MP3 Player

Posted by: sinetific

MP3 Player - 01/05/03 03:51 AM

anyone here own hardware MP3 players? If so drop a quick review im thinking of buying one and im looking for some first hand exp i can trust. give manufactuer, model, connection types, storage, pros, conns, etc,...
Posted by: SilentRage

Re: MP3 Player - 01/05/03 07:39 AM

gosh, I'm so on top of this.

For christmas I told everybody I knew that I wanted a MP3 player for christmas. I got it. hell yes.

It is a Riovolt SP150.
http://www.sonicblue.com/audio/rio/portables.asp

Statistics:

* Plays MP3 & WMA CDs, CD-R, CD-RW and standard music CDs
* 16-minute SteadyPlay skip protection
* Up to 20 hours of playtime on two AA batteries
* Easy navigation on lighted 3-line text display
* View artist and album information using ID3 music tags
* Listen to set playlists or create custom mixes
* Maximize MP3 audio quality with dynamic sound controls
* Repeat and shuffle play modes

When I got this baby, I immediately pulled up nero and burned myself an ISO with the following specifications:

ISO Level 2 (Max of 31 characters)
MODE 2/XA
Ascii Character Set
Joliet turned off
I did not relax any ISO restrictions:
Allow pathdepth more than 8 directories
Allow more than 255 characters in a path
Do not add ';1' ISO file version extension

I organized my music like so:

[ROOT]
[DIRECTORY Artist1]
[DIRECTORY Album1]
MP3 Song Title's
[DIRECTORY Album2]
MP3 Song Title's
[DIRECTORY Artist2]
[DIRECTORY Album1]
MP3 Song Titles
[DIRECTORY Artist3]
[DIRECTORY album1]
MP3 Song Titles
[DIRECTORY album2]
MP3 Song Titles
[DIRECTORY album3]
MP3 Song Titles

Since I was burning full albums, that directory structure is the most convenient for me.

On the first CD I burned 167 songs on 13 albums. The MP3 player gave me those statistics.

Navigation through the directory structure was surprising painless. You push a button to start browsing the CD. It has a 3 tall list view displaying directories within brackets []. They all aligned to the left, and if you paused at a directory/mp3 title that was too long for the panel, it will start scrolling it so that you may read the rest of the title. The play/stop/previous/next buttons doubled here as navigation controls. Up and down to view the current directory contents. left to move up a directory. right to browse a sub directory you have currently selected. So when I finish listening to an album on the player, I immediately and conveniently browse to the artist->album I would like to listen to next.

A comment on that skip protection. While listening to the MP3's, the CD would actually stop spinning. I believe that not only does it cache the currently playing file, but the projected next file as well. Seeing how the CD stops spinning is a visual proof that there's no way in heck you're gonna bump it and make it skip. Also it saves on battery power.

I had one minor complaint with my first burned CD however. It sorted the contents of directories alphabetically - not in the order it was burned. So I was not able to listen to the songs on the album I burned consecutively. This was very annoying since I had burned several continuous mix albums. However, the second CD I burned (172 songs 15 albums) I changed my file names to a format similar to the below:

01 - TITLE1
02 - TITLE2

Now the songs are in order, and played in order. Course, that means I have 5 characters less to use for filenames (31 max). You may choose to leave out a dash and a space. However this is not a problem since you can't see the entire 31 characters within the display without letting the player scroll it. This is rarely necessary.

On to ID3 tag reading. While playing the song, it will display these statistics in a display similar to the following.

023 04:30
Artist - Album
Title

If the lines are too long for the display, they'll continously scroll. Otherwise, it won't. I had made sure that every single one of my MP3's had correct ID3v1.1 tag information. I don't know if it reads ID3v2 tag info, but all the ID3v1 info I had was displayed.

Lastly, I enjoyed playing with the equalizer. You can switch between several different preset's including Rock and Classical and Bass or whatever. There was also a User, but I don't know how - if possible - I could customize the user preset. I have no yet explored all that this baby can do.

One complaint on the presets though. And this is a bigger complaint than that could-be-useful alphabetizing of tracks. On several presets, the volume was fairly weak. I'd pump the volume to the max and it still wasn't loud enough for me. But no matter what the preset/song was, I was always hovering between 37 to 40 (the max). I think this thing could stand a bit more juice in that area. But maybe you all aren't as deaf as I am.

Another complaint. If you have both sub directories and MP3's/WMA's within a directory. they're ALL alphabetized interweaved. This is messy and inconvenient. It would be better for all directories to be listed at the top.

All told, this is the best most useful present I've recieved for a long time. If I knew how much this rocked, I would've bought one myself a long time ago.
Posted by: sinetific

Re: MP3 Player - 01/05/03 12:19 PM

Hmm thanks for the info SR. I was reluctant about getting a CD based MP3 player, thinking that like most CD based players it would skip a lot. I know that a RAM(or memory) based player doesent and it also uses very little battery life since it doesent have to drive a motor. Anyone else?
Posted by: $500,000 Bentley

Re: MP3 Player - 01/07/03 01:48 PM

how much music can a 64mb mp3 hold?in layman terms plz.like 20 songs?
Posted by: SilentRage

Re: MP3 Player - 01/07/03 04:11 PM

about 18 songs of a standard quality and length. I came to this conclusion by highlighting 18 songs and seeing that it was about 64 megabytes in size.
Posted by: sinetific

Re: MP3 Player - 01/07/03 08:02 PM

I was looking at the Ipods 5gig 10gig or 20gig drives no moving parts so hella baterylife. The only downside I can see is having to buy a firewire card.
Posted by: $500,000 Bentley

Re: MP3 Player - 01/13/03 03:16 PM

i was looking at that to.only prob is money...and they dont make the 5 gig for windows
Posted by: pergesu

Re: MP3 Player - 01/13/03 04:00 PM

I have an older model of the RioVolt. Two and a half years old now, and it still works great for me. If you're considering buying an MP3 player, seriously look at CD based ones. I love mine, I can play regular CDs and fit around 200 songs on it. As SR said, the CD stops spinning, cause it caches the song and it never skips. You don't have to deal with transferring files from your computer, but more importantly, you can pick up any CD anywhere and play it. With a regular MP3 player you have to have the docking station and software to get new songs. Mine is awesome, and it's pretty old for an MP3 cd player. They've only gotten better.
Posted by: Cold Sunn

Re: MP3 Player - 09/20/03 12:01 AM

I know this an old topic, but oh well. When I first saw this topic I decided I wanted to get the mp3 cd player SR linked to. Except now, the link goes to http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/rioaudio/default.asp?cat=35

I can't any that play mp3 CDs, which is what I want. I did a search for the Riovolt SP150 and Amazon has it at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search...0001701-9650242 along with the lesser and greater version.

It sounds great, less than 50 bucks for an mp3 cd player. The SP350, $100 more, comes with a cassette adapter, power adapter (to cigarette slot I guess?), case, remote, and headphones. The skip protection is 32 minutes, plus, the number is higher than the 150. This is of course if 100 dollars is worth it to you.

On Amazon's user reviews, it has alot of complaints including the little plastic thing that says the door is closed breaks, read errors, and overheating. Usually I don't listen to these kinds of things...but then I bought a Radeon 9800 Pro and it didn't work. SR- have you had any problems since you got it? It has alot of Five star ratings as well, so i'd say I'm on the fence.

Just thought some people would wanna know about this.
Posted by: SilentRage

Re: MP3 Player - 09/20/03 12:26 AM

The only problems I've ever had was playing some MP3 CDs I had burned (read errors). However, I had the same troubles with those CD's elsewhere. So it's either the CD's fault or the burner's fault. I doubt it is the MP3 player's fault. But to not be so biased the error handling was poor. Yeah, I know the CD was kinda wack, but the MP3 player could've done better in recovery. I really had to manipulate it to get it to play any music at all again.

But really, it's a darling little player. Well worth the inexpense.
Posted by: sinetific

Re: MP3 Player - 09/20/03 02:44 AM

I have the same one. It barely ever skips unless im running with it in my pocket, occasionaly ill get errors that says the door is not shut when it is or the LCD will not display anything. Other than that its pretty good. Try the philips eXpanium. My gf has that one. She loves it Ive never seen it have any errors and its a bit more compact than the Rio.
Posted by: SephiroX

Re: MP3 Player - 09/20/03 06:48 PM

If you have the cash, and you want to get the iPod, go ahead and blow like 100-200 bucks that you could save on a Jukebox Zen.
Plus, I belive the Zen now has some 60 gig ver. might not be that big, but somewhere around there. I myslef have the 20gig one and it works great, usb2.0 and everything.
Posted by: sinetific

Re: MP3 Player - 09/21/03 04:15 AM

how slow is USB? I wanted to get an Ipod because of firewire but then id need to get a firewire card...
Posted by: jonconley

Re: MP3 Player - 09/21/03 10:56 AM

USB 1.1 = 12 Mbps
USB 2.0 = 480 Mbps

So be sure to check which version you have. If it is USB 2.0, they usually advertise it in an obvious place. But even 12 Mbps is more than tolerable for most people using it in a situation like yourself.
Posted by: pergesu

Re: MP3 Player - 09/21/03 04:31 PM

Firewire is 400 Mbps, and Firewire 800 is...800 Mbps
Posted by: Chem

Re: MP3 Player - 09/22/03 03:49 PM

If you have the cash, and hove a ton of mp3's, stick out the money for an ipod.

It comes in a few flavours, and I'v heard mostly good things about it. Its ultra small, light wheight, anywhere from 5 gigs to 40 (depending on how much you want to spend) comes with a nice warranty. Works on all OS's (windows, Mac and Linux anyways..)

Im a die hard PCer, and never liked macs, but they made a pretty solid mp3 player.