Does such a player exist? Looking for a new portable. I have most of my files on Apple Lossless, but I do have a ton of older mp3 files in WMA from my dark years () that I want to listen to during my commute.
Microsoft's Zune will play WMA and AAC (including ALAC), but not protected AAC files from the iTunes store. Good Enough?
Ooh, that sounds great, thanks bertdw! I was also wondering about those Sony DAPs that people rave about? I noticed that they do WMA and AAC, but wasn't sure if they take ALAC?
I may have given you some bad information. An associate here at work told me that the Zune will play ALAC, however, I cannot find confirmation on the web. I'll keep looking.
Holy crap. Thanks, Scott! They look like some serious machines... the A3 looks HUGE. I heard great things about Cowon players, but do you know if these video-oriented players sound as good as their older models? Or are they even out yet?
Actually A3 is only 3x5x1. I suppose it depends on what you mean by huge?
I haven't heard the new ones so I can't say. There are plenty of reviews at the links below.
It is available here:
May be overkill, they are also a document reader for your Word, Excel, PDF and PowerPoint files; a built-in microphone to record voice memos, meetings, or lectures...
Other models are also available.
And no I don't work for any of these companies
Oh, the pic from the Cowon site made the A3 look like a TV set... I'm curious about that O2 player b/c it's flash-based...
I don't do much commuting anymore but if I did I would definitely get one of these units.
I didn't see the O2 at links above but it looks like it is available directly Cowan.
If you get one let us know how you like it.
Self, I found two references on the web that say the Zune will NOT play ALAC files. I apologize for the misinformation.
Scott, is or was your Cowon a hard-drive model? I bought an iPod 80GB Classic a short time ago and returned it because it wouldn't play lossless files without pausing for a second every so often as it filled up the buffer. I'd given up until I saw your posts.
My m3 has a 40g hard drive. I'm sure the newer ones are bigger.
Another note: The headphones leave a lot to be desired (at least on the iAudio M3) I recommend you go with a Shure:
So you never had a buffer underrun issue with the Cowon?
I bought the iGrados to go with the iPod. Nothing wrong with those, but they're sitting in a drawer with nothing to play.
No buffer underruns but there is a slight "additional" delay between songs when randomizing. I would guess the new ones are faster.
I dug up a fresh review from the blokes at Cnet UK, the last word in hi-fi. But for what it's worth, they say the pic quality is so-so, UI a bit meh, but the sound quality is kick ass (which is what I care about solely anyway) In their words:
"Testing only with lossless FLAC files though Denon D7000 headphones and a Woo Audio 2 headphone amp, we heard the full, rich and meaty sound for which Cowon players are so loved. It's clearly richer and deeper than the iPod classic, and on par with the highly rated Cowon D2."
I don't know. I kind of give their take credence b/c at least they tested only with lossless files and had the good sense to test with a Woo Audio amp. Sounds like a bloody winner, mates. One of the only players that can do FLAC, ALAC, AAC, WMA plus 2000 other formats, it seems like. And 32 GB of flash memory PLUS SDHC slot, which is awesome... but lack of gapless playback gives me pause...
Supposedly, there's a Cowon player called S9 that's coming out soon, which would be smaller, more portable. People seem excited about that one...
Oh yea, I forgot about the gapless playback. Proly cuz I was always randomizing. Actually I'm not sure if the M3 has that problem or not.
They're always releasing new firmware; maybe, and that's a big maybe, a new release will solve it. OTOH it may be hardware related. I don't know. They have a forum where you may be able to find out...
ncdrawl, I thought these have some mechanical issues with battery or power supply?
Okay, another question re: Cowon O2. On the specs page, it says the maximum output of O2 for 16 ohm headphones is 32mW + 32 mW, with S/N ratio of 96db. What does this mean if I want to use my Sennheiser PXC450 cans, which have nominal impedance of 150/750 ohms? Clueless about headphone/portable stats. If possible, I'd really like to not use a portable amp... I've been going ampless with iPod 4G with the Senns... which required me to put the volume at the max, but was enough sound for me... would O2 be more powerful? Thanks.
In general for each doubling of ohms you will loose half the rated power. Loudness is all in the sensitivity rating.
If we look at the Shure SE310: (typical specification)
- Sensitivity (1mW): 111 dB SPL/mW
- Impedance (1kHz): 28
If we say 28 is twice 16 (we know its not) then we half the power this gives us 16mW. which works out to be 12db SPL headroom or the ability to reach 123db SPL. Now that is loud!
The Sennheiser specs are unusual and difficult (for me anyway) to directly compare with Shure's. It seems they have a max SPL of 108. Not very loud compared to Shure but still plenty loud. (earplugs are recommended at 85 to prevent hearing loss)
I think the specs may be strange because the Sennheiser is partially self powered. Is this correct?
Without a standard sensitivity rating we can't do much by way of comparison. Do you know the power rating of the iPod? I did a search and that info is strangely missing. I did find a few posts that suggested it is 30 mw. If this is the case the o2 will be at least as loud as the iPod.
Anyway, regardless of what you choose to drive the Sennheiser's with they will always be limited to 108 db SPL no matter how much power you throw at them.
If you want to go louder you need different cans.
Thanks, Scott, for the valuable explanation. As far as I know, the Senns use battery only for active noise cancellation, which I do not use much... I like the sound better running passive, no cancellation... I don't listen to ear-blasting levels at all. But I just wanted to get a fuller sound. I have to use iPod at its maximum volume to get a satisfactory sound out of the Senns, and it seems that no matter which DAP I use, I'd likely have to opt for a portable amp if I'm to get the kind of range I want...