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Old 01-31-2010, 05:36 PM
gohokies gohokies is offline
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Default Thoughts on S545 from a new user

Just got my S545 through a good sale deal. I am coming from a Rio Carbon I bought refurbished a good 4-5 years ago. It has served me well but started to lock up fairly regularly.

A couple things I am not crazy about with the S545 so far, maybe others have some suggestions or workarounds?

1) No "bookmark" feature. My old Rio had this and I just assumed most newer players would as well. Especially useful for audiobooks. In the Rio it would save your spot in the current file as well as the full playlist - so if you were at 1:01 of chapter 2 out of 20, it would save the entire thing so you could pick up where you left off. No bookmarks at all in the S545, and from what I have read, very few other players out have this feature either. Seems like it would be easy to implement, guess not many people care about it.

2) This thing seems S-L-O-W at transferring files. About 2.5 hours to transfer 14 gigs of music? I can transfer 16 gigs to an external USB hard drive in 15-20 minutes. Am I doing something wrong? Have tried it through both Windows Explorer and MediaMonkey sync, and it takes forever.

3) Proprietary WMPORT connector. Didn't realize until after the purchase that the E-series has a standard mini-USB or I probably would have gotten that. One more cable to keep track of.

4) Speakers on the back. I assumed the holes on the front were for the speakers. Seems odd that you have to lay the player face down to get the best sound.

5) Doesn't show up with a drive letter in Explorer. In both Win XP and 7, I can access the S545 through Explorer but it doesn't get assigned a drive letter. Not a huge deal, but I use a file copy program (TeraCopy) that allows pause/resume during file copies, and for whatever reason, it doesn't work with the S545 - presumably because it doesn't have a drive letter.

So far #2 is the biggest issue. I can live with the others, especially since I am coming from an old player with no color screen, no FM, no video, etc.... those are just added features for me that I might use once in a while, but not often.

I noticed my player has a PICTURE and PICTURES folder as well as DCIM (which is usually a digital camera format). Seems like there are several folders that aren't needed by default.

Last question - anyone using the Zagg InvisibleShield for their S-series? I am considering it - $15 for just screen protection, $25 for the whole unit.

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:39 PM
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5) That's because of the annoying MTP transfer protocol. Sony players unfortunately don't support the standard MSC protocol on Windows with WMP installed - the protocol used by many other brand players, all USB sticks, external hard disks, and so on.

The main reason for MTP is support for DRM crippled music people buy in online stores.

2) That's probably also because of MTP - it's usually much slower than MSC.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:43 PM
Dreamnine Dreamnine is offline
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My X took ages to fill, but it's no biggie once it's done. The most I do now is add or delete the occasional album.
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:10 PM
gohokies gohokies is offline
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I just followed the instructions in this post and was able to force the S545 to connect in MSC mode in Windows. Now copying 16 gigs takes less than 30 minutes. Much better than MTP.

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...0&postcount=16

Am I losing anything important by not using MTP? I think MediaMonkey will still sync in MSC mode but I havent tried it yet.

Last edited by gohokies; 01-31-2010 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:08 PM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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1) No bookmarks. Last year's S639 had a Podcast section and every file that you put in that section (MP4 video or MP3 audio) would have it paused position remembered. Sony removed Podcast support from this years E34x and S540x series for whatever reason. That means no remembering paused positions except for the last track played. The new S64x, S74x and A84x all have Podcast support but they are not available in the US yet (not sure where you are at).

2) Can't help you there

3) WM-Port isn't too bad but your right ,it is another cable. The S545 will work in Sony's docks where as the E34x series won't (due to the mini-USB). You would lose a few features going to the E34x series, FM recording, voice recording, etc.

4) I don't understand the speaker layout either. If I use them I usually prop up the Walkman on the little angled stand that came with.

5) As gohokies mentioned, you can connect via MSC mode by changing the Windows driver for your S545. There isn't an option on the S545 to switch between MTP and MSC. With MSC mode your Walkman will show up as it's own drive letter. You will have to use the "safely remove hardware" icon in the sys tray when disconnecting. A plus to using MSC mode is that the ID3 year tag will transfer properly (when connected via MTP the year tag is not transferred with the other ID3 tags - I believe this is a limitation of MTP, not the S545).

Use the PICTURE folder for your images. I don't know what the PICTURES folder is for. My S545 will display every JPG I've tried so far (not many though), but in order for the photo's thumbnail to display the JPG has to be encoded with EXIF v2.21 or newer. I use some older photo editing apps and the S545 won't display the JPG thumbnail properly with them. If I save the image in Photoshop Elements v7 (2009 edition) then the thumbnail will display properly on the S545.

No experience with the Zagg.


Matt
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2010, 10:33 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattMc3 View Post
A plus to using MSC mode is that the ID3 year tag will transfer properly (when connected via MTP the year tag is not transferred with the other ID3 tags - I believe this is a limitation of MTP, not the S545).
Matt
I have year tags on my S545, and I've never done the MSC workaround.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gohokies View Post
Am I losing anything important by not using MTP? I think MediaMonkey will still sync in MSC mode but I havent tried it yet.
No, you're not losing anything. MTP is just unnecessary garbage invented by Microsoft for money greedy DRM control-freaks.

You can read up on it here: http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...read.php?t=495 Of course you have to read between the lines of the Microsoft spin doctor.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2010, 09:13 AM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
I have year tags on my S545, and I've never done the MSC workaround.
Really? If I transfer music via MTP I don't get year tags but I do with MSC mode. This is on my S545 but I also had the same results when I had my S639. See attached screenshots. I just transfered these two songs this morning to be sure. I just get "Unknown" for the year tag. Both of these files have full ID3 tags applied with MP3Tag. OS is Windows XP Home SP3 & WMP 11.

Matt

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Old 02-01-2010, 03:15 PM
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I had that problem with my ZEN. I'm selling my ZEN now, but I never could get it to display the Year.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:46 PM
gohokies gohokies is offline
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Mine also shows year tags and I have transferred everything to the S545 with MTP.

I'll be using MSC going forward now that I know how, since it is so much faster.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:48 PM
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I'll add that I'm transferring my music via Windows Explorer drag-and-drop. For the people who have year tags working with MTP, are you using syncing software or drag-and-drop?

Matt
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:28 PM
tman tman is offline
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I transfer music with drag and drop (just did on a S639) and, as with my old, wash-cycled A729 some albums have year tags in the tracks, some don't, and some have album art, some don't. I think I read a while back that that is due to using drag and drop. Using WMP should transfer the year and album art better.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:34 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattMc3 View Post
Really? If I transfer music via MTP I don't get year tags but I do with MSC mode. This is on my S545 but I also had the same results when I had my S639. See attached screenshots. I just transfered these two songs this morning to be sure. I just get "Unknown" for the year tag. Both of these files have full ID3 tags applied with MP3Tag. OS is Windows XP Home SP3 & WMP 11.

Matt
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattMc3 View Post
I'll add that I'm transferring my music via Windows Explorer drag-and-drop. For the people who have year tags working with MTP, are you using syncing software or drag-and-drop?

Matt
I couldn't immediately answer your question, because my 2,737 songs have been transferred both ways, and not all of them have the year tags, but they don't all have it to begin with. So I deleted two albums by Bela Fleck, and experimented with adding them , one with MediaMonkey, one via Explorer, and then vice-versa.

So the end results? Adding via MediaMonkey transfers the year, and Explorer does not, with MTP.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gohokies View Post
I just followed the instructions in this post and was able to force the S545 to connect in MSC mode in Windows. Now copying 16 gigs takes less than 30 minutes. Much better than MTP.

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...0&postcount=16

Am I losing anything important by not using MTP? I think MediaMonkey will still sync in MSC mode but I havent tried it yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gohokies View Post
Mine also shows year tags and I have transferred everything to the S545 with MTP.

I'll be using MSC going forward now that I know how, since it is so much faster.
I'm intrigued by this MSC trick, if it really is that much faster when transferring files. I'm about to give it a shot myself.

Edit: So far, using Explorer, 17 minutes to transfer 2GB of tunes......that doesn't seem very fast
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Last edited by Marvin the Martian; 02-03-2010 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
I'm intrigued by this MSC trick, if it really is that much faster when transferring files. I'm about to give it a shot myself.

Edit: So far, using Explorer, 17 minutes to transfer 2GB of tunes......that doesn't seem very fast
Well, isn't this fabulous. It stopped about halfway through the 8.91 GB transfer, told me the device had stopped responding. So I formatted it(with its own format command, not Windows), ran a chkdsk on it, and tried Mediamonkey to do the same 8.91GB transfer. Had to stop it and restart, because I needed to copy folders and files instead of sync, then part way through, it just froze...first Mediamonkey, then Explorer when I tried to open the Walkman...I couldn't even safely remove it, because Explorer had frozen everything.

So finally, I just unplugged it....the computer is just fine now, and the Walkman appears to be dead. Fully charged, but no signs of life, whether plugged into the computer, the AC charger, reset button does nothing....it appears to be a brick. I first thought about trying the MSC trick a while ago, and always thought, "why bother when it works fine?"

I wish now that I had listened to myself.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:46 AM
MattMc3 MattMc3 is offline
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So finally, I just unplugged it....the computer is just fine now, and the Walkman appears to be dead.
Aack! That's not what I wanted to here. I can't imaging your Walkman locked up because of it being connected via MSC. I wonder if it was just a coincidence and it was just it's time to die? For what it's worth, I never noticed any speed differences between MTP and MSC modes when transferring files.

I used my S639 connected via MSC mode for about 6 months and never had a problem. My S545 has been connected via MTP for most of it's life but I have switched back and forth between MTP and MSC to try out different things for this forum. I guess I'll stick with MPT? I don't use transfer/syncing software, and the ability to just drag-and-drop more than makes up for the loss of the year tag (for me).

Hopefully you can get that thing working again. How old is it? Still under warranty?

Matt
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:40 AM
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Aack! That's not what I wanted to here. I can't imaging your Walkman locked up because of it being connected via MSC. I wonder if it was just a coincidence and it was just it's time to die? For what it's worth, I never noticed any speed differences between MTP and MSC modes when transferring files.

I used my S639 connected via MSC mode for about 6 months and never had a problem. My S545 has been connected via MTP for most of it's life but I have switched back and forth between MTP and MSC to try out different things for this forum. I guess I'll stick with MPT? I don't use transfer/syncing software, and the ability to just drag-and-drop more than makes up for the loss of the year tag (for me).

Hopefully you can get that thing working again. How old is it? Still under warranty?

Matt
I bought it on September 7, 2009. So if I understand correctly, if I wanted to pay to ship it to them, then I could get either a new or refurb'd one on return( I haven't gone to the Web site yet to thoroughly check this yet.

I'm still hoping that after a day or so of sitting that I might be able to get it to power up again, and if I do, it will be back to MTP for me.

Now my Samsung Q2 is user-selectable MSC/MTP, and I discovered last night that if you switch modes, you can still see everything in its memory, unlike the Sansa players. And I didn't notice any appreciable difference in transfer speed with it, either, for that matter.

Makes me wonder if the slow Sony transfer rates are simply due to slower flash memory on the inside, after all, and not related to the transfer protocol at all.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:11 PM
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I bought it on September 7, 2009. So if I understand correctly, if I wanted to pay to ship it to them, then I could get either a new or refurb'd one on return( I haven't gone to the Web site yet to thoroughly check this yet.
Sony's portable audio line has a 1-year parts/90-day labor warranty. I punched in your model number and purchase date into Sony's repair center and it says that parts are covered but there would be a $29 flat-rate labor fee for an exhange with a refurb unit.

If you want to read the fine print, click here, fill out the three blocks under the "new repairs" section, click "search", then click the "request repair" button. You don't have to enter any personal info to see the fine print.

Hopefully it starts working again and you don't have to send it in. And yes, that 90-day labor warranty sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
Makes me wonder if the slow Sony transfer rates are simply due to slower flash memory on the inside, after all, and not related to the transfer protocol at all.
That would be my guess. Probably why the E340 and S540 series only have a $20 price increase to go from 8GB to 16GB, cheap memory.

Matt
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:31 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattMc3 View Post
Sony's portable audio line has a 1-year parts/90-day labor warranty. I punched in your model number and purchase date into Sony's repair center and it says that parts are covered but there would be a $29 flat-rate labor fee for an exhange with a refurb unit.

If you want to read the fine print, click here, fill out the three blocks under the "new repairs" section, click "search", then click the "request repair" button. You don't have to enter any personal info to see the fine print.

Hopefully it starts working again and you don't have to send it in. And yes, that 90-day labor warranty sucks.



That would be my guess. Probably why the E340 and S540 series only have a $20 price increase to go from 8GB to 16GB, cheap memory.

Matt
Thanks for looking into that. So far today, nothing works....if in a day or so I try again, and still no luck, then I'll see about initiating that process.

I hope whatever one I get sent, if it comes to that, is scratch-free like this one. I've had a skin and screen protector on it from just about the beginning.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:28 AM
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@ Marvin:

Man, I am VERY SAD to hear about your S540 troubles...Really hope you can get this sorted out...

Good luck buddy,
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