Old 07-13-2012, 12:08 PM
deadohiosky's Avatar
deadohiosky deadohiosky is offline
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how they could "invent" such counter-intuitive products is beyond me.

i mean, imo, cowons design choices overall aren't bad.

i love the look and feel of my j3, it's simplistic jonathan ive/dieter rams style yet it has a certain edge and that's what differentiates them from apple and samsung for example. iriver is kind of similar in that regard (although they tend to hit the bulls eye less often).

but then they release semi-crap like the d3 with horribly outdated hardware and by the time already outdated version of android and charge way too much for it follow up with a little more updated design and software with the 72 but still got that horrible hardware specs and one of the most distinctive "differentiators", battery life gets even worse (trading better music battery life for worse video battery life?).

cowon is certainly not selling their products for cheap, but they can't tell me that those telechips and whatever is in there costs more than i don't know a 600 mhz clocked cortex A9 qualcomm chip, exynos or the like. (and i'm pretty sure this 600 mhz chip would be performing a lot better than the 800mhz a8)

and then they release this... a marginally updated x7?

what for? do i really need a few more hours on top of the 100+ hours they advertise (sure video playback is up signicantly but still not wowing me. 20 hours would be decent, then again im certainly not in the target group).
they won't even make a 64 gb version? why?
well i have a notion. that extra 32 gb chip(s) would drive the bom (bill of materials) up quite a bit and they would have to charge extra premium on top of that is my guess.

i'm really disappointed right now. if it wasn't for the j3 that i happen to own and the z2 that's at least semi-interesting (wifi+android is something that's at least nice to have, oh and not forgetting the surprisingly good amoled display with a 800px480p resolution) i would be very angry with cowon because that's clearly on the verge of ripping off the customers. sure those buttons are nice but that's about it.

i really hope that they hop on the new train and release some kind of j3/z2 hybrid stuff like the archos internet tablet thingies, small and compact, yet they boast androidOS, wifi, mSD, microUSB a web cam (ok, that doesn't make much sense but still) resolution is quite good on the 4,3" version and most of all, the battery life is decent (boasting 36 hours audio/10 hours video). and all that with a cortex a8@1ghz and i believe the gpu is even better than the telechips crap(although... it can't play 1080p).

and how much does it cost? 130 euros(16gb). i just can't believe this.

i could live with a decent j3 upgrade with better flash implementation to unlock better custom ucis (btw. looking forward to Cheetah GTX and the music UCI, cheers Kizune for all the work so far) and here and there some polishing but i wouldn't mind said j3/z2 hybrid with great battery life either. then i could justify giving my j3 to my sister whose i7 just doesn't cut it anymore (capacity-wise) and buying a new cowon pmp. i keep my fingers crossed.
Think for yourself. Question authority. - Timothy Leary

Black Cowon J3 32 GB (Black Ringke Case) - no lousy Sennheiser CX 300 anymore, Pana HJE 900 took the throne... for keeps
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:55 PM
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DragonBottles DragonBottles is offline
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So they created a 'successor' to the X7, only to take away the only real point of the X7 (huge HDD storage)...?

Cowon, what are you doing?
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:45 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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I'll sum it up this way: What good is excellent battery life for video when the screen is crappy? I'd rather not watch it, and this is the reason I NEVER watch video on my X7.
Cowon X7 160GB - iRiver H320 - IPod Classic 160GB - iPod 5.5G 80GB - Sansa Clip Plus 4GB - Original Sansa Clip 2GB
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:33 PM
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DragonBottles DragonBottles is offline
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If the X7 had a better resolution screen it would be absolutely perfect, I don't know why they forgot about that bit. I mean it's not a massive deal to me since I'd only use it for music, but still, pretty annoying thing to miss out on.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:56 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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What is the price they will be asking for the X9? There is something to be said for a good sounding player with epic battery life, assuming the price isn't unreasonable.
iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB. Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 520
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:12 AM
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Kizune Kizune is offline
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You can buy it in Export Privé already:

16gb: $225.59
32gb: $260.43


You have many good points, deadohiosky (and thanks for using my UCIs ).

I think I have an explanation for why Cowon uses Telechips stuff: Either they have a special proposal (like Cowon get's their products for half the price), or Cowon uses them because Telechips SOCs have many media-related features. Or both.

Last edited by Kizune; 07-14-2012 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:45 AM
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deadohiosky deadohiosky is offline
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(been using your UCIs ever since. just can't be arsed to register @iaudiophile. but i'm a happy stalker, waiting with much anticipation for the release of the music uci and the new gtx desktop uci)

about telechips: you are certainly right that the integrated vpu enables, for example, 1080p playback but i'm pretty sure that there are other chips out there, more efficient but certainly a few cents pricier with the same feature set and that's why they go with telechips they are cheap and you can get them in small and large quantities( i don't think that it's a special discount, telechips are really cheap, not to say that cowon might get a quantity discount like other companies).

with qualcomm, st micro, samsung and the other companies you would have to line up in a long queue and wait for your order of chips is my guess. those telechips are rather inefficient (because of the process node, likely 65nm), the only saving grace is price and the rather low clocks and cowons willingness to buy li(-po) batteries with good capacity for their products.

i think cowon will have to get their act together or they will face the same fate that lead to iriver's global decline: iriver is still a big (mp3) player in south korea but they were once competive in the rest of the world, not anymore.

just did a quick search and found this:

not a big fan of cnet (they are way to opportunistic exp. regarding apple)
but those figures don't lie ( i hope)
At one point, iRiver was the world's top flash MP3 player maker, while Apple was number one for HDD-type players. It was a strong competitor of Apple in that category but now, iRiver doesn't have much impact worldwide and focuses more on partnerships with operator KT in Korea.
Now, Cowon is also having a difficult time after the smartphone has taken its target customers, halving the MP3 and PMP market compared with few years back. Cowon reports that its sales revenue in 2011 was US$54m, which is less than half of its 2010's US$121.2m. Cowon has also expanded its product portfolio to include things such as smartphone accessories but it's still not easy to create sales volume like in the heydays of MP3 players and PMPs.
that's a problematic situation, but i think cowon doesn't understand that they won't survive with half-assed attempts at chasing after "the new generation" (d3/z2) but at the same time clinging on to the old stuff and release just as half-assed updates for those devices, or like dfkt said take a 4 year old device and make it look like a new and shiny must-have gadget.

i'm the last one to say that they should abandon their mp3/pmp legacy and pack their belongings and get on the ferry to "newandshinyland", but again, if it weren't for the j3 ( for me personally a glorified mp3 player with awesome battery life, cause i don't really watch movies/videos) i would have gone with i don't know samsung or archos... i don't know.

the stock ucis aren't that good, the hardware is not that good and the proprietary software limits modding quite a bit (although one has to be grateful that people can actually code custom ucis). but most of all they use old standards or they use nationwide standards in a world where microUSB has become the de facto standard for mobile devices (thanks EU).

cowon has a few things going for them: the fact that they provide overall very good battery life (i7, s9, j3,...) BBE and the custom settings (for "audiophiles"/hearing impaired) and their design choices make them kind of unique in the modern battle for "who has the roundest four corners" and just being a little different. tactile buttons is also a big factor for me, but that is likely not helping in the grand scheme of global economy.

i think they should either invest a lot more in their software/uci or fully embrace android.though i wouldn't mind a cowon j3+++ with better software supporting a newer flash version.
Think for yourself. Question authority. - Timothy Leary

Black Cowon J3 32 GB (Black Ringke Case) - no lousy Sennheiser CX 300 anymore, Pana HJE 900 took the throne... for keeps
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:28 AM
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Zyroth Zyroth is offline
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I think it was plain stupid to discontinue J3
if something very popular and sell very good why stop making it?

I have a S9 and so far very happy with it, We that wanted to upgrade to J3 are now left with a big ? to find something as good as J3 is hard.

I dont want X7 is HHD and i dont like carry around HHD parts prefer flash
I dont need more than 32gb and can live with 16gb

X9 from what i read here and there despite how cool it look people dont seem to like it so much

C2 look very intressing i never had a chance to own a D2 so C2 could be fun to have
but soundwise i dont know if i am downgrading in quality from S9?

Finaly Z2 is probaly what is remplacing J3 seem to become the newest popular player (just look at the price how it skyrocket...maybe because is popular?)

Z2 downside rightnow Expensive, yes it is as thing has changed and is not the same
where doozens of mp3 players filled stores to compete with Ipods
Custumbers that didnt had a fixed mind on ipod went for cheaper alternatives or just wanted be different (most sales went probaly to either Sony or samsung or some cheap random crap brand)

Some few audiophiles and people caring about sound or simple enjoy drag&drop
buyed quality alternatives and was willing to pay equal or even more than a ipod for this.

But now all that changed, Almost no mp3 players in stores
there is just Mobile phones+ipod, and a few crap cheap unknown poor-man players.
no quality alternative from Cowon,Iriver etc... in mainstream store

Only exception is Sony or Samsung thats avaible but normaly not in stock so have to be ordered, Now Samsung is disapearing also more from stores and we are left only with mobile phones,ipod,crap players and some sonys.
This in Europe.... I am sure things different elsewhere like in Asia probaly in Japan is Either Ipod or sony and in Korea is either Ipod vs Cowon,samsung,iriver.

Then there is online store which is probaly how most of Audiophile and we that apreciate music quality buy

Still, are people willing to pay more than 200 euro , or even more than 150 euro for a Ipod alternative..... Not many ...not too many to secure the Dap marked for years to come.

The world is unfortunaly not full of Audiophiles....rathar people than just want a "Good" mp3 player for a Excelent price.

So the results....any mp3 player over certain price are doomed to certain failure

Problem is also that as cheaper mp3 player has to be sold the cheaper the "Quality" can be, and brands they have to rely on many useless gimicks

Right now i look at some online store and i see 2 things
The Usual high prices we use to pay for "Popular" or "new" cowon players
and the usual Overpriced sony players this on one side, on another the Cheaper player that sacriface components to get price down.
The balance between battery life, Good screen and price is a everlasting battle.
it seem you cant have both good screen, good quality, low price and good battery life in same device, is always missing something.
Then there is the Sales on items on the brink of being discontinued

The marked is Mobile phone focused and every ipod alternatives which is not ipod or 100-150 euro players will disapear from mainstream.

As for me I already had a Ipod and didnt like it and prefer much better Cowon,Samsung and Sony, althrough most mp3 players they make look very Retro compared to today technology...or they look like a Ipod or mobile phone

So realy not sure what i want to buy to remplace my S9

And realy What is happening with the UCI theming? is it Dead?
Most player today has no themes.... none of the new cowon players after J3 i seen has been using Uci themes....

Only thing i can think of is that with android somehow you can make someway.... ?

I enjoy themes on My S9 reason why i selected J3 as a upgrade now that is gone there is no real alternatives out there.

So my questions is

1. Do X9,Z2 or C2 suport Uci themes somehow?
2. Can some of them via android use themes easy?
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