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Old 10-24-2015, 11:03 AM
Riolist2 Riolist2 is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 15
Default Flashforward: A 256GB XS202

Flashforward: A 256GB XS202

Hard-disk based players used to be the only option if one wanted a large capacity player, and large capacity was defined as anything 20GB or larger.

Today HD players are a thing of the past, and flash memory has reached the point where large storage capacity (64GB, 128GB, 256GB or more) is available on any player with a memory card slot, which is the majority of them, In some cases the players themselves have moved away from hardware and exist only as software on a smartphone.

Today, stand-alone DAPs fall into two categories: relatively inexpensive commodity players, either based on a generic function set or legacy functions established long ago by particular manufacturers and now mostly frozen designs presented to the public to maintain a presence in the market by a particular brand.

The other category, and where the innovation is, is the so-called high-end 'audiophile' DAP. Here the players are mostly Chinese brands, and the innovation is decidedly hardware-based, and certainly not software based. A player is sought that has a powerful amp, wide codec support, large storage capacity, and superhuman sampling rate reproduction. On the software side, if it works, basically and without painful bugs, which it often does not, it's considered complete on the software side and requiring no more attention, and resources, in that direction. Play, ff, rw, and STOP!!! We're done, and our next player will be louder, and with a bigger battery....

This is where a legacy player such as the Archos XS202 can step in and demonstrate what innovation looked like when it was more software-based, when the hardware was much less malleable and so manufacturers had to get the publicís' attention with their software instead. Apple did this with their ipod-itunes integration and held onto that with a crazed obsession that has served them well to this day. Archos did it in their XS202 with a fully self-contained, drag-and-drop, copy-paste-rename-delete on-board operating system with on-the-go playlisting and bookmarking: a complete solution held in the hand, and requiring no hand-holding from the pc side, or from benevolent corporate overlords.

And so, from the distant past steps forward a truly innovative player, shedding its legacy fragility and meager storage capacity, and fitted with 256GB of flash storage instead, respectable now not only for its software, but its hardware as well.

Pictures to follow.
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