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-   -   Official ABi Cowon O2 review (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38903)

dfkt 01-14-2009 07:23 PM

Official ABi Cowon O2 review
Read it and weep: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...-o2-review.php


Nujabez 01-14-2009 07:43 PM

I hope cowon reads it and makes a huge awesome firmware update after reading it.

dfkt 01-14-2009 07:46 PM

This is what I'm hoping for as well...

affainyi 01-14-2009 09:34 PM

Me too. Then again it might back-fire and cause a great many people to shy-away from the O2 and Cowon video players in general......

I wouldn't exactly call the O2 a failure but I would love drastic improvements.....it is really quite a capable device only hampered by poor software. We all know software is much easier to fix than hardware and so I will stick with my O2 until a suitable competitor in terms of screen size,codec support, battery life and price comes around.
Maybe iriver p7,p35 or ramos imovie t8, t10

bdroc 01-14-2009 11:57 PM

a couple of changes
great review, but there are a few things that should be changed or added.

dkft, for one i PMed you...the multitasking thing, get back to me if you did not receive it...its pretty important since it contradicts something that you wrote.

also, afaik, the O2 is only is advertised to play xvid and divx at 720p (cnet.co.uk), though ive only gotten xvid to work perfectly smoothly.

also, there is a major problem with the bookmarking system mainly in terms of audiobooks. if you have a spot in a chapter (spot in the audio file) saved and you play it through the favorites or recent items list, it creates a pseudo-playlist with only the favorites. meaning that it will not continue to the next chapter (or audio file) until you nagivate through the menus and choose it. while the system is very cool. audiobooks that are one giant sound file are the only ones that benefit from the recent files/bookmarking system. this is a MAJOR pain when taking long trips (home to college and college to home)...and can become dangerous because the menu is virtually impossible to navigate while driving.

dfkt 01-15-2009 06:08 AM

Bdroc, thanks for your comments. I clarified the paragraph about the "back/close" button issue a bit.

Concerning 720p: I see those sneaky guys at Cowon changed their O2 website content. It definitely was advertised as being able to play 720p - with no further details, which is a kind of bold statement. Now there's nothing about 720p at all to be found, they obviously have taken all the misinformation down: http://www.cowonglobal.com/product_w...uct_page_1.php I wish I had saved the pictures they had up earlier on...

Only the little meaningless footnote remained:


The max resolution differs according to the codec and even the same type of codecs may differ according to the encoding option.

bdroc 01-15-2009 12:22 PM

haha that seems ridiculous for a company to do. i know some companies will advertise a feature in a preview or at an expo, and then regret that they couldnt include it, but to advertise the product, sell it, and then take away some claims is just dirty.

affainyi 01-15-2009 12:43 PM

hmmm, I was just wondering......is there any portable player that is able to play 720p whether xvid any other codec? From creative, sony, apple, iriver or any others? Is the O2 the only one so far? And how do we know the Cowon design company is getting any of this? I doubt they are......which would then mean this is all a moot point. Is there a korean O2 fanbase who we can contact somehow to get the complaints right to the source?

dfkt 01-15-2009 12:47 PM

The new generation of Archos players supports 720p MPEG4 ASP and WMV... with an additional plugin, as it is always the case with "Archo$".

The Cowon A3 as well, but it probably has the same issues as the O2.

affainyi 01-15-2009 05:21 PM

anf the complaints....are they going somewhere valuable, i.e straight to people who can actually do something about it? It is developed in Korea if I'm not mistaken so assuming they will read this review might not work out.....and I was wonderingm the review at every point compares the O2 to the D2, where would the O2 stand compared to an A3? I beleive the review is much more balanced that way because the O2 and D2 are two entirely different products.....I beleive it is akin to comapring a motorcycle with a car........and saying you prefer the bike cos it is easier to ride....which indeed it is

dfkt 01-15-2009 05:30 PM

The point is that the tiny D2 with its comparably wimpy Telechips SoC beats the overblown O2 in almost every aspects considering speed, responsiveness, usability, logical design, good interface practice. Even Cowon should have noticed that by now.

Cowon USA definitely knows what's going on here on ABi. Not sure about the Korean guys, or if they even speak English.

affainyi 01-15-2009 05:37 PM

ahah.....that's the whole point...
firstly the O2 is not an improvement on the D2, but an improvement over the A3.
I do agree that it should be better since it is newer.....but the reason it isn't is cos it was never based on the D2......rather on the A3, which it improves upon......

Secondly the Cowon USA guys just sell the stuff they get from korea...they have totally nothing to do with actually with the actual development of the product. They knowing about this won't make any difference unless they send the message along....hopefully they will.....thanks for the effort....but I think that getting an A3 to compare with the O2 will be a good idea, because the O2 was never meant to compete with the D2.....just a thought......

dfkt 01-15-2009 05:52 PM

Read my review. All I have to say is in there. It's long enough.

The O2 is an incredibly botched player as of now, and lots of people who actually used decent players before and have some common sense acknowledge that the player is really not what it should be.

That's all I have to say. You might not agree, but the points you make here, and especially over on iAudiophile make no sense to me. There really is no common ground for reasonable discussion.

affainyi 01-15-2009 06:16 PM

*sigh* why so serious?

go ahead, however you want to slice the bread, it's OK......as long as the sandwich gets made.........

bdroc 02-15-2009 02:34 PM

when is the information from the review going to be added to the "compare" section?

Slorrin 06-17-2009 03:25 PM

So, now that its about 6 months into the lifecycle of this product, and the firmware upgrades have done nothing to fix the interface, speed up the responsiveness of the touchscreen, add any of the oft requested and STANDARD features on any PMP, can we officially declare that the O2 is a complete dud and warn people off from buying it?

I am lucky in that i received mine as a gift, and have returned it, and am awaiting the refund to be transferred to the gift giver. I would ALMOST try to get it changed for an S9, but every review i read of that is, despite its similarity in GUI apperance to the ipod touch, it suffers the same unresponsive touch screen and sluggish performance of the o2.

Shortly 06-18-2009 06:27 AM

I beg to differ with you, Slorrin. The responsiveness of the touchscreen has improved substantially in the 1.31 release.

Complete dud? I think not. There is no player that can compare with the O2's file handling capability. I am not disappointed one iota with the O2. Don't make it worse for those questioning the player.

It is not a sluggish player. If you based it on the firmware release that came with the player (1.09), then I would have to agree with you about the sluggishness. Most of the problems have been fixed aside from some people's complaint about the UI.

I have gotten used to the UI quite quickly, and don't suffer from a perfectionist attitude. It is not perfect, but then tell me which player is the ultimate best player?

Have a little more consideration for others. This is a jam up player.

dfkt 06-19-2009 10:34 AM

I don't notice the tiniest difference in responsiveness between newer and older firmware versions - 1.31 and 1.33 are as sluggish as ever. Pretty sure it's placebo - same as all the people that noticed sound differences in firmware updates, even if it always measured exactly the same in RMAA.

I also don't see which problems have been fixed - I only see additional junk (IMO) added, like the Manga viewer or the useless "vivid" and A/B settings in video mode - but nothing important fixed at all. Au contraire, they even broke a feature that was very important to me: pan&scan. That's why I went back to 1.27. My lists still stands: http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37194

kasrhp 07-20-2009 05:12 PM

Id have to agree with Shortly, I do feel there has been an increase in responsiveness. There is no more double clicking like I had to do in the beginning. Everything scrolls very well, and I dont see many hiccups with the UI at all.

That said, it is still not easy to scroll through all of your music and go in and out of folders. You get used to it, but quirky.
2. Swipe Gesture would be fantastic!! But it aint going to happen, unfortunately.
3. The SQ on the video is weak. Very similar to the difference between a lower(not the worst) mp3 file and lossless(what it should sound like). There is no life, no detail and crispness. This should have been fixed already(should not have been since beginning), no excuses.
4. The pause between tracks is too long. I dont notice the clicking at all(maybe im lucky??) between tracks.
5. I dont feel the UI is that bad. It could be more easily accessible, but all the main stuff is on the home page.
6. They still havent done anything with the font color, or size of some buttons. If they juts highlighted the font maybe it would be a lot easier to read.

All in all though, it sounds pretty darn good on music. They video looks pretty darn good. the build quality has been fantastic. I put the o2 in a recommendable "quirky" player category. It aint the best, and it still needs some work, but it gets the job done. I still think its too bad because this could have been such a great player. Disappointing for a company that still cant get it right after all this time. You would think they could learn SOMETHING one of these years.

Scarpad 07-22-2009 08:31 AM

For me if they just fix the Audio on Vids and let it use the EQ it would be all I need. C'mon Cowon, lets get it done.

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