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Sony HD5H or Rio Karma

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Seirrah, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Seirrah

    Seirrah
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    Hi all

    Over the last few days I have been reading this forum loads and I really have been trying to narrow down what mp3 player I want. After almost buying the HD5H I have now seen the Rio Karma, which looks very decent.

    The features I like on it are the gapless playback (I realise the Sony player can also do this), Dynamic playlist generation (I'm under the impression that this means I can add songs to a play list as that playlist is playing. Just like the 'add to playlist' function in WMP10 say). The Karma is also meant to be fast at searching for files, and comes with a docking station which is useful as I want to use my mp3 player in my car via my CD players Aux Input.

    I'm finding it a little tough to compare with the HD5H as the Karma was released a while ago, and all the reviews are old.

    Rio karma = £130 , Sony HD5H ~ £205

    Can anyone convince me the the Sony is a better player to get? ...please

    Thanks

    Michael
     
  2. shadowritten

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    I'd say go Karma for better quality. And I'm a Sony HD5H owner ...
     
  3. kevH

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    Karma absolutely no doubt ( waits for the Sony light brigade charge)

    In my very humble opinion the Karma knocks spots of the Hd5 in just about every way you can think of with the "biggie" for me being sound quality. The buttons dont crack the screen doesnt mark easily and the software is just far more user friendly.Finding tracks just seems to be far easier and quicker with the scroll wheel on the side and Rio DJ is superb.

    Google it and you may find some at £115 a real no brainer !! :smashin:

    Please Please get a Karma so ive got a friend in here LOl

    One addition allow in your budget for some proper phones i find the Karma sounds awesome with my Shure E3's and even better with the E4's i just got, the difference with them is really chalk and cheese against the supplied Sennheiser 300's. I suspect that may also be the case with the HD5.
     
  4. Toasty

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    I'm interested in the Rio Karma also, mainly for the ogg vorbis support. However, I've heard many a tale of harddrive problems. Has anyone experienced device lock ups with the Karma?
     
  5. kevH

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    Hard drive problems were seemingly the first batches made and again seemingly have been rectified for ages.
    Try Riovolutions.com for many satisfied karma owners and what amazes me there is the attitude in there they really do love their Karmas even with some of the problems its had in the past.
     
  6. Seirrah

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    Ok, just read both the instruction manuals and the Rio is looking good, it seems to have much better functions infact.

    I'm awaiting a sony backlash
     
  7. shadowritten

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    Not certain you'll get a backlash, actually. At least, not from intelligent DAP users. Why? Because many of us acknowledge the Karma's superiority - in short, the fact that this is how DAPs ought to be built/work. If a little more attractively and with less bulk, of course ...
     
  8. extremelydodgy

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    There are no harddrive problems to speak of these days, and we in the UK get a 1-year warranty, not the 90 days for the US (a lot of the gripes have a lot to do with that, methinks).


    The Karma is twice as thick as the Sony, although slightly less in area. It lasts less on batteries and looks a bit Fisher-Price, but that's about all that's inferior about it. In terms of it's abilities as a music player, it creams the HD5 and is my second favourite player after the iPod. The only reason I don't use the Karma very much and am thinking about getting rid of it is that I only tend to use truly portable players, and the iPod 20G (and the HD5 for that matter) fits in my jacket pocket without making me look as though I have a lopsided man boob.
     
  9. kevH

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    I tend to put mine in my trouser pocket which instead of giving me the "man boob" thing gives me the edge with the ladies which, again, is another plus against the HD5. The list is endless.......... :thumbsup:
     
  10. extremelydodgy

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    Oh I forgot. It also has no UMS support (i.e. no data movement without drivers)
     
  11. Toasty

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    I was hoping the harddrive problems would be pinned to early devices. Thanks for the confirmations.
     
  12. Seirrah

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    But can the HD5H do that anyway ? I thouht you had to use SoniceStage to do almost anything....or must you just use SS for audio files ?
    (If that is true can you put audio files onto the device without SS and still access them on another pc, using UMS...so to transfer audio pc to pc without SS being involved)
     
  13. shadowritten

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    HD5H is automatically recognised as a removable drive on Win XP PCs, and yes, you can drag 'n' drop files to it in Win Explorer without drivers.
     
  14. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Let me see...


    Further good points about the Karma:
    The dock. Excellent dock.
    Button and scroll wheel placement when held. Done so well I wonder if it was a British industrial designer instead of an American or Japanese.
    Simplicity of OS and 'features where needed'. Far more nebulous advantage, but from things like being able to scroll through the track using the wheel to the way the menus are constructed and the way it works, just very, very well done. Easily a rival to the iPod this way. Blows away the likes of the Sony, iRiver and iAudio.


    Bad points apart from that already listed:
    HDD noise when filling the buffer.
    Ethernet connection while cool is unusably slow.
    Crappy software. Once again it's so easy to use and basically well designed that it's a crying shame that it has more than it's fair share of bugs and also has truly awful (but incredibly fast) ripping. Rip outside of RMM I say.
     
  15. extremelydodgy

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    UMS support means that the drive is recognised for data. It does not necessarily mean that you can write music folders on it in the same way. The HD5H, iPod, Creative, etc players do not support music folders in UMS mode. iAudio, Archos and iRiver do.


    The HD5 can use a piece of software which runs off the player in order to drag & drop onto it. The software's definitely very first generation and doesn't work very well in letting you see what's on the player. You can also do the same on the iPod using (significantly better developed) programs such as Sharepod. Creatives don't seem to have that sorted out yet.
     
  16. shadowritten

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    Seeing as you've edited your post so that mine now lacks continuity ...

    I WAS writing data files to my HD5H. These WERE visible, and transferable to another PC. So I repeat, my only problem was dropping .OMA files neat into the root directory - they disappeared once I'd got home, somewhat mysteriously? But for music playback, it's true you need SS.

    EDIT: Please see attached. This is my HD5H with data files (drawn randomly from my system and sent via the context menu) dropped neat into its root directory. Areas on the left have been blanked for privacy reasons. The OMGAUDIO Folder will be familiar to HD5/HD5H owners - this is where music files are put by SonicStage.

    Should point out - for any of the eagle-eyed among you - that yes, I know I did the above test on a PC with the drivers already installed. This is actually a replication of an experiment I carried out at work, where neither SonicStage nor the HD5's drivers are installed. :)
     
  17. Toasty

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    It seems quite difficult to get hold of a new Karma. It appears to be discontinued on many sites. :(
     
  18. Seirrah

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    Shadow - so i could transfer music files in the root directory of the player, there can't be anything stopping me doing that, so that's good.

    Toasty - £130 delivered ... http://www.dukebox.com/player/rio-karma
     
  19. kevH

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    Toasty another option microdirect.co.uk
    Totally Rio refurbed with 1 year guarantee
    Cant be bad can it ?
     
  20. shadowritten

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    'Transfer', yes. But not play in this way.

    HD5H needs SS for transferring music files, which 'wraps' tracks in OMG Audio before they'll play on your player (and completely changes them beyond all recognition in the folder I mentioned, though that isn't important).

    There's a program called MP3 File Manager, endorsed and, I think, produced by Sony, which lets you drag 'n' drop MP3s to your player - search this forum for the link. But it, too, has its faults: tracks don't play in track order, but alphabetically. At least, this was my experience. Not good for mixed dance albums, for example!

    In short, if you want to play tracks, use SS or MP3 File Manager. To simply transfer, drag 'n' drop (though, given my experiment with .OMA music files, I'd suggest you create a folder on your HD5H, THEN drop stuff into it, just in case ;) ).
     
  21. Toasty

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    Thanks seirrah, unfortunately this ends up pointing to amazon as an associate and its unavailable there.

    Thanks also KevH, I had seen the microdirect site, however, I'd prefer new. I may reconsider because its a great price.
     

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