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Old 11-24-2007, 11:22 AM
neilgunton neilgunton is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 11
Default Is the iAudio X5 still seen as a good contender?

Hi, I am new to the whole mp3 player scene.

I am a programmer, technically inclined, and use Linux (Debian Etch) on a daily basis.

I'd like to know what you guys think of the iAudio X5 these days. I am looking at it for the following reasons, after reading quite a few reviews:

1. I like the fact that you navigate using directories rather than the mp3 tag databases that other players seem to use.

2. I am in the process of finally getting around to ripping around 400 CDs in my collection to MP3, using lame with the 'extreme' preset, so each CD is coming to around 100 MB. I figure around 40 GB will do it. So these little 2, 4, 8 or even 16 GB flash players just wouldn't cut it. I want to be able to just stick my entire collection on the player and forget about it. So the 60 GB disk on the X5 looks promising.

3. I'm not in the least bit interested in video on this device. I just want great sound quality and lots of space.

4. I want a unit that is easily attached to Linux, and doesn't require any special software in order to transfer files to it. I like the fact that the X5 is just an ordinary USB mass storage device. All this talk of MTP in the latest devices makes me very nervous, frankly.

Ok, but here's the problem: The X5 is not made any more! There are a couple going on ebay at the moment, and one on Amazon for $500.

So to my question(s):

o Given my requirements above, is the X5 still a good deal?
o Would a used unit be a good idea, or is that asking for trouble?
o Does the hard drive last a long while?
o Does that little joystick wear out quickly?
o Are there any other more current units out there that I've missed?

I'm basically wondering if I should spring for a used one for a couple of hundred dollars (with a couple of days to go, one of the ones on ebay is sitting at $187, the other is still at $60 but that'll change no doubt)? Or should I wait awhile until the current crop of flash-based units gets up to the 64 GB size (as I know they will eventually)?

I am somewhat flummoxed by how every unit out there (Creative Zen, Sandisk etc) seems to have some kind of huge issue. For the Zen, it's the fact that the SD isn't integrated properly. For the Sandisk... Oh, I don't know, I've read so many reviews these last few days, I can't remember any more. But they all seem to have problems. The X5 seems to be the closest thing to a straightforward , simple, no B.S. unit that you can copy files to and then listen to the damn thing without it locking up all the time.

What do you guys think?


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