, 08:32 AM
Confuseling Confuseling is offline
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Drumroll.... Sansa Clip+ might do it!

Considered by many spoken word / podcast listeners (and indeed other users) to be a gem of a player.

[We should just set up a bot, which writes 'have you tried the Clip+?', irrespective of the question... Would save much time. ]

Clip+'s original firmware saves a distinct continue point for every file in its podcasts / audiobooks directories, so every time you open a file it asks you whether to start again or continue from where you left off. I'm not sure it handles more sophisticated bookmarking at all, but if this covers what you're after, it's literally effortless. It also allows a rudimentary 'timestretch' (speeding up / slowing down a recording in realtime, without having to modify the original file), which is absolutely brilliant for voice recordings - allows you to skip through a section of limited interest, without actually missing it.

Finally, for more sophisticated bookmarking (among other things, including, for example, timestretch implemented properly so you have fine control over the speed, and it keeps the pitch constant within reason), you have the option of installing Rockbox.

Last edited by Confuseling; 10-25-2010 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:47 AM
Olley Olley is offline
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Cowon J3 has great bookmarking although it's not automatic. The i9 might be worth checking into as well.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:57 AM
drzues drzues is offline
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Olley, I have thought about them ... but they are a little on the big size ... be like lugging a mobile phone around. I have found a new i7 but not sure how wise a purchase it would be, it being an older model and all. Any thoughts?

Confuseling, I have not been able to get my hands on a Clip+, and what I read about it totally confused me (doesn't help when people write reviews for it when they really don't know what they are doing!). I believe I downloaded the manual but that was anything but enlightening. So it really does do that for every file? Is that even when using just drag and drop, or do you have to use their software for loading?
Also, OK it gives you that option when you first return to that file, but what if you were to not take either option but then leave that file, go elsewhere and return? Does it still remember? I think I have been spoilt by Cowon for bookmarks really, just placing a mark at an important spot, for example, and being able to go back to it even after listening to the whole MP3 at any stage, I found that really useful for lectures and stuff.

Last edited by drzues; 10-25-2010 at 09:13 AM. Reason: dimwitted on Mondays and afterthought
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2010, 09:30 AM
Confuseling Confuseling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drzues View Post
...So it really does do that for every file?
Yep
Quote:
Originally Posted by drzues View Post
Is that even when using just drag and drop, or do you have to use their software for loading?
There is no Sansa software ecosystem equivalent to Itunes. I've loaded my lectures onto my Clip using MSC (drag and drop) from Linux, and it works for them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drzues View Post
Also, OK it gives you that option when you first return to that file, but what if you were to not take either option but then leave that file, go elsewhere and return? Does it still remember?
It stores the 'bookmark' automatically, however you stop it, and it will remember it up to the point you select 'start from the beginning' [Edit - for that particular file]. No amount of monkeying around in between does it any harm at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drzues View Post
I think I have been spoilt by Cowon for bookmarks really, just placing a mark at an important spot, for example, and being able to go back to it even after listening to the whole MP3 at any stage, I found that really useful for lectures and stuff.
Depending on how technically inclined you are, I still think a Rockboxed Clip+ might be an ideal solution.

How often do you need multiple bookmarks in one file, or the ability to stop listening to something, start again from the beginning, then go back to where you'd left off the first time?

If the answer is 'hardly ever', then you'll probably be happy with the original firmware too.

Last edited by Confuseling; 10-26-2010 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:50 AM
drzues drzues is offline
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I have to say from reviews I had a leaning to the original Clip, largely because of the cool blue light ring! (I am sucker for cool looking stuff.)

Not concerned with iTunes - I have only ever used device software when I first use a device, just to see how it all works, and in Philips case, so I could try the video. I am much happier with drag and drop.

Quote:
How often do you need multiple bookmarks in one file, or the ability to stop listening to something, start again from the beginning, then go back to where you'd left off the first time?
Never, really - and it's not something I have become accustomed to since it isn't available on the G3.

So overall that's sounds great - just what I was looking for. I have fallen totally in love with the Philips for looks and size - metal chassis can never compare with creaky plastic, but the functionality just doesn't do it for me (and who knows what bright spark thought it was a good idea to supply a red and black player with white earphones! ) Whether they will address functionality in an update or not I don't know. Since it does bookmark the video files, it ought to be a cinch to do it for MP3s too.

One other question, what is the screen on the Clip+ made of? The current Philips devices have a very (seemingly) hard glass screen and whilst examining the various MP3 players in shops, they were the only ones without scratches on. Despite me forcefully scraping the demo Philips one with my nail, not a mark could I make. Similar Sony devices were awfully scratched, and it wasn't difficult to add to the scratches. Having said that, a hard screen may be more likely to crack under force I guess.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:40 PM
Confuseling Confuseling is offline
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Style is important.

The front face of the Clip+ is a single sheet of hard 'plasticy' stuff - could't tell you what it is, but it isn't glass.

I'm not the person to ask how scratch-proof it is, because I'm neurotic enough to keep mine in a little silicone sleeve thing, which recesses the screen enough to protect it from most peril...
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:13 AM
drzues drzues is offline
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Me and style are rarely used in the same sentence! Gadgets are the only items I own with any . I will have a look at the Clip+ if I can find one with power - I did find one in a shop but powerless. Why don't these outlets get the idea that you need to be seeing the things working? Mind you in Greece, seeing things in action is a newer concept - when I first arrived here, Greeks bought brand new cars on sight, there was no such thing as a test drive
Kind of explains where we are today!
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