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Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?

I came awfully close to getting the 20gb rio karma, then considered getting an ipod, until i found out about the iRiver iHP-120. I chose this because it has the features I really wanted out of an portable mp3 player. First, it’s the same size as an ipod 20gb (a few milimeters bigger, but that’s nothin), and while the joystick/button design for navigation isn’t quite as intuitive (or cool) as the ipod’s, it’s definitely usable, and from what I’ve seen from the Rio, probably alot better. It’s also black, which I prefer to the ipod’s white.

Now, moving on from usability issues and looks, it has some other features that I just couldn’t pass up. First, it has an internal mic that can make voice recordings. Secondly, it also has line in and line out ports, that work as optical OR analog. For recording via the input, you can choose to record via an external mic, line in, or optical in. The external mic is a hell of alot hotter than line in, by the way. For all this recording, you can record to wav (optical does 48khz while the rest do 44), or to mp3 that is encoded on the fly, at bitrates ranging from 40kpbs to 320. This sold it for me, as I am an avid show taper (with a pair of clip on mic’s and a sony DAT), and this will be fun to play with - I plan to do a double recording sometime to do a comparison of quality between the DAT and iHP-120, but I’ve already done a test recording at a show and it didnt sound bad at all. My only gripe would have to be that there doesn’t appear to be a way to control the level of the line-in, but you CAN adjust the level of the external mic, just not while you are recording. Also, it doesnt show levels so you won’t know if it’s redlining until you actually listen to it. I’m hoping they might fix this in a firmware update but I’m not very hopeful, although from what my test showed, it might not even be needed.

Anyways, just wanted to chime in, I too think the karma is rather ugly, and the slightly bigger size of the iHP-120 is not a deterrant at all. I guess the only one would be the price - it’s around $355 or so, a bit more than the karma but with the extra features, I think it’s worth it. It does play OGG’s, by the way, and transferring files is painless with USB as the unit shows up as another hard drive connected to your system - you can easily use it as a portable hard drive if you want. There’s more reviews around the net if you look, for more indepth information.

Posted by IriverVSKarma on December 15, 2003 at 1:56 PM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Summary:  AAC recordings are definitely smaller than what I’ve been using, but are about the same as MP3 at the same bits-per-second rate (which is understandable, I suppose).  Rip speed is the same at the same kbps rate. 

OK, here are some stats:

  “Miracles of Notre Dame”, Harp Consort (HMU 907317),
Finder says 707mb on the disk.

AAC default:      65.6mb (high quality, 128kpbs, 12.7x rip speed)

MP3 high/custom:  97.7mb (192kpbs, VBR on, quality Medium, 14.0x rip speed) (my current default)

MP3 custom:  66.3mb (128kbps, VBR on, quality Highest, 12.2x rip speed) (probably similar to AAC…)

MP3 default:      80.3mb (160kbps VBR off, 13.5x rip speed)

Rip speed was as recorded on the longest track (13:34), and is an ‘impression’ of the average of the values reported during Import.  Machine is a 933 G4, iTunes 4.1

Not a rigorous benchmark, your mileage may vary grin

Which sounds better?  Neither my speakers nor my ears are qualified to judge.  I hope someone else will address that.

    dave

Posted by David Emery on December 14, 2003 at 10:32 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Wow.  This is discouraging.  I’m a very inept Windows XP user who bought a 20GB IPod today without doing my homework.  All I want is to have a “jukebox” for my home stereo system so I can put my 500 CDs in storage.  Now I find out there are all kinds of format problems, that maybe the Apple device is still not really compatible with my PC, and even that outputting from the Ipod to my amp through an analog headphone jack is going to muddy up the sound (in which case why even worry about the format?).  And of course, it will take me months to rip the music off of all 500 CDs, and I don’t have PC storage space to keep them uncompressed, but how can you choose a compressed format when they change all of the time?

So, basically, should I just take this thing back and get a Dell or something more PC-oriented?  I don’t want to inflame all of you Apple diehards, but I hate computers in general and want to spend as little time as possible doing this—I just want my music in a jukebox, and I want as close to CD quality as I can get.  Thanks.

Posted by Sparky on December 13, 2003 at 8:33 PM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?

One of the problems I see with the iPod is that Apple bought this amazing hardware platform from PortalPlayer (dual CPU, 32MB RAM, high-res LCD) but by closing off their API they have really stymied independent development. Linux on the iPod is goig nowhere and the slight firmware updates for the iPods add very little functionality and deliberately ignore older iPods (to boost new model sales).

By contrast, the ancient Archos is an audio player that keeps improving. Remember, the Archos 6GB was the first hard disk-based mp3 player, released almost a full year before the iPod. I consider the Archos Recorder 20GB their best audio handheld, offering SPDIF playback and recording which let me finally replace my trusty minidisc.

Anyway, one of the things that lets Archos improve is the ongoing Rockbox open-source program. Some incredibly clever and devious people have managed to add some amazing functionality to the Archos, including games, PDA functionality, text readers, a plugin architecture, amazing playlists, and increased battery life.

But even I was amazed to read that one cunning Rockbox developer has now created a plugin that enables the ancient Archos to display 60fps grey-scale video. Yes, that’s right… a device originally intended to play mp3 files only can now display album art, screen savers, and video during mp3 playback.

Compared to the iPod’s hardware, the Archos is unbelievably primitive. Yet the Rockbox wizards can make it do incredibly tricks. Where is this innovation in the iPod? All we get from Apple is predictable increases in disk size, followed by predictable hefty price increases. Oh, and reduced battery life. For iPod to prosper, Apple needs to open this platform!

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/14/0050224

http://rockbox.haxx.se/mail/archive/rockbox-archive-2003-12/0439.shtml

http://rockbox.haxx.se/docs/features.html

Posted by ArchosNowPlaysVideo on December 13, 2003 at 8:15 PM (PDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

to writer… iTunes is now available for windows users like me… and i’m happily using it… HAHA, LOSER!

Posted by alex on December 11, 2003 at 10:29 PM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Davo, your not an idiot.  I also had problems not with the itrip, but with the ipod itself and when i was talking with griffin they helped me a lot.  Getting used to using the itrip is a trip in itself.  Sometimes it takes to getting the station and sticking right away and sometimes it takes some getting used to.  When you program your station on your itrip preprogram your car radio.  The station will always be programmed no matter what radio you go to.  In terms of hearing static sometimes as you drive don’t worry usually within a minute or two your ipod station will come back.  Enjoy the itrip because I love it!!  Take care and have a great holiday.  Jennifer

Posted by Jennifer on December 11, 2003 at 9:13 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Can someone post comparisons of file sizes with different encodings, e.g.:
  MP3 default
  MP3 higher resolution {For what it’s worth, I’m using 192 variable)
  AAC default
  AAC higher resolution

I now have 70gb, most of it recorded at 192 variable, so for me converting to AAC is non-trivial grin

  dave
p.s.  on a related note, it would be good for the Classical music community to reach some sort of de-facto standard on what to put into each of the iTunes fields.

Posted by David EMery on December 11, 2003 at 8:26 AM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Okay, I’m an idiot, nevermind.

http://griffintechnology.com/support/itrip/ITRIP-014.html

Posted by Davo on December 11, 2003 at 6:30 AM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

davo, if your having such a big problem loading the drivers call Griffin Technologies, they are so nice there.  They will help you with any problems and they are ipod experts.

Posted by Jennifer on December 11, 2003 at 5:53 AM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Here’s the link I’m talking about:

http://wwws.musicmatch.com/faq/IPOD037.htm

Thanks!

Posted by Davo on December 11, 2003 at 5:30 AM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Just got iPod, iTrip, and car charger. Running XP Home.

I CAN’T LOAD THE ITRIP SOFTWARE!

It keeps telling me I don’t have four drivers for the iTrip, but I can’t find them anywhere. Musicmatch says to download them, but the link only goes to the musicmatch d/l.

HELP PLEASE!

Posted by Davo on December 11, 2003 at 5:28 AM (PDT)

Audible User's Guide for iPod

我需要中文说明.

Posted by menglei on December 10, 2003 at 11:24 PM (PDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

Feeling slightly insecure and inferior are we? 

The point of mentioning what I do for a living is to add weight to my statement of backing a system that supports 95% of hardware! 

My girlfriend is just as pretty as a MAC, sadly she’s just as useful as one on a trading floor!

Any other smart ### comments?

Posted by peshman on December 10, 2003 at 12:14 PM (PDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

“and trust me, I support Trading Floor infrastructure for a living”

A wooden beam also supports trading floor infrastructures, but you don’t find them swinging their dicks around on an Internet forum about it.

But hey, I’m impressed. Tech support for a bank. Good one.

Posted by JONNYD on December 10, 2003 at 3:39 AM (PDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

Will you lot please stop this p**sing contest!  The Mac is a fantastic piece of design and engineering, sadly it only holds around 5% of corporate market share!  I may not like MS Windows, or PC’s in general..and trust me, I support Trading Floor infrastructure for a living…but it is the dominant presence.  I would much rather look forward with a compatible system for 95% of the market than a token 5%!  You like your Mac?  Keep it, just don’t keep harping on about the ruddy thing!  When was the last time you could upgrade it after you bought it?  Sod that! I’ll stick with my PC.  BTW, iTunes works just fine with my iPod, never had any problems with it.  ‘nuff said.

Posted by peshman on December 9, 2003 at 9:04 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

What I don’t get about the whole MP3 to AAC discusssion:
Isn’t it possible to convert your entire collection of MP3s to WAVs in itunes - and then use those uncompressed WAVs to convert to AAC files?
According to Apple, the conversion from MP3 to WAV is possible without any quality loss.

Any thoughts anyone?

Cheers, Johannes

Posted by Johandkoh on December 9, 2003 at 5:12 AM (PDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

hahahaha xDDD
(i’ve just got mine as well, and it works perfect in my PC with iTunes xDDD)

Posted by elaine on December 9, 2003 at 4:58 AM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?

http://gear.ign.com/articles/458/458401p1.html

The best thing about the controls is not the design, but rather how well they work. No player has shorter lag between commands. For example, you can move among songs as quickly as you can push the button and the music will start immediately - not quickly, not almost immediately, but immediately. The lag between command and operation is negligible. This is simply good memory management. Rio should be applauded on this point. It makes listening and accessing music more enjoyable.

The Karma’s menu system is so intuitive and nice looking that it doesn’t even seem to be as deep as it is.

Play Music:
Artist: Alphabetical listing with letters running down the left side

Album: Alphabetical listing with letters running down the left side

Track: Alphabetical listing with letters running down the left side

Playlist: Alphabetical listing of all lists

Rio DJ:
Entertain Me!: Generates playlist from most frequently played music. Mix can last 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 hours.

Play All: Play everything and automatically sort by album, artist, genre, or year.

Top Tunes: Play the most frequently played tracks. You can choose from the top 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, or 250 songs.

New Music: Play the most recently imported tracks. Choose from music imported in the last 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year.

Memory Lane: Play tracks that haven’t been played in a while. Choose from music not played in the last 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year.

Sounds Of…: Play tracks from the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, or newer than 2000

Forgotten Gems: Play old favorites that haven’t been played in the last 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year.

D?j? Vu: Play tracks that have been played in the last 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year.

Random Mix: Generate a random list lasting 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 hours.
Genre: Alphabetical listing with letters running down the left side

Year: Numerical listing of album years

Posted by Karma on December 8, 2003 at 4:51 PM (PDT)

Will any MP3 player ever catch Apple's iPod?

Since when does the Dell DJ’s battery last 20 hours

Dell is being conservative. As a company Dell is refreshingly averse to hyperbole and exaggeration, unlike Apple. “First 64 bit PC my arse”.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4505-6490_7-30582921-2.html
“The area in which the DJ truly rocks is battery life: an astounding 19.5 hours—significantly more than the 16 hours that Dell claims.”

http://www.digitalmusicsite.com/forums/index.php?s=&act=Tutorials&CODE=03&ID=10
“at 9:37PM the darn thing finally popped up a message that said, “Shutting Down”, followed by a pretty little pixel graphic that says Low Battery. 22 hours and 37 minutes.”

Posted by DellDJ on December 8, 2003 at 9:40 AM (PDT)

MWNY03: A look at iPod accessories

someone has it wont be out by xmas i think.. its by griffin. called the iFM

Posted by will on December 7, 2003 at 5:37 PM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Yeah, every apple packaging it´s just great, damn no more room left, with all my powermac 8600, boundiblue imac, powerbook bronce, titanium, g4 and apple displays boxes, wife bitchin, but iPod packaging it´s just the best. (Every time i got back home I open and close the hole thing, kinda obssesive)
By the way AAC 192 Rules!

Posted by osmac on December 5, 2003 at 4:50 PM (PDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

On the go playlist…simple answer, easy to explain…done deal smile

Posted by Rachel on December 5, 2003 at 4:32 PM (PDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

well i spent most of my university loan on a new 20GB ipod. and it’s sooo worth it. but no usb cable was included, so i had to shell out an extra £15 on one of those.
and yes, the packaging is just as cool…

Posted by mj on December 5, 2003 at 4:51 AM (PDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

I’ve just bought an iPod and it works just fine with musicmatch, and right now -ahem- i’m about to download my iTunes pack and I hope it’ll work even better and smoothly on my PC! haha yeah you heard fine my PC HAHAHA suffer you mac-freak, suffer!

Posted by Diego U on December 4, 2003 at 9:25 AM (PDT)

Switching from MP3 to AAC Without Losing Your Mind

Depends how hungry I am!

Posted by Pashlipops on December 3, 2003 at 9:34 AM (PDT)

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