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  #1  
Old 12-06-2008, 05:42 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Default Things I hate about the O2

This applies to the current 1.14 firmware (except my gripes with some hardware flaws). Other companies would be ashamed to release such "alpha firmwares" onto the unsuspecting public. Doesn't matter if 1.14 is beta, it's the same junk as 1.09 and 1.11.

Cowon, get your act together. Fire your current firmware staff and hire some capable programmers instead. And get some usability and interface experts as well. The current firmwares are a disaster, both in functionality and usability. It's not even funny.

Sorry about the swearing, I really didn't feel like toning it down...


Hardware:
  • Not enough hardware buttons. For crying out loud, everybody complained already about the D2 not having enough buttons, but Cowon in their infinite wisdom took away the play/pause button on the O2. Horrible to use on the go as an audio player.
  • 480x272 screen is low-end by today's standards. There are several devices with smaller than 4.3" available that have an 800x480 screen. Dot-pitch, viewing angles, and contrast could be better. Not to mention I have a stuck pixel on the screen already.
  • Screen doesn't turn off while connected via USB, that's a serious flaw and will reduce the life span of the TFT. Not to mention the O2 won't charge that way over USB - but DRAIN the battery instead. (There's a workaround where you can only charge the O2, but not have it connected to the computer at the same time.)
  • Proprietary TV-out cable via USB, instead of the standard 4-pole 3.5mm plug.
  • You can't connect both the O2 and its SD slot at the same time to the computer. At connect a popup appears that lets me choose which storage I want to connect. Are you kidding me? The D2 simply shows up as two devices in Windows Explorer, that's how it's supposed to be.
  • SD card integration is awful. Well, actually there's no integration at all. You have to "connect" to the SD card, which takes quite a while.
  • Amp distorts at volume 50 (for line-out).
  • The speaker is weak, barely audible at highest volume. I wish it had no speaker at all, and the space was used for a more powerful battery instead. Somewhat fixed in 1.17
  • I can't open the cover of the USB port when the phone is plugged in (at least with UE11 plug). The D2 didn't have that annoyance, the phone-out and the cover should be farther apart.
  • Clock time/date resets when the battery runs dry - which happens every other day for me, since the battery life really isn't that great.

Video:
  • No BBE or EQ in video mode, just some useless 3D surround setting. This is the biggest dealbreaker for me personally. Cowon, are you kidding me? This thing is mainly a video player, and I need BBE/M3B for videos to sound good. The D2 can do it, so fix that incredible bug on the O2 already.
  • Hardly any 720p works at all, they mostly stutter and are choppy.
  • MKV/h.264 only works with simple profile, no matter what resolution.
  • Videos take too long to load in general.
  • No skip function on the video playback screen, only FFWD/REW. Yes, you heard me right: you can't skip to the next video conveniently, you have to go to the file browser for that most basic of features.
  • When you activate the options menu bar in video mode you still see the progress bar, but you can't use it to skip around in the video. You see it, but you can't use it. How much worse can you get? Ever heard about "good interface design" and "usability"?

Audio:
  • Everybody wants gapless... so how does Cowon handle it? The gaps on the O2 between tracks are 3 times as long as on any other player I know of. Not only that, but MP3s sometimes have a clicking sound at the end, no matter if gapless or not. This is among the most pathetic flaws ever in any Cowon player. I'd expect nonsense like that from some $19.95 Dealextreme OEM player, but not from Cowon.
  • Still no real line-out for using the player with an amp.
  • No sound while FFWD/REW. All other Cowon players do that, and it's quite convenient.
  • Album art display is a joke. It's ugly and pixelated, and takes 3-4 seconds to load. How about implementing a proper resize algorithm, Cowon? Fixed in 1.24, still loads very slow, though. Broken again in 1.35

UI:
  • The obnoxious popup when you slide the power switch. Cowon, don't you have learned anything from the D2, X5, and most other players you ever made? Short slide should mean LCD off, long slide should mean power off - not some popup that annoys me while I'm watching videos and have to slide to hold to get the badly needed FFWD/REW functionality on the two hardware volume buttons.
  • No virtual motion gestures like on the D2's file browser, and no looping lists either. O2's file browser is a disaster and extremely tedious to use. Somewhat fixed in 1.35
  • Long filenames and ID3 tags don't scroll. Neither in the file browser nor on the playback screen. Actually nothing scrolls on the O2, besides the sluggish main screen animations. Somewhat fixed in 1.15
  • Main screen is a joke as well. There is enough space for a lot of icons, but Cowon lets me tap up/down/left/right for no apparent reason to reach the desired icon - besides seeing their choppy animations which are a bad iPhone imitation.
  • UI is sluggish and unresponsive in general, despite the overblown DaVinci chip. It's definitely shoddy firmware programming at its finest.
  • UI is somewhat too small to be used with fingers. There's no stylus coming with the O2, just some silly clunky rectangle that doubles as kickstand and stylus, and which is supposed to hang down from the player like some childish cellphone-"charm". Be prepared to tapping the tiny unintuitive icons with your fingernails, and hope you hit the right one.
  • Can't change font color. You want to use a black background instead of the cheesy bright one? Too bad, you're SOL. You won't be able to read any text.
  • The interface is in my opinion plain ugly, as expected from Cowon. Nice hardware design paired with disgusting interfaces is true for almost any Cowon player. Who thinks of these color schemes? Green and blue icons with yellow progress bar on white background? Looks like Windows 3.11 or some ancient Linux distro. If only I could mod the hell out of it, like I did on the equally ugly D2.
  • Why is there a "save" button in the options? You don't have to save any settings, they will be saved anyway if you leave the options.
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2008, 05:49 AM
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I could try to act surprised but its cowon, i cant say i didnt expect it. Having a flash player decent for playing videos without conversion is nice, but when the firmware is so bad you use more time arguing with the thing than to convert the video in the first place, I dont see this thing taking over for the D2
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2008, 07:49 AM
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Well yeah, it does play a lot of video/audio formats, so it's as good or better than any Archos, and much better than the ZVW and similar. Subs, pan&scan, zoom/stretch, and dual-audio tracks work great, no sync issues as well. USB is the fastest of any player I know, battery life doesn't suck too badly compared to others. Startup is blazing (thanks to no ID3 databasing). It's built like a tank, even better than the D2.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Cowon, get your act together. Fire your incapable firmware code monkeys and hire some real programmers. And get some usability and interface experts as well. The current firmwares are a disaster, both in functionality and usability. It's not even funny.
Thanks dfkt, I guess I did learn a lot about players from reading all of your previous posts. Well almost...

With the exception of the stuff on Video...Those were most of the reasons I sold my O2 after having it less than 24 hours...

I never looked at a video on the O2...
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts dfkt.

I'm happy that the O2 sucks because I don't need to be frustrated that I can't buy the O2. The D2 is good enough for videos and I'll stick to it until Cowon releases a "real" D2 successor.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalmane98 View Post
Those were most of the reasons I sold my O2 after having it less than 24 hours...
Wow, I didn't even know you had one too. I's perfectly understandable that someone sells this botched abomination ASAP. This firmware is nothing but a bad joke.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:28 AM
emorphien emorphien is offline
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You don't have to wait for the OSD to disappear when playing videos, just tap the screen (anywhere that's not the OSD) and it should go away.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:35 AM
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You're right, thanks for the info.
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2008, 11:03 AM
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dfkt, How much of this do you think will be fixed in future firmware upgrades? How was the original d2 lacking when it first came out? I know nobody can say what will happen in the future, but generally you can see how a company progresses over the years. Im getting mine on Christmas, upgrading from the ipod video. Ive just heard soo much about Cowon, and the o2 is pretty near perfect for me. Just wondering. Thanks for the info again.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2008, 11:13 AM
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Kasrhp, this is typical Cowon modus operandi. They release players with firmwares that stink to high heaven (worse than what other companies consider "beta"), then improve them over the years to come. I'm sure the O2 gets better over time, it's been similar with the D2 - although nowhere near as bad as the O2.

Buying a Cowon is like buying a car, and the salesman tells you "we add the brakes and steering wheel later on, in an update - in the meantime enjoy the air freshener and heated seats".
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2008, 11:31 AM
emorphien emorphien is offline
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dfkt, you mentioned you would get this to Cowon. There are some other suggestions from elsewhere as far as minor firmware tweaks, etc. If you have a way of communicating with Cowon do you think it would be appropriate to compile a sort of "master list" for these issues that you could transmit to them?

I do like my O2, but there is quite a list of flaws that I would love to see addressed.
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2008, 11:36 AM
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We do have a contact to Cowon, and we will send them a list.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2008, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Wow, I didn't even know you had one too. I's perfectly understandable that someone sells this botched abomination ASAP. This firmware is nothing but a bad joke.
Here be the Thread @ iaudiophile.

I really thought you had seen it...

Got it on 10-31-2008 and sold it on 11-01-2008. Less than 24 hours...
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2008, 01:18 PM
musichound musichound is offline
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Thanks for the review, DFKT. I'll take three please.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2008, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musichound View Post
Thanks for the review, DFKT. I'll take three please.
It could be great, they totally fail at usability and getting the important features right.

Who the hell cares about a SDK or video pitch correction when the f**king audio tracks have clicks in between? (Sorry for the language.)
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  #16  
Old 12-06-2008, 03:22 PM
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I agree. Cowon probably thinks they can get away with this because they have a loyal following. However, a following does not necessarily mean it will last forever. Eventually people could get disgusted and seek other alternatives. What they should have done is build on the D2's success and follow up with a better DAP. Hopefully, with future firmware releases, the O2 would be a bit more palatable.
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  #17  
Old 12-07-2008, 04:21 AM
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Too bad COWON can't add an additional hardware button via firmware update
Your impressions about the o2 really dissapointed me very much, dfkt... Well, taht is the COWON we all know...

cheers,
G
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  #18  
Old 12-07-2008, 08:40 AM
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Very sad to hear, I just hope you don't drive the price of the d2 back up, as I still see a 16gb can be had for $176.00 and is really tempting about now
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  #19  
Old 12-07-2008, 08:47 AM
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The only thing to hope for is they hurry up and get a better firmware out ASAP.
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  #20  
Old 12-07-2008, 09:38 AM
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Have you been about to get TV out to work yet? I cant get it to work on mine, even with the latest 1.14 BETA firmware... =\
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