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  #1  
Old 03-19-2007, 02:35 AM
bluebren bluebren is offline
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Default Some questions

I knew I stayed up past my bedtime for a reason tonight!

I just found this site, and had never even heard of this brand before. I am sitting here, next to a newly-purchased Zen Vision:M that will not charge, and I'm already regretting it. Then I find this thing, that has all the things I thought I had to go with Creative to get... the radio and the recording AND the capacity and such... and its deficiencies are in the things I frankly don't care about (video and photo functionality).

There are a few things not mentioned in the review (that I saw) that I would be curious to know before I rush out to Amazon and pay cash money them to let me clasp it to my bosom, never to leave my side:

1) ...USB 1.1? :[ Seriously? (EDIT: I looked at the 60GB version on newegg and it claims USB 2.0. True?)

2) Am I understanding this right: it doesn't automatically group things into album and artist and whatnot, but you can set it up that way if you want, but you have to do it by hand...? (EDIT: Okay I'm dumb and I didn't read the full details of what Rockbox does the first time. Revised question, then: How easy/accessible is it to switch between folder mode and ID3 mode? Do you have to be connected to the computer? Does the player have to restart after changing? ... etc. Assuming it's not as magically quick and simple as I might hope, I'd probably keep it in its normal folder mode as much as possible, so the next questions apply to that.)

Can the shuffle and such be made to apply to the entire set of songs without them all just being in one giant folder together?

How do you get the tracks of an album in the right order? Do you have to add little numbers to every single filename...?

3) One thing I appreciate very much about the Zen (Vision:M) is that the headphone jack is extremely tight, so that if the player falls or slips from somewhere while you're listening to it, it doesn't actually hit the floor and ruin the hard drive-- it hangs safely from the end of the cord. Am I going to have to go back to being careful?

4) Another thing I appreciate very, very much about the Zen is that it has a "Track Once" play mode, which is where it just stops after the track it is currently on. When you hit a song you really like, and you just want to get in your That Song Zone, without having to scramble to hit 'pause' at the exact right moment and breaking your concentration... yeah, I like this feature. How possible is it that I might get that back? I might consider actually learning the programming it would require to implement it if I have to; I'm not sure.

5) A thing I do not appreciate very much about the Zen is that it has really. Loud. Clicky buttons. Not the artificial 'clicker' on the touch pad, but very stiff buttons that do not like being pushed, and that you can hear over everything, and it kind of breaks my heart a little bit after the sweet silence of the older Zen models that were pure touchpad. Will I be listening to the case as well as the audio?

(EDIT: 6) I am annoyed-- disproportionately, I know-- at how the screens of the photo/video-capable players I've used turn off when you have the hold switch on. I know it saves battery, but... can't they just turn off the backlight or something? It's a screen! It's for looking at! Not messing with the buttons each time before you get to look at it again! That is an unnecessary complication of the essential function of a screen, it seems to me. Anyway, details of how the X5 does this would be welcome.)

-Any other quirks or whatever that I should know about?


...oh man, I just realized the potential for raiding my friends' music collections with the softwareless approach. I am definitely getting too excited and I need to go to bed. Nightnight and thanks for reading
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2007, 07:25 PM
bluebren bluebren is offline
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Humbly bumping this post in hopes of a response.

Hope I didn't do something flagrantly against the rules or anything...
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2007, 08:05 PM
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1.) The X5 is USB 2.0 for file transfer - only the USB-Host for connecting digital cameras, etc. is USB 1.1.

2.) You make files and folders on the X5's HDD, like you would do on your computer. You browse for music on the X5 like you would browse for files in Windows Explorer. The shuffle feature is explained in my review, it's excellent, IMO, letting you choose between "whole disk/folder/folder+subfolder".

3.) It's bad for the headphones and the jack if you do that. No matter if X5 or ZVM.

4.) The X5 has "repeat one song", so it plays it over and over again. Or you could put that song in a separate folder and play that folder without repeat. The song will play once, then stop.

5.) The X5's joystick isn't loud. It clicks, but very softly.

6.) No, TFT screens unfortunately turn off completely. I don't know of any TFT color screen player that is "somewhat" visible after the backlight is off. BTW, you don't really need the hold function on the X5. I use it in my pocket all the time, but never have it on hold - the buttons and joystick don't get activated by accident, at least the way I use it.
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Last edited by dfkt; 03-23-2007 at 08:07 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2007, 08:15 PM
bluebren bluebren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt
1.) The X5 is USB 2.0 for file transfer - only the USB-Host for connecting digital cameras, etc. is USB 1.1.
Ohhhh I see.

Well that's fine. Nobody needs that.

Quote:
3.) It's bad for the headphones and the jack if you do that. No matter if X5 or ZVM.
Aw, nuts.

Quote:
4.) The X5 has "repeat one song", so it plays it over and over again. Or you could put that song in a separate folder and play that folder without repeat. The song will play once, then stop.
Yeeeeah, but you can't exactly edit the folder structure on the fly when the mood strikes, right?

I wonder how much money the Rockbox fellas would want to add in such a thing. Or, heck, I wonder how hard it could possibly be... I'm not old and demented yet; I can learn things...

Quote:
5.) The X5's joystick isn't loud. It clicks, but very softly.
:\ Hmmmmz. Sounded louder than 'very softly' in the review videos, but I could be picky.

Quote:
6.) No, TFT screens unfortunately turn off completely. I don't know of any TFT color screen player that is "somewhat" visible after the backlight is off. BTW, you don't really need the hold function on the X5. I use it in my pocket all the time, but never have it on hold - the buttons and joystick don't get activated by accident, at least the way I use it.
That's true, I hadn't thought about the control type on that count.

[insert Point-4-type musings on switching it out for a black & white screen]

Thanks very much for your detailed reply, dfkt!
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2007, 08:19 PM
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You could get the M5 version.. it has a black and white screen and no video support.
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2007, 11:29 PM
Hairback357 Hairback357 is offline
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The iPod is the only player I know of that lets you see the screen all the time. The backlight goes out but you can still see the screen. If the screen on the ZVM stayed on it would kill the battery very fast. You can select much longer than normal times for it to stay on.

I have a ZVM and a Cowon A2 with the famous 5 way joystick. I think the ZVM is leaps and bounds better in the navigation department. I HATE the joystick on the cowon players. If you are used to having ID Tag browsing I suspect you may not like the Cowon player especially if you like to use playlists.

There is no easy way to make a album play in the correct order. Like a Pinkflod album or something.

You can use Rockbox to over come some of the short comings but I find Rockbox to be even more difficult to use and you loose the best feature of the Cowon player and that is the BBE effect processing.

If the X5 is like the A2 and I am sure it is, when you select an item to play video or music it does not stop playing after one item. It continues to play until the cows come home. You have to manually stop it and get this there is no obvious stop like on other players. When you hit pause on a Cowon player it just sits there paused and then you have to manually go back to the parent directory to start another song. With any other player it goes back to the parent screen as soon as you want to stop playing. The only way around this is to move said song or video to a separate file and then change the shuffle settings ETC and no you can't do this with the player. You need a computer.

The joystick is not loud however when you have accidentally selected the wrong thing a dozen times you will think back to the noisy clicky buttons on the ZVM and pray to God that you can have back the loud clicky buttons. LOL

I'm not saying the ZVM is a better player. I have some issues with Creative players too. I am just answering your questions. Personally I think the Cowon players have a niche following mainly because of the sound they produce. The are UMS devices and people love this especially if you are a Mac or Linux user but now there are so many other players out there that have this feature as well. I have no idea what player you had before you bought the ZVM but most people expect their new player to have at least the same features as the one they are upgrading from if they were for the most part happy with it.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2007, 02:15 AM
bluebren bluebren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairback357
The iPod is the only player I know of that lets you see the screen all the time. The backlight goes out but you can still see the screen. If the screen on the ZVM stayed on it would kill the battery very fast. You can select much longer than normal times for it to stay on.
Yeah... really the black & white screen would be ideal.

now wait a minute wait a minute

nutty idea coming through

what if i:

-get the 60gb X5 for the capacity
-find some cheapo nonworking M5 through ebay or somewhere
-switch out the X5's regular screen for the M5 one
-put the M5 firmware on it so it knows what to do with said screen, and hope it falls for it

I mean, the X5 and M5 LOOK like almost the same thing... what other, uh, incongruities are there that might cause problems? There's the radio, which I admit I would miss, but maybe it at least wouldn't cause any technical problems and just sit there, like an appendix. (...?)

Someone please explain to me the flaws in this plan; I'm sure they are many. I know nothing. I'm only even trying to come up with this stuff because it seems cheaper than getting the M5 and then a hard drive at the capacity I'm hoping for.

Quote:
I have a ZVM and a Cowon A2 with the famous 5 way joystick. I think the ZVM is leaps and bounds better in the navigation department. I HATE the joystick on the cowon players. If you are used to having ID Tag browsing I suspect you may not like the Cowon player especially if you like to use playlists.
Why, what's wrong with the joystick?

Just for clarity's sake, let's assume I would be going with Rockbox. Warranties and I are not friends anyhow.

(And... 5-way? )

Quote:
There is no easy way to make a album play in the correct order. Like a Pinkflod album or something.
What's the hard way, then?

Quote:
You can use Rockbox to over come some of the short comings but I find Rockbox to be even more difficult to use and you loose the best feature of the Cowon player and that is the BBE effect processing.
:\ hmm.

Curious what you mean about it being more difficult to use... as for the other, I listened to your D2 review and if the products are all as similar as you seem confident that they are, you'd have to adjust the effects from song to song anyway, and that's a little past the edge of Things I Have the Energy For. So... less worried about that one.

Quote:
If the X5 is like the A2 and I am sure it is, when you select an item to play video or music it does not stop playing after one item. It continues to play until the cows come home. You have to manually stop it and get this there is no obvious stop like on other players. When you hit pause on a Cowon player it just sits there paused and then you have to manually go back to the parent directory to start another song. With any other player it goes back to the parent screen as soon as you want to stop playing.
...All of this sounds kind of normal to me. What is the 'obvious stop' that other players have that does something other than this?

Quote:
The joystick is not loud however when you have accidentally selected the wrong thing a dozen times you will think back to the noisy clicky buttons on the ZVM and pray to God that you can have back the loud clicky buttons. LOL
:b And selecting the wrong thing happens often?

Quote:
I'm not saying the ZVM is a better player. I have some issues with Creative players too. I am just answering your questions. Personally I think the Cowon players have a niche following mainly because of the sound they produce. The are UMS devices and people love this especially if you are a Mac or Linux user but now there are so many other players out there that have this feature as well.
Got a favorite? I'm still open.

Quote:
I have no idea what player you had before you bought the ZVM but most people expect their new player to have at least the same features as the one they are upgrading from if they were for the most part happy with it.
I had a Micro before. Still have it, actually, but it developed the infamous headphone jack problem along with a weird battery issue, so I got a MicroPhoto. About 3 months later, the MP was stolen, so I finally got the Micro repaired only to have it get worse again later, and now it's begging me to be allowed to die. I bought the Vision:M out of acute musical deprivation and boxed it back up the next day... I know, I know, rave reviews, but I just got the sense that I could do better.


So all this to say, thanks for your thorough reply! Just because I'm focusing on this one player/brand doesn't mean I've necessarily narrowed it down to that yet; I'm definitely still looking at various options. Heck, I'm even making up options as I go along, apparently...
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2007, 06:51 AM
Hairback357 Hairback357 is offline
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I don't know much about the M5. It is kinda the red headed step child no one talks about.

The joystick on the Cowon players is easily the worst means of navigation I have ever experienced. 5 way up, down, left, right and push to select.

The only way I can think of to have an album play in the correct order would be to rename each and every file you wanted to play in order and then place those files in a separate folder then selecting to only play that folder.

Rockbox has a huge amount of settings. It takes quite a while to get the hang of all of what it does. I am currently working on a review of Rockbox and it has been a some what frustrating experience. It's nice to play with but for me I wouldn't want to use it all the time. The effect settings as I describe in the Podcast can be set to sound good for all music. It just takes time to find the sweet spot.

You stated in your original post you liked how with the ZVM that you could just simply play one file easily. I was trying to explain this is easier said than done with the Cowon players.

Yes it happens very often. For me at least 50% of the time. This is the main reason I HATE the joystick.

Do I have a favorite. Hmmm for me that is not such an easy question. I like somethings about all the players I have. If I were being honest I would say that the player that comes closest to exactly what I would want in a music only player would be the iPod Video. If the sound of the iPod were as good as the Cowon players or even the Creative players it would be a winner for me. The iPod video does sound much better with Rockbox.It does have the same audio amp as the Cowon players so on paper they should sound close but the Cowon players have the audio processing that really makes the difference for me. If I were you I would suggest trying an iPod Video. You can get them easily and if you don't end up liking it just take it back. You could try Rockbox as well and maybe that would be just the ticket for you. I just think that if you didn't like the ZVM for the reasons you state you would not like a X5 but I could be wrong.

I hope this info has helped.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2007, 08:07 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Hairback357 and his nonsense has been banned from the forums for your convenience.

I'm not going into the details about the stuff he said, I got better things to do. That he's a troll is pretty obvious, recommending iPods to about everybody that is interested in Cowon players.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2007, 08:11 AM
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Andreas Andreas is offline
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/me would like to thank dfkt for getting rid of that guy, and proposes everyone join the IRC channel and type !huggle martin
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2007, 09:47 PM
W33NIe W33NIe is offline
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Why was he banned? He was just speaking his mind! Are you really so obsessed with hating iPods that you're willing to turn into Nazis?
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2007, 11:28 PM
Miracle Whip Miracle Whip is offline
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I see nothing in HB's posts to exsplain why he was banned. As far as I can tell he gave this threas starter sound advice. I will reserve judment on this until this question is answered. The post in this thread is the last one I can find he made. There has to be something I am missing here.
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