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  #1  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:21 AM
flatten_the_skyline flatten_the_skyline is offline
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Help cheap DAP with strong battery, playlist support and microSDHC?

Hey!

So after finding out that the all-praised Cowon J3 has issues with playlists, I consider buying a low-end player since the high-end wouldn't give me what I want.

Of course, I'll settle for less.

All I want is long battery life, a microSD-slot, since those cheap players tend to have ridiculously small internal storage, and comfortable playlist handling. I'm used to itunes, which is pretty intuitive, but I don't like Apple anymore. I'd be happy not to get a touch screen, a smaller player is of course appreciated. I couldn't care less for video playback, album art is nice but not necessary. AAC support would be handy.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:32 AM
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define long
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:58 PM
flatten_the_skyline flatten_the_skyline is offline
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well, 20+? as long as possible?

I think the Sansa Clip series is too shortlived if I got that right.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:30 PM
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I was mainly asking because most of the truly compact players have clip-like power ratings. You need a little more size to get better battery life. take a look at the sony Walkman series. The S series is rated at up to 40-50 hours of music, the SQ is good and they support playlists if I remember right. No slot though.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Walkman-N.../ref=pd_cp_e_1

You could look for a fuze...not fuze +, the controls are wonky. and yes I have one so I speak from first hand experience. Its not a terrible as everyone says but I never use it.

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Sansa-.../ref=pd_cp_e_4
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:57 PM
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Some people buy a Clip+ or Clip Zip and a small external battery pack to go with it. The Sony players don't have a card slot. The expensive solution is the Cowon J3. The cheap solution is a clip+ or clip zip and a usb battery pack.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatten_the_skyline View Post
Hey!

So after finding out that the all-praised Cowon J3 has issues with playlists, I consider buying a low-end player since the high-end wouldn't give me what I want.
OP doesn't want the J3 for other reasons. And I mentioned the lack of a slot but in the mp3 market I have found its tough to get all of the features you want, you have to pick and choose. I found it easier to charge more often and keep all my functionality than to charge less and never be truly satisfied with the product I was using. I mean, if you dont like using it does it really matter how long you can use it at one time?
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:22 PM
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Playlists....who needs 'em? Not me....
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:27 PM
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I used to think I wanted them...now i just do different shuffle settings. All songs, genres, or artists. Turns out I am too lazy to build multiple playlists anyway
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2011, 04:03 PM
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I have no problems making playlists on my Clip, Clip+, and Fuze players (just got a Zip so haven't tried). Other people have lots of problems (given the number of threads on it at ABi). Is it the same with the J3? Do playlists on the J3 work for some and not for others? Just because I have no troubles with playlists on the Clip+, doesn't mean that everything will be great for you.

Steve
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2011, 04:24 PM
flatten_the_skyline flatten_the_skyline is offline
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I still consider the J3, but I think there should be less issues for that kind of money. But maybe that's just me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK98 View Post
Some people buy a Clip+ or Clip Zip and a small external battery pack to go with it. The Sony players don't have a card slot. The expensive solution is the Cowon J3. The cheap solution is a clip+ or clip zip and a usb battery pack.
How small are we talking here? The only one I found in a brief search was the size of a notebook HDD... But then again, I didn't know what I was looking for.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:43 PM
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USB battery packs come in all different sizes. It depends on how much power you want it to have.

Last edited by JK98; 12-27-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeZ5 View Post
I have no problems making playlists on my Clip, Clip+, and Fuze players (just got a Zip so haven't tried). Other people have lots of problems (given the number of threads on it at ABi). Is it the same with the J3? Do playlists on the J3 work for some and not for others? Just because I have no troubles with playlists on the Clip+, doesn't mean that everything will be great for you.

Steve
I'd be interested in your results creating playlist on the Clip Zip when you get a chance to deal with that. They stopped working for me after the upgrade from the 01.01.12. firmware.

Playlists made from files transferred in MTP then saved a .pla playlists worked in all the firmwares I tried. I couldn't get any playlist I made to even be recognized if it was made from files transferred in MSC after 01.01.12.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2011, 07:40 PM
flatten_the_skyline flatten_the_skyline is offline
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A friend of mine offered me his beat up nano 8gb for the time being. Maybe I'll wait for the next generation, with full SDXC support...
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2011, 08:07 PM
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skip:

I just spent the last 20 minutes playing with playlists on the Zip and the Fuze. The playlists just aren't there on the Zip. The programmer responsible for the code that reads playlist files from the two memories needs to have his/her butt kicked. It's a good thing I'm not their Quality Assurance Testing Supervisor (a role I've actually held, but on the big IBM mainframe computers). My player came with V01.01.15A, and I haven't played with the firmware at all yet.

I created playlists on a micro card with the Zip and they were read & played just fine on the Fuze. I moved a Xmas micro card to the Zip (it was created and worked on the Fuze), and the Zip did not find the playlist.

I've also had the Zip hang twice, something I can't say about any of my other Sansa players. It recovered easily by holding the power button. I think it was related to inserting a 4GB micro card, but am not dead certain. Did not happen with a 1GB micro card.

So far, this is not a player that I can recommend. Maybe I better get another Clip+. The ZIP makes a GREAT WATCH. I really like the time showing while a song is playing. Of course, I miss some of the other stuff. I was thinking about Rockboxing the Clip+, maybe it will be the Zip instead.

Steve

Last edited by FreeZ5; 12-27-2011 at 10:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2011, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeZ5 View Post
... My player came with V01.01.15A, and I haven't played with the firmware at all yet. ...
I don't use the OF and don't really care about it, just couldn't ever get past the lengthy db refresh it does. But seeing how the newest fw is 01.01.18 wouldn't it be prudent to run your tests running it instead of the older .15 you've used ...
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2011, 09:47 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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I suspect it won't make any difference with any of the firmwares besides 01.01.12, WalkGood. I have run the same tests with all the Clip Zip firmwares which is why I asked Steve to give it a shot. I didn't believe I was overlooking anything but that's always possible.

So I asked someone I know has the knowledge to make working playlists on Sansas try it out. He hasn't tested it on as many players and across as many firmwares as I have the the results are the same. For whatever reason Sandisk seems to have pulled support for .m3u playlists of any type for the Clip Zip.

Won't make me a difference personally but it's nice to know what works and what doesn't. I wouldn't want to tell someone it should work and get them frustrated.
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  #17  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
For whatever reason Sandisk seems to have pulled support for .m3u playlists of any type for the Clip Zip.
I can't confirm this for myself, but I read on the SanDisk forum that .pla format playlists have to go in the Playlist folder, and .m3u format playlists have to go in the Music folder, for them to work.

I don't know if that is anything you tried in your experimentation, but if not, I guess it's worth a try.
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2011, 07:08 AM
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Marv, it's me, skip252, the playlist guy, remember?

I can't think of a place on the player you can put a playlist I didn't try. Relative paths, absolute paths, in the Music folder, the root of the player, in the Playlist folder, in the album's folder, in the Album folder...shall I go on?

The simplest test for me was this. Install the 01.01.12 firmware, create a .m3u that is detected and works. Update the firmware. The working playlist isn't even detected now. Downgrade the firmware. It's detected and works again. Rebuild the playlist or create another under the updated firmware, it still isn't detected. Firmware or playlist? I know which one I think is the problem.

Just as interesting is that playlists made with video4fuze work with the 01.01.12 firmware. Those .pla playlists that are made from files loaded in MSC. Upgrade the firmware and they stop working if they're detected at all.

Overall the Clip Zip is decent player in most ways. However it still has problems that could be addressed with firmware updates. Support for .m3u playlists is broken and the AAC decoder needs a serious upgrade. It works with more flavors of encoders but won't play files once they get past a certain length in my experience. Can't see how they expect to attract someone expecting to migrate their iTunes library with a decoder that won't play their longer tracks.

If they issue a firmware update that addresses those issues I could fully recommend it. Until they do I'd have to say it's not ready for prime time.
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2011, 10:44 AM
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Fortunately, we have a viable alternative to that flawed OF.
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
Fortunately, we have a viable alternative to that flawed OF.
True, but not everybody wishes to take that step.

Steve
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