Digital Audio Players

Asirt 09-26-2006 12:55 AM
You see them everywhere. People with their fancy little music gadgets and their nifty headphones. I'm talking about the Digital Audio Players. They're far more advanced than your average CD or Cassette player, and can store lots of music on one little device, depending on your needs.

My first DAP is the iAudio X5. Very nice little player. Honestly though, there are only four reasons I went with the X5 instead of any other DAP:

Linux support -

My computers at home are loaded with only Ubuntu, so this is a very important factor to me. It would have sucked horribly if my DAP was not detected when using Ubuntu.

Ogg Vorbis / FLAC support -

Despite MP3 being the most popular format, all of my music rips are in FLAC, which I later transcode to Ogg Vorbis. The iPod and other players clearly didn't have these audio codecs in mind, and the iRiver have had past problems with certain Vorbis files. All of Cowon's players support Ogg Vorbis up to quality 10, so I considered looking into their audio players.

Durability -

Some of the popular audio players have been known for braking easily if you're not careful. Having a rather strong audio player was also something to consider as well. I've dropped the X5 twice on accident, and still looks and works great. I plan on buying a zCover carrying case for the X5 soon.

Sound Quality -

Of course, this should be the biggest reason to pick a DAP over the others. Cowon has been known for having excellent sound on their players, even with bad headphones. I now listen to music through the X5 instead of my computer.

And of course, all the other features in between. Tongue

I know a lot of people over here's got them. Feel free to share your DAP of choice; show it off, talk about why you chose that player over the many others out there, etc.

----------------------------------

quote:
I, for the life of me, can't see how anyone can use nothing but Ogg Vorbis and FLAC.


It's a little something called "Freedom of Choice" and "Fair Use". I chose Vorbis and FLAC because it's supported in all operating systems legally. It also preforms a lot better when dealing with lower quality settings, and with aoTuV's tunings, I've stopped using MP3 since.

DRM is infecting MP3 and WMA audio files for the most part, so I regularly buy music CDs or from Magnatune to get the best bang for my buck. Not everyone has to be locked in a certain file or operating system, you know.

quote:
Sure, MP3 is a lossy audio format, but LAME and variable bit rates have produced superior sound in reasonably sized files. I admit that the majority (if not all) of my music is encoded in LAME MP3 format in at least 192kbps (I've recently started experimenting with VBR).


Right. I appreciate the LAME developers for making the MP3 format have better quality than the stock encoder. I've used VBR settings in the past, and worked great if the original source is lossless or from the CD.

quote:
Also, 99.9% of all torrents are in mp3 format, so if you're downloading music in a lossy format and converting it to a lossless format, you're kind of screwing yourself there.


I aim for that .1%, then. Note that I said "Music RIPS", meaning stuff I have that's from a lossless source or from a CD. I do have downloaded music of various formats (Vorbis, WavPack, what have you). I do agree that transcoding from lossy to lossless is pointless and just as bad as transcoding from lossy to lossy.
Travis Bickle 09-26-2006 08:33 AM
I Have a 5th Generation 60 Gig Ipod Video. I've had an Ipod for about a year now, and I originally had a 4th Gen 60 gig Ipod Photo, but I traded this in thanks to my friend at the apple store, which I'll probably do again in a month when the 80 gig one comes out. It lasts for a pretty damn long time, and I have the Griffin iTrip Auto to plug into the cigarette lighter/power jack of my car to listen to it in the car. It also plays video, which is the function I won't use until I get the 80 gig, since every single song on my ipod right now is important to me, heh.

I, for the life of me, can't see how anyone can use nothing but ogg and flac. Sure, MP3 is a lossy audio format, but LAME and variable bit rates have produced superior sound in reasonably sized files. I admit that the majority (if not all) of my music is encoded in LAME MP3 format in at least 192kbps (I've recently started experimenting with VBR). Also, 99.9% of all torrents are in mp3 format, so if you're downloading music in a lossy format and converting it to a lossless format, you're kind of screwing yourself there.