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#189447 - 14/11/2003 00:18 Some Thoughts After Usage
KungFuCow
enthusiast

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 234
Well.. after the fiasco that was 3 bad playlists, I finally got to spend some quality time with the Karma. I want to give some brief thoughts while they are still fresh in my head. Most of it Im sure has been said before.

For starters, the earphone cord is too short. With no case and no belt clip, dropping the Karma in my pocket, it always feels like it's pulling out of my ears.

You guys really should consider enlisting someone to do a case. Maybe you could toss that worthless bag and perhaps even include it with future retail packs. I would suggest contacting Lajo at lajo.biz. He makes by far the most popular iPod case and his materials and workmanship would be a perfect match for the Karma.

AAC file support. Again.. if this can be done, it should be done. I was browsing iTunes tonight wanting to buy but since I can't use the songs on my Karma, it's kind of pointless. 10,000,000 songs sold the first week to Windows users. How many Windows users do you think will walk right by the Karma because it doesn't support iTunes music. Maybe Apple has it locked down and won't license it.. dunno.

The interface.. it's a little clunky but very robust. I think it could be improved some and Im going to think about it long and hard because I know my opinion matters (LOL).

That being said, that's about all I can bitch about. The unit sounds better than my iPod. Same tunes, different players, the Karma sounds better than the iPod hands down. The VU meters are pretty cool (Give Tony the big head) and the screen real estate seems to have been proportioned out very nice.

RMM.. the beast.. after getting the tag scenario solved and using RMM for a bit, I have to say that it's most everything I had hoped for. There are a few things I would like to have seen and again, I'll think about that some more and comment later.

Keep in mind that I'm basing most of my comparison on the iPod and it's Windows software. Unfortunately there is no perfect piece of software for the iPod. Everyone has their favorites and they all have been a compromise for me. RMM is very close to perfect, for me anyway. Others may disagree.

More to follow.. feel free to flame away.

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#189448 - 14/11/2003 04:41 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31321
Loc: Seattle, WA
I was browsing iTunes tonight wanting to buy but since I can't use the songs on my Karma, it's kind of pointless.
Question... Besides an iPod, what other portable players will play songs purchased from iTunes? I think this question might have been answered before, my apologies if it has.

The VU meters are pretty cool (Give Tony the big head)
Why, thank you! *head swells*
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#189449 - 14/11/2003 05:18 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5623
Loc: London, UK
RMM is very close to perfect, for me anyway.

Why, thank you! *head swells*

Seriously, we tried our hardest to make RMM an application that people would like to use.
_________________________
-- roger

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#189450 - 14/11/2003 07:22 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Apple said they have no plans to support any player but the ipod. I don't know if that means they won't license it or that they won't actually do the programming.

Did you look at any other service musicmatch, napster or buymusic ? I would guess those all work since the are linked on the rio website and they use wma.

I agree about the headphones they must have only tested uning dwarfs or people without pockets.

I agree about RMM it works very good for managing the music on my computer as well as the karma.
_________________________

Matt

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#189451 - 14/11/2003 08:19 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
Give Tony the big head

Hey now...keep it clean in here....
_________________________
~ John

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#189452 - 14/11/2003 11:40 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: JBjorgen]
KungFuCow
enthusiast

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 234
I really havent checked any of the other services.. mainly because they won't play on the iPod. It's kind of a damned if you do, damned if you dont situation. I thought the iRiver player supported iTunes but after checkng, it doesn't. Guess Apple is keeping it all locked up for themselves. Wonder if you can burn iTunes song to CD and get them into the Karma some way.....

All this DRM crap is ruining online music buying for people like us but that's another thread altogether I guess. I'll just have to keep buying CDs although that doesn't help much for instant gratification at 3:30AM when Walmart doesn't carry the CD you're looking for.

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#189453 - 14/11/2003 17:04 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
SE_Sport_Driver
carpal tunnel

Registered: 05/01/2001
Posts: 4903
Loc: Detroit, MI USA
Since the bars close at 2am around here, I have a feeling that most copies of "Totally 80's" were sold at about 3:30am!

So you're keeping the iPod AND the Karma?
_________________________
Brad B.

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#189454 - 14/11/2003 18:03 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I haven't used itunes but they claim you can record the tracks to cds so I would think you could just rerip the cd. Maybe I'll try it.
_________________________

Matt

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#189455 - 14/11/2003 22:09 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: SE_Sport_Driver]
KungFuCow
enthusiast

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 234
I guess.. I really dont need both but I dont want to lose my butt on the iPod either. Its pretty new, like less than 2 months old and I have a couple of cases for it and bought some software to replace the awful MusicMatch that comes with it. Im into it for about $500.00 with tax, software, cases, etc.

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#189456 - 15/11/2003 01:11 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: KungFuCow]
mcomb
pooh-bah

Registered: 31/08/1999
Posts: 1649
Loc: San Carlos, CA
I guess.. I really dont need both but I dont want to lose my butt on the iPod either.

So, out of curiosity why did you buy the Karma? I have an iPod that I don't see any reason to replace any time soon so I am curious why you wanted both. Of course, since my empeg is almost always with me, I barely use the iPod so maybe I am missing something that is significantly better about the karma.

-Mike
_________________________
EmpMenuX - ext3 filesystem - Empeg iTunes integration

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#189457 - 15/11/2003 01:27 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: mcomb]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4912
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
maybe I am missing something that is significantly better about the karma.
I don't want to sound like an empeg/Rio zealot, but everything about the Karma is better than the iPod. If you are trying to decide between one or the other, the choice is clear as far as I'm concerned. If you already have an iPod, I am not sure if you should dump it for the Karma, but I did.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#189458 - 15/11/2003 01:33 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: mcomb]
KungFuCow
enthusiast

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 234
Truthly, I didnt want a Kama particularly. I saw one on Ebay at a steal, bid on it, figured Id get outbidded and didn't so here it is. Well.. thats not exactly true.. I wanted the Karma to stream music to my stereo with the RCA jacks on the dock. A trivial use for it but that was my justification.

Anyway, the iPod is a little cumbersome for me because of the amount of music I have. EphPod worked pretty good for me but after the last firmware upgrade, I can't get EphPod to work any more. So.. Im left with Anapod, Xplay, Media Center 9, iTunes or MusicMatch for management software and none of them are exactly stellar.

For the gadget freak, the Karma is far and away superior to the iPod. For the ease of use and stability tho, the iPod wins hands down. Each ones weakness is the other one's strength.. go figure.


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#189459 - 15/11/2003 01:40 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: robricc]
mcomb
pooh-bah

Registered: 31/08/1999
Posts: 1649
Loc: San Carlos, CA
I don't want to sound like an empeg/Rio zealot, but everything about the Karma is better than the iPod.

Ahh, you misunderstand. I actually wanted to hear from a zealot I understand that the Karma has more features (many of them inherited from the empeg) than the iPod, but in a portable player I just wouldn't use them. My iPod is always on random because I use it while working out or doing something else relatively active. A portable player (for me) isn't for serious listening, I would do that in a home (or at least car) environment where I am more of a captive audience. Also the iPod has some subjective advantages as far as I can see (simpler interface, more attractive, better build quality).

Anyway, I wasn't intending to hijack this thread to discuss what was the better product and my perceptions regarding pros and cons of the two devices may be totally incorrect. I was just wondering why somebody would get both!

-Mike
_________________________
EmpMenuX - ext3 filesystem - Empeg iTunes integration

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#189460 - 15/11/2003 13:46 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: mcomb]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4912
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
simpler interface
This isn't true. I have no problem using either UI, but I prefer the UI on the Karma to the iPod. If you're playing a tune on the iPod, you have to reverse through all the menus to get to the main menu. That is moronic.
more attractive
I don't really care about the looks. What I do prefer is the size/shape of the Karma. It's very comfortable to hold.
better build quality
That may be true, but I think it has more to do with the materials chosen for the Karma.
I actually wanted to hear from a zealot
I actually am an empeg zealot. I would probably buy anything they make over their competitor.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#189461 - 15/11/2003 19:24 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: robricc]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2598
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
There's only two things that I don't like about my Karma : the first is the lack of support for hierarchical playlists. But since this has been discussed before I won't get into that again.

The second is the way that file taxi works. I mean : with an iPod, it's as easy as connecting a Firewire/Usb cable to the unit and to the PC and voila, a drive letter is added in windows explorer and the unit is ready to be used as a portable hard drive. Can't get much simpler than that.

With the Karma, you can also use a USB cable. But since the Karma doesn't use a filesystem that windows recognises, you have to install some software on the machine you want to copy files from/to. This is ok if this is your own system, but say you bring some software over on your Karma to your friends house, and you want to copy that software onto his machine. I've got friends that wouldn't be too happy if that meant that they would have to install software (that they don't need otherwise) on their machine.
Another possibility is of course using Filetaxi lite via ethernet, but this means you always have to bring the cradle with you. Not really an option.

Nah. I'd like it a lot if the Karma could handle file transfers as easily as an iPod can.

Otherwise I Iove this little player. Does everything I could ask of a portable player, and I've had zero problems with it so far. (fingers crossed !)
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#189462 - 15/11/2003 19:40 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: BartDG]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14150
Loc: Canada
For USB, yes.

But, no need to install any software when using ethernet, though.

Instead, point the target machine's web browser at the Karma's IP address, and click on File Taxi when it pops up.

Cheers

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#189463 - 15/11/2003 19:45 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: mlord]
BartDG
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2598
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
I know! I mentioned that. That's what I meant with "that you always have to bring the cradle with you" if you want to use that option, because there's no ethernet port on the Karma itself.

Also, I prefer to use firewire/usb2 whenever I can, because of the speed advantage. OK, so that might be a detail, but I like my file transfers as speedy as possible. The difference in speed between USB2 and 100baseT ethernet is still substantial.
Also, not everybody's pc has got an ethernet card in it. (ok, so those ones are getting rare, especially the ones that DO have USB2 )

When I think of the ethernet port on the Karma, I think more along the lines of music streaming than file transfer. I don't know why exactly, but the forementioned reason of always having to bring that cradle with me if I want to use the ethernet port is probably the biggest reason.
_________________________
Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#189464 - 16/11/2003 01:40 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: mlord]
m6400
member

Registered: 18/09/2002
Posts: 188
Loc: Erie, PA
Is it concivable that a USB 2.0 --> Ethernet dongle type thing could be made to work with the karma?
_________________________
___________________
- Marcus -

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#189465 - 18/11/2003 09:26 Re: Some Thoughts After Usage [Re: m6400]
KungFuCow
enthusiast

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 234
Well.. sold my iPod yesterday.. no turning back now.

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