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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010, 08:11 PM
gregmuir gregmuir is offline
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Default Talk me down, I'm ready to murder my NWZ-S544 / S545

Very frustrated. So, I had two portable electronic doohickeys, the iplod touch and a sansa fuze. I love the iplod for everything but actually playing music. Itunes if of the dev.null and I hate the way the plod organizes stuff. I want my mp3 player to be simple and work and fit nicely in an armband case for the gym and the fuze was beautiful for that. There were a few rough spots, some room for improvement but overall, a really solid offering.

My fuze died and I got a replacement. Two months in it disappears and now I'm left mp3-less. I go to the Buy More and they tell me the old fuze with the wheel is discontinued. Oh, here's the new version. I picked it up on the strength of my previous experience. What a mistake. The Fuze+ is a stunning disappointment. They got rid of everything that was good about the previous model and made it worse.

So after scouring the local stores I settle upon getting a Sony S series. I wanted to get something local so I could return it if there were problems.

I read the reviews, it had the least complaints out of any of the other players I could find and the S series did support audiobooks.

But now I see it's only the old S series. The new one, the one I have, Sony took away support for audiobooks and podcasts! No more bookmarking!

Seriously, WTF? Are they taking hints from the Sansa people or something? One of the things removed from the Fuze+ was folder browsing. I don't want the player to guess how I have my music organized, I want it to pay attention to the goddamn folder I put it in. Sony has folder browsing but they screwed up audiobook support. Has any of this been fixed in a firmware patch? Are there any workarounds?

Last edited by gregmuir; 12-28-2010 at 08:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:53 AM
OnitsukaTiger OnitsukaTiger is offline
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put the hammer down..
what exactly is 'Audiobook support' ? just starting where you left off?
on my s745 it has a podcasts folder. which acts in the same way and i use that for my podcasts.
guess it was an included feature of this model. trying to check out the sony site for the S5XX but the site seems to be down or slow or something, maybe coz of my net connection.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:44 AM
gregmuir gregmuir is offline
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No podcast folder, that's the problem. Present in last year's S model, missing from this year's model because the shinigami at Sony and cruel and capricious.

I'd read about that folder and assumed that's how I'd be using my S model. looked all over for it, couldn't find it, hit the forums and saw it was removed. Why, Sony, why? Why take away something that was working? ARGH. The player does everything else I need. Do I really need to have a separate player for audiobooks only? It'll remember the spot on a book track only if I don't move to any other track like listening to music or whatever -- move it and lose it. Seriously, lame.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:13 PM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnitsukaTiger View Post
put the hammer down..
what exactly is 'Audiobook support' ? just starting where you left off?
on my s745 it has a podcasts folder. which acts in the same way and i use that for my podcasts.
guess it was an included feature of this model. trying to check out the sony site for the S5XX but the site seems to be down or slow or something, maybe coz of my net connection.
I haven't had a problem with my Sony NWZ-A818, my audiobooks appear under the "Audiobook" genre and I can resume from where I left off as long as I don't leave the audiobook for another track. That's about all I need for audiobook support.

I do have a second Sony player that I use for podcasts and audiobooks, but that's because of space. My current 8GB player didn't have enough space for all of my music when combined with my podcasts and audiobooks.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2010, 06:53 PM
gregmuir gregmuir is offline
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Well, they took that feature out of this player. I'm also surprised that the fast forward function doesn't behave like virtually every other player over the last ten years. You hold down FF. The longer you do so, the faster it moves so you can quickly skim through large files. Not so with this player!

What's also completely frustrating, the back and left buttons are right next to each other and get depressed simultaneously when in an armband. Therefore trying to move back in a track risks jumping up to the upper level in the file hierarchy and, if you try to navigate back to the file rather than stopping and restarting the player, you run the risk of opening the wrong file and thus losing your spot.

I need to setup a new site, anythingbutanything.com. Whatever the shortcomings of the ipod and Apple's totalitarian wish to control the universe, the other players have their own shortcomings equally as infuriating.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2010, 08:43 PM
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gregmuir:

Can only speak about the FF/REW thing.

Yes, if like the Sony E series, this kinda sucks. To FF/REW very fast, you must first PAUSE the player and then hit and hold FF/REW.

Simple FF/REW is quite slow, but does provide audible clues - the PAUSE-FF/REW does not.
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2010, 09:40 PM
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meetooman meetooman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Simple FF/REW is quite slow, but does provide audible clues - the PAUSE-FF/REW does not.
This 2 modes behavior seems acceptable to me.
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2010, 10:03 PM
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^ they work just fine, don't get me wrong. Both are useful, especially the slower one with audible clues for those who like audiobooks, need that kind of thing, etc...

I could do without having to first PAUSE the player though to scan quickly...
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2010, 12:11 AM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmuir View Post
Well, they took that feature out of this player. I'm also surprised that the fast forward function doesn't behave like virtually every other player over the last ten years. You hold down FF. The longer you do so, the faster it moves so you can quickly skim through large files. Not so with this player!

What's also completely frustrating, the back and left buttons are right next to each other and get depressed simultaneously when in an armband. Therefore trying to move back in a track risks jumping up to the upper level in the file hierarchy and, if you try to navigate back to the file rather than stopping and restarting the player, you run the risk of opening the wrong file and thus losing your spot.

I need to setup a new site, anythingbutanything.com. Whatever the shortcomings of the ipod and Apple's totalitarian wish to control the universe, the other players have their own shortcomings equally as infuriating.
I agree that the button arrangement and type needs a great deal of improvement. The flat buttons are difficult to use even when looking at the player, and they are virtually impossible to use blind (such as in a pocket) or in a case. I recently returned my new Sony player and that was one of the main reasons.

The buttons on my current Sony player are vastly better (both in arrangement and blind use) than those on the current generation of Sony players. It is one of the main reasons I haven't upgraded my Sony player to a current version with more memory.

On the issue of the two-modes of FF/REW, I haven't found it much of an issue. The two speeds (about 5 seconds per second when playing and about 1 minute per second when paused) are handy when dealing with long audio files, such as many podcasts (I have a few that are more than 3 hours long).
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Last edited by CDMP3PlayerFan; 12-30-2010 at 12:12 AM. Reason: Clarification
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2010, 12:14 AM
lilbitgal lilbitgal is offline
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From what I'm reading on this thread, I have helped my husband pick the wrong MP3 for his Christmas present. When looking at the store, we were told that this particular MP3...Sony S544...would work with audio books. My husband listens to audio books constantly and has hundreds of them. Therefore, we chose this player and since Christmas I've read and re-read everything I can find on line and in the manual that came with the player on how to put the audio book CDs onto my computer. I have iTunes and Media Player. I was able to import the CDs into MP3 format, but when I transferred the files to the player, they didn't stay in order and I can't find any way of telling the player to sort them in order. It plays the books well, but not in the right order. It's been very frustrating and I'm thinking I've wasted $100 on this player. We don't want to listen to music, just the books. Is there any place I can find some help for this problem? I'm guessing I need some way to sort the files within the audio book. Oh yes, the books seem to end up under Music instead of the Other category. Any help would be most appreciated.
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2010, 03:31 AM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbitgal View Post
From what I'm reading on this thread, I have helped my husband pick the wrong MP3 for his Christmas present. When looking at the store, we were told that this particular MP3...Sony S544...would work with audio books. My husband listens to audio books constantly and has hundreds of them. Therefore, we chose this player and since Christmas I've read and re-read everything I can find on line and in the manual that came with the player on how to put the audio book CDs onto my computer. I have iTunes and Media Player. I was able to import the CDs into MP3 format, but when I transferred the files to the player, they didn't stay in order and I can't find any way of telling the player to sort them in order. It plays the books well, but not in the right order. It's been very frustrating and I'm thinking I've wasted $100 on this player. We don't want to listen to music, just the books. Is there any place I can find some help for this problem? I'm guessing I need some way to sort the files within the audio book. Oh yes, the books seem to end up under Music instead of the Other category. Any help would be most appreciated.
As far as I know, Sony players don't have a separate area for audiobooks. What I do is set the genre to "Audiobook" to separate them from the music.

On the issue of playing tracks in order, one possible reason the tracks don't play in order is that the track number is missing from the ID3 tag. You can verify that the track number is/is not in the ID3 tag by doing the following:

- In Windows Media Player the track number should be listed when you go to the library view, if the track number is there.

- In iTunes, you select the song, right click on it, and select "Get Info" from the pop up menu. The Info tab in window will show you the track number for the track.

If the track numbers are missing, you can add them automatically with a program called "MP3Tag." With this program, you can select a group of files and have it auto number them in sequence.

Based on my experience with my own player, the tracks will play in order as long as: (1) they all are in the same album, (2) the files have track numbers in the correct order, and (3) you select an album to play (when you select songs it plays them in alphanumeric order).

What I've done with my own audiobooks to avoid problems are the following:

- I number all of the tracks in the audiobook sequentially rather than restarting the numbering with each new CD.

- After renumbering the tracks, I change the album name to the same name for all of the tracks.

- I name the individual tracks in a manner so that they will play in order even without the track numbers.

To illustrate the above, I have an audiobook of the comic book miniseries "Infinite Crisis." It has a total of 13 CDs and is divided into two parts. I've done the following:

- I've named album for the first part "Infinite Crisis Part 1" and the album for the second part "Infinite Crisis Part 2."

- The tracks are numbered sequentially (going from 1 to 74 for the first part and 1 to 69 for the second part).

- The tracks are named beginning with "IC Part A01" for the first track in the first part and "IC Part B69" for the last track in the second part.

I could have used one album name for the entire audiobook, but due to the clear break between the two parts it seemed appropriate to leave it in two parts.

Sorry to be a bit wordy, but I hope this helps.
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Last edited by CDMP3PlayerFan; 12-31-2010 at 05:26 AM. Reason: Grammar correction
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2010, 03:37 AM
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^ yup...I believe CDMP3PlayerFan's suggestions will help as a workaround...

-les
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2010, 12:03 PM
lilbitgal lilbitgal is offline
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Thank you CDMP3PlayerFan... I had not found this Get Info area and it helps. In the Info window I'm showing:
Name.....Chapter 1a
Artist.....J.K. Rowling
Album Artist....
Album....Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [Disc 1]
Grouping....
Composer....Jim Dale
Comments....
Genre....Spoken & Audio
then there's a little check box...Part of a compilation (not checked) should it be?

I didn't see anything mentioning IDtag. It does show track 1 of 17 and disc 1 of 17 and there's a space called BPM with nothing showing.

I'll go through my other books now and make sure all the spaces are filled in properly, but before I do, is there anything else I should add or change in this Info area? I'd rather do all the changes at once, rather than go back in several times. I consider myself computer literate, as I've used them for many many years; but I've never used a MP3 player so this is all new to me. Thanks.

Last edited by lilbitgal; 12-31-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:46 PM
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Where it says "spoken & audio" you want "Audiobook"
Don't check the compilation thing.
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  #15  
Old 12-31-2010, 03:20 PM
lilbitgal lilbitgal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrauber View Post
Where it says "spoken & audio" you want "Audiobook"
Don't check the compilation thing.
Thanks ultrauber, I'll work on this tonight and see how it works on the player after I transfer it.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:09 PM
lilbitgal lilbitgal is offline
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I needed to take a break from what I was doing, so I sat and re-input the information for the book I was working with. Took a bit of doing, but I got it done and transferred it to the MP3 player. It won't play in order under the Music feature, but if I go to Playlists, it will show and play in order! Hallelujah! Thank you so much for the information on how to fix this and get it to work. Now, if I hadn't already packed all the audio books in boxes, I'd input some more. Now I'll have to wait till after the move to do the books. Thank you again!
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:56 AM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbitgal View Post
Thank you CDMP3PlayerFan... I had not found this Get Info area and it helps. In the Info window I'm showing:
Name.....Chapter 1a
Artist.....J.K. Rowling
Album Artist....
Album....Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [Disc 1]
Grouping....
Composer....Jim Dale
Comments....
Genre....Spoken & Audio
then there's a little check box...Part of a compilation (not checked) should it be?

I didn't see anything mentioning IDtag. It does show track 1 of 17 and disc 1 of 17 and there's a space called BPM with nothing showing.

I'll go through my other books now and make sure all the spaces are filled in properly, but before I do, is there anything else I should add or change in this Info area? I'd rather do all the changes at once, rather than go back in several times. I consider myself computer literate, as I've used them for many many years; but I've never used a MP3 player so this is all new to me. Thanks.
Looking at the above tags, you may want to change the name from "Chapter 1a" to "Chapter 01a" to ensure that the tracks sort in the correct order. Otherwise, you might end up with them playing in an order like this:

- Chapter 10a
- Chapter 10b
- Chapter 11a
- Chapter 11b
- Chapter 1a
- Chapter 1b
- Chapter 20a
- Chapter 20b
- Chapter 2a
- Chapter 2b

On the subject of ID3 tags:

The ID3 tags are part of an MP3 file that contains information about the song. The following are just of the items that they can contain: song title, artist, album, album artist, genre, and album art. The following thread can provide you with more information on ID3 tags:http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10174

When I load files on my player, it reads the information on each song from its ID3 to create the player's library (its internal database). If information on a song is incorrect, I correct the ID3 tag and then reload the song on my player.

As far as what information is needed in the ID3 tag, it depends on the user and how he/she will use the MP3s. Also, many music management programs will automatically add tags, even if they contain no information. Some will format the information differently. An example is with the track number tag, some will format it as "1/17", others as "01", and still others as just "1". Some programs (such as MediaMonkey, which I use) will also allow to create and name a few custom tags of your own.

Some of my MP3s have been passed through many programs and each of them added tags (such as their version of ratings and other tags unique to them). When I examined the files with MP3Tag (which allows to see all of the ID3 tags contained in the file), I found a large number of old and unneeded tags. I was able to clean them out.

I hope this helps.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:39 PM
lilbitgal lilbitgal is offline
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Looking at the above tags, you may want to change the name from "Chapter 1a" to "Chapter 01a" to ensure that the tracks sort in the correct order.

I figured this problem out and have put in the number of 0's needed to keep it in numerical order.

The ID3 tags are part of an MP3 file that contains information about the song. The following are just of the items that they can contain: song title, artist, album, album artist, genre, and album art. The following thread can provide you with more information on ID3 tags:http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10174

Okay, I read through this thread and followed some of the links there and read them. Then I went into iTunes and played around with the options and the only thing I could find that showed any type of ID was "kind" and it just says MP3 Audio File or AAC Audio File. Nothing that gave any specific tag numbers like ID3v1, etc. Is this necessary? Do I need one of those tag programs? Would I use that instead of iTunes or in conjunction? I can tell I've got a lot of learning to do.

I did find the track number tag and it shows "1/17" style. I'm going to do another book today and see if I can set it up and have it work on the MP3 Player. Setting up the information takes hours for a large book. I've been doing file by file....one at a time. I can't find a place to let me do a "fill down" like on the Artist or Album since they are all the same. I can see that doing the hundreds of books my husband has is going to take me some time.

Thanks for being so helpful.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:02 AM
CDMP3PlayerFan CDMP3PlayerFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbitgal View Post
Looking at the above tags, you may want to change the name from "Chapter 1a" to "Chapter 01a" to ensure that the tracks sort in the correct order.

I figured this problem out and have put in the number of 0's needed to keep it in numerical order.

The ID3 tags are part of an MP3 file that contains information about the song. The following are just of the items that they can contain: song title, artist, album, album artist, genre, and album art. The following thread can provide you with more information on ID3 tags:http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10174

Okay, I read through this thread and followed some of the links there and read them. Then I went into iTunes and played around with the options and the only thing I could find that showed any type of ID was "kind" and it just says MP3 Audio File or AAC Audio File. Nothing that gave any specific tag numbers like ID3v1, etc. Is this necessary? Do I need one of those tag programs? Would I use that instead of iTunes or in conjunction? I can tell I've got a lot of learning to do.

I did find the track number tag and it shows "1/17" style. I'm going to do another book today and see if I can set it up and have it work on the MP3 Player. Setting up the information takes hours for a large book. I've been doing file by file....one at a time. I can't find a place to let me do a "fill down" like on the Artist or Album since they are all the same. I can see that doing the hundreds of books my husband has is going to take me some time.

Thanks for being so helpful.
I'm glad to help where I can.

I did a check in iTunes and it is possible to change the ID3 tag version for a file or a range of files. Just right click on a file and select "Convert ID3 tags..." Check "ID3 Tag version:" and select the version. I've found that Version 2.3 works best with my player.

Based on my reading, the version of the ID3 tag is important because some players can have issues with some versions of the ID3 tag. Also, some versions of the ID3 tag have limitations.

On the mass update of files, if you are using iTunes you can to a mass update of information of a number of files at the same time. Just do the following:

- Click on the first file you want to update.

-- If you want to update all of the listed items, hit Control-A. All of the listed files will be selected.

-- If you want to pick a range of files, hold the shift button and click on the last file you want to select. All of the files between the first and last will also be selected.

-- If you want to choose various items that are not together, hold the Control key while selecting the files. Each file you click on will be selected.

- Right click on one of the selected files and select "Get Info" from the pop up menu. This will bring up a screen that will allow you to update all of the selected items at once.

At this point, from this screen you can update all of the selected items.

As far as updating a series of items (such as updating a series of track numbers), one way to do it is to edit the information on the first file and then click on the "Next" button at the bottom of the window. It will update the change you made, and move on to the next item. The cursor will remain in the same place in the new file.

As far as using multiple programs, my own experience is that it is best to use only one program with your files. I use MediaMonkey to manage my music and it is the only program that I allow to access those files. Using two or more programs to access the same files can lead to tagging problems (such as if two programs tag the same information in different ways).
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