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Best portable digital music player?

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Fattybatty View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Jan 2010 at 9:25pm
Whats the best portable digital audio player?
 
Whats the best size memory?
 
Whats best for portability?
 
Whats best for sound reproduction?
 
And of course best for price?
 
If it's Ipod, which model?
 
It's time I took the plunge for holidays etc.
 
Adrian.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote discrete badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2010 at 9:14am
Due to work/life balance / domestic noise issues, I spend about 80% of my listening time using my DAP, and the other 20% using the laptop, in each case driving headphones via the Novo or the Voyager (but mostly the Voyager due to its portability).

In my opinion the iRiver H140/ihp140 is still the best. The out-of-the-box sound quality is several notches above most portable gear I've heard and compares very favourably to my Quad 77 CD player. With the excellent Rockbox software, a number of lossless codecs are available and lossy oggs and mp3s also sound great, and there is high quality digital EQ etc. Driving the voyager and my favourite grados or the shure ear canals, I really do feel that I can get most of my big system sound from my portable rig.

To get even higher sound quality, one can drive an external DAC via the optical audio out, which I believe is a unique feature even after these years. Plus you have an analogue mic/line in/optical in for recordings up to 48Khz, line out for connecting to the voyager, and an FM radio. Battery lasts forever, hard drive upgradable to 60Gb.

It's quite amusing to spot the number of H140s in photos of portable hi-fi meets!

The downsides: newer players are much thinner and have prettier colourful displays (although do we really care?) It's long out of production, but there are plenty turning up on eBay. I got a spare one for £50 recently - just in case! If they haven't already had a battery change, most will need it - they take the same battery as an iPod 1st generation.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ServerBaboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2010 at 3:48pm

I haven't compared it to others except for a brief listen to iNano (not that impressed) but I have a Sony Walkman (SSD 8GB) which sounds good. Its generally reviewed as having better sound quality than the Apple stuff.

The small size does mean I have to move things off but it is small and slim with good battery life  and plays video, the one think I would change is to get one with an FM radio.

iRivers and Cowans seem to get good writeups but not heard them

However if you want any of the dock stuff then generally only Apples are the only ones supported. 

Some larger players do have the flexibility for digital outputs to connect to your hifi. 

What do you want large capacity, best battery life or size?



Edited by ServerBaboon - 27 Jan 2010 at 3:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrarroyo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2010 at 1:14am
For portable use I believe in convenience, unfortunately I got started w/ the iPod 4th generation and iTunes in 2005. Since then I have had various models from the Nano to the iPhone. I tried the H120 and sold it right away since it was not supported by iTunes and I did not wish to figure out how to use. I also have a relatively large musical library and want to carry as much as I can. So I am back to a 160 Gb iPod Classic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote discrete badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 2:28pm
For me, the requirement to use any particular software to access the DAP is basically a showstopper, having suffered greatly in the past with three well-known manufacturers who shall remain nameless, but who made devices which were quite good but accompanying software packages which were rather less so.

I can understand the convenience thing, and I know iTunes is better than many, but in my view many of these DRM'd locked-in software packages have thrown the baby out with the bath water by a) being generally cr@p and b) forcing the user to use them to access their portable device.

When you lose all your music (ripped from CDs you legally own, over the course of many months) due to a hard drive failure, and the stupid software didn't let you make a backup, because it thinks backups = illegal copying, you get annoyed.

When the software is so buggy, badly-written and clunky that it randomly loses your music, and forces you to do things in a GUI-centric brain-dead time-consuming way, and cannot be upgraded as ripping / encoding techniques in the free software world ( eg. Exact Audio Copy, OGG Vorbis ) simply crush the ones the manufacturer bothered to implement you get even more annoyed.

When the software will only run on particular versions of a particular operating system, and everything else you use your computer for works far better on free alternatives, you get more annoyed at having to reboot just for the privilege of moving your music around.

The H110/H120/H140 appear as a completely standard external hard disk to whatever computer you connect them to (including Apple and Linux), so you could merely use them as a backup drive if you wished, without having to install any new software or drivers. However, once you disconnect the USB cable the device is capable of playing any music files you happen to have copied on there. So, you are free to use whatever tools you like to manage your music files, and the chances are that the file manager application in your operating system will do a vastly better job than the rubbish that some DAPs come with.

I'm really not trying to be an evangelist for the iRiver devices. It's just for me the design does everything right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote discrete badger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 2:50pm
Portable music heaven:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fattybatty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 5:19pm
Some interesting info.
 
Having researched Confused it appears latest models come with cameras, videos, phones etc.
 
I only want music and radio with a good memory. Is there sucha thing?
 
Adrian.


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