Saturday, May 28, 2005

Whats Up?

I'm working on an incredibly boring thing this weekend, which leaves plenty of time for my head to wonder. I'm looking forward to getting the HDD to replace on the iPod. I've been relying on borrowed iPods to do comparisons recently and that is frankly tempting fate, recalling what became of my previous iPods.

I have no idea how much the Apple specific ROM of the iPod-installed Toshiba HDD's will hinder the replacement. I've heard different things from different people, so let's find out conclusively next week.

So what's passed through chez bangraman since last posts?
iRiver: H320/iFP-lots, Sony: HD5 / NW-Elots (the new ones with the OLED displays) / RH10/DH10 Hi-MD's, Creative Muvo V200, and more HTPC parts than you can shake a motherboard at. In some cases it's been a quick look, a quicker writeup to meet deadlines, then out of the door again.

The Creative Muvo V200 is notable, because of all the flash players I was looking at this time around, it was the only one which didn't somehow get in my face. By that, I mean impede something I wanted to do on a daily basis. Choosing music and operating it is dead simple, unlike iRiver. Loading it is fast and simple, unlike iRiver (whether flashed with UMS or Manager, all the iRivers were significantly slower... like a *lot*.) and Sony (which were glacial in comparison). Sound is good, with the Sonys practically as good while the iRivers trailed a little. There are issues (poor quality recording, slightly iffy EQ in terms of what it does to the sound etc) but less that got in my way in general use than the other players I was looking at this time around. Plus of course, it has a built in USB jack. In many ways, compared to the Sony and iRiver players it's distinctly low-tech. But it's priced right and more importantly, works really well.

The Sony Flash players are cool looking and really well made, and do have excellent battery capabilities (and also sound pretty good too) but they're functionally a bit compromised. There's the Sonicstage thing which is a restriction on it's own, but the USB transfer itself is painfully slow compared to Creative and to a lesser extent the iRiver players. Still, it's a nice looking thing. It's generally well engineered and the controls are easy to use, but it's not as easy to control as the Creative. Also, the high-tech OLED display is virtually invisible in many daylight conditions. Indoors it's fine.

E400-series flash player under overcast skies, showing album/artist information.

The Karma is being fixed / replaced again (just a week after opening the previous replacement!), the Sony HD3 is collecting dust, and the H320 is pending an in-depth sonic comparison with the iPod.

I'm about two thirds of the way through the long delayed Qualia 010 review. I've given up with the HD3 review as there's not much point now and also because I don't think it's that great :p

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Dead iPod Chronicles, Part 3

Aha. Thought it was the end of that, eh? Well... things didn't go too well with ordering the replacement disk, because I killed said disk with a stupid, stupid accident a few minutes after I got the disk out of the anti-static bag. Since then I've gone through yet another refurb 3G iPod, which suffered a really, really, really stupidstupidstupid accident once again killing the disk.

The cost for repairing this one is now astronomical. I've borrowed yet another 3G iPod but in the interests of my proven extreme clumsiness, it's not left the house. So finally, I get on to part 3. I've ordered a replacement disc, should be here on the 27th of May. I'll look out for any cables, cats, potholes and other paraphenalia I could trip over and I will never, ever hold it like the do in the ads.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

No I've not forgotten about this site.

Unlike many blogs, which appear then disappear like a used car salesman, this is a long term thing. Honestly, I've not had much time to write any thing about the new toys. And in some cases I'm not allowed to write anything.

Up in the not distant future is the review of the Qualia 010 headphones, maybe something by Sony as soon as I decide which to focus on, and probably final comments on the Rio Karma.