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#291193 - 07/12/2006 14:55 Portable MP3 player
oxymoron822
new poster

Registered: 22/01/2002
Posts: 18
Loc: Maine, USA
I am looking at purchasing a portable MP3 player, should I go with the Apple 80gb Ipod or Creative Zen Vision W?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Which portable MP3 Player should I go with
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 07/12/2006 09:55
You must vote before you can view the results of this poll.

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#291194 - 07/12/2006 15:04 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: oxymoron822]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4153
Loc: Cambridge, England

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#291195 - 07/12/2006 15:10 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: peter]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14119
Loc: Canada
Wow! Great looking product, and great specs! (Linux support, too!)


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#291196 - 07/12/2006 15:19 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: mlord]
cushman
veteran

Registered: 21/01/2002
Posts: 1380
Loc: Erie, CO
Included: Sennheiser headphone

Nice!
_________________________
Mark Cushman

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#291197 - 07/12/2006 15:30 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: peter]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
_________________________
10101311 (20GB- backup empeg)
10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#291198 - 07/12/2006 16:11 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: oxymoron822]
Happy Birthday Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
I'm not so sure that the vibez is the best response to his question. It's in a completely different category than the two players he mentions, and I'm a firm believer in buying gadgets that fit your uses. So really, it comes down to how you're going to use the MP3 player you're going to get (ie: you can't go running with the Zen W, and the Vibez wouldn't be great for a long vacation away from a computer to load it up with more songs).

To be honest, I don't know what I'd choose. I recently bought the Archos 604 WiFi, and I think it's a neat little device, but it's still not the ideal gadget and has some problems that just get on my nerves. I think Apple makes some well-built devices, but their philosophies just kill me. I want mass storage, I don't want soup modes, I don't want DRM, etc. I also want a bigger screen than what's on the iPod right now. Maybe we'll see that device sometime next year.

The Creative is pretty good. I'd say it's on par with the Archos, but it bugs me that neither of them went with larger 1.8" drives. Yeah, the devices would have been thicker (like a milimeter or two), but that wasn't worth the 50GB they could gain with the 80GB double-platter 1.8" drives?

I just know that sometime next year, Apple will release their 6th-gen iPod, and I'll probably break down and buy one, cursing it the entire time I own it.
_________________________
Matt

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#291199 - 07/12/2006 16:37 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: oxymoron822]
oxymoron822
new poster

Registered: 22/01/2002
Posts: 18
Loc: Maine, USA
While I like the device that you listed I am looking for something over the 20gb storage limit here is what I like about each device:

ipod:
industry standard
80 GB vs 60 gb
Lots of Accessories

Zen:
removable battery
FM receiver (can record as well)
larger screen
Compact Flash Card Reader
Not stuck using iTunes

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#291200 - 07/12/2006 16:40 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: oxymoron822]
Happy Birthday Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Oh, so I assume you're going with the 60GB Zen? I'd recommend that one if it's between the two, mostly because of the screen.
_________________________
Matt

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#291201 - 07/12/2006 17:02 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: Dignan]
oxymoron822
new poster

Registered: 22/01/2002
Posts: 18
Loc: Maine, USA
if I go with the Zen it would be the 60GB version yes.

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#291202 - 07/12/2006 21:41 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: oxymoron822]
rubennyc
member

Registered: 27/01/2006
Posts: 142
Loc: New Jersey, USA
As much as I dislike iPods, at least they now have gapless playback. Not so with the ZVM. Though I much prefer the ZVM's screen and interface.

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#291203 - 07/12/2006 21:42 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: oxymoron822]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
You're not stuck using iTunes with the iPod either (Anapod, Songbird (with plugin), Yamipod). Nor are you stuck with DRM as previously mentioned (no DRM on your own ripped tracks).

What it does lack is FLAC and OGG support. FLAC on a flash player right now is rather pointless (the Vibez) but in the case of an 80GB player it can easily be used.

I would steer clear of any Creative product in any category. They do not support their products. They put oout some press before it's launched, a coupld of web pages while it's being sold and then that's it. It happens over and over with all their products. Lack of updates, etc. You can get any player for exactly what it is and does at that very moment, but with an iPod you're pretty safe to assume it will be updated in some way in the near future.

I have no desire for a portable player right now - not until more in-dash head units come out with displays that match the ones of the player 1:1 in functionality and best it in size (Alpine has something interesting coming out for the iPod, but I dislike cheap Alpine stuff almost as much as Creative).

Things I would like to see in a future iPod: huge screen (the size of the entire face of the unit), WiFi, USB2.0 OTG (to connect a camera and unload its images or connect a USB mass storage device to copy files to the iPod). We'll likely see 100GB models before 2007 is done (I won't hold my breath for 100GB models in January).

I'm sure the code under the hood in the Vibez product is simply amazing, but none of the images on any of the sites linked do it much justice. No reference images next to a human hand or at least a coin or something. Very small screen with even smaller second line text. The playback UI looks very basic (5+ years old) in the sample images.

And for me, SOUP views (that's sorting and displaying by meta data) is the way to go. I don't want to have to manage folders - not to mention how rigid that setup is (sorry beloved empeg). Soup views done right (like with Slimserver/Squeezebox) is the way to go. Of course you have to support more than the most basic tags to really make it shine (like TSOP and TSOA for sorting by something other than display names, compilation tag, artist-album tag, etc..)
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#291204 - 08/12/2006 06:42 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: hybrid8]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5797
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Quote:
FLAC on a flash player right now is rather pointless (the Vibez) but in the case of an 80GB player it can easily be used.


I know what you meant, but the Vibez is a hard disk player, not flash.
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#291205 - 08/12/2006 12:33 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: hybrid8]
Happy Birthday Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Quote:
And for me, SOUP views (that's sorting and displaying by meta data) is the way to go. I don't want to have to manage folders - not to mention how rigid that setup is (sorry beloved empeg). Soup views done right (like with Slimserver/Squeezebox) is the way to go.

I guess I've never seen soup modes done right, then. I think my main problem with soup modes is that it's extremely easy to end up with a complete mess of songs. Heck, if you throw one album with various artists into your player, you're going to wind up with a big mess. Or do you like it that way? Personally, I don't want an artist that only has one song in my entire library to be featured as prominently as artists with several albums, and that's what I always end up with. There are ways to set up your tags so this doesn't happen, but why invent ways of fooling the soup mode when I can just avoid it alltogether.

I guess it basically comes down to control. Soup modes make me feel like I have very little control over my music, while folder structures can be created however I want them, and they're on my computer that way to begin with.

Here's a question, though: why can't we have both? The last couple generations of Archos players have both modes. When you go to play music, It lists Artist, Album, Genre, etc, but the first option is "Browse hard drive." Why can't we have that compromise? Is it really that hard?
_________________________
Matt

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#291206 - 08/12/2006 12:39 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: Dignan]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4153
Loc: Cambridge, England
Quote:
Here's a question, though: why can't we have both? The last couple generations of Archos players have both modes. When you go to play music, It lists Artist, Album, Genre, etc, but the first option is "Browse hard drive." Why can't we have that compromise? Is it really that hard?

It's not trivial -- if the player is to make soup out of files added over USB mass-storage, then it must do all the metadata extraction, database indexing and so on. But it's certainly possible: the Trekstor Vibez, for instance, has both soup menus and a hierarchical folders menu.

Peter

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#291207 - 08/12/2006 13:09 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: peter]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5797
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Quote:

It's not trivial -- if the player is to make soup out of files added over USB mass-storage, then it must do all the metadata extraction, database indexing and so on.


Which when it goes wrong can leave you in a bit of a mess. Eryl's Rio Forge can get into a nasty state if it runs out of space when rebuilding the meta data, queue an endless loop of out of memory crashes, which you can't recover from properly until you plug it into a PC again and delete some songs. To its credit it does try to recover by offer to delete stuff, but that doesn't always work.
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#291208 - 08/12/2006 13:21 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: andy]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Oh, really? 12GB HD player? Ok, that puts the player squarely in the dust bin, sorry. Especially at $200. I know some former empeggers worked on the firmware, but that doesn't change the poor design decisions from the manufacturer.
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#291209 - 08/12/2006 13:21 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: peter]
Happy Birthday Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12157
Loc: Sterling, VA
Quote:
It's not trivial -- if the player is to make soup out of files added over USB mass-storage, then it must do all the metadata extraction, database indexing and so on.

Understandable, but I feel it's worth it. Sure, when I first go to the music portion of my Archos after I've uploaded files, it indexes everything in the Music folder. But this usually takes very little time, and it doesn't do it again until more files are added.
_________________________
Matt

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#291210 - 08/12/2006 13:26 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: Dignan]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Install Slimserver sometime and you can see it done right. I'm not sure if anyone else has ever done it as "right" - you can keep single artists from Various Artist/Compilation albums from appearing in your Artists browse list but still keep those compilation tracks listed under the artists who have full albums - it's pretty convenient and VERY clean. The iPod does NOT do this. It's one of the biggest gripes I have (so we definitely share that one).

I doubt very much the Creative's music organizing even comes close to the iPod's however. And the opposite of what's already been mentioned, you can't use iTunes with it. I consider iTunes 7 one of the best music management programs available right now on any platform. Like the iPod, I wish it handled some of the "soup" stuff a bit more like Slimserver.
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#291211 - 08/12/2006 13:32 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: hybrid8]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3538
Loc: Columbus, OH
Quote:
doesn't change the poor design decisions

Ok. I'll bite. Other than the smallish capacity, what are your other gripes?
_________________________
~ John

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#291212 - 08/12/2006 14:32 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: hybrid8]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
you can keep single artists from Various Artist/Compilation albums from appearing in your Artists browse list but still keep those compilation tracks listed under the artists who have full albums

Explain how!
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#291213 - 08/12/2006 14:32 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: JBjorgen]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
Quote:
doesn't change the poor design decisions

Ok. I'll bite. Other than the smallish capacity, what are your other gripes?

I'm guessing it was the small capacity as a hard drive rather than flash.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#291214 - 08/12/2006 18:24 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: wfaulk]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Implementing a hard drive for the low capacity of 12GB (by today's standards of top-shelf players).

Fitting a very small screen onto a round exterior. Square Peg, Round Hole. Ugh!

Super tiny text on an already small screen.

Color screen though color not effectivey used to make the screen more readable. The shots I've seen may as well have been monochrome.

Round bottom makes it probable that dock-like accessories will be non-existent.

I'm in a rush or I could go on.
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#291215 - 08/12/2006 18:26 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: wfaulk]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Server Settings > Behavior > Compilations

Set the pop-ups to:
1. Group compilation albums together
2. List albums by band

Done.
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#291216 - 08/12/2006 18:43 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: hybrid8]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Cool! Thanks!

I have no idea what that second setting is supposed to do, though.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#291217 - 08/12/2006 21:39 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: rubennyc]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
As much as I dislike iPods, at least they now have gapless playback.

Yeah, but they cheat. You have to select gapless as a specific option in iTunes for every album you want gapless, and then (still on the iTunes side) it looks at the files and stores a sample offset for the start/end points.

Real men would write player software that did gapless on-the-fly, all the time, on the player, without needing to set options or do any PC-side preprocessing.

_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#291218 - 09/12/2006 17:15 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: tfabris]
rubennyc
member

Registered: 27/01/2006
Posts: 142
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Quote:
Quote:
As much as I dislike iPods, at least they now have gapless playback.

Yeah, but they cheat. You have to select gapless as a specific option in iTunes for every album you want gapless, and then (still on the iTunes side) it looks at the files and stores a sample offset for the start/end points.

Real men would write player software that did gapless on-the-fly, all the time, on the player, without needing to set options or do any PC-side preprocessing.




I don't own an iPod, so I can only go by what I've read. But, as I understand it, the "gapless" flag in iTunes is not needed to make albums play gaplessly. Rather, flagging an album or track as gapless blocks it from being crossfaded when played in iTunes. So, no, you don't need to manually flag anything to make it play gaplessly on the iPod.

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#291219 - 09/12/2006 19:12 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: rubennyc]
webroach
old hand

Registered: 23/07/2003
Posts: 869
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
I don't own an iPod, so I can only go by what I've read. But, as I understand it, the "gapless" flag in iTunes is not needed to make albums play gaplessly. Rather, flagging an album or track as gapless blocks it from being crossfaded when played in iTunes. So, no, you don't need to manually flag anything to make it play gaplessly on the iPod.


I do own an iPod, and that's exactly how it works. You only have to flag the exceptions.
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Dave

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#291220 - 09/12/2006 20:39 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: hybrid8]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Regarding Slimserver, does it work well with a huge mp3 library without a monster computer? My music server is an old P3 550 with only 256mb of memory. Since I'm a music fanatic, I have several thousand CDs worth of mp3s on the thing (I don't even like to think of how much money I've spent on CDs in the last 20 years).

I'd like to get one of the cool slim devices boxes, but am I going to need $1000 worth of server computer to run slimserver without aggravation?

The slim forums mention performance issues with "large libraries", but don't really have any specific system-sizing recommendations that I've been able to find. What are your experiences with this?

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#291221 - 09/12/2006 22:41 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: TigerJimmy]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Download SlimServer and run it and see. It's free and includes a free Java software player that duplicates the SqueezeBox.
_________________________
Bitt Faulk

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#291222 - 10/12/2006 03:42 Re: Portable MP3 player [Re: wfaulk]
TigerJimmy
old hand

Registered: 15/02/2002
Posts: 1049
Oh, cool! I'll try it and report back if anyone cares.

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