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Adviced needed on an MP3 player

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Andrew Bunk, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Not sure if this is better suited for another forum but I thought I'd post it here.

    I bought a Rio Carbon 5GB MP3 player last month. I like the design and it sounds great, but I've had a decent amount of issues with it booting up properly. Judging by several user forums I've read, I'm not the only one. Also, it has an internal battery that seems to lose its charge over a week or two even if it's not being used. Not sure if that's normal.

    Anyway, one of the other things I don't like about the player is when playing a full album, there is a slight pause between each track. A lot of the albums I like have songs that flow into each other, and this disrupts the flow. I would think that if the player knows what song to play next, it would have it loaded and ready to play right after the other ends.

    I'm thinking of returning the player and getting a iPod 6GB player. Just wondering if anyone can tell me if it will play songs like I have described above. Also looking for any general feedback on the iPod.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    The iPod will not provide gapless playback between songs, either. Also, it's internal battery will drain over time even if it is not used, since the device is never completely off.

    That being said, I own a 40GB iPod and I bought a 6GB iPod Mini for my wife. We have been very happy with the players. The iTunes interface for managing our music library on the PC is user friendly. However, the ear buds that come with the iPod leave a lot to be desired -- I did not care for the sound quality, and they were extremely uncomfortable in my ears. I am using Shure E3C canalphones on my iPod, and my wife is using my old Sony EX71 ear buds on her Mini.

    The lack of gapless playback is a little annoying when I listen to live concert recordings, but I do not find it intolerable. Most of the classical recordings I own have a pause between movements anyway, so it has not been an issue with that type of music for me.
     
  3. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Andrew, this is a bit OT, pleas ebear with me:

    How is orchestral music on you player? What format do you use?

    The reason I ask is I listen to quite a bit of orchestral film music, but have been dissapointed by the sound quality of mp3 I downloaded (granted off p2p networks). They sound really terrible, distorted and crackled at high volume. If that's the best I can get with mp3 with this kind of music, then an mp3 player might not be for me.

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    H
     
  4. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    No orchestral music on there so far...sorry. [​IMG]
     
  5. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am sorry, I meant to ask Scott:b.

    Of course anyone with an answer is free to chime in.

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  6. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    I have a Creative Zen Touch and I think it sounds great. I have a friend with an Ipod and he admits the zen sounds better (using the same headphones, same song, same bitrate). Also I usually get about 2.5-3 days of play time on one charge, I use it 8 hours a day at work. As far as gapless the only time I've noticed a gap is every 5-6 songs when the hard drive spins to read ahead, the gap is never in the middle of a song.
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Holadem,

    Orchestral music sounds fine on my iPod. However, I rip all my own music from my own CDs (no downloads), so I have complete control over the quality of the resulting MP3 files. I'm using Exact Audio Copy with the external LAME MP3 encoder, and it does a wonderful job ripping and encoding. With my setup -- unamped iPod with Shure E3C earphones -- I find that 192K VBR MP3 files sound virtually identical to the CD source. If that's not completely transparent to your ears with your setup, you can always encode at a higher bit rate at the sacrifice of larger file sizes.
     
  8. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    I'll second the Creative players. I have a Nomad Jukebox 3 and my wife has a Zen Xtra. The JB3 is the best sounding mp3 player I've used, but it's a little big and has been discontinued. The Zen Xtra is a great player as well though, and it's definitely an improvement over the ipod.

    As for gapless playback, I'm not positive, but I think there's a way to enable it. If it's really an issue though, why not just join the mp3s for an album into a single gapless mp3?
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Jassen, the gap we are referring to is between song tracks, not in the middle of a song. Some albums will blend one song into each other, and there is a usually a blending of crowd noise from track to track on live concerts. When listening to a CD, there is no pause between these tracks. However, most MP3 players have a slight pause -- i.e. "gap" -- between tracks. If you do not listen to music that blends from track to track, you would never notice the gaps inserted by the MP3 player.
     
  10. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Andrew,

    To my knowledge, the only MP3 player on the market with gapless playback is the RIO KARMA. MP3 files all have a little gap of silence at the end. The Rio Karma is the only MP3 player that compensates for this. Contrast with the iPod, which not only retains the gap but also increases it dramatically. See here for more information.
     
  11. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    Scott-

    I understand what he meant I just didn't want the explanation of what kind of gap I experience to be taken as a gap in the middle. It seems I created some confusion, I apologize.

    Back to the player debate. Apple is known for their software and computers, it shows in their player great button interface, OS and linking software. Creative is known for its soundcards and that shows (sounds?) in their player, excellent sound quality. The Creative software isn't as bad as some reviewers make it seem. As with any software it just takes a little getting used to. I'll admit I did wait for the Zen Touch because it looks like Creative actually thought about button placement and the touch pad is way cooler than some stinking click wheel (kidding) my playlists are in vertical lists not circular lists. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    You can enable gapless playback on an iPod but the downside is that it will not allow you to have individual track numbers. So if you want a 10-track album to have no gaps, you would end up with a 1-track album.
     
  13. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Brian,

    I take it that means the individual track names wouldn't display either?
     
  14. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Correct -- I seem to remember doing this for a four-movement symphony and the resulting 60-minute "track" only showed the title of the first movement.
     
  15. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Scott, thanks.

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  16. EugeneR

    EugeneR Second Unit

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    Hey, I also need some advice--any MP3 players out there (20GB+) which have a removable battery? I really don't want to throw away a $200-$400 gadget after a year or two (or pay $100 to have the factory replace the battery). The other question--any have the capability to simply drag and drop in Explorer?
     
  17. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Eugene, the Creative Nomad Zen Xtra does both things you're looking for. The battery is user-replaceable (replacements are about 50 bucks though), and the new software lets you do drag+drop transfers.



    Actually, I don't really like the click wheel on the Zen Xtra as much as on my JB3. Difference is that the Xtra has a "rocker" style wheel, while the JB3 has a regular wheel, similar to the scroll wheel on a mouse. I've seen the touch though, and honestly it seems like a more expensive player with less space-is the touch pad really that much better?
     
  18. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    eugene - there's a couple of third-party software vendors that make drag-n-drop functionality available for the ipod. i know vince maskeeper uses one himself ... but i don't recall the software name.

    andrew - one thing i like to mention is accessories. if you're into that, nothing beats the ipod ... there's tons of accessories for that thing.
     
  19. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    The Creative Zen jukebox has a replaceable battery.

    You should check out www.redchairsoftware.com

    They have alternatives to the software that comes with most players. I bought the version for mine (afore mentioned) and while I haven't used it too much it seems easy once you figure it out. Might be what your looking for as far as drag and drop
     
  20. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    So a little OT, but waht are the best earbuds available for $50 or under? I'd like to get a new MP3 player soon, but would just as well get new earbuds at the same time to have it all.

    I use these for running/exercise, so bigger or more expensive headphone type speakers are out.

    Any preferences from the audiophiles?
     

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