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  #1  
Old 01-29-2009, 12:26 AM
TwystedMonkey TwystedMonkey is offline
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Default Have Firmware updates made the O2 a better PMP?

When it gets right down to it I would like to know how different the player is now then from when it was first released. I am looking for a device mostly for video with music as a secondary factor. I have been trying to figure this out for a while. I had thought the Archos 5 was everything I had been looking for but worries about codecs and HD issues messed that up a bit. The 5 is expensive enough as it is but having to spend an extra 30 bucks to buy a codec pack is just not possible for me. Soafter a bit of looking the news about the O2's new firmware and all of the things it fixes perked my interest. The screen is almost as big as the one on the 5 though not as high a resolution. And though I would be getting the 16 gig the capactity is always upgradeable later. Anyways some first hand accounts of O2 use for video and music would be great. And whether new firmware has changed the experience entirely would be awesome to know. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2009, 01:05 AM
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Well, for me the firmware updates didn't really make a big impact on the O2. I noticed the touch screen got more sensitive, the mono speaker got louder,the starting cowon logo changed to a nicer plainer one, videos that I tried that were choppy or out of sync with audio before were fixed or improved, album art in music was improved, and SDK programs added somethings that are nice like games, calculator, timers.

The experience with music is its not as easy to navigate and choose a song in the O2 compared to other mp3 players with touch screens. Its hard to pick the song sometimes using your fingers because the text is small and also they don't have that "slide your finger" feature to make the list of music go down smoothly and that makes it where I have to always use the scroll bar.

My experience with videos is the videos look great on the O2 and you don't really have to turn the brightness up on the screen. Its comfortable to watch the screen a few feet away for me. I can organize the videos anyway I want to because I can make my own folders and stuff.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2009, 02:22 PM
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I think the o2 has definitely had some improvements in the FW updates. There are still some issues with it, but all they have released are minor updates for it. If you look at Cowon history, all of their players got significantly better over time. The d2 was no exception to that, and its a great player now.

As for your question, Nujabez hit the nail on the head. To me, the big issues still remaining are the video sound, finger swipe audio scrolling, and gapless would be very nice. As for the audio scrolling, I usually listen to music n random, so its not too big of a deal. The navigation could be better, but you can for instance look for an artist in the middle of the alphabet simply by touching the middle portion of the scroll bar. So it can seek music that way. The video looks great on the o2. You get the extra battery life with the lower resolution, but it is still a very high quality screen.

I would just say weigh the pros and cons. You will be very happy with the o2 based on a lot of things it does well(great audio). I think it will get significantly better in time also.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:21 PM
TwystedMonkey TwystedMonkey is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I am glad to hear it has gotten a bit better. Its ok that there are still things to fix though I won't be getting it until the end of march anyway. By then there will probably be more updates anyways. I really like the look of the S9 but I primarily want it for video with audio as a secondary but needed function. So the screen on the S9 is a little small however brilliant it looks. And all the reviews I have seen say that the screen looks far better than the spec's say it should so thats a big plus for someone like me who wants a good video player. Thanks again and anymore input from anyone else is very welcome.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2009, 12:50 PM
TwystedMonkey TwystedMonkey is offline
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Another concern has popped up for me. I read on another forum that during video playback audio is atrocious. I am not sure how big a concern that would be for me because I don't intend on watching music videos just TV shows movies and anime. I tried posting this question along with how the O2 bigger less advanced screen compares to the S9's 1 inch smaller yet more advanced screen. But I want a pmp heavy on the video so I don't know how a smaller screen would be on my eyes for lots of video watching.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2009, 01:11 PM
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Audio isn't atrocious, but it doesn't give you the BBE enhancements and EQ like the D2 or S9 do. This is pretty pathetic, considering the O2 is the "most" PMP of the three... It's just boring listening to flat audio... doesn't give you that oomph for explosions and car chases, or doesn't make shabby TV-rips sound better.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2009, 01:42 PM
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Thanks for the response. In your professional opinion would it be worth it to have the extra oomph but sacrificing screen size and memory/memory expansion capabilities to get it? I know the S9's screen is amazing but smaller. One other question if I may is could they add the extra oomph to video sound in later firmware updates? Because I am still trying to make a decision. I have until march but its still driving me nuts.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2009, 02:02 PM
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Videos look better and sound better on the S9. The S9's screen is smaller but has the same amount of pixels, 480x272. That way you don't see the ugly pixel-grid and dot-pitch as on the O2. To enjoy the O2 screen you have to hold it farther away, while you can hold the S9 screen closer - it comes down to the same thing. Colors, contrast, and viewing angle are a lot better on the S9's AMOLED screen.

Not to mention the S9 has way better battery life than the O2 - and both don't really play 720p HD (XviD is not a HD codec, h.264 is - which the O2 has trouble with), but the O2 does support a few more audio/video/subtitle formats (and doesn't hiss with ultra-low impedance phones). But that's the only thing that's somewhat better on the O2.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2009, 02:15 PM
TwystedMonkey TwystedMonkey is offline
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wow so its looking like the S9 would be a better choice. Even for me who wants the device more for video than music. If I remember correctly from other posts of yours I have read you own an S9. How have the few firmware updates affected it? And I have to admit the fact you can custimize the UI is really cool. I know other people want it to but I am doubting the 32 gig model will be out by March. Thank you very much for the info it has really made a difference. What qualifies as a ultra-low impedance headphones? I would be looking for earbuds no matter what pmp I get so I would like to steer away from headphones that hiss if possible.... The nice thing is it seems like no matter what cowon product you get its got alot of support. For fairly new devices both the O2 and the S9 have had quite a few firmware updates which is cool. Thanks for responding and answering my questions dude I really appreciate it.
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2009, 06:29 PM
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dfkt, would you say the A2/A3 is better then the O2? far as Firmware development and features
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  #11  
Old 01-31-2009, 06:38 PM
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I have no real experience with the A2/3, only tried them in stores... sorry i can't answer that.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2009, 06:43 PM
TwystedMonkey TwystedMonkey is offline
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What qualifies as a ultra-low impedance headphones? Just want to make sure I don't have an annoying hiss while using an S9.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2009, 06:46 PM
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Anything below ~32 Ohm and above ~115 dB/mW.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2009, 07:34 PM
barryem barryem is offline
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I have the latest firmware but I don't recall the version number. I updated it a couple days ago. I've done that with each new upgrade since I got it about 3 weeks ago.

So far I haven't seen a lot of change but there might be changes that I didn't notice.

I'm updating the firmware just to keep up. I was happy with the player when I got it. I don't feel much need for changes or new features.

I think the O2 is getting a bad rap because it works in a very odd way; nothing like the way other players work. Once I got used to it and learned how to make it do the things I wanted the way it works is just fine. I was really disappointed for the first couple days. I listen to audiobooks and watch videos and being able to resume was really important to me and this didn't seem to do that. Then a review (I think on API) pointed out that the recent files feature is the resume and I played with that and yes, it's a perfect system. It seems very reliable so far; more than most other players, and it does just what I need and it's very easy to use.

I'd like to have bookmarks as well, as in the D2. Usually I prefer bookmarks to resume since they let me be in control, which I like. However this resume works so well that I'm fine with it.

Reviewers will eventually quit complaining that the interface is unexpected and they'll figure out that it's really a fine interface.

Oh yeah, those who want ID3 navigation will remain unhappy but thats okay. Most players are made for them. This one is made for me.

Barry
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2009, 08:42 PM
TwystedMonkey TwystedMonkey is offline
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Most of the earbuds I have been looking at are below 32 ohms but they are all under 115 db/mW..... does this mean they will still have a hiss when connected to an S9?
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2009, 09:27 AM
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Don't worry too much about the background hiss... I've realized many people don't even notice it when you don't tell them explicitly, and some people outright claim some phones like SE530 or CX300 don't hiss - even if I personally can't stand their very audible noise. The O2 is the exception to the rule, I don't know any other player that's so well behaved regarding the hiss.
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2009, 11:31 AM
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And, let me know if im wrong, but the hiss should only be heard at the lower volumes or the very hushed part of tracks, or between tracks(non gapless). So the amount of time that you would possibly hear a slight hiss is very unsubstantial, for those non-audiophiles.
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  #18  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:24 PM
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for mainstream mp3 player owners, the S9 is the perfect choice. for video enthusiasts like myself, the O2 is the direction that you want to go...i dont know if youve already purchased the S9 but here are a few things to think about.

for one...the S9 DOES NOT execute video better than the O2.

the S9 has very limited file type support and resolution support. if you are the casual 'aXXo' movie watcher or 'lol, eztv' tv show watcher, then the S9 SHOULD play back everything fine...but once you start looking for higher quality videos (the ones that are 1.3gb+ instead of 700gb), you are going to run into problems...the S9 starts running choppy at MUCH lower resolutions than the O2. most of my video collection start at the S9 maximum resolution..and a lot more of my videos are larger...also if i want to rip one of my DVDs...it will not play on the S9..itll be too large

I personally do not think the 3.3 inches is large enough to view and enjoy a feature length movie...a tv show maybe...but definitely not a movie.

the O2's video out feature is much better...idk if you can zoom in and out with the S9...but if a video goes off the edges on your tv screen when video out with the o2...you can zoom out on the cowon and start it again and itll fit. also it perfectly downscales HD videos to play rather than giving you a blank screen. ive read that the S9 stretched videos awkwardly in video out mode

HD looks amazing...if you enjoy watching HD movies, youll love the O2...sure it doesnt play h.264, but on this screen...you cant tell the difference between h.264 and xvid anyway...either way the picture is beautiful despite the low resolution of the screen. Most h.264 movies are larger than 4gb anyway and this being an FAT32 file system, you would have to convert them to play on the O2...so there really is no point unless you have a whole bunch of smaller file-sized HD tv shows...which are usually ripped and distributed with xvid or divx anyway, which both play perfectly on the o2.

FINALLY...if you DO watch HD movies...youll need a lot of storage...the S9 does not have an expandable storage slot...and if you want to have a decent amount of your music collection on it...you wont have much room for videos. I for one am either watching movies or listening to music...so i have most of my music on one of my 16gb SD cards and i put videos on the player or on another SD card.

firmware updates are on and off...all of my hd videos that didnt play before 1.24 now play...but for some reason the battery dies quicker...but considering that this player has already moved in a positive direction in 2 months of release...i think we can expect more results later
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2009, 08:34 PM
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I'm considering the O2 or the D2 from Cowon. Also the Creative XFi. There are positives for each of the players, but I mostly listen to long (1 hour) radio programs. I never, yes, never listen to music. I'm mostly a talk radio listener. Not your traditional talk radio, but more targeted for my interest.

I need the ability for bookmarks since I might want to jump tracks and go to video every once in a while. The O2's auto-bookmarking feature is nice, with the SDHC card and many video codecs, but the portability is somewhat important.

I want a player that can be versatile. I like the ability to store contacts, link with my Outlook address book. Not critical, but most of my info is in my phone, anyway. I'd prefer not to have another device on my hip (O2 mainly would be in a belt clip, right? - too big for a lanyard??)

I'm currently using a Sansa e280. Nearly unwatchable video, and absolutely no bookmarking on any file. What really sucks is if you don't see the entire video, you power down, then power up again, you've lost your place and have to FF to the left off point. Frustrating. Small display... I need a massive upgrade.

So to summarize, most importantly Album art, audio (podcasts, radio), some video (20% of the time), and portability. By the way, do you have to convert videos if the codecs aren't supported? Is there a Cowon supplied tool to do this?

I know this is a thread for the O2, but would anyone have any further guidance for one of the three players?

Last edited by Shortly; 02-12-2009 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Missed a question in the post.
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  #20  
Old 02-12-2009, 11:58 PM
affainyi affainyi is offline
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I'd say the zen x-fi is the best option. It has the sd card slot, bookmarks, it can do the outlook sync (I dunno whether the cowon players can do this). The O2, despite being big, is extremely portable and fits nicely in a pocket. But of the three you have mentioned the x-fi is the most portable.
The only problem is that it doesn't auto-bookmark and I don't think there is video bookmarking or auto-resume.
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