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Sony HD5 Vs iRiver 320, what should I buy?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by D_C, May 5, 2005.

  1. D_C

    D_C
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    Hi guys,

    Newbie here so go gently! I'm planning to make my first HD mp3 player purchase and I was all about to get the 20gb iRiver when I heard that Sony are about to release the HD5 (will it deffo be released on May 20?). So my question is, which one do I get?

    I have a shed load of music stored on to my Windows Media Player, so ideally, I would like to easily import that directly on to whatever player I buy, I've heard that this isn't so easy with the Sony HD3 though, so I was wondering whether there would have been any changes to the HD5?

    Also, what's the deal with SonicStage? I've heard that its pretty hard to use and get to grips with.

    Any thoughts would be highly valued, cheers.
     
  2. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    What format are your songs? If they are WMA then it is probably worth getting the iRiver because the HD5 will not play these, it will convert them to ATRAC3 beforehand which takes a while!

    I personally have no problems with SS. The latest version, 3.1, is fine. I suggest you download it first to see if you are going to have any trouble using it.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207698 - this thread gives you the link to download it.

    Unfortunately, SS is the only way to put music onto the player. You can drag and drop using it as an external hard drive, but it will not play back songs which are not encoded with the OMA wrapper. This is because of DRM.
     
  3. D_C

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    Virtually all the music on my computer is WMA, which is what attracted me to the iRiver in the first place... so would I use SS to convert them to ATRAC3 then?

    Thanks for this, I really like the look and price of the HD5 so I'm going to have to work out whether it's worth the hassle of converting all my music to get one!

    Cheers.
     
  4. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    Yes, all your songs would have to be converted. This takes about 30 seconds per song (on my PC at least), so slows down transfer times considerably. Also, the music will have been compressed twice (from WAV - WMA, then from WMA - ATRAC3), so quality will be reduced. Don't know how noticeable this will be though.

    Having said that, the HD5 is a very sexy player, and is rediculously small. The iRiver is actually quite big in comparison.

    But then the iRiver supports drag and drop and also WMP, so you have to decide what are your most important needs.
     
  5. Cardiff Irons

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    Don't own either, but have done a bit of research. Comparing the advantages of each.

    For the H320:
    Supports drag and drop
    Can view images and videos (and colour display)
    Not tied to the wretched Sonic Stage


    For the HD5:
    Small and beautiful
    Can create playlists on the fly
     
  6. D_C

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    Ok, so it should prove to be a bit of an arse...

    It is pretty sexy and I've got to think of my street cred here! You've helped me make my mind up though, I think I'll go with the iRiver... lets hope it goes down in price when the HD5 is launched.
     
  7. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    I don't think you can watch videos on the H320, can you?

    Another advantage of the HD5 is the 40 hour battery life and the fact the battery is removeable. But then the colour screen on the H320 is VERY nice............
     
  8. D_C

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    Nice pros & cons, thanks... I think my mind is made up and the H320 it is, even though it is slightly more expensive and bigger, and not as sexy...

    Thanks a lot for your help.
     
  9. D_C

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    When I was doing some research I found at that you can by downloading some app from some site or other that converts the H320 to be able to play vids. It voids the warranty though, that's the only problem.
     
  10. Cardiff Irons

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    I'm pretty certain it's a manufacturer's firmware upgrade, so don't think it affects the warranty.
     
  11. D_C

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    That'd be quality if true and would make my mind up about which to buy. Nice one.
     
  12. Cardiff Irons

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    Just to reassure you further, I popped down to Curry's at the weekend to look at portables in the flesh, so to speak. Whilst the Sony is undoubtedly the smaller and prettier of the two, the H320 was still surprisingly small and did not look unattractive. Street cred should be fine :smashin:
     
  13. Hrochnick

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    The Sony UK site has today changed from having the HD5 as 'coming soon' to 'available now' (here) and my order has moved from Open to Completed so I'm hoping to get it in the next few days. Fingers crossed.
     
  14. Steven

    Steven
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    Well since HD5 isn't actually out yet, lets wait and give it a chance first.
     
  15. newbie265

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    any ideas when the 30gb model is out?
     
  16. fdrzrich

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    I have an Iriver H340, so its a bit thicker than the H320 due to the hard drive. I too was looking at the Sony HD1's etc, but sonic stage and the fact that you have to recode all your mp3s put me off big time!
    The H3xx do indeed play videos with a firmware upgrade from Iriver themselves! It plays divx or mpegs, you need to recode the videos, but someone has made an excellent piece of software called Iriverter that does it all for you!! You can even put a DVD in, point the software to it and it will copy it to your iriver in the right format. The videos are only 10 frames per second, but on that size screen you don't really notice it!
    Another advantage for me was the fact that it plays mp3, wma and ogg files, and I had a mix off all of them in my collection! It has a photo viewing function, a radio and can perform direct recording to mp3 (at different rates) from either the radio, internal mic or an external mic (supplied!). It has a line out, good for connecting it to home stereo, and also your car!!
    For ANY questions you have on Irivers, check out http://www.misticriver.net I helped me out loads, and the links to various bits of useful software can be found there. There is even software to mod the official firmware to change the icons on the display and change the startup and shutdown screens for your own gif's!!
    Can you tell I'm a fan?!

    Rich
     
  17. D_C

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    That's excellent stuff, thanks for this info, I've made my mind up what I'm getting now. You've all been a great help.
     
  18. wilto

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    let us know when you recieve it and what you think!

    ive ordered mine with dabs - £15 quid cheaper [185] and is expected in stock soon.
     
  19. Hrochnick

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    Yeah, will do. Though I'm likely to be biased (unless it's really bad) as it's my first player - not counting a crappy cheap 128mb thing that I've now passed off to my girlfriend - so I don't have anything to compare it too. But I'll let you know what I think anyway.
     
  20. Steven

    Steven
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    Sigh.....Sony HD3/5 supports MP3 without conversion! HD1 needs a firmware upgrade, which you need to send to Sony for. But HD3 is now cheap so no point getting a HD1 :)
     
  21. jonboy99

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    Does the drag and drop mean you can just copy stuff across using explorer and music files in particular will play, unlike the sony which is drag and drop for everything but music?
    And if yes ( ireally want this feature, hated my hd3 for not having it for music files) do you need driver files to copy music onto the iriver for windows XP, or can you do it all without drivers (this is what I really want).
     
  22. Steven

    Steven
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    Well, you can understand the piracy + DRM issues and that. Seeing as Sony also has lots of artists in its catalogue. But they could have made the authorise HD3 process easier (register online so can use with up to 5 PCs. But have to register HD3 with each PC)
     
  23. marty123

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    Spoke to local sony shop the other day! They expect to get the limited edition 30gb hd5 in around start of june! Although it is limited edition, so they say it is not guaranteed at there shop! (but should be!)
     
  24. Tejstar

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    Does anyone know if the H340 is being replaced soon? It's been out for quite a while now.
     
  25. fdrzrich

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    I didn't mean conversion to atrac, I meant the fact that you have to put all music files through sonic stage...

    Yes you can just drag and drop any music file onto the player and it will play - mp3, wma, ogg and now Wav too (added in last firmware upgrade!). You don't need any drivers at all, just plug it in, copy across and then play!

    Not sure if its being replaced, there is talk of a 20gb H10 size player though...
     
  26. Steven

    Steven
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    whats wrong with SS? you're not one of those that criticise SS without trying it are you? its not perfect, but most problems are because people don't familiarise themselves with it or read the help file!

    its true and has been confirmed. now for a release date. speculation of Q4 '05
     
  27. joe2snj

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    I would call myself a sonic stage vetran.. Have been using it for my Net MD for nearly 2 years. I agree that the earlier version of SS was quite unstable but when it did work it was fine. The version that come with the HD3 is even better and hasnt crashed with me once. I have my files in a shared folder which can be accessed with media player,real player or any other similar app but ive also got them in SS. Yes it has its problems and is not perfect but what software is?
     

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