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View Full Version : In need of help choosing a portable music player



doris.houng
June 28th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Hello everyone, I'm Dorie. :D

Anyways, I am looking to buy a portable music player for myself before I leave for Taiwan on July 6th. (I need something to entertain myself during the long plane ride.)

I really just don't know what I should get. I have about 5.1 GB of music at the moment, and would like to have a player that will hold all of that, with some free space so that my collection has room to grow. In addition, the majority of my music is Chinese, meaning that whatever player I choose must be able to display foreign characters. I would also like something that won't break easily. (I won't abuse it or anything, but I don't want anything flimsy.) And I would certainly like for the player to let me play the music shuffled. And last but not least, I need for it to play nicely with Ubuntu. Ogg Vorbis support isn't really necessary but it'd be nice. (Most of my music is in MP3 format, from my Windows days...)

I really like the Creative Zen Vision:M (I'm in love with the light blue one <3), but searching the forums and talking to a friend of mine, I've read and heard that it refuses to work on anything but Windows. And uhh... I decided to go all-Linux instead of dual-booting two weeks ago when I formatted my hard drive and installed Ubuntu.

I've heard that iPods work with Ubuntu (you have to install gtkpod or something?), so I'm considering the iPod Video (I don't want or care about the video feature, I just want to listen to my music... the iPod Nano just doesn't have enough space). And I've also read that you can install Linux on your iPod? Though I would rather not mess around with all of that.

The iRiver H10 20 GB is also pretty nice, but I heard that to make it work on Ubuntu you have to start it in emergency boot mode or something and then run easyh10 after transferring files? #-o It seems awfully troublesome, but I don't know. It seems like a nice player. (My friend told me that he's heard about a lot of people having sound problems with their iRivers though...)

And I've also heard some nice things about the iAudio X5L. Its long battery life is certainly very appealing, and it's supposed to work very nicely with Linux. However, it doesn't support browsing by artist, album, or genre yet... not something that I require since I keep my music organized in my music folder, but something that I would definitely like to have.

I really need some help here in making a decision, so I decided to post here, hoping that perhaps some of you could help me choose. I'm not exactly sure if this is the right forum to be posting in, so I'm sorry if I posted in the wrong forum. :( And I know that there are already quite a few threads about portable music players. I've gone and spent the last few days reading a lot of them, but was still unable to determine which player would suit my needs the best.

And I forgot to mention this earlier, but this is also my first time buying a portable music player, not counting that old CD player that finally broke down a few months ago... so I don't really know what else I should be looking for.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. ;)

matthew
June 28th, 2006, 05:04 PM
I have the Cowon iAudio M5 and it works perfectly under Linux. It also plays just about everything: mp3, ogg, flac, even wma. Here's a link: http://global.cowon.com/product/product_M5_feature.php

I bought it because this is plainly visible on the site and I like supporting people who think like this:
http://global.cowon.com/product/images/iaudiom5/icon24.gif http://global.cowon.com/product/images/ghost.gif http://global.cowon.com/product/images/iaudiom5/tbar25.gif
Use Mac or Linux? No problem!! iAUDIO M5 is available to be used on Mac or Linux OS.

doris.houng
June 28th, 2006, 05:13 PM
I have the Cowon iAudio M5 and it works perfectly under Linux. It also plays just about everything: mp3, ogg, flac, even wma.
Hehe, Linux support was what made me consider the iAudios. Plus all the file formats it can play... But my friend told me that the joystick breaks after a while. Have you encountered any problems with that? Is it easy to use? I was looking at the X5 because of the pretty color screen O:)

matthew
June 28th, 2006, 05:22 PM
Hehe, Linux support was what made me consider the iAudios. Plus all the file formats it can play... But my friend told me that the joystick breaks after a while. Have you encountered any problems with that? Is it easy to use? I was looking at the X5 because of the pretty color screen O:)It's simple as anything to use. I haven't had any problems with breakage--not the joystick or anything else. I do tend to be pretty easy on my things, though. Anyway, I've had it since January with no problems whatsoever. The X5 is a step up because of the color screen and video capability, but I got it just to play music so I went with the greyscale screen and just music playing capabilities. Bottom line: I've had a great experience with the product and would buy it or something else from the company again.

nrwilk
June 28th, 2006, 05:50 PM
There are many big reasons why iPods dominate the market. They really do have the absolute best interface system I've used on a portable music player. I love mine.

Pros:
works well with ubuntu
beautiful, fast, intuitive user interface
good battery life
great color screen

Cons:
Does not support ogg or wma (who would EVER want to use wma files?)

Can anyone think of some more pros and cons for iPods?

nickle
June 28th, 2006, 07:31 PM
I have an Iaudio X5. It sounds great, works well with any OS and has lots of functionality. However, the little toggle lever borke on mine after a few months... I don't know if this is a general problem, but its a downer

doris.houng
June 28th, 2006, 07:44 PM
There are many big reasons why iPods dominate the market. They really do have the absolute best interface system I've used on a portable music player. I love mine.
Hmm. I'm seriously considering an iPod Video, but I'm not quite sure yet. I do like the click wheel though... x] Which iPod do you have?


I have an Iaudio X5. It sounds great, works well with any OS and has lots of functionality. However, the little toggle lever borke on mine after a few months... I don't know if this is a general problem, but its a downer
:( I really don't want anything that will break, since these players are all so expensive...

Hairback357
July 1st, 2006, 01:33 PM
I am faced with the same decision myself. I have it narrowed down to a Cowon IAUDIO6 or an Ipod Video. I have had a Ipod before and as it has been said before there is a reason why Ipods rule the market. They are in fact a bad to the bone item. The only reason I am looking for something differant is because I really need the line in recording feature. So for me that narrows things down a lot. I am also worried about buying a Cowon becuase I don't know anyone that has one and I am not sure about the quality.

ledonnell
July 1st, 2006, 01:40 PM
Personally I like my Dell Jukebox.
It has a fantastic battery life.
Gnomad works fantastic with it.

tsb
July 1st, 2006, 02:01 PM
I know it's a long plane ride, but really consider waiting until you reach the States to purchase. After living in Taiwan for years, I know how much the customer service aspect of a purchase means to retailers here. Almost nothing. I purchase almost everything from the US or Japan still for this very reason. I'd rather wait the extra week or so for shipping than deal with the poor service here. There is also lots of nice Chinese music on the airline's channels as well from my experience. Have you tried them?

I'd recommend waiting and purchasing that iPod video in the States from someone with a great return policy. Do you have a portable gaming machine to play on the flight? Too bad you are leaving so early. The NDS Lite will be readily available in Taiwan after the 18th and would be the perfect distraction.

Raavea
July 1st, 2006, 02:54 PM
My friend had this really nice thing.. It was sony I think.... Err, it holds 20GB music, and was really dark blue and stocky, really good quality. (He left it at my house once, and I accidentally knocked it off my desk onto the floor. No carpets. Loud noise. No scratch, dent, or anything!

I'm gonna go hunt it down and see what it was...
PS: I personally am very against iPods. All my friends and family who have had them have had nothing but problems, they break easily, and the buttons wear out apparently.

EDIT: Heyy, I found it. I thought it was Vaio something, but my brain told me that was a laptop. :lol:
Here's a review of it: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/05/11/sony_vaio_pocket/

It's heavier than an iPod, but has more room, is better built (it's sony! I respect sony for their quality.) and will last a whole lot longer. The buttons are nice to push too, but that's just one of my wierd tests - 'What are the buttons like..?'

doris.houng
July 1st, 2006, 03:13 PM
I know it's a long plane ride, but really consider waiting until you reach the States to purchase. After living in Taiwan for years, I know how much the customer service aspect of a purchase means to retailers here. Almost nothing. I purchase almost everything from the US or Japan still for this very reason. I'd rather wait the extra week or so for shipping than deal with the poor service here. There is also lots of nice Chinese music on the airline's channels as well from my experience. Have you tried them?

I'd recommend waiting and purchasing that iPod video in the States from someone with a great return policy. Do you have a portable gaming machine to play on the flight? Too bad you are leaving so early. The NDS Lite will be readily available in Taiwan after the 18th and would be the perfect distraction.
Actually, I live in Maryland. I'm leaving for Taiwan to visit relatives and people in a few days. :grin:

Because there wasn't enough time left to order anything online and have it shipped here, my parents ended up bringing me to Circuit City to buy a 30 GB iPod Video. I wish it had the battery life and Ogg Vorbis support of the Cowon iAudio X5L, but... there wasn't enough time left so I didn't really have much of a choice. Plus I feel a bit guilty for purchasing an iPod... :lol:

The iPod Video works very nicely with the latest version of Quod Libet and the iPod plugins, so I'm pretty happy. (I wish it could sync with my library though... but you can't have everything. ;) )

Thanks everyone for helping me here :KS

tsb
July 1st, 2006, 03:52 PM
Will you be visiting Taipei? Maybe I could show you around. Doesn't amaroK sync with your iPod? I still use the Muvo with CF card I bought to cannabalize the 4GB MD for my Canon 20D long ago. #-o

raptros-v76
July 1st, 2006, 03:58 PM
yeah, amarok does, (along with the rest of KDE) if you install the ipod slave.

doris.houng
July 1st, 2006, 03:59 PM
Will you be visiting Taipei? Maybe I could show you around. Doesn't amaroK sync with your iPod? I still use the Muvo with CF card I bought to cannabalize the 4GB MD for my Canon 20D long ago. #-o
Yea I think that amaroK and Rhythmbox and gtkpod and some other programs can sync with my iPod, but I had problems with the display of all the tag data and stuff. :( Everything works nicely in Quod Libet, so I just use that. :D

And yes I will be in Taipei, but I'll be with my family and relatives the entire time. ;)

tsb
July 1st, 2006, 04:07 PM
I understand that. Just think about the response I got when I wanted to take my son back to the States during Chinese New Year. It's the only time I can get more than a week's worth of vacation, but I know my wife refuses to leave her family during such an important holiday. If you and your family change your mind, give me a PM. Maybe we can all go out for a nice meal. Why the trip now, because school has finished for the summer? You aren't the girl I've promised to tutor in math are you? :eek:

doris.houng
July 1st, 2006, 04:38 PM
Why the trip now, because school has finished for the summer?
I love summer break :D


You aren't the girl I've promised to tutor in math are you? :eek:
...?

tsb
July 1st, 2006, 05:25 PM
There's a girl visiting relatives this summer whose family works in my company. She needs help studying geometry, and I've promised to tutor her this summer while she stays.

Hairback357
July 1st, 2006, 05:27 PM
I think you have made a great choice. I would not feel bad about buying an Ipod. It is a awesome player and I am sure you will love it. I personally wish Itunes had a Linux version. It would be a easy decision for me then. I have decided to get the Cowon Iaudio 6 for me. I will let ou guys know what I think or you can just give my podcast a listen. I will do a review of it soon. I just did a review of the Ipod VS Sony PSP. Be warned though it is explicit. I talk alot about Linux from a new to Linux point of view.:)

http://secondview.libsyn.com

GuitarHero
July 1st, 2006, 07:13 PM
Hello everyone, I'm Dorie. :D

Anyways, I am looking to buy a portable music player for myself before I leave for Taiwan on July 6th. (I need something to entertain myself during the long plane ride.)

I really just don't know what I should get. I have about 5.1 GB of music at the moment, and would like to have a player that will hold all of that, with some free space so that my collection has room to grow. In addition, the majority of my music is Chinese, meaning that whatever player I choose must be able to display foreign characters. I would also like something that won't break easily. (I won't abuse it or anything, but I don't want anything flimsy.) And I would certainly like for the player to let me play the music shuffled. And last but not least, I need for it to play nicely with Ubuntu. Ogg Vorbis support isn't really necessary but it'd be nice. (Most of my music is in MP3 format, from my Windows days...)

I really like the Creative Zen Vision:M (I'm in love with the light blue one <3), but searching the forums and talking to a friend of mine, I've read and heard that it refuses to work on anything but Windows. And uhh... I decided to go all-Linux instead of dual-booting two weeks ago when I formatted my hard drive and installed Ubuntu.

I've heard that iPods work with Ubuntu (you have to install gtkpod or something?), so I'm considering the iPod Video (I don't want or care about the video feature, I just want to listen to my music... the iPod Nano just doesn't have enough space). And I've also read that you can install Linux on your iPod? Though I would rather not mess around with all of that.

The iRiver H10 20 GB is also pretty nice, but I heard that to make it work on Ubuntu you have to start it in emergency boot mode or something and then run easyh10 after transferring files? #-o It seems awfully troublesome, but I don't know. It seems like a nice player. (My friend told me that he's heard about a lot of people having sound problems with their iRivers though...)

And I've also heard some nice things about the iAudio X5L. Its long battery life is certainly very appealing, and it's supposed to work very nicely with Linux. However, it doesn't support browsing by artist, album, or genre yet... not something that I require since I keep my music organized in my music folder, but something that I would definitely like to have.

I really need some help here in making a decision, so I decided to post here, hoping that perhaps some of you could help me choose. I'm not exactly sure if this is the right forum to be posting in, so I'm sorry if I posted in the wrong forum. :( And I know that there are already quite a few threads about portable music players. I've gone and spent the last few days reading a lot of them, but was still unable to determine which player would suit my needs the best.

And I forgot to mention this earlier, but this is also my first time buying a portable music player, not counting that old CD player that finally broke down a few months ago... so I don't really know what else I should be looking for.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. ;)
I have an iRiver H10 20gb and its nto problem. To start in EMS mode, you just hold down another button while you turn it on, not hard.

Wallakoala
July 1st, 2006, 07:18 PM
I was looking at that cowon player and it seems as if it doesn't care about id3 tags. It seems as if you have to organize your music yourself, unlike the ipod where it organizes it for you.

This would be a major turn off for me, because although my music collection is for the most part organized by Artist/Album, a good chunk of it isn't and I wouldn't really want to spend lots of time trying to organize it. I also wouldn't like the fact that it displays the filename instead of the song name.

It seems like a pretty cool player though.

Hairback357
July 8th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Well I had planned on getting the Cowon but ended up not being able to do it. lol I went and got me a tried and true iPod 30gig. I have it sitting right here and haven't opened the box yet. I hope I can use it in Linux effectivly. I will see.

AndyCooll
July 8th, 2006, 12:29 PM
My friend had this really nice thing.. It was sony I think.... Err, it holds 20GB music, and was really dark blue and stocky, really good quality. (He left it at my house once, and I accidentally knocked it off my desk onto the floor. No carpets. Loud noise. No scratch, dent, or anything! ...(it's sony! I respect sony for their quality.)[/I]

Hmmm ...the fact that it doesn't break when you drop might be the only redeeming factor.

I would never recommend a Sony, the missus has one and it's been nothing but trouble. Sound quality etc etc. I'm not saying this is typical, but it's been our experience.
Ohhh ...and it isn't Linux (or network) compatible in anyway. It doesn't play Ogg files, you can't just drag and drop, and it requires the damn "Connect" software to transfer music files (for which there is only a Windoze version). So if you have a Linux only house you're screwed.

:cool:

jigantor
September 13th, 2006, 03:21 AM
I would strongly advise against iPods (of any description). They look beautiful, they have the best interface around, and they will break within 18 months. I don't know anyone who's bought an iPod that's lasted more than two years (and when I'm forking out $600AUD for one, that's not good enough). My personal experience with a 40GB model was that it broke within a year, got it replaced under warranty, the replacement broke within 6 months (and to fix it will now cost me half as much again).

It seems that I'm not alone - anecdotal evidence on the web from around the world seems to suggest that they're just not made to last. So if reliability is an issue for you, stay away.

(Not to mention the fact that they're a pain in the **** to use under Linux - gtkpod is a horribly flaky piece of software and I have yet to find a music manager that will sync without either crashing, messing up the firmware or conking out after 250MB)

cybrid
September 13th, 2006, 09:06 PM
I was thinking seriously of a Creative Zen:M or a new iPod (after hearing of the wonders of the Rockbox (http://www.rockbox.org/)opensource firmware); witch one of them would you choose?, do any of them work well with Listen (http://listengnome.free.fr/)?

Sushi
September 14th, 2006, 08:40 AM
I have iPod Mini, and I love that thing. I'm currently thinking about upgrading to 80GB iPod Video. It just feels right, and it works beautifully with Linux.

Whatever you do, steer clear of Sony. Remember, Sony is the company which thought that installing rootkits on their customers computers and ripping off GPL'ed code in the process is actually a good idea.