mp3 players

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Darjevon, May 27, 2005.

  1. Darjevon

    Darjevon New Member

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    I usually try to stay in the soapbox, where I belong, but I figure this topic is more relevant here. I just lost my rio karma to a fall when dh biking with my hardtail, and I'd like to know what you guys use. I've been through 2 apple ipods, a rio karma, and a rio carbon, and I'm sick of them breaking. I'm an audiophile; I need at least 4gigs of capacity to store my huge album of lossless encoded mp3', therefore an hd player is desirable, but I'll go flash if i have to. what have u guys had success with?
     
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  2. romana

    romana New Member

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  3. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    Creative do some really good units, but i would stay away from the ipod range.

    Speaking to a friend that works in the electronics area there a a number of problems with them in relation to the batteries. The batteries dont appear to have a very good life past about a year (just outside the warrenty of the battery) and as the units are sealed you have to replace the whole thing rather then just the battery.

    That and for what you get they are really expensive
     
  4. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    I have a Creative Nomad Zen Extra (40Gb). It's big for the price and has a replaceable battery. I don't carry it for anything higher impact than xc skiing. As far as I know, there's no case for either the Nomad or the iPod that will keep the hard drive from crashing if you hit it. You're probably best off sticking to flash memory.
     
  5. Darjevon

    Darjevon New Member

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  6. friedmikey

    friedmikey New Member

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    Just an aside to your question: I've never heard of a "lossless mp3". Is there such a thing? Do you mean 320kbps mp3 or AAC? Or maybe are you referring to FLAC or ALE? If so, what portable players support it?
     
  7. Darjevon

    Darjevon New Member

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    There are several lossless formats.
    For example: FLAC (the L stands for lossless)

    To understand lossless you have to understand the mp3. Invented by Fraunhofer, it is an audio format which both vastly compresses the audio file and deletes some of it, but it uses human psychology to delete parts of the file that we hardly hear anyway. While it may be impossible to hear on a $150 stereo or a $25 pair of headphones, it can be heard with high-end stereos and headphones. Bit rate refers to the number of "slices" of music are lined up in a file. 64kilobytes per second loses a lot of the Mp3 and is audibly inferior to cd. 128kbps is near-cd quality... not that near and still audibly inferior, more noticeably if you listen to a short passage of music at lossless and then a short passage of 128kbps. You can double and double and double the constant bit rate, and you will eventually get to the point where you lose nothing from the original cd recording. That will be when you realize that your 5-minute song is over 250 megabytes. Then, only sixteen songs could fit on an Ipod mini.

    The solution is to vary the bit rate, so that different bit rates are used for different sections of the songs, which gets in every last bit of data that was on the original recording. This is much more space-efficient than using a tremendous bit rate to code a recording... variable lossless files are only five times or so the size of regular songs encoded at 128kbps, which means a 5-min song would take up 20 megabytes, which would enable you to load a lot more songs to your player's hard drive.

    I tried to make that as simple as possible... its the best i can do.

    I use flac, and the best Mp3 player i know of which supports it is the Rio Karma, a 20gb hd player. I've heard the hard drive is buggy; im too scared to take mine on bike rides.
     
  8. friedmikey

    friedmikey New Member

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    Nice description Darjevon. I listen to my music almost exclusively from my iPod, so FLAC's never been an option for me. I suppose I could try ALE, but I'm hesitant to lock myself in to a vendor-specific codec (vendor lock-in also happens to be why I refuse to buy a single song from iTMS). I've been using EAC/LAME encoded mp3s at --alt-preset standard VBR for the last couple years and I've been very happy with the sound quality, especially considering the very reasonable file size. I wish someone would come out with a portable player that was truly competitive with the iPod in terms of features, design and quality, that supported multiple file formats.
     
  9. timah

    timah New Member

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    I was thinking of getting one of these guys.

    http://www.mobibluamerica.com/dah1500.html

    Looks like it could be a good choice for cyclists. Its only like 18 grams and 1" cubed. Only 1 gig though. :(
     
  10. ebola

    ebola New Member

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    hehe.. :)
    I'm onto my NINTH mp3 player (albiet over a period of years, tech has advanced considerably..)
    I've lost an ipod in an ice-related fall (it saved my hip-bone i think :) )
    I just had an ipod mini which works fine but now the damn battery is playing up... after 5 weeks !!!! I note the comment on the batteries earlier. I think you can replace the internal battery though ?

    I'm onto the ipod Nano now.. I figure anything solid state is going to last a little longer.
    I'll let you know how long it lasts.
     
  11. UNF_Chaz

    UNF_Chaz New Member

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    i have the shuffle too... i love it!!! simply upload my crazy paylist and im off. when i got by a car it survived and i've had no problems with it
     
  12. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Picked up a 4 gig Nano about a month ago. Just love it. Simple, easy to use, light, elegant.

    On the other hand, I'm finding that I'd rather listen to the wind and road sounds than music... something very relaxing about being on a quiet road with nothing but the whir of the wheels to accompany you.
     
  13. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    Where do most of you keep your mp3 player when you ride ? In the back of your jersey or in a backpack?

    I'm thinking of getting an iRiver H10 20GB.
     
  14. UNF_Chaz

    UNF_Chaz New Member

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    in the back pocket of the jersey is where i keep mine.
     
  15. friedmikey

    friedmikey New Member

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    I used to keep my 40gb iPod in my jersey pocket. The middle pocket works best, so that the weight doesn't cause the jersey to twist around the body. However, a Shuffle is much better for cycling. You don't need a screen on the bike, it's very light and small, and the 1gb holds enough music for a century+. I just tied a rubber band to one shoulder loop on my bibshorts to hold the Shuffle. I wear the lanyard around my neck, just in case the rubber band breaks, but that hasn't happened yet. It's so small and light, I never feel it there.
     
  16. jcjordan

    jcjordan New Member

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    I keep mine down the front of the jersey, mines one of the small ones similar in size to a pen drive
     
  17. laffingbilly

    laffingbilly New Member

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    you could always crack the sucker open and put in a less buggy hd

    as far as lossless etc, i would say most people won't hear any difference between lossless and standard 128 mp3, especially if you are using earbuds or some other typical headsets.

    as for someone else's post regarding ipod batteries. that was an older issue which has since been resolved. moreover, if you have an older ipod, you can get $$ back as a result of the class action lawsuit, or apple will replace the battery for free (regardless of it being out of warranty). now if apple would just settle down and let me get use to my current ipod before coming out with a new one, i'd be happy.
     
  18. jim mccycle

    jim mccycle New Member

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    I have a 20 gig creative zen sleek and it's great. I had a fall the other day and broke my wrist, the mp3 was fine though!
    I used to have a 40gig creative zen touch which was stolen. I found it was more solidly built than the new mp3's and the battery life was infinitely better. I would go Creative but I haven't seen the iRiver which also looks really impressive.
     
  19. christoz

    christoz New Member

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    If you don't use iTunes in combination with an iPod you're using the equivilent of a 1960's steel frame bike that weighs 30 pounds. It's the greatest software/hardware interface ever created for consumers. I used to use the iPod Mini, but recently switched to the Shuffle. You don't need a screen for rides, and I use the random song selection because you don't learn the order of the songs which makes things more interesting. I bought the $20 armband, so I wear it on my arm, or I put it in my jersey pocket and use the earphone extension. Also, the standard earphones aren't that great. I tried the $125 Shure E3c earbuds and didn't like them at all, mostly b/c they didn't fit my ears. I use the Sony Fontopia's now and love them; great fit, cancel out external noise, superb bass.
     
  20. cyberlegend1994

    cyberlegend1994 Moderator

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    I just bought a SanDisk m230 512 MB player on "Black Friday" on an "early-bird special" for about $40 and it works great. It will hold about 120 .mp3 files or about 240 .wma files (this will vary if you load it with a combination of the two formats). It will also play protected .wma files so if you buy a lot of music from Napster (my favorite), Musicmatch, MSN, FYE, or one of those, this is a great unit to use - it will never skip or stutter and fits in the palm of your hand. This unit is also available in larger capacities for those who want to load it up with their entire collection.

    The iPod, being the only player that opens AAC files, on the flip side of the coin, will not open .wma files, which are what you would get if buying from Napster, Musicmatch, FYE, MSN Music, or Wal-Mart Music Download Store. However, Rhapsody will work with both iPods and .wma - capable mp3 players.
     
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