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Old 07-17-2015, 06:12 PM
Fingolfin Fingolfin is offline
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Default I need help finding a new player, with some unique requirements.

Hello everyone,

My good old Creative Zen died and I'm now looking for a replacement. I looked at a bunch of "official" reviews and also a few "Looking for a new player" posts on this forum and I've come to realize that many features/qualities of the Zen that I depended on are not even mentioned most of the time. So I though I'd compile a list of what I really want and get some help from the community.

Must have:
Song Rating System
I'm apparently the only person on the planet using this, but it was critical to the way I used my MP3 player. I would add a bunch of files and then use the "Play Unrated Songs" which would load 20 random unrated songs, then I would rate what I liked and delete the rest, until everything left was rated. I'd like a rating system that's better than this but that's the minimum.
No format/file conversion
If I upload an MP3 on the player, I want it to stay an MP3. I also don't want the player to rename my files and I'd like to manage my own directory structure.
No Application required to access to content
An optional application is fine, but I want to be able to copy the content of my MP3 player on any PC without needing to install any bloatware.
32GB
I need about 32GB of storage. I would prefer internal storage but SD cards are fine as long as it's combined with the internal storage seamlessly (something that the Zen failed to do).
3.5mm headphone jack
Not much to say, I use wired headphones.
A Screen
None of iPod Shuffle kind of thing. I don't need a large screen but I want to be able to see Name/Artist/Length/Rating etc.
Pocket size
It doesn't need to be tiny but nothing huge like that Pono monstrosity. As long as it fits inside a pocket I'm fine.

Nice to have:
Good file format supports
MP3 are fine and all but if it can support FLAC, OGG, etc. So much the better.
Buttons
I'd much rather have physical buttons than touch screen. Buttons are much easier to press blindly (like inside a pocket).
Good Song Rating System
I already mentioned my requirements, but bonus points if I can dynamically create playlist based on rating (I want 3+ only today) or if the shuffle takes rating into account (5 stars play more often than 2 stars).
Battery Life
Since the battery was dying on my old zen I was getting used to 5-6 hours battery life ... but I certainly wouldn't mind going back to 20-30+.
Bluetooth
No plan to use it now, but it would be nice to have it if I ever want some wireless headphone, without needing an adapter.

What I would rather not pay for (but will if necessary)
Camera
Don't care.
2 Cameras!!
Seriously, cameras are the new razor blades. Still don't care.
Wifi/Internet access
I can still plug my player with a cable and I certainly don't want to access internet with it.
Video/Photos/Radio
I know it's pretty standard these days but I really don't care, I just want to listen to music.

Features are more important than price at this point, as long as it stays reasonable (I will not pay 500$). I'm in Canada so it shouldn't be too hard to find pretty much anything as long as I don't mind paying shipping and potentially import duty.

Now I realize that I'm quite picky and I'm frankly considering buying another Zen on ebay at this point. If you guys know your MP3 Players well and can find me something that fits, well I would definitely appreciate it!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2015, 12:22 AM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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It's late in the day, but I do wonder if a SanDisk Sansa Clip+ or Clip Zip with a microSD/SDXC card, with the alternate Rockbox firmware on it (rockbox.org), might meet most of your needs. No Bluetooth, though (without an adapter--but the Clips are so small, not as much needed, perhaps . . .). The Rockbox firmware has a rating capability/possibility, although I've never used it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:27 AM
Fingolfin Fingolfin is offline
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I've never heard of Rockbox but custom firmware certainly sounds interesting, especially since they are sometime open source so I might even be able to implement what I'm missing.

I'll do some research on it, I really appreciate the suggestion!
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2015, 10:26 AM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Maybe a cheap android phone with a pair of headphones that have inline controls for physical buttons? Or one with nfc and buy this on top http://dimple.io/ I have the zenfone 2 that starts at $200 totally unlocked. You can get a cheap case like http://www.ebay.com/itm/C1-NILLKIN-N...-/231532599556 that makes the volume buttons more pronounced on the back of the phone. I'm sure there is some android music player that lets you map next/forward to double/triple tap volume buttons edit this works a charm in poweramp https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...rackctrl&hl=en

Last edited by mamamia88; 07-18-2015 at 10:32 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2015, 03:37 PM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingolfin View Post
I've never heard of Rockbox but custom firmware certainly sounds interesting, especially since they are sometime open source so I might even be able to implement what I'm missing.

I'll do some research on it, I really appreciate the suggestion!
Try a quick skim through the user manual, available at the site. You might be blown away with the firmware's capabilities and options.

Rockbox is fairly mature and well-developed (in fact, it's been around longer than the SanDisk Clip has!). And you indeed can customize matters, depending on your programming skills, as well as use customizations of others. And on the "top surface," there are many different screen designs, developed by users, that you can use (check out the Themes gallery at the website, for the images), as well as develop your own. Again, a bit mind-blowing.
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2015, 04:32 PM
Fingolfin Fingolfin is offline
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Alright I'll give a try to the Sansa Clip+, it's pretty cheap after all so it's not the end of the world if I don't like it.

Thank you all for your help!
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2015, 06:00 PM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikerman View Post
It's late in the day, but I do wonder if a SanDisk Sansa Clip+ or Clip Zip with a microSD/SDXC card, with the alternate Rockbox firmware on it (rockbox.org), might meet most of your needs. No Bluetooth, though (without an adapter--but the Clips are so small, not as much needed, perhaps . . .). The Rockbox firmware has a rating capability/possibility, although I've never used it.
Are you sure? I'm pretty sure I asked about this awhile ago and the answer was no.

Song Ratings is really important to me too, I like to listen to a mixture of new and old material, and when I come across new material I like to 'bookmark' that song (somehow) so that I can look back at it/them and add to my 'best of' collection etc.

Poweramp can rate songs, but so far I have been using features like 'Favourites' (on Cowon) or 'adding to playlist' if those possibilities exist (I think Rockbox can do that).
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SOURCE: Xclef (gone) | Cowon X5(gone) | Cowon D2 (dead) | Sansaclip+ RB | Sansa ClipZip RB | Cowon i9+ (32gb) | Cowon C2 (4gb)
HPs: Soundmagic E10's | Hippo VB's | UE 600's | Superlux HD 668B | Superlux HD660 | Sony XBA3 | Sony XBA2VP
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2015, 07:37 PM
Enigmatic Enigmatic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
Are you sure?
http://download.rockbox.org/daily/ma...#x7-480004.2.4.
http://download.rockbox.org/daily/ma...#x7-480004.2.4.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2015, 07:39 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Rockbox has a rating system. It's based on the Rockbox database so there's no way I've come across to sync the ratings done within Rockbox back to the desktop or another DAP.
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2015, 08:43 PM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Rockbox has a rating system. It's based on the Rockbox database so there's no way I've come across to sync the ratings done within Rockbox back to the desktop or another DAP.
That might have been the reason I gave up on it, I can't remember...

Must have a look at it again..
Cheers.
__________________
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SOURCE: Xclef (gone) | Cowon X5(gone) | Cowon D2 (dead) | Sansaclip+ RB | Sansa ClipZip RB | Cowon i9+ (32gb) | Cowon C2 (4gb)
HPs: Soundmagic E10's | Hippo VB's | UE 600's | Superlux HD 668B | Superlux HD660 | Sony XBA3 | Sony XBA2VP
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2015, 06:51 PM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
That might have been the reason I gave up on it, I can't remember...

Must have a look at it again..
Cheers.
I gave up on it because the only reason i used it was for the fine bookmark and speed control for podcasts and i just use my android devices for that now. The only dap i still use is my fiio x1 but that stays at home or only comes out with me when i am listening at home and i want to go take a walk and it's already setup. honestly i think the op would be happier with a midrange phone like a moto g or zenfone 2.
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  #12  
Old 07-20-2015, 02:40 PM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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Yeh. I'm kinda researching my next DAP, and constantly an Android device of some sort always makes the cut, such as the Hum Pervasion (which is powerfully loud) or the Sony F886 (which has tactile buttons).
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SOURCE: Xclef (gone) | Cowon X5(gone) | Cowon D2 (dead) | Sansaclip+ RB | Sansa ClipZip RB | Cowon i9+ (32gb) | Cowon C2 (4gb)
HPs: Soundmagic E10's | Hippo VB's | UE 600's | Superlux HD 668B | Superlux HD660 | Sony XBA3 | Sony XBA2VP
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