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Portable or not that is the question

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Simmo81, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Simmo81

    Simmo81
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    I want an mp3 player hard rive not necessarily portable so I can store my entire collection and listen via my hi fi. Thing is I have so many options.

    Option 1: Dedicated hard Drive Hi Fi Seperate
    i) Sony HARLH500 80Gb Hard Dive and CD £300
    ii) Yamaha CDR-HD1300 8Gb £500
    iii) Terratec CAR 4000 £600

    Option 2: Portable Hard Drive linked o Hi Fi
    i) Sony HD Walkman 20Gb £230
    ii) Apple iPOD 20 Gb / 40 Gb £210 / £300
    iii) Creative Zen Touch 20Gb £170

    Option 3: Wireless Network added to computer
    i) Squuezebox
    ii) Netgear MP101
    iii) Apple
    iv) Creative Soundblaster Wireless music
    v) Hauppauge Media MVP

    Option 4: Multi-Room Audio
    i) iMERGE S2000
    ii) Yamaha MusiCAST £1800 + £600 per room

    Option 5: Hard Drive Micro System
    i) JVC NX-HD10R £300 10Gb HD included

    Options 1 & 2 are favoured, 3 is too much settting up costs and time, 4 is too expensive and 5 not enough space only 10gig, no other sytems on market.

    Will the quality be as good on portable system as the Sony HARL?
    Which portable should I go for. Sony fits more on in ATRAC, but Apple has more accessories, Theres just too much to think about. I prefer the look of the Sony, but reviews say the software is rubbish as well, not bothered about downloading form iTunes or anywhere as I only have dial up and havent time to dl stuff, just rip my entire CD collection.

    Any help for a confused young man - hang on that sounds sexual - it isnt honest, just straight forward technology confusion!
     
  2. minimad

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    Hi Simmo

    You seem to have convinved yourself that option 3 is too much cost and time. The cost I cannot argue with as I don't know the exact price (I thought they were around 3 - 400), but time?

    Don't forget that with any machine that's not your PC you will have to spend the time either re-ripping the songs to MP3 (or similar), or at least copying them to the portable device -if you intend to use the PC as well.

    How big is your entire CD collection? While I can't speak about ATRAK, on MP3 at 192kbps an album averages 75mb. If you have 150 albums, they ain't gonna fit on an 80gb drive.

    My preferred option (from your list) would be No 3, probably using either the NetGear or the Creative (as these are two brands I know v v well).

    Collin
     
  3. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    When consiering Sony kit remember that they have their own file type - ATRAC. So any MP3s have to be converted, of course you can transfer direct to ATRAC from CD etc. Forportable players iRiver get good write ups.
     
  4. extremelydodgy

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    Personally I vote for the Squeezebox. It's extensible and versatile, and you can listen to Internet Radio on it too. As pointed out before, the HAR-LH500 transcodes MP3's into ATRAC, and you can't do much with the ATRAC files once they're on the LH500. If you're going portable, out of the current-generation portables the iPod offers the best Line Out signal. It also has third-party infrared remotes.
     
  5. alancolledge

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    I make this 11gb to fit 150 albums? :confused:
    I am feeling a little dense after the weekend but as in my maths lesson 'show me your working out' :)

    1000Mb in a Gb (13.33 albums per gig based on 75Mb per album)
    150 / 13.33 = 11.25 GB
    Or am I missing something......

    I went through this decision too. I have an Ipod but I might be looking at a chipped Xbox over my wireless network. Not too sure of the quality but I am hoping this is a cheaper / better value solution
     
  6. minimad

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    Nope, you're absolutely right Alan!

    It was 11.13pm when I posted that message, after a hard weekend, and a meeting on a Sunday night!

    :oops:

    I think I was working on 1 album = 75mb, 1gb = 1000mb, 100 albums = 75gb, not 7.5!

    D'ih!
     
  7. shoehorn

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    I've got the Netgear and it's great.... it was easy to set up on my wireless network (linksys).
    Only drawback is that it takes quite a while to scroll through everything you've got... unlike with CD's in racks, where you can see them all at once (so to speak). :lesson:
     
  8. Simmo81

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    Cheers for the feedback, although no-one has yet to convince me to go one way or the other.

    So far Ive been recommended Creative, Netgear on wireless, BUT I'll have to get a wireless network going for starters, not sure how difficult this is. Secondly my main computer would have to be on all the time, and thirdly if I wanted to use my computer, it would affect processing power, if I was playing the mp3s via the network i would think.

    Portable, I like the look of the Sony, but so far ive been recommended the iPod, which for accesories has an advantage, and the iRiver, which i beleive has optical out which is a bonus to connect to my hi-fi, but the iRiver looks bulky in comparison to the Sony and iPod. Looks like iPods are harder to get hold of, so I am leaning to the unpopular it seems, Sony Walkman.

    At least if I get a portable device, I can use it for portable use anyway.
    Still in a bit of a confused state, so I'll have to look into the options a bit more methinks.

    I hate/love technology, hate choosing, love using.
     
  9. scrapbook

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    Hiya,


    I'm in the same position as you and have almost the same options.

    Decided to go down the Sony HARLH500 80Gb Hard Dive and CD £300
    route myself.

    Looking at the manual it does everything I need and (i think) has the ability to record cd's with very little compression, albeit with much less storage capacity.
     
  10. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Simon

    I have a 40Gb iPod and I connect to my TAG McLaren home cinema via a QED lead from the docking station. I have recorded the music using Apple's AAC which in my opinion is superior to both MP3 and ATRAC (I also have MP3's on CD-Rs and I have a Sony MiniDisc recorder).

    If your collection is not huge then use Apple Lossless as it does sound better than AAC. Apple claims it is as good as CD but I'm not so sure, especially on the treble.
     
  11. DBLOOM

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    Simmo - I am going through the very same thought process. I was looking at using a PVR - possibly the Panasonic DMR E85 as that way I could access the CD's through the telly screen, in the same way as the Sky + works.

    Also thinking that maybe I'd like to be able to access the PC from the telly - Does anyone know if any of the Netgear / HAuppage kit can have an infrared (or other) keyboard and mouse linked to it, so that I could surf the net / access my emails from the TV? If not any further thoughts on which would be the best out of the options at No.3? My main worry is being able to have easy access to the CD's - I'd rather not be searching through a tiny display, which is why I'm thinking about using the TV screen.

    As for radio, I've found the best way to deal with that is to listen through sky.

    Having reduced my black box mountain down to a manageable selection, I'll move onto the plethora of speakers that fill the house.... but that's for another day.

    Any thoughts appreciated!

    DBLO
     
  12. shoehorn

    shoehorn
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  13. windsurf123

    windsurf123
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    It's worth remembering that the LH500 can record in "PCM" (no compression), as well as ATRAC and MP3. That should give better quality playback than any of the current compression options on an Ipod (or other portable device).
     
  14. DBLOOM

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    Since all that... I have bought a Netgear 108Mbps wireless router, and a Creative Wireless Music player (the FM LCD screen did it for me). However, the two will NOT talk to each other. The router gives an IP address, but i keep getting a message that tells me that "the receiver encountered rpoblems in wireless communication. please check settings". I've spent some hours on the phone to both tech support people but cannot resolve it. I may have to try to return the creative box, and swap it for a squeezebox to see if that works.....huge waste of time so far...
     
  15. jp99

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    Am in the throws of working myself out of the same situation.

    I have tried the wireless option, Netgear MP101, it works of a kind, but does not support WPA security, which I like to use, it also drops connection frequently, and of course the pc (laptop in my case ) needs to be permanently on, not something I want. The netgear is going back.

    I had started to presume that I would have to go for the IPOD (or similar) option. Did consider a 5 cd changer that decodes mp3, thats going to give me 4 or 5 gig, but obviously would not cover a complete collection.

    I'll now take a look at hifi hard drives, but only if multi formats were available.
     
  16. Aled

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    Hi - another newbie here!

    Does anyone own a Sony HAR-LH500? What's the quality like? I notice that it now seems to be discontinued by Sony, is there a newer model?

    Cheers
     
  17. windsurf123

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    After studying the market place for a couple of years and discovering that the only units that would meet my requirements are about £1200 (yes that's right), I'm delighted that a well known manufacturer is about to launch what looks like a great product.
    See: http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/specifications.php?PID=39&Title=Specifications
    The target price for the Azur 640H Music Server is apparently £500.
    So this will be cheaper than making a home media centre on a PC platform or any of the other options I have investigated.
    Can't wait to see a demo.
    :)
     
  18. windsurf123

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    Yup, I've got one. On the surface it's great "does what it says on the box".
    However, overall I'm disapointed: Being a Sony product guarantees a complete lack of firmware updates or any further development. The software to control the unit (M-Crew) is complete rubbish, slow, out of date etc etc.
    The sound quality is excellent but the functionailty isn't. For example, you can't even search by Genre. In fact the searching is case specific, so one has to press so many key compinations to find something, that I usually give up.
    I suspect the reason they discontinued what is seemingly a great device is because so much of the software needed a complete re-write.
    Shame (I haven't even finished paying for it yet)
     
  19. hinesle

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  20. HMHB

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    Windsurf123 - if you do need more details about this unit I'm sure if you post questions in the HiFi Systems & Separates section there will be a member of the forums there who can help as he works for the parent company :) His user name is Tons Of Fun
     
  21. Aled

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    Thanks for the info Windsurf123. I think I might wait for the Azur if that's the case.

    cheers for saving me a few quid! :)
     
  22. jp99

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    Just found this

    Freecom Media Player-3, on cclonline.com (excellent company)

    It plays all audio and video formats, and looks to be the king of device I'm after. Anyone have any experience of it.
     

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