The best mp3 player

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by gerbilly, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    I'm sorry if this offends but before I bought my ipod mini (I don't need 20gb) I listened to all of the mp3 players up to the 200 quid mark and there was no doubt that the Mini was superior in the most important factor - how does it sound.
    To me the worst one I listened to was the Sony. Even though many will try to convince themselves that this device is better as they don't want to be seen to be following a trend by buying an ipod, the truth of the matter is as most of the trade magazines will back up is that Sony have a dead duck here.
    Looks wise it is like a small dictaphone and the colours are not very appealing. The software is horrific compared to I Tunes (as the many threads on here would back up) .
    I was close to buying the I-River player but to me the Mini was just a beautiful little player which sounds great. As I also own a mac there was really only going to be one winner here and I will recommend the i-pod to anyone :thumbsup:
     
  2. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    I completely disagree. As I stated on a previous thread I started, when I plugged my hd1 into a mates sound system it sounded better than his mini ipod.

    I believe this is mainly because of the line out feature of the hd1, compared to my friend having to turn his ipod up to full volume.

    It is also partly because Atrac3 is a superior format to Mp4, which he uses.

    I certainly would not say it looks like a small dictaphone, as you will notice if you read the other threads most people agree the hd1/hd3 is a very sexy device. As to say "the colours are not very appealing", that is simply a matter of personal taste.

    And, in my opinion, SS 3.0 is very easy to use. Although maybe not quite up to iTunes standard!
     
  3. Jazz Monkey Jr

    Jazz Monkey Jr
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    The ipod has a line out when you use the docking station.
     
  4. Quinn

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    :confused: Is Sony mp3s better for those who have PC's ..... and iPods for those with Apple Macs?
     
  5. HMHB

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    iPods work just as well with PCs if you have iTunes for Windows loaded.
     
  6. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    Yes but he doesn't have a docking station! I think, whilst it is a very cool idea to have a line out on the docking station, apple really should have put one on the unit itself as well.
     
  7. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    I have a dock with my I-Pod mini and the sound is excellent as close to the original as you can get.
     
  8. alancolledge

    alancolledge
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    here we go again :rolleyes: :suicide:
     
  9. cwick

    cwick
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    Interesting, what are you basing that on ?

    For reference, this test, for 128kbps (default iTunes bitrate, IIRC), puts Atrac3 pretty much at the bottom of the pile.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  10. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    Not on any official test!

    Just on my opinion, the opinion of friends of mine and the general opinion of other audiophiles I have spoken to.

    Im no expert, but apparantly atrac3 compresses by filtering out frequencies which are inaudiable to the human ear. I think other formats compress simply by reducing the quality of playback. I may well be completely wrong, please don't bite my head off if i am!

    But in my experience atrac3 sounds better than mp3, and aac.
     
  11. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Mcfarfs you would not hold that opinion if you listened to the i-pod attached to the dock and then played through an amp. The difference is quite large.
     
  12. cwick

    cwick
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    All (pretty much) compression works by filtering out stuff you can't hear. It's how they do it that makes the difference ... and each one (as far as I know) uses a different mechanism for doing it (psychoacoustic modelling, I think it's called).

    So what Atrac3 thinks you can't hear might be different from what AAC thinks you can't hear, and so on.

    But hey, you're the one who's listening, and it's what your ears tell you is best that matters.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  13. Pecker

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    If you audition the players in the shop, then you're probably using the 'phones that come with the players.

    My personal advice would be that whichever unit you buy, you really should buy seperate, decent headphones.

    It may be that the 'phones with some models are 'less bad' than with others, which will distort (no pun intendd) your audition.

    Also, you need to ask which format the tracks are that you listen to. If one player has an mp3 track, and the other has an uncompressed track, that will also make the audition unbalanced.

    Steve W
     
  14. Quinn

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    On Sony - I hear a competely new device to counter iPod is being released very soon. Anyone else heard about this?
     
  15. loofer

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    I-River H320 wipes the floor with any player on the market. The feature list is excellent and the line-in with on the fly encoding has let me rip all my really old albums from tape onto my player, saved me a fortune in re-buying albums.
     
  16. wanda

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    ahhh I was just asking about ripping old vinyl, what did you use for your cassettes?

    Re: the docking station perhaps we should look at this from another angle. Like Krusty says maybe in the form of an ethical question. Is it right to have docking station? :)
     
  17. loofer

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    well the i-river has a line-in mic so all you have to do is plug the double ended jack lead into the headphone socket of whatever you're recording and the line-in socket and push play/record. It will encode to mp3 on the fly and store it under a title like file001 then you just put it into your comp to title it and put it back into your player as a normal mp3 file.

    Quality depends on the source but you can eliminate hiss by turning the record sensitivity (volume) down and putting play volume up, some of my tapes have come out sounding surprisingly decent.
     
  18. wanda

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    thanks loofer, muchios helpful I'm gonna give it go but I'll have to borrow my mates iriver to do it. Still if it works it'll be well worth it.
     
  19. constantine_jk

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    I am after an mp3 player and I am thinking of buying the Sony vgf-apl1. It is more expensive than the iPod mini iRiver, but there some good deals online. How is the sound quality of it? I want to be able to connect it to my stereo as well so it is importnt that the sound quality is good.

    Thanks in advance
     
  20. Quinn

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  21. djskum

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    Basically this is my dilema too. Wait for the HD5 or go for the new 30Gb iPod?

    Hmmmmmm

    Dj
     
  22. tomsparsons

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    :thumbsup: hey guys, im new here so just thought i would make my first post here, the main reason i have joined is a stumbled across it looking for info. on the new Sony Hd5.... but anyway, a quick intro. . im 18 and currently studying towards a degree in york, and i work part time in dixons as a sales person. I have a keen interest in gadgets and stay on top of the latest models specs, and get to handle them through work.
    anyway.
    hi...
    in my opinion the sony hd5 is really going to blow the ipod out on tech spec, and features but i dont believe it will outsell the ipod.... because of the fasion appeal of the unit.
    as for the best mp3 player on the market i would have to say either...
    the archos gmini xs200 - small, 20 gb, reasonable price, straight plug + play then drag + drop any audio files (wma mp3)...(however bad battery life(advertised at 8 hours but it is less) lets it down)
    or... the sony hd5, but im not 100% on that yet, looks amazing on paper but i havent had the pleasure of handling it yet.. (not mad on sonic stage though)
    out of the ipods, the 30gb photo is without doubt the best pound for pound out of the range. but when you compare the full sized ipods to other equizalent players they are much bulkyer and starting to feel + look old fasioned (again opinion).
    anyway thanks.
    tom:)
     
  23. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    The key point that the HD3/5 scores on is the display remote (optional extra). The extra length of the iPod versus the HD3/5 (both of which are more or less the same width/thickness as the 20Gb iPod) isn't really felt in the pocket. The operating system is inferior, as is the software to load the player and the way it works. There's the battery life of course... but let's see what the 5G iPod brings, bearing in mind how much they've boosted the iPod Mini battery life. I think the tables have been turned a bit... the Sony will now be the player that the fashion types will lean towards. But as a music player, the iPod is still considerably superior.
     
  24. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    I would say the opposite lol.

    In what ways would you say the iPod is a superior music player?

    I think it is MUCH easier to navigate, and iTunes is ace.

    But better battery life, IMO better sound quality, and smaller size make me lean to the Sony range.

    I suppose it is all a matter of opinion.
     
  25. wilto

    wilto
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    my order for hd5 is in :)
     
  26. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    McFarfs what makes him think the I-Pod sounds better is his own ears, just like when I decided to go with it instead of the Sony, the Zen or the I-River.
     
  27. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    I realize that!
     
  28. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    As I said, the smaller size isn't really felt in-pocket, and both feel about the same in-pocket too in terms of weight. The display remote is handy on the HD's, and I actually find the RM-MC40 better to use than the main unit for locating music. As for sound quality, both are quite comparable with very efficient earphones but if you consider being able to power a wide range of premium headgear, then the iPod takes it due to it's much more powerful amp. I suppose it depends on whether you consider sound quality to be mainly about bass and a tipped-up treble... I can hear beyond that.


    Superior syncing (since my library is much larger than the capacity of the players), sensible DRM management, versatile usability (car, home, etc) without extra faffs, better navigation, better playlisting... etc. That's what sells the iPod to me. The style and the remote is what sells the HD3 to me, but at considerably decreased convenience compared to the iPod. As such I tend to just put new music onto the HD3. If I had to make do with just one DAP though, then the HD3 is pretty much at the bottom of my list.
     
  29. mcfarfs

    mcfarfs
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    Yeh, I suppose on top of what you personally prefer as a player, there is the factor of what is more suited to your needs.

    If you go to the gym a lot, and want a player to hold in your hand whilst on a treadmill, the HD3 is well suited. Particularly with a wrist strap.

    However, if you want a player to sit on the bus/train listening to, I expect the iPod is more suitable for many.
     
  30. Nic Rhodes

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    As an 'outsider' here I find these debates about the technical merits interesting. Having recently stuck a few of these players on some test equipment I would be allot less worried about MP3 vs ATRAC debate but more concerned about the quality of the line and heaphone outputs. Most were not very good. The best Apple one was the cheap shuffle!!

    Re technically which is best, well as a technical guy, I think this is an irrelevance for this market for several reasons, in not particular order, battery life, size, ease of use, software are all far more important to this market. If technical excellence told us who was the market leader we would have Beta over VHS, SACD over CD etc.....

    Personnaly I am persuaded that some of the memory based devices have less drain on batteries and can have some better sound quality but for most of you (us), 1Gb is no way enough but technically they may be better ;)

    Personally I find the easy to use software of the Apples a convincing arguement but I am still thinking about which to buy...
     

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