Recommend me a portable media player/mp3 player

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  • Syrette 10 Jan 2012 14:40:51 43,589 posts
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    That isn't an iPod Classic, Creative Zen Vision:M or Cowon X7.

    Has to fit in my pocket, everything else I'm more flexible on. I'd really prefer a HDD-based player but the market for them is almost non-existent now as everyones moved on to flash memory. I'd much rather have the extra capacity of a hard drive. Archos players are the most obvious option but they seem to get mixed reviews.




    Note on the Cowon X7; I've owned one for a grand total of approximately 2 weeks. And, unbelievably, it is already bricked and apparently irreparable. Transferred about a gig of media to it last night, let it do its database updating thing which should take no more than a few minutes at most at a time. Seems to have soft locked doing that (left it on overnight and it didn't move at all) and no amount of resets gets it past that point.

    Usually I'd just think myself unlucky and have a word with the right people about getting it replaced but to be honest I've done some research into it and my problem is a pretty regular one. And by no means the only issue relating to build quality. Initial reviews of the thing are great, but it just doesn't look at all reliable in the medium to long term.

    So 1/10 to Cowon for what is now an expensive eyesore (it's not a looker). 8/10 if it actually worked because the battery life and sound quality is amazing. And it's got 160GB capacity.

    Edited by Syrette at 16:53:11 10-01-2012

  • Tigerteeth 10 Jan 2012 15:09:44 182 posts
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    How about the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi? - http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxyswifi/gs5/gs5_main.html

    A review - http://www.brighthand.com/default.asp?newsID=18380&news=Samsung+Galaxy+Player+5.0+Review+Android

    It's available as a 4" or 5" device with a microSD port. It's also know as the Galaxy player if you're looking for more reviews.

    The just released Sony Z-series walkman could be another one for the shortlist - http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/43856/sony-z-series-walkman-nwz-z1060-nwz-z1050-nwz-z1040-android-powered-mp3-players

    Only the 32GB model (NWZ-Z1060) is listed on the UK site at the moment, but there is an 8 (NWZ-Z1040) and a 16GB (NWZ-Z1050) version available.

    - http://www.sony.co.uk/hub/walkman-mp3-players/z-series

    Yep, I'm in the market for a new MP3 player as well :)

    Edited by Tigerteeth at 15:29:09 10-01-2012
  • Syrette 11 Jan 2012 16:17:43 43,589 posts
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    Thanks for the reply, I'll have a look at them when I've done this work. I'm not ruling out flash memory, especially if the memory is inter-changeable. A HDD player does seem the cheapest avenue to lots of GBs.

  • Red-Moose 11 Jan 2012 17:51:17 5,346 posts
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    And also for having the shortest battery life.
  • Dougs 11 Jan 2012 18:50:34 68,033 posts
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    Can you not get the Cowon replaced?

    Edited by Dougs at 18:50:56 11-01-2012
  • Syrette 11 Jan 2012 23:17:25 43,589 posts
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    @Red-Moose

    The battery life on the X7 is ridiculous. Over 100 hours if you listen to low bit rated stuff with the brightness down etc.


    Dougs wrote:
    Can you not get the Cowon replaced?
    I can, it's an option I'll look into. I'm just so disappointed that it's lasted less than a month. A quick Google reveals that more than a few others have had problems with it so soon after first use. If it was just a one-off issue that no-one else had then fine, I could live with that.

    I simply don't trust the product. I feel that if I got another one it would be a matter of time before that died on me too. 2 and a bit weeks is pathetic, and this thing wasn't cheap.

    I mean there's a 5 page thread on AnythingButiPod entitled 'Is the X7 that bad?', full of stories of problems with it.

    http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61009


    Also a ton of bad reviews on Amazon, most if not all of them complaining about it dying/having major technical issues.

    http://www.amazon.com/COWON-160-MP3-Player-Black/product-reviews/B0048BPI7C/ref=sr_1_1_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    Edited by Syrette at 23:21:45 11-01-2012

  • Scimarad 12 Jan 2012 06:54:58 8,551 posts
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    I've only owned one Cowon (a D2) and the sound quality on that was fantastic. I disliked practically everything else about it though, especially the shitty touch interface and the lack of multiple playlists.

    Ideally I'd like Creative to break their current strategy of releasing really shit players; I love my little Zen but it's getting on a bit now...

    I had a Sansa Clip+ and that was pretty decent apart from the battery life. Unfortunately it was so small I actually lost it!

    Edited by Scimarad at 06:55:56 12-01-2012
  • Syrette 12 Jan 2012 10:59:15 43,589 posts
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    I get the impression that the X7 is the only Cowon with a worrying failure rate. It's also their only HDD player.

    The only problem I had with it (when it worked) was the lack of playlist editing and the not so great UI.

    My Zen (Vision:M) lasted me over 4 years, almost daily usage and every type of abuse you could give it. It still works now but I just can't transfer anything on to it and it has to rebuild the library every time you turn it on. I can hear several loose components moving around inside it, yet it's still usable. The best product I ever bought really.

  • Shikasama 12 Jan 2012 11:41:33 6,869 posts
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    I was shopping around for an MP3 player a little while back and I was absolutely amazed. They follow the complete opposite pricing curve of most technology.

    They have got smaller in terms of data storage but they have also got multiple times more expensive! I remember having a Creative Zen something or other that was 80 gb and cost me about 100 quid when I was college. Nowadays the highest you seem to get is 32 gb which will cost you about £200.

    /Mind boggled

    I didn't get one in the end.
  • Dougs 12 Jan 2012 11:53:51 68,033 posts
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    If you're not getting it replaced, you must be getting a refund at least? The Cowon S9 got some decent reviews a way back, not sure what's new though. Archos seem where it's at.
  • Syrette 12 Jan 2012 12:04:53 43,589 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    If you're not getting it replaced, you must be getting a refund at least? The Cowon S9 got some decent reviews a way back, not sure what's new though. Archos seem where it's at.
    Oh yeah Dougs, that's the plan. Get a refund (with the same retailer if it's the best and easiest option).

    Archos I need to look more into, but opinions just seem to be so mixed when it comes to them. No other Cowon has the failure rate of the X7 so tbh I wouldn't even rule their other players out.

    I'm definitely looking at flash-based players but like Shikashama says they do cost a lot for a lot less space. I'd sort of prefer a lot of capacity for that price than a slightly more impressive player specs-wise. I travel a lot so given the choice I'd like the space for TV shows etc, because I have a massive library of music and because I never know when I might want to listen to a certain band.

    But definitely looking at 45-60GB options. I can definitely live without having all my media in one device.

  • figgis 12 Jan 2012 12:04:55 7,376 posts
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    They are shite for storage space nowadays. I don't know what to do when the iPod Classic goes.
  • coastal 12 Jan 2012 12:20:57 5,383 posts
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    sensa clip. takes micro sds.

    bf3: sergeant_shaftoe

  • kalel 12 Jan 2012 12:29:56 87,908 posts
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    Archos are great until they break, which they will 100% absolutely without question do. Iíve had several as they are so tempting for the functionality, and they are great value, but I just canít be arsed with them anymore. Itís not worth it.

    Iíve also had the same experience as you with Cowon (I had the S9). Amazing sound quality, terrible pretty much everything else, and yes, they also seem to always break before too long.

    So Iím now using Apple and for all its faults itís pound for pound the best Iíve had. Iíd personally recommend biting the bullet and coming to the same conclusion, but maybe youíll find another option.

    Edited by kalel at 12:30:20 12-01-2012
  • cianchristopher 12 Jan 2012 12:36:18 6,360 posts
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    64gb iPod Touch? Anything wrong with that?
  • Syrette 12 Jan 2012 13:18:25 43,589 posts
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    cianchristopher wrote:
    64gb iPod Touch? Anything wrong with that?
    I am considering it.

    Problem I do have with that is the price of it, it's a fair bit more than the X7 which has just under 100GB more capacity.

    The UI and feature-set of these players (Touch and the likes of the Galaxy linked above) is far better than the X7 but nothing I really require what with having a phone and only really wanting to listen to music and watch a few things on it.


    iPod Classic is a no-go because of the screen. I might as well just get another Zen Vision:M if I go for that type of device.

    Edited by Syrette at 13:19:17 12-01-2012

  • kalel 12 Jan 2012 13:19:50 87,908 posts
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    Of course if you make the decision to get an itouch, you should then consider whether you should just upgrade your phone to an iphone at the next opportunity.
  • Fab4 12 Jan 2012 13:21:12 6,092 posts
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    if I had an iPod Touch, I'd downgrade my phone...to a phone, as the touch already does most of the smart stuff.

    Edit: Maybe I misread what you meant. I thought you were saying that if you get an iPod then you need to get everything Apple ;) :D

    Edited by Fab4 at 13:22:55 12-01-2012
  • kalel 12 Jan 2012 13:23:29 87,908 posts
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    See I had a Touch and a phone, and upgraded to an iphone as I got annoyed with having two devices on me all the time when one could do it all.
  • Syrette 12 Jan 2012 13:25:01 43,589 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    Of course if you make the decision to get an itouch, you should then consider whether you should just upgrade your phone to an iphone at the next opportunity.
    Which is something else that's crossed my mind. Do the Touch's do anything the phones don't? Same goes for the Galaxy S as well I guess.

    Sound quality is still a massive thing to me (hence getting the X7), as is price especially when you factor in how much extra it would cost for a larger capacity device or an SD card. Apple and Samsung aren't renowned for the audio quality of their devices are they (not to say they're at all bad)?

    edit; I might as well ask - is iTunes as bad as it was 2-3 years ago (the last time I properly used it)? I loved how easy and straighforward it was to drop and drag stuff or use any media player to transfer media on the X7 and Zen Vision:M.

    Edited by Syrette at 13:27:26 12-01-2012

  • Dougs 12 Jan 2012 13:26:20 68,033 posts
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    Yeah, whilst I've got a Galaxy S2 now, getting an iphone fixed all these problems for me when I was looking for an MP3 player.

    Edited by Dougs at 13:26:35 12-01-2012
  • Dougs 12 Jan 2012 13:28:31 68,033 posts
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    Do you rip all your stuff in FLAC? Because if it's just compressed MP3s, I'd be surprised if there's much difference. But then, I'm not that fussy and half deaf
  • Fab4 12 Jan 2012 13:31:46 6,092 posts
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    iTunes on an Apple computer isn't as bad as people make out. On Windows I hear its atrocious.
  • Deleted user 12 January 2012 13:33:56
    Syrette wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    Of course if you make the decision to get an itouch, you should then consider whether you should just upgrade your phone to an iphone at the next opportunity.
    Which is something else that's crossed my mind. Do the Touch's do anything the phones don't? Same goes for the Galaxy S as well I guess.
    Almost. You can't use anything that needs location or a constant data connection. Other than that all's sound though.

    Given the price I'd possibly steer clear of a Touch - the battery degrades *really* fast. Mine was down to under 50% of charge within 18 months and now, 3 years since I got it, it won't hold charge for more than an hour. I you were considering the Touch I'd just go for the iPhone and settle for reselling/upgrading every couple of years to keep your kit constantly fresh and new.
  • Syrette 12 Jan 2012 13:41:43 43,589 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    Do you rip all your stuff in FLAC? Because if it's just compressed MP3s, I'd be surprised if there's much difference. But then, I'm not that fussy and half deaf
    Trying to convert my library gradually into lossless files yeah, but it's not something that will really make a decision or me regarding a player. That said, I could definitely hear an improvement with 320kbps MP3s on the X7. Sounded amazing. I guess that I wish Cowon would downgrade their company and just work on audio quality for other companies or something.

  • Dougs 12 Jan 2012 13:46:01 68,033 posts
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    Not sure if Apple stuffs can play lossless? Or is there an app for that. Ahem.
  • Deleted user 12 January 2012 13:59:30
    Dougs wrote:
    Not sure if Apple stuffs can play lossless? Or is there an app for that. Ahem.
    There's a lossless format available in iTunes but it's Apple-specific
  • kalel 12 Jan 2012 14:06:17 87,908 posts
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    Syrette wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    Of course if you make the decision to get an itouch, you should then consider whether you should just upgrade your phone to an iphone at the next opportunity.
    Which is something else that's crossed my mind. Do the Touch's do anything the phones don't? Same goes for the Galaxy S as well I guess.
    No. The phone is the Touch but also a phone, plus some apps need the phone bit to work.

    In all seriousness if you do decide to get a Touch then I really would go for the phone instead if it's an option (affordability wise). Carrying around a phone and my Touch was just annoying when I knew there was a device that did both.

    As for itunes, you learn to live with it and work around its foibles, and it's fine once you get to that place. I won't pretend it's brilliant, but it works.
  • Bmovie 12 Jan 2012 14:43:43 900 posts
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    Dougs wrote:
    Not sure if Apple stuffs can play lossless? Or is there an app for that. Ahem.
    Apple lossless is pretty much FLAC in all but name. DB Power amp will convert 1 to the other if you ever switch teams.
  • warlockuk 12 Jan 2012 15:06:19 19,178 posts
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    I got an iPod in the end for storage capacity and battery life, as my old Sony 20Gb network walkman HD3 only had a 20Gb capacity.

    Shame, as its sound quality pisses all over the 160Gb iPod I have.

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

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