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Dream MP3 player, Is there such a thing?
atici
post Feb 24 2005, 20:38
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I've been looking into the digital audio players for a while but don't really like any of them. Because there're so many, I thought there might be a model that is sufficiently close to what I desire which I don't know of. Here are the considerations:
  • Memory based - no moving parts. Actually I'd prefer it has no built-in memory but a SD (secure digital) slot.
  • The DAC quality is of utmost importance. Provided headphones could be of lowest quality. I'll use them with my own headphones.
  • Firmware upgradeable. Vorbis/AAC future support possibility. Should support native tags and VBR.
  • I want it to be as tiny and light as possible. The player should be of aluminum/steel/titanium construction (not plastic). I'd prefer it to have about an AAA size battery for size considerations. It could have built-in battery but AAA is preferred due to its availability.
  • The file access interface should be well designed. The display does not have to be too fancy but high pixel count and Organic Electro Luminescence Display (OLED) is preferred.
  • Reasonable actual file transfer speed (3Mbps).
  • Should be accessed as a USB drive without any additional software.
  • Absolutely no DRM/music protection built in. I should be able to download the music back to my computer if I want to.
  • FM & Voice recording capability would be nice to have but not crucial.
Some example models I like:
Mpio FY200: is very tiny and has very nice design. But the users seem to have a lot of trouble with the firmware. It is not expandable either.
Sony NW-MS70D: This model is almost perfect, perfect engineering and design and sound quality. However only supports ATRAC and forces you to use Sony Jukebox software which renders this amazing player less than desirable.
Daisy Multimedia Diva Gem: This player has AAC support, SD expansion and has 40mW per channel output. However as far as construction quality goes it does not look very appealing.

This post has been edited by atici: Feb 25 2005, 03:23


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JEN
post Feb 24 2005, 20:42
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Sounds like you are after the same thing as me!

But I also want it to be a usb flash drive type of design so you simply plug it into the usb port and start downloading biggrin.gif

Thats a big must for me, plus all of your stuff!

This post has been edited by JEN: Feb 24 2005, 23:45
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atici
post Feb 24 2005, 20:45
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QUOTE
But I also want it to be a usb flash drive type of design so you simply plug it into your usb port and start downloading


Hmm that's what I said though: memory based (item 1) and USB drive (item 7). This implies it's a USB flash type design that you plug into your usb port biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by atici: Feb 24 2005, 20:45


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JEN
post Feb 24 2005, 23:45
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cool! tongue.gif
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Eli
post Feb 24 2005, 23:56
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good luck. thats quite a feature list.

btw, I dont think oled is very widely implemented in anything yet, though it seems like the possible ideal future solution.


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bdelp
post Feb 25 2005, 01:31
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I want a Compact Flash capable device. 1Gig cards are under $100 and it won't be much longer until the 4Gig cards are reasonable in price.
4 Gigs would be sufficient for a very long trip.....with MP3.

Bob
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DonP
post Feb 25 2005, 02:02
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QUOTE (atici @ Feb 24 2005, 02:45 PM)
QUOTE
But I also want it to be a usb flash drive type of design so you simply plug it into your usb port and start downloading


Hmm that's what I said though: memory based (item 1) and USB drive (item 7). This implies it's a USB flash type design that you plug into your usb port biggrin.gif
*



There is a difference. Some players you literally plug in to the usb port. Others, even if they act as a USB drive, you have to use a cable.

Edit: wrt special loading software.. If he player just browses files that you copy over on your own, then it will not have a tag database, and it will be limited in what it can do with tags.

My player (Neuros) can play either using a database or by file browsing. Browsing mode impacts battery life, and is overall less convenient unless for some reason you can't use the database, like you just loaded some music without a synch program.

Iriver flash players can go either way, but that takes different versions of the firmware.

This post has been edited by DonP: Feb 25 2005, 02:25
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atici
post Feb 25 2005, 03:37
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QUOTE (bdelp @ Feb 24 2005, 07:31 PM)
I want a Compact Flash capable device.  1Gig cards are under $100 and it won't be much longer until the 4Gig cards are reasonable in price.
4 Gigs would be sufficient for a very long trip.....with MP3.
*

But compact flash cards are quite big too. Don't they also consume more battery power? I am not sure but in any case you can't make a small pocket player out of a CF based system.

It's weird that as far as digital cameras go, they've reached to a point where one can't ask for more (maybe PNG support). Is it only me who thinks so?. Yet this is not the case for digital audio players. Maybe it's because people care more for style than substance when it comes to audio player (ex: iPod) which is why we don't yet have the perfect audio player. On the other hand people are extremely tech-savvy when it comes to purchasing a digital camera.

This post has been edited by atici: Feb 25 2005, 03:41


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riggits
post Feb 26 2005, 01:18
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QUOTE (atici @ Feb 24 2005, 06:37 PM)
QUOTE (bdelp @ Feb 24 2005, 07:31 PM)
I want a Compact Flash capable device.  1Gig cards are under $100 and it won't be much longer until the 4Gig cards are reasonable in price.
4 Gigs would be sufficient for a very long trip.....with MP3.
*

But compact flash cards are quite big too. Don't they also consume more battery power? I am not sure but in any case you can't make a small pocket player out of a CF based system.

It's weird that as far as digital cameras go, they've reached to a point where one can't ask for more (maybe PNG support). Is it only me who thinks so?. Yet this is not the case for digital audio players. Maybe it's because people care more for style than substance when it comes to audio player (ex: iPod) which is why we don't yet have the perfect audio player. On the other hand people are extremely tech-savvy when it comes to purchasing a digital camera.
*



CompactFlash are huge, power-hungry, and obsolete. Try SD instead, they're the same price and faster too..

For your money, try the Samsung Yepp series. No DRM, only UMS (ie, no stupid manager software), plays Ogg Vorbis (up to Q10) and the smallest player avail. w/screen. No OLED, but you wouldn't notice the difference anyways on a player that tiny.. I haven't tried the YP-T7 but I think that has the screen you want.
I have a YP-MT6 (AA-battery), but the YP-T6 takes AAA and gets 20 hours of battery life. It's almost ridiculously undersized, IMO, I had the T5 and it's size is the same.
Sound quality is superb, I gave away my iRiver iFP because it was not as good. iRivers have an Ogg limitation, choking on anything with a frame less than 96kbps.
Check amazon.com for price. Enjoy smile.gif
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atici
post Feb 26 2005, 19:44
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Thanks a lot for the suggestion. It looks like YP-T7Z is really nice. I'll probably order one soon.

Another dream comes true thanks to people at HA biggrin.gif


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JEN
post Feb 26 2005, 20:08
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QUOTE (DonP @ Feb 25 2005, 02:02 AM)
There is a difference.  Some players you literally plug in to the usb port.  Others, even if they act as a USB drive, you have to use a cable.

Yes, I am after the players which literally plug into the usb port. I dont want to be carrying cables around.

I dont know if anyone has mensioned this yet, but it should use 1 AAA battery (which have already been mensioned by atici) and also, it should be rechargable when plugged into the usb part biggrin.gif
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guada 2
post Feb 26 2005, 23:27
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Hello Atici, smile.gif

While browsing the web, I found this. http://www.neodigits.com/body/product/1gmp3/feature.asp

It will be able to make the business until your dream achieves itself.

Bye.
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JEN
post Feb 26 2005, 23:46
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Very nice! But it doesn't say anything about gapless playback. I have to say it is very close to "The Dream!" smile.gif
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Borisz
post Feb 26 2005, 23:47
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I think it would be nice if the memory stick and the player would be seperate, or linkable in some way, so you can copy stuff to the player from another, seperate USB drive - without the use of any additional hardware, like a computer. This would come handy if someone has some music with him on his USB drive but there's no computer nearby to use.


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atici
post Feb 27 2005, 00:01
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QUOTE (guada 2 @ Feb 26 2005, 05:27 PM)
Hello Atici,  smile.gif

While browsing the web, I found this.  http://www.neodigits.com/body/product/1gmp3/feature.asp

It will be able to make the business until your dream achieves itself. 

Bye.
*

Thanks. That model is Meizu brand. I've never heard of this brand so I don't know how reliable it is.

I'll go see the Samsung YP-T7Z tomorrow (the NYC store is open on Sunday) and purchase if it looks nice.


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vinnie97
post Feb 27 2005, 04:19
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Another consideration in case you overlooked it: http://www.jetaudio.com/products/iaudio/5/ (currently supports ogg but looks to be constructed with plastic :X)
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atici
post Feb 27 2005, 07:10
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I was browsing for more models today and I decided to delay my purchase until Sony NW-E505 comes out. This is a dream player: 3-line OLED display, 55 hours of playback, FM Radio, 37 grams, high speed charging: 3 minutes charging = 3 hours playback time; FM tuner. But if it still forces you to use SonicStage crap then I'm going to pass.
I hope Sony learnt from its mistakes and you can load this player without SonicStage as is possible with newer models:
QUOTE (amazon.com reviews of NW-E75)
Sony is now supporting an MP3 File management utility. Go to Sony's site and go to support for the NW-E75. Find the MP3 File Manager Application and run it to automatically load to your player (make sure you unit is connected). Open 'My Computer' - open the ESYS directory and run the utility. You will be presented with instructions on how to use the utility to drag and drop MP3 files directly to your player. You will be able to load and play MP3 files in just a few minutes.

This is a tremendously simple utility that does direct MP3 transfers. You don't have to load SonicStage. If you do, the NW-E75 will load and play both file formats. Just put them in different groups.

Upcoming NW-E505:

Another cool player: M-Bird XT-22 but only available in Korea.
Edit: add image

This post has been edited by atici: Feb 27 2005, 19:27


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JEN
post Feb 27 2005, 11:13
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I wasnt to sure if I should start my own thread of add it to this one. Anyway Atici how different are my requirements from your dream player requirements smile.gif

Memory based - no moving parts. SD (secure digital) slot.
USB pen design - no cable should be required for the device to be connected to the computer. the device itself should plug into the usb port
Firmware upgradeable - Vorbis/AAC future support possibility
Tags - Should support native tags and VBR
Battery - Must only use a single AAA battery
USB Charging - Should charge the single AAA battery with in the USB port - preferable with a switch which lets it charge or stops charging when not required
Mains Charging - Should also be able to charge it from a mains adapter
File Transfer - The file access interface should be well designed. The display does not have to be too fancy but high pixel count and Organic Electro Luminescence Display (OLED) is preferred
No software - Should be accessed as a USB drive without any additional software
Protection - No DRM/music protection built in
FM & Voice recording - voice recording is a must, FM is optional

This post has been edited by JEN: Feb 27 2005, 11:26
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kalmark
post Feb 27 2005, 12:32
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QUOTE (atici @ Feb 24 2005, 08:38 PM)
Daisy Multimedia Diva Gem: This player has AAC support, SD expansion and has 40mW per channel output. However as far as construction quality goes it does not look very appealing.
*


Actually the Diva Gem models available today don't support AAC playback any more, don't ask me why.


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DonP
post Feb 27 2005, 14:55
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QUOTE (Borisz @ Feb 26 2005, 05:47 PM)
This would come handy if someone has some music with him on his USB drive but there's no computer nearby to use.
*


The probem here is that you can't just hook USB devices together. I'm not sure of the exact term, but a USB device has to be either a master (ie a PC) or a slave (ie USB drive, printer, camera...) Firewire is a p2p scheme, so if a hard drive had the smarts it could copy files to another drive, but not USB.

There are adapter boxes that appear as master to a camera or mem card reader and external drive that will just copy everthing on the card to the hard drive.

syncbox

jen:
QUOTE
I dont know if anyone has mensioned this yet, but it should use 1 AAA battery (which have already been mensioned by atici) and also, it should be rechargable when plugged into the usb part biggrin.gif


Manufacturers are getting reluctant to put built-in charging for devices with standard penlight (AA, AAA) cells because the user may be using alkaline or lithium cells instead of NiMH. Recharging those can cause leakage or fire. I have even had NiMH leak if left on a trickle charge too long (a few days).
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khiloa
post Mar 1 2005, 23:45
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I like some of those ideas atici! Nice..
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Bacu
post Mar 7 2005, 19:55
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Hi,

the Sony MZ RH10 doesn't fit all your wishes (size, memory: hi md), but defenitly worth a look at.

strenght: playtime, cheap memory (7 USD for 1 GB), Sony has got a lot experience with hi minidisc products, ...)

probably going to be my new one, after my bad journey to the harddisk-mp3-player-land (archos jukebox, ipod 1st and 2nd generation, ipod mini...)...


Sony MZ-RH10 Specs



QUOTE
portable Hi-MD/MP3 recorder
Intro: 4/2005
MSRP: $300

In: line/optical, mic. Out: headphones. Data: USB

Features:
    * Organic EL LCD on remote
    * Digital amp
    * Plays back MP3 files
    * USB bus powered

Manufacturer's Feature List:
    * HI-MD WALKMAN with large Organic EL Display
    * MP3 / Atrac3plus direct playback
    * SonicStage for easy music management and unlimited check outs of your favourite tracks
    * Supports all popular digital audio compression formats: ATRAC / MP3 / WMA / WAV
    * New type remote control
    * Record from multiple source: USB-in / Mic-in / Analogue-in / Digital-in
    * Extremely fast music transfer from and to PC: 1 CD in less than 40 seconds
    * Capable of storing audio, video and data files on your HI-MD disc (Word, Powerpoint, ATRAC, MP3, JPEG, MPEG, etc)
    * Incl. Charging stand, AC Power Adpater
    * Long battery life of 32 hours
    * G-PROTECTION Jog Proof
    * Transfer up to 45 CDs onto a single 1GB Hi-MD disc (with Atrac3Plus compression).

Battery Life Play
NiMH 32 hr


Sony MZ-RH10 Info


cheers

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atici
post Mar 7 2005, 20:00
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Thanks. I am not a believer in MiniDisc. As I said, no moving parts is an important concern and $300 is too expensive. It's also a bit larger than what I'm looking for. I'll probably go for the earlier mentioned Sony memory based model.


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Bacu
post Mar 7 2005, 20:09
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ok, np.

hope you find the right one for you.
keep us informed and good luck!
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wolffsed
post Mar 7 2005, 20:47
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QUOTE (atici @ Feb 24 2005, 11:38 AM)
[*] Memory based - no moving parts. Actually I'd prefer it has no built-in memory but a SD (secure digital) slot.
[*] The DAC quality is of utmost importance. Provided headphones could be of lowest quality. I'll use them with my own headphones.
[*] Firmware upgradeable. Vorbis/AAC future support possibility. Should support native tags and VBR.
[*] I want it to be as tiny and light as possible. The player should be of aluminum/steel/titanium construction (not plastic). I'd prefer it to have about an AAA size battery for size considerations. It could have built-in battery but AAA is preferred due to its availability.
[*] The file access interface should be well designed. The display does not have to be too fancy but high pixel count and Organic Electro Luminescence Display (OLED) is preferred.
[*] Reasonable actual file transfer speed (3Mbps).
[*] Should be accessed as a USB drive without any additional software.
[*] Absolutely no DRM/music protection built in. I should be able to download the music back to my computer if I want to.
[*] FM & Voice recording capability would be nice to have but not crucial.


Try to find a Lexar LDP-800... It's not in the stores yet, as far as I know...
Let me know, when you've found it.
wink.gif
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