Which MP3 player has largest database limit?

itm

Active Member
I'm looking for a portable mp3 player which will handle the largest possible number of tracks. The largest that I've found so far can handle 20,000. Does anyone know of a player that can handle more?
 

Marve77

Active Member
It depends on what quality of device you are looking for....
I have just recently bought a wee cheap one for at work, plays most file types (mp3, flac etc.) and it has an 8GB internal with expandable up to 128 using an SD card, a quick search on Amazon will give many choices. Mine was £26 and sound is decent.
You're no of songs depends on the file size which depends on the type and quality, I would look at the memory size rather than any no of songs quoted.
 

itm

Active Member
I'd be happy with anything that matches a mid-price smartphone for audio quality.
I've found that the device's database size is a more limiting factor than the SD card size. For example you could probably fit >30,000 tracks on a 128GB SD card, but I don't know of any players with a database that can handle more than 20,000 tracks.
 

Marve77

Active Member
Ah OK, I get your issue now. Now that's something that doesn't really get mentioned in product blurbs. Strange that when you can get players expandable up to 1T the software would be limited like that.
I guess the next question would have to be do you need all those at the same time?
Are all your files stored on your pc, MediaMonkey supports over 100,000 and you can use that to sync up with your mp3 player and swap files about.
 

itm

Active Member
Yes I want to have the whole collection on there partly so that I have an "off-site" backup of it at all times (or at least an on-the-person backup!), and partly because I can never predict what obscure track/album I might get an urge to listen to when I'm travelling. In these days of Spotify etc I suppose I'm an edge case, but there's no point having 95,000 tracks in your collection if you never get to listen to most of them!
 

Marve77

Active Member
Fair enough, not really an unreasonable thing to want.
I've been having a look around, you've peaked my interest a little.
The only one I've found thus far is the Cowon Plenue range, you can get up to 140,000(70 internal & 70 sd card), they are quite pricey though!
 

itm

Active Member
Thanks for that. I just had a quick look and it only seems to accept Micro SD cards up to 128GB. I've just calculated that the internal 32GB of storage plus a 128GB card would accommodate less than 30,000 tracks of my collection. In principle a 512GB card, in conjunction with the internal storage, would just about handle all of it. Maybe a later Cowon model will eventually handle larger cards?
 

Marve77

Active Member
Yeah, going by those numbers you would need the top one.
It has 256 & 256 expandable, and will only set you back a miserly amount of £1250!!
I think I would be waiting for a trickle down of specs..
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
A database limit is also a hardware resource thing. For example skim reading the spec sheets on the budget A&K daps and the fiio X5 / X7 latest generation I cannot readily see a mention of a file count limit but suspect those manufacturers would caution maintaining such a large library may impact on the user experience
 

itm

Active Member
I've just had the Fiio M7 recommended to me. It'll take SD cards up to 512GB, but I can't find out what the database size limit is (I emailed their support address but didn't get a response). Does anyone know what the limit it?
 

bth73

Novice Member
I'd like an answer to this question. It seems that nothing is made for people like us. I have just under 30,000 files in my music collection, about 400 are full albums approx 311gb's. Been trying many DAP's. Shanling's latest Q1 won't finish updating library past 15,000 files without failing. Fiio is the same. Hidizs AP80 stops at 20,000 - no more. iBasso dx50 with latest update reads card and plays but no way to know how many files, it never informs you. It sucks that everything is made for the 87%. Us 13%'ers aren't enough of a market for anyone to care about it seems.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
I'd like an answer to this question. It seems that nothing is made for people like us. I have just under 30,000 files in my music collection, about 400 are full albums approx 311gb's. Been trying many DAP's. Shanling's latest Q1 won't finish updating library past 15,000 files without failing. Fiio is the same. Hidizs AP80 stops at 20,000 - no more. iBasso dx50 with latest update reads card and plays but no way to know how many files, it never informs you. It sucks that everything is made for the 87%. Us 13%'ers aren't enough of a market for anyone to care about it seems.
I think the limitation is the size is the look up table , held in ram not the size of the data. So for instance a 30 minute symphony might be 1 entry ,whereas old singles at 2 minutes duration each are also entries. My Sony NWA with 128 GB sd card, has about 6000 entries ,but some of these are single flac files of entire digitised albums ,which take an hour to play.
Removing and inserting a different card, requires indexing time of about 3 minutes , I suspect that a 256Gb ..which might hold the half my collection would be 6 minutes
 

itm

Active Member
Since originally asking this question I bought the Fiio M6, and also a 512GB memory card. I found that this is just about up to the job. The built-in music app is OK, but they are now allowing users to sideload any other apps that they choose (this was originally blocked), so I now use GoneMad Music Player. Scanning takes quite a while, but other than that the app works well.
I can't squeeze my entire collection onto the 512GB card, but the 1TB cards are too pricey for me at the moment - I'll wait for them to hit the £80 mark I think.
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
The type of flash memory used for dap players is expensive above 256gb, which is why you do not see any dap with more than 512gb onboard, which is actually 256gb plus 256g modules. So manufacturers offer capped on board storage plus micro SD expansion

The relevance is the motivation and necessity for manufacturers to code software that can handle many many more files like your laptop or desktop computer can is not there. There's only so many lossless files that can be stored. If in five + years 1tb flash becomes cheaper then maybe

The reality is dap is a niche market and those niche customers tends to deal only with lossless and DSD files that would not reach 50k files against 512gb storage. You don't really read about people exceeding the file limit simply because not a lot of dap owners would use lower size lossy files, which is what it would take to hit 50k files within 512gb
 

itm

Active Member
Yes sadly I seem to be in a small minority, in having a huge collection and NOT actually caring about lossless encoding (I'm perfectly happy with mp3 @192k+)
Story of my life..... :0(
 

AmpooTwibbit

Novice Member
Hi. Don't know if you are still looking for answers to this but ... entry-level Sony hi-res player, NW-A50 series, database can catalog >20k tracks and the player accepts 1TB microSD. The A50 series runs Sony's proprietary OS.
Also, while this might not be exactly what you want, HiBy Music 3.0 supports browsing by folder & file name. This gets around 20k DB limit.
 

AmpooTwibbit

Novice Member
Hi. Don't know if you are still looking for answers to this but ... entry-level Sony hi-res player, NW-A50 series, database can catalog >20k tracks and the player accepts 1TB microSD. The A50 series runs Sony's proprietary OS.
Also, while this might not be exactly what you want, HiBy Music 3.0 supports browsing by folder & file name. This gets around 20k DB limit.
HiBy Music 3.0 is run by several players. I'm using a Hidizs AP80 Pro with HiBy Music 3.0.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
What about players with Rockbox? My 128GB SD card works fine filled up on my iriver and sansa rockboxed players (vorbis)
 

gwong

Novice Member
Wow! I came across people who wanted a portable audio player that could index over 100,000 tracks. They wish to use 2 TB SDXC or larger and index everything on it. Well, the portable player has to deal with the same restrictions as a desktop computer or laptop. How much information can be held in a searchable index will depend on the physical RAM the device has. SDXC is not RAM. It is basically the equivalent of solid state disc. You're not going to get a databes of 100,000 tracks with a portable audio player yet. Even an iPod Classic modified to use 2 TB SDXC can only index up to 40,000 tracks. Also, the maximum will depend on how much information will be index for each track.

However, if you don't mind something slightly larger than a portable audio player, I have an miniature Intel PC with 64 GB RAM, 2 TB SSD and Bluetooth (a little larger than an iPhone 13) along with a tiny touch screen and pass-through power bank.

Or it may be easier to organize the music collection using multiple 64 GB SDXC and use any number of portable audio players. Would I really need to have classical and disco on the same SDXC? No. It still beats keeping a music collection on cassette tapes.
 

itm

Active Member
The Fiio M6 works fine with my collection of 70,000 mp3 tracks (on a 512GB MicroSD card). The same collection, on the same memory card, also works fine on my phone (Moto G 5G). I use an app called GoneMadMusicPlayer, which seems to be good at handling very large music libraries.
 

gwong

Novice Member
The Fiio M6 works fine with my collection of 70,000 mp3 tracks (on a 512GB MicroSD card). The same collection, on the same memory card, also works fine on my phone (Moto G 5G). I use an app called GoneMadMusicPlayer, which seems to be good at handling very large music libraries.

Good to hear. Your Fiio M6 has 768 MB of RAM and the Moto G uses 1 GB of its embedded RAM. The iPod Classic with only 32 MB of RAM is tiny in comparison.
 

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