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  #1  
Old 09-11-2011, 11:39 AM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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Default Is The Clip Zip The Right Player For Me?

Hi everyone, I've discovered the forum via searching online for reviews of various MP3 players and registered to seek some much needed advice. I guess I should point out that I've never owned an MP3 player of any description, so I'd appreciate it if any advice (gratefully) given, bore that in mind, thanks.
OK, my situation.
This is what I want.
A physically small player.
A player with enough memory to hold about 50 or so all-time favourite albums permanently.
A player, like the clip zip, which has a card slot. I've thousands of discs and would like to fill numerous SD cards with music by genre, to use when the mood strikes me.
I think, from what I've read, that the zip is ideal for me? Given that, a few questions please.

1. I don't want to buy a zip, when another 20 or so pounds/euros would have gotten me something better. Is the zip about as good as it gets for the price range?
2. If I buy an 8Gig model, and want to put my 50-odd favourite albums on the internal memory, what is the best format for me to rip my cds to? MP3, wma, OGG, flac, bitrates, CBR, VBR etc. It's all new to me. I'm able to convert my discs to those file types, but don't know which route to go, to get best available audio quality and fit them onto the player?
3. I intend to buy a few 16Gig micro SD cards. I take it that if I want approx 100 cds worth of music on each, I rip my discs to the same format as I'd use for the internal memory?
4. I have a broad taste in music, differing genres. Does the zip hold up well to playing all musical types or is it flawed with any type?
5. I wouldn't know a decent pair of earphones for use outdoors if they were to smack me in the face. For around about the /Euro 50 range, is there anything in particular that suits the zip?

Many thanks for reading and for any advice. I do know that I could get a larger capacity player for the money I intend to spend (zip and a dozen or so 16Gig microSD cards) but the idea of a physically small player, with card slot, suits me. It's easier to replace a lost zip with one card, than to replace an ithing or archos with all my music on it.

Cheers.
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2011, 01:16 PM
bikertrash bikertrash is offline
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1.Yes
2.Flac
3.Yes
4.Holds Up, Not Flawed
5.Koss Porta Pro are great if you need to hear your surroundings, For IEM, I picked up a pair of Audio Technica for 40 bucks but originally listed at 100 bucks. You can't go wrong with Sennheiser, but if your willing to study, you can do better.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2011, 01:44 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Welcome to ABi

Sandisk players aren't good for the price, they are simply good. Other players may have DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) that change the sound but they can't make it sound better. Both with electronic testing and volume matched (volume matching is extremely important!) listening tests it's been established that quality players all sound just about alike. Despite the relatively low price Sandisk players have very good sound quality.

I haven't seen any electronic tests yet but Marvin know how to volume match and listen and he doesn't report any differences. Unless electronic testing reveals some serious flaw he's missed I'd take that as the Clip Zip sounds like the Clip+, very good.

What to use to rip? For software I use EAC. You'll read that it's tough to set up properly. It was, but I haven't found that to be the case now. I run the Configuration Wizard, accept the defaults for FLAC and it cranks out bit perfect rips with about 5 minutes of no sweat setup.

I rip to FLAC for the reasons I posted yesterday but that's not what I use on the player. I would use .mp3 because it's universal and at right quality level/bitrate you really can't hear a difference between that and the lossless source. I can't see using a the much larger FLAC files to no audible benefit. I would follow the link to the page regarding LAME for their recommendations.

The LAME page has a link to ABX testing. Using that you can use your ears and equipment to determine the best quality settings for your use. The guidelines on the LAME page are generalized. You may find that with a bit of testing they are too high or low for how you want to listen to and store your music. foobar2000 and it's ABX comparator allows you to find the quality setting that's right for you fairly easily.

The choice of EAC mainly due to long familiarity. I've found that there's a number of other rippers that can produce the exact same results. The music manager mentioned in that thread, Musicbee, can produce files that have the exact same audio information as EAC. Once you download the LAME encoder it can be a one stop shop to set up your files for your player. I prefer foobar2000 for that but once again that's a matter of preference not an indicator of the quality of the resulting files.

Any quality player should be capable of reproducing the audio range of any genre faithfully. Headphones are where you should look to tailor the sound to a genre. If you would like to get headphone recommendations based on your personal needs check in here. Check the links there, they have some links to decent inexpensive headphones. If you don't find anything that suits you then gather the listed information and post it as a thread in the Headphones forum.

Portapros are open headphones. The leak sound in and out. A passing vehicle can completely drown them out if you're listening at reasonable volume levels. They are nice headphones but sound leakage may not make them the best choice for your outdoor listening.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2011, 03:35 PM
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steinburger1109 steinburger1109 is offline
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Skip's got a great place to start, I just want to throw in the for the sake of room, while you should rip to FLAC, leave that on the computer. V0 LAME mp3 is indistinguishable compared to FLAC to the vast vast vast majority of people, but it's always good to have lossless copies of the music around.
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2011, 05:30 PM
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^what they said^
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  #6  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:00 AM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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I suggest that you choose the Clip+ rather than the Clip Zip unless you must have album art or you have AAC files. The Clip+ is cheaper than the Clip Zip, and gives more song information. Rockbox is available for the Clip+ but not for the Clip Zip.

I think many here use variable bitrate mp3 averaging around 192 kbps. This will give you around 13.5 hours of music per GB, so I guess that means around 196 hours or so of music per 16GB card, so I guess this probably gives you over 200 albums on a 16 GB card. When a card is swapped there is a database refresh which takes a few minutes, so you will probably want to use as few cards as possible, and therefore choose 32GB cards(a 32 GB card is now close enough in price to the price of two 16 GB cards). Battery life is only around 12 hours for the Clip+ or Clip Zip(some claim they get more than this using Rockbox on a Clip+) with mp3 files(and less for other formats), so some people carry more than one Clip+ or else carry a usb battery pack.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2011, 05:24 AM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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Thanks guys, lots of food for thought and helpful advice.
I've just ordered a clip+ and 2X32Gig and 2X16Gig cards.
When the zip is easily available here in the UK, I'll order one of those too. Not for the ability to see artwork, that means pretty much nothing to me, but I like the idea of a second player readily to hand and curiousity means I want to see how the machines differ. I'll load each machine internal memory with favourite albums with flac. Each also with a 32Gig card with V0 LAME. The 16Gig cards for when things need a turnaround. That should keep me busy for a few weeks!
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2011, 06:02 AM
vin_wiesel vin_wiesel is offline
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I just received my Clip Zip from US (not out in EU yet)

I love my Clip+ and I thought I would love the better screen and the new features but I must say the + is much better with its nice blue chars and plentiful song info during playback.

BUT, i would still advise you to get the Zip. Hopefully there will be a Rockbox port to it and the bigger screen and colors will give the developer more room to play with the display. Also the database refresh is significantly faster than on the +.

I own a Fuze, a Clip+ and a Clip Zip. Today the Clip+ is the winner. But its days are numbered.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2011, 09:40 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamond_Joe View Post
Thanks guys, lots of food for thought and helpful advice.
I've just ordered a clip+ and 2X32Gig and 2X16Gig cards.
When the zip is easily available here in the UK, I'll order one of those too. Not for the ability to see artwork, that means pretty much nothing to me, but I like the idea of a second player readily to hand and curiousity means I want to see how the machines differ. I'll load each machine internal memory with favourite albums with flac. Each also with a 32Gig card with V0 LAME. The 16Gig cards for when things need a turnaround. That should keep me busy for a few weeks!
Glad things are working out. Pure curiosity, why did you decide to go with FLAC on the internal memory? Are you planning on using that as an archive location?
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2011, 09:52 AM
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FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
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Diamond_Joe...please remember that these players need to refresh the database whenever a card is swapped or changes made to the internal memory. The more files, the longer the refresh. To reduce refresh time, the tags should be kept as 'clean' as possible. Use of Rockbox allows one to defer the database refresh. There are a number of threads on the above topics in the Clip forum.

Enjoy your new purchase.

Steve
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2011, 10:30 AM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Glad things are working out. Pure curiosity, why did you decide to go with FLAC on the internal memory? Are you planning on using that as an archive location?
Quite simply, they are CDs I want to archive (a lot are now OOP) anyway. So will rip to FLAC, as that seems to be the best option, to store on the PC. Simply because they will already be in a format the + or zip can use, I'll load the internal memory with them.
Everything is worked out I think, thanks.
Just need to investigate this tagging and rockbox thingy and I should be all set.
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  #12  
Old 09-12-2011, 10:34 AM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeZ5 View Post
Diamond_Joe...please remember that these players need to refresh the database whenever a card is swapped or changes made to the internal memory. The more files, the longer the refresh. To reduce refresh time, the tags should be kept as 'clean' as possible. Use of Rockbox allows one to defer the database refresh. There are a number of threads on the above topics in the Clip forum.

Enjoy your new purchase.

Steve
Cheers Steve, I really won't be changing cards often. Even if the refresh rate is to take 20 minutes it wouldn't bother me.
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2011, 10:51 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Something you may not know. Battery life will drop significantly using FLAC files in the Sandisk firmware on the Clip+. Reports say you lose as much as half. The Sandisk firmware isn't optimized for any codec but .mp3. If you decide to use Rockbox battery life is best using FLAC but you have still used most of your memory carrying files that contain audio information you can't hear.

On my older dual core CPU converting a FLAC album to -V2 .mp3 takes little more than a minute. It results in files that are certainly overkill but are transparent to the lossless source.

This isn't to tell you what to use. It's to make you aware that FLAC files on your DAP may not bring the benefits it may seem they will at first glance.
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  #14  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:28 PM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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Oh, I didn't know different filetypes could affect battery life. Thanks very much indeed for pointing that out. The flacs can stay on the computer I think and high quality mp3 on the DAPs.
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2011, 12:32 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamond_Joe View Post
Oh, I didn't know different filetypes could affect battery life. Thanks very much indeed for pointing that out. The flacs can stay on the computer I think and high quality mp3 on the DAPs.
Just as an example, on the newer Clip Zip, FLACs played for 6 hours, 55 minutes, and high-bitrate MP3's played for 12 hours.

If you get a Clip+ and rockbox it you can count on 15 hours( and possibly a little more) for either type of file.
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:40 AM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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Many thanks for all the help and advice.
The Clip+ arrived yesterday and I have pre-ordered the zip.
I've had no problems whatsoever and am thoroughly happy with the clip+. It's a brilliant bit of kit. Sound quality from such a tiny device is astounding. I'm chuffed to bits that I've dragged myself into the 21st century and bought a DAP.
All the best
Joe.
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  #17  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:54 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Really glad you're liking how things are working out. As a person that dragged a CD player, CDs and a stack of batteries around for way too long I can remember the astonishment of hearing my first DAP. I still sometimes marvel that I can carry thousands of tunes in something about the size of a book of matches and play them at such high quality.

Ain't the 21st century grand?
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Really glad you're liking how things are working out. As a person that dragged a CD player, CDs and a stack of batteries around for way too long I can remember the astonishment of hearing my first DAP. I still sometimes marvel that I can carry thousands of tunes in something about the size of a book of matches and play them at such high quality.

Ain't the 21st century grand?
How true! I (not so fondly) remember the days when I had a 60 disc mega(?)-changer in my car and thought that was all I would ever need. Now I can carry that and more in a tiny hand-held device.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:18 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Originally Posted by Bob_K View Post
How true! I (not so fondly) remember the days when I had a 60 disc mega(?)-changer in my car and thought that was all I would ever need. Now I can carry that and more in a tiny hand-held device.
I had one of those as part of my stereo system at home.....random play was great in theory but there was quite a pause as it switched discs.
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  #20  
Old 10-01-2011, 09:19 AM
Diamond_Joe Diamond_Joe is offline
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My youngest (16 yr lad) asked me about a track he heard during a Scorsese movie. He didn't know what it was. Turns out he's finally starting to appreciate real music instead of teen nonsense, as the track was Gimme Shelter. I got to explaining it's from a classic album and asked him if he wanted to hear it. He did, but instead of taking the CD he borrowed my Clip+
Two hours later he's decided he wants to replace his ipod with a clip+
He's got almost 11,000 tracks on his laptop the exact same music on his ipod. The quality of the mp3s must be poor as the size of the folder is 35.5Gig.
I know that with a 32Gig card and 8Gig player, he obviously would have enough capacity size, but is the number of files that the clip+ can recognise, still limited to approximately 8,000 or has this been addressed via firmware update or whatnot?
Does anyone know if the clip zip has the same file limit?
He's pretty much decided he's gonna buy a clip+ or zip and microsd card but would like to know in advance regarding file limits so he can organise his music on his laptop into a ready to go sansa folder. I've shown him mp3tag and explained about cleaning up the fields etc, so he's halfway there with getting music ready.
Thanks.
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