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Old 09-28-2010, 03:30 PM
Hewbacca Hewbacca is offline
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Default My Story So Far

My love of mp3 players began in 1998, when I was on a middle school field trip to Washington, DC. A friend of mine with generous parents had a Diamond Rio with 32mb of storage, and I remember listening to Don McLean's American Pie on the bus, completely mystified by the concept that there was no spinning CD in there. I knew I had to have one.

However, it never happened for me, until Apple released the original iPod, which I quickly dropped $400 on for a whole 5Gb of hard drive storage. It seems like so much for what it was in retrospect, but thinking back on it, I'm pretty sure I got $400 worth of enjoyment out of it. I also managed to sell it before it lost all its value.

Since then, I've had various iPods and iPhones, with my most recent solution being to use the iPhone's mp3 player and only carry one device. I'd been using iPods and iTunes for so long, I'd become almost numb to how difficult it was to actually put media on there using iTunes, and would regularly choose not listening to music at all rather than spend 4 hours of my life fighting with the media player/mobile device operating system/music store/movie rental store/juggernaut that is iTunes. It never occurred to me that there could be alternative products out there that weren't junk.

Then something wonderful happened. I was issued a phone at work, and decided it was time to sell my iPhone 4 and pocket the $80 a month I was spending on it. As a result, I had to reevaluate my mp3 player position, and after using the BlackBerry player as my primary for a week (I won't get too much into this, but it was a dice roll every time I pressed play, as the device doesn't recognize whether headphones are plugged in 50% of the time, and will play out the speaker instead). I knew I needed to find something new.

That brought me to this site, as I knew I wanted to purge iTunes from my life, and typed something very similar to the name of the site into Google. But I honestly didn't know there was competition to the iPod of any serious kind. All of the companies discussed on this site, other than Sony and Samsung, are new to me. I knew Sandisk only as a memory manufacturer.

I've always been a moderate audiophile, in that I know the difference between mp3 and FLAC and resent listening to music on YouTube in 96kbps (or less?) like so many my age do regularly. I already owned Sennheiser CX300s and HD-485s for home use, so I felt like I fit in here immediately.

After reading around for an hour, it became very clear that you guys love the Sansa players. At first I thought I wanted a Sony E-series, but after using the wonderful compare feature, I realized there wasn't a huge difference to me between that and a Sansa, other than cost. Combined with the almost comically small form of the Clip+, I decided I'd give it a try.

I picked up a 4gb Clip+ yesterday, loaded it up with music converted from FLAC to v0, and am listening on my CX300s as I write this. I couldn't be happier. The sound quality really is great (I wish I had the opportunity to do a comparison test with the iPhone), and I love the minimalist design. I went for a walk with it clipped to my belt, and I'd forgotten the joy of being able to adjust the volume or skip tracks without taking the player out of my pocket and messing around with it. I travel a lot for work, and I can't wait to take this thing to the airport, and have it improve my day instead of frustrate me!

The best part is, I just sold an old iPod on eBay for $50 (which is what I paid for it 2 years ago), so my Clip+ was essentially free. Maybe that is the universe's way of paying me back for all the pain I've endured.

Just wanted to thank all of you for the abundance of great information on the site, and especially the compare feature, which is the best source of information I've yet found.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:49 PM
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I'm happy for you b/c of your conversion to non-apple-dom.

HD 485s ftw!

That's all.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:13 PM
ScottGTO ScottGTO is offline
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Welcome aboard Hewbacca!
Next thing you will be posting is probably going to be about Rockbox

I came from a similar situation as you however, I still am somewhat tied to iTunes for my movie and tv show collection as I stream a lot of my media through iTunes running on my office server through AppleTV to my flatscreens. Recently ditching cable (saved about 100 bucks a month) I boosted my DSL to the highest speed I could get 15MB/s I believe. I haven't missed it one bit!
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:14 PM
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Hey Hewbacca: Great story - well written too. Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations on the Clip+. Indeed, it is well loved around here, with good reason. However, other manufacturers also are popular here, including Sony, Cowon, Samsung, Archos, Zune, iRiver, etc. Yes, some more popular than others, but such is life.

To me, the Clip+ is one of the best basic music players around - probably the best for its performance, size and for what it does. But a step in a different direction [e.g. larger screens for album art, more battery life, slimmer, more svelte design] for a tad more cash would be the Sandisk Fuze and the Sony E series. There are others of course, but these are my own personal fave low-mid priced players - they more than hold their own in terms of sound "quality" to much more expensive players.

I only mention these as a tease to get you to spend more money.

Expand your horizons! Like happiness, one can never have too many DAPs. lol

Enjoy the Clip+ and welcome to ABi. Do stick around
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:24 PM
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Hewbacca Welcome to abi >> hope you enjoy the site and members


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottGTO View Post
... Next thing you will be posting is probably going to be about Rockbox ...
and probably upgrading the cx300s too
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
and probably upgrading the cx300s too
Oh yes, he definitely needs to get rid of those. . . they kind of suck.

Spend more money! But prbly not on the HJE900s.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:38 PM
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Cool story brah, welcome to abi.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:05 PM
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Welcome aboard!!! Now get some decent IEM's,.....you can't go wrong.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:06 PM
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I had a Diamond rio which I loaned to my sister sadly it got wrecked. a few years later I purchased a Venturer 40gb (still have it) A few used ipods and then on to an touch 2g not long after it was released (mainly used for twitter, browsing forums and the occasional game, rare that I play music on it) eventually got a Clip Thanks to what I've read on here and Headfi which is an awesome player
I've wanted to try a Fuze for a while and recently purchased one for only £30 (about $47).
Rockbox on both the Clip and Fuse was a necessity after I first encountered it on a ipod video and was won over by it!!!

Had other assorted pen drive type players and a few phones but nothing beats the Sansa players (well nothing I have owned anyway!)
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:01 AM
Hewbacca Hewbacca is offline
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I did consider the Fuze, but what it came down to was price vs. functionality, and the proprietary connector was the last straw I think. I gotta say, I didn't realize how much I was going to love the Clip's clip though, at work its clipped to my badge (around my neck), at the gym its clipped to my pants, I never have the problem of finding some place for it to go. And I'm 6'5" so I often don't have enough cord length to put players in a pocket.

I have mixed feelings about Rockbox. I put it on a 30gb iPod once, and it was a nightmare after a day or two, player completely locked up until it died, then wouldn't charge. Took a lot of work to get the stock firmware back. I also remember really disliking the layout of the menus and displays, but that could have changed. I also know others who have bricked devices from it. I see on the site that Clip+ isn't a stable release, so though I'm sure all of you have had great luck with it, I probably won't be going Rockbox. Battery life is not a huge concern for me (I've never listened to music for 12 hours straight without spotting USB/AC somewhere, stuff charges fast), and the Jazz EQ setting is perfect for what I like (usually high bass and treble and unchanged mid, the "smily face"). Maybe if/when I get that Sony E-series I'll be more comfortable playing with this one.

I have been thinking about upgrading the CX300s, though I have no real complaints with them. I do get the wind whistle sound outside, and the cord makes some noise sometimes, but I find their isolation really nice on planes and the like. I was thinking S4s but need to do some more research. Definitely want to spend under $100.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:47 AM
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Welcome Hewbacca.
Your interesting story tells us you turn your back on iTunes, but can you please tell us how do you manage your music library and new device now? You just said you use Flac, convert to HQ MP3 files, so what are your power user tools?
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:08 PM
Hewbacca Hewbacca is offline
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I've always used Winamp, even when being forced to use iTunes. It has an mp3 encoder built in (I believe it is LAME) as well as everything else I have ever needed/wanted. It will even flash the lights on my computer case in sync with whatever music is playing.

I have it set to automatically transcode everything to v0 on the fly when I send it to the player.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:25 PM
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Thank you. I wonder if they are a lot of people converting their lossless music to MP3 only when they fill their portable device. Computers are now so fast now that you don't need to keep your mp3/aac/ogg/wma collection side by side with your lossless library, on the fly conversion is a quite a practical way to go. Quality and ease, you seem to have it all now, great!
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:36 PM
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I still keep my FLACs and my LAME V2 conversions of them both on my computer....I have plenty of space, so why not?
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:13 PM
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That was a nice read .
Great to hear you found the perfect player for you!

Oh and for upgrading your CX300s, check out the Hippo VBs, they are $79 shipped to anywhere in the world from Jaben.net. I really like them but I don't own any Sennheiser products so I can't compare them..
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
I still keep my FLACs and my LAME V2 conversions of them both on my computer....I have plenty of space, so why not?
The question is why. I have a big hard drive is not a reason. The OP seems to have found he does not need to. The interesting thing is to wonder what makes us need to "duplicate" our music library. I know some good reasons to justify that waste of space.
Of course drives are cheap so one can save also on thinking. But I like to discover why and how people are having great ideas and choose different procedures.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meetooman View Post
The question is why. I have a big hard drive is not a reason. The OP seems to have found he does not need to. The interesting thing is to wonder what makes us need to "duplicate" our music library. I know some good reasons to justify that waste of space.
Of course drives are cheap so one can save also on thinking. But I like to discover why and how people are having great ideas and choose different procedures.
Always have a back up!! :-/
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meetooman View Post
The question is why. I have a big hard drive is not a reason. The OP seems to have found he does not need to. The interesting thing is to wonder what makes us need to "duplicate" our music library. I know some good reasons to justify that waste of space.
Of course drives are cheap so one can save also on thinking. But I like to discover why and how people are having great ideas and choose different procedures.
I actually have my FLACs and lossy files on my internal hard drive, and duplicated in drag/drop fashion on my external HDD(so in case my main computer crashes, I could still access the tunes on any computer) in addition also being on that external HDD in the form of my Acronis True Image backup. Redundant? Perhaps....but it gives me peace of mind.

My computer is pretty fast, but I think it is still quicker to have my lossy conversions done ahead of time to load on my player than it is to convert on the fly.

And having the conversions done ahead of time would be essential for one group of people....the die-hard drag-and-drop "say no to sync" crowd.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:44 AM
Hewbacca Hewbacca is offline
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One benefit I see of having copies is if I want to load new music quickly. To completely fill my 4gb player now would take an hour or more, but if I had mp3s ready to go it would be faster.

The biggest reason I don't keep separate copies isn't because its more efficient (though I appreciate that), its because I like to do everything from Winamp, and to have separate copies I would either have to drag and drop, or have duplicates in Winamp's library. It seems a lot of people like drag/drop, but I much prefer having an app to transcode, make playlists, randomly autofill, sync podcasts, etc.

Just not iTunes.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewbacca View Post
One benefit I see of having copies is if I want to load new music quickly. To completely fill my 4gb player now would take an hour or more, but if I had mp3s ready to go it would be faster.

The biggest reason I don't keep separate copies isn't because its more efficient (though I appreciate that), its because I like to do everything from Winamp, and to have separate copies I would either have to drag and drop, or have duplicates in Winamp's library. It seems a lot of people like drag/drop, but I much prefer having an app to transcode, make playlists, randomly autofill, sync podcasts, etc.

Just not iTunes.
My solution to that is to have my FLACs be my foobar2000 library, but not in my MediaMonkey Gold library....all the lossy files are in the MM library.
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