Recommend Me An Mp3 Player!


Javacat

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I'm thinking of getting a new MP3 player, but I've been out of the market for a couple of years so don't know what's going on. My current MP3 player is an Archos Gmini XS 200, which I love. It's small, I can plug it into any PC and transfer any files straight onto it without installing any software, has an extremely strong metal case (its attacked concrete on several occasions), looks pretty cool and has blue LEDs!! Unfortunately it's only got a 20GB hard drive in it and I hate deleting things off of it when I need to update it.

I've got some rather strict requirements though:
  • It must be able to play pretty much any audio I throw at it (Mainly .OGG, .WMA and MP3s with dodgy encoding)
  • Be used like an external hard drive when plugged into a PC (With no additional software or drivers)
  • Have a strong case
  • Have at least 40gb storage
If possible I'd also like the following:
  • Ability to browse the actual files and folders on the MP3 player to select what to listen to.
  • OSX compatible
  • Use standard mini USB data cable
  • Look cool

I'm considering getting a 60GB iPod Video and installing Rockbox on to it, but I'd like other peoples suggestions so that people don't start accusing me of being an Apple fanboi :p
 

nickspoon

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At least get something that can be Rockboxed, it's excellent.

I'm an iriver fanboy personally, I love their players. I don't know if they do one in 40GB or above though.
 

Nova

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Javacat said:
I'm thinking of getting a new MP3 player, but I've been out of the market for a couple of years so don't know what's going on. My current MP3 player is an Archos Gmini XS 200, which I love. It's small, I can plug it into any PC and transfer any files straight onto it without installing any software, has an extremely strong metal case (its attacked concrete on several occasions), looks pretty cool and has blue LEDs!! Unfortunately it's only got a 20GB hard drive in it and I hate deleting things off of it when I need to update it.

I've got some rather strict requirements though:
  • It must be able to play pretty much any audio I throw at it (Mainly .OGG, .WMA and MP3s with dodgy encoding)
  • Be used like an external hard drive when plugged into a PC (With no additional software or drivers)
  • Have a strong case
  • Have at least 40gb storage
If possible I'd also like the following:
  • Ability to browse the actual files and folders on the MP3 player to select what to listen to.
  • OSX compatible
  • Use standard mini USB data cable
  • Look cool
I'm considering getting a 60GB iPod Video and installing Rockbox on to it, but I'd like other peoples suggestions so that people don't start accusing me of being an Apple fanboi :p
I'd recommend the Creative Zen Vision: M.

It has all you want, plus an absoloutely beautiful interface.
 
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Javacat

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Thanks for everyones suggestions. I ordered a 60GB Cowon iAudio X5 yesterday and it should be coming tomorrow.



Also, 50 points to nickspoon for finding my secret lair ;)
 

nickspoon

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Hurrah!

Good choice of player there (if I had the money, I would go for that one). Very nice feature list. Can't say I like the look of it, but it seems to do everything (including Rockbox :)).
 

Javacat

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Yeh, I'm not too keen on the look of it, but I became determined to have rockbox support (after I found out about the support for last.fm) so it was this or an iPod video.

The iPod video is ugly and as Tripmonkey_uk says, it has hardware problems.
+ the X5 is a gadget from Korea, which instantly makes it good :lol:.
 

nickspoon

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I've just got a pair of Sennheiser CX300 canalphones, and my god they sound good. I recommend getting some Sennheiser canalphones, because the headphones that come with MP3 players are generally rubbish.

OK, and I just bought an iAudio X5 30GB. From eBay for £50 inc. delivery, but without the subpack, so that'll be another £10. Go me.
 

Javacat

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Tripmonkey_uk said:
Dammit.. now I need to try & get my money back on the iPod so I can buy one :(
Think I'll send my mother down to PC world. She'll bitch & moan at them until they cave in :lol:
nickspoon said:
OK, and I just bought an iAudio X5 30GB. From eBay for £50 inc. delivery, but without the subpack, so that'll be another £10. Go me.
haha, I'm such a trend setter!!


I'm really impressed with the X5. It looks far better in the flesh and it feels as though the whole case is metal (although it could just be really good metalic paint).

Whilst not busy working (finally finished at 1am!), I've been fiddling with my X5 and have gotten rockbox installed. I did fiddle with the standard firmware when I first powered it up, but I wasn't impressed (the screen has a bit of a crap resolution and it looked all blocky). It's taken me a little while to get used to it, but so far I'm extremely impressed. The radio is great on it, and I think I might actually use the built in database function! (although I need to fix a few tags). I've installed this skin onto rockbox, which I think suits it really well and makes the screen look a lot less blocky.


I'm already busy bothering the devs on the rockbox IRC channel about various possible features :p
 
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abertalia

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Hey Javacat, how much did you end up paying for the x5? I'm thinking about getting one of these but new ones are kinda expensive :mellow:.
 

Javacat

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I bought a 60gb X5 from Advanced MP3 Players for about £220 (I think). They have stopped selling them now as I believe Cowon are releasing a new MP3 player very soon. It sounds a lot for the money, but it costs about the same as an iPod video of the same size, looks better and the features available for it are far better. I think it was well worth the money (even more so after installing Rockbox).

The battery life isn't brilliant in the x5, but it is quite cheap and easy to replace the battery with one that significantly increases the playtime available.
 

abertalia

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Javacat said:
I bought a 60gb X5 from Advanced MP3 Players for about £220 (I think). They have stopped selling them now as I believe Cowon are releasing a new MP3 player very soon. It sounds a lot for the money, but it costs about the same as an iPod video of the same size, looks better and the features available for it are far better. I think it was well worth the money (even more so after installing Rockbox).

The battery life isn't brilliant in the x5, but it is quite cheap and easy to replace the battery with one that significantly increases the playtime available.


Thanks for the response. I think the new one is called like an X5l and it has a longer battery life.
 
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norm

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nickspoon said:
At least get something that can be Rockboxed, it's excellent.

I'm an iriver fanboy personally, I love their players. I don't know if they do one in 40GB or above though.
tbh i think rockbox sucks, it drains an unnecesary about of battery life, yes the extra features are nice but id rather listen to a little more atreyu than play a game that i could play with far better gfx nd gameplay on me 2x. and whats with the "gapless playback" its not gapless

but on a lighter note irivers are are pretty dam rad

Tripmonkey_uk said:
I'd stay away from iPods myself, I've had a fair few in the past 2 years.. all with hardware faults :(
i hear alot about these ipod hardware faults but ive neva had any. ive owned 2 ipod minis, a photo, a video nd a shiffle 2 nd iv had no probs at all - is it just that i update before these problem can occur?
 
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nickspoon

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norm said:
tbh i think rockbox sucks, it drains an unnecesary about of battery life, yes the extra features are nice but id rather listen to a little more atreyu than play a game that i could play with far better gfx nd gameplay on me 2x. and whats with the "gapless playback" its not gapless
Actually, on most players Rockbox battery life is fine. On the iAudio X5 it is actually extended, because Rockbox underclocks the CPU when not needed. Only on PortalPlayer targets (iPods, iRiver H10, etc.) does the battery life take a hit, and that's because the power management for PortalPlayer isn't implemented very well - documentation for the chip is difficult to come by, especially since nVidia bought PortalPlayer.

And Rockbox isn't just about games - they're plugins for a reason. It is usually better than the original firmware. For example, on the iAudio X5, the original firmware supports only browsing and playing by folder. Rockbox supports browsing and playing by both folder and ID3 tag. You can create and save playlists on the go, record stuff - including from the radio - fiddle with the massive number of EQ, bass and treble settings, create a log of everything you listen to to submit to last.fm, choose your favourite skin (the WPS format is very flexible, skins can do pretty much anything) and of course play Doom ;)
 
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ak_

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nickspoon said:
For example, on the iAudio X5, the original firmware supports only browsing and playing by folder. Rockbox supports browsing and playing by both folder and ID3 tag. You can create and save playlists on the go, record stuff - including from the radio - fiddle with the massive number of EQ, bass and treble settings, create a log of everything you listen to to submit to last.fm, choose your favourite skin (the WPS format is very flexible, skins can do pretty much anything) and of course play Doom ;)

True, and it also removes the freaking case-sensitive folders/files sorting.
 
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Hanz™

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ak_ said:
nickspoon said:
For example, on the iAudio X5, the original firmware supports only browsing and playing by folder. Rockbox supports browsing and playing by both folder and ID3 tag. You can create and save playlists on the go, record stuff - including from the radio - fiddle with the massive number of EQ, bass and treble settings, create a log of everything you listen to to submit to last.fm, choose your favourite skin (the WPS format is very flexible, skins can do pretty much anything) and of course play Doom ;)

True, and it also removes the freaking case-sensitive folders/files sorting.

I'm getting an X5 sometime next week (if the guy on ebay actually sends it!).
Would everybody suggest I put rockbox on it?

I basically want:
+ long battery life
+ fast intuitive navigation
+ themes (so I can match it to my computer)
+ good sound quality
+ to be able to select a folder and play all of the files in it, in order?
 
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Javacat

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I'd strongly recommend flashing it with Rockbox. The build I use on mine is available @ http://rockbox.webhop.org/. It contains lots of additional patches that aren't included with the official builds. For the theme I use the silk skin, which I have modified to fix a few problems and made to look better in the menus and for the radio (I'll upload it later for anyone interested).

The best way of improving the battery life is by replacing that battery in it altogether. See this thread for details about how to do it. I've not actually gotten around to doing this yet, but I believe nickspoon might have been looking into doing it on his.
 
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