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Old 02-08-2009, 07:03 PM
barryem barryem is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 207

I have a Cowon D2, an Archos 504, an Archos 404, a Creative Zen, a Creative Zen Vision:M and Creative Zen Vision:W. I use these mostly for watching videos, except for the Zen which I also use for audiobooks. Anyway, I have some basis for comparison.

I'm very glad to sacrifice SD integration to get file browsing instead of ID3 browsing. That lets me navigate the same way I do on my computer. I've been using computers since long before subdirectories were invented and I'm used to that. Well, okay, since not long after subdirectories were invented but I didn't hear about them till later.

Anyway I very much prefer folder and file browsing. That makes sense to me. That's true whether I'm listening to music or watching videos or listening to audiobooks or listening to old time radio shows. See, the thing with ID3 browsing is that it's okay for music, not as good as folder browsing but okay, and it's really really bad for everything else. Folders, on the other hand, work just fine for everything. Even better, they work the same way for everything.

An example: if I listen to classical music (which is what I listen to) which is the artist? The musician if it's a solo? What if it's a duet? Or a soloist with an orchestra? Of course the correct answer is the composer and while the ID3 v2 standard does provide for a Composer tag, no player supports it. Sometimes, as in the case of a vocalist, the singer is most important. Oh woe is me! Life with ID3 is so difficult!

The solution: folder browsing. Arrange it any way I like. Arrange it both ways if I like; some files by composer; some by album; some by vocalist; some in more than one way if I'm willing to duplicate. It's all up to me.

The navigation features in the O2 are odd and take some getting used to. They also show a lot of thought and imagination and I'm glad they did it the way they did.

I'm not ready to say it's my favorite player yet. It's still too new to me. I probably would have said my Zen Vision:W was my favorite till now but this one just might take it's place.

For those of you who might wonder why I have so many players it's because I'm addicted. I'm retired and, even though I'm always broke I don't have much in the way of expenses so I can save up and buy things like this now and then.

By the way, until I read the ABI review of the O2 I was disappointed in it. I didn't know about the resume being in the recent files thing. That turned it around completely for me. Thank you for that.

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