Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Damage

  1. For all intents and purposes, ATRAC CD as a format was dead as a doornail when it was born, and it's still dead as a doornail. SO it goes.
  2. Authorization if you want to use CONNECT store tracks. Otherwise, you should be able to plug and play with 703F
  3. Nice to know that 830 existed, at least for our British compatriots. As far as I'm concerned, the PCDP is dead (outside of low end D-NF430s)... It's a shame, but I'm glad that I have one of each ATRAC CD Generation models (D-NE1, D-NE910, D-NE20). It was an interesting experiment, and should've continued onto DVDs (as they are now reaching CD-R prices). Alas, it is not to be.
  4. To be fair, SonicStage has improved quite a bit since the days of NetMD and 128MB MagicGate Memory Stick days, where you were limited to 3 check ins our check outs or other bit of nonsense. However, compared to other jukebox programs (say MediaMonkey, for example), it still fails. For instance, a jukebox program should be intelligent enough to compile compliation albums on its own based on ID3 tags. So, if you have an album by several artists under single album title, it should naturally import into a single album under album view. Unfortunately, SonicStage still fails at this common task (To be fair, it seems to take the approach of Artist->Album, which is more logical). Using SonicStage is straightforward. However, managing tracks within SonicStage is an absolute chore vs. other managers, especially when it comes to multi 10s of gigs of music. Try putting those albums back together one by one manually and see if you don't curse SonicStage to kingdom come. Trust me, it's not pleasant. However, the thing that drag and drop implies on most DAPs is the use of UMS file transfers (that is, able to import and export music without the aid of a jukebox program, WMP, iTunes, SonicStage, etc.). In that instance, all Sony players do fail at providing drag and drop capabilities. So does the iPod, though there are plenty of third party programs that does the database management to give users alternatives. Sony gears, to date, does not, new players notwithstanding. So given that, it is absolutely right on CNet to dock points for this critical failure. But that is due course for most Sony gears. Where it should count, sound quality, the CNet has got it right. The S703F sounds absolutely fabulous. (note: I've recently gotten a S703F for $40+Tax at buy.com using google checkout. Jump on it.)
  5. I'm going to say that you stick with the bundled in MDR-NC22s. They are essentially MDR-EX90 drivers with NC circuitry built in. The performance you get out of the NC22s should be fairly comparable to the experience that you'll likely get out of MDR-EX90s. The acoustic difference due to the different housing is probably minimal at best. One issue that I'm not aware of, however, would be comfort. IF the drivers are too heavy for your ears, then it might be worth your money and time to persue IEMs or MDR-EX90s. Mind you, the MDR-EX90 path is lateral at best given your gear. IF you're that worried about background hiss, turn off the NCs altogether. With NC on, you'll hear a bit of noise that's introduced by the noise cancelling circuitry. It can't be helped... The EX90s, and by extension, NC22s, will be a bit bass shy compared to other Canal buds. Have you tried using the larger gaskets with the NC22s? The better the seal, the bigger and better the bass quality. I wouldn't recommend the CX300s compared to the NC22s, as the upgrade would be lateral at best (much like EX90s). Frankly, unless you're willing to spend more than player itself or sacrifice portability and NC abilities by using larger phones, such as Grados SR60/80s, KOSS 60ohm series, MDR-V6 or SA line, Senn HD5xx line, etc. you won't see that dramatic of an improvement over the NC22s. Given their heritage and the NC abilities, I'd say stick with what you got until you're willing to go into big boy territory.
  6. Your device supports 96kbps, so why not give that bitrate a whirl? Considering your headphones (stock vs. decent vs. headphile grade), your listening environment, and your needs, the 64kbps may not cut it or it might be that perfect sweetspot. For the longest time, I didn't have any complaints listening to 64kbps material either. However, if at all possible, try to rip materials from the original CD Sources before you rip into low bitrates. Transcoding your materials to lower bitrate (especially on CODEC to CODEC transcoding) will only result in tears of sadness and despair.
  7. G-Protection, as far as Compressed audio goes, shouldn't affect the final sound output. The unit spins up and down as needed to fill its buffer. Since the disc is not spinning fully, there isn't really need to use G-Prot 2 unless you're that paranoid. As for redbook, there are some compression involved, but chances are you won't hear any distortions or artifacts due to that particular compression. Don't lose sleep over it.
  8. Damage

    ne830, ne20, ej2000

    Generally speaking, the D-NE10/910/810s will sound generally alike to one another and the D-NE20 series to one another. So, if you like the sound of the D-NEx20 series, then stick with the 20 series, you will find the sound from the D-NE10 will be dissapointing compared to the D-NE20. Oddly enough, more of them folks at Head-Fi preferred the sound of the 10 series over the 20 series. As for me, the 20 series do sound a tad bit better, but not as much as you might suggest. It's an incremental upgrade, but compared to other PCDPs of the era (more than two years ago), it was pretty advanced (only the iRiver's SlimX series had achieved something equal to it). But now, the flash players are taking over the market that the CD used to occupy. With Sony now more or less done with high end PCDPs...
  9. The HD3, from what I recall, is no more or no less noisier than other Sony gears from that era. So go accordingly from there. I've had a change of thought on Shure E3s, and I still won't recommend these to average users. Too much vocals, way too less of anything else. However, this makes it perfect for monitoring recordings and what not (which I did use briefly). When the instrumentals dominates the vocals with the E3s, you know you have problems in your recording materials. If you're really looking for IEMs that are slanted more for casual goodness, the Super-Fi (3s or 5s, 5s offering better balance overall though the 3s are good for what they are) or the EX90s are recommended. If you have extra $$ to break, then you can venture into E4c area which has more friendly sound flavor.
  10. Damage

    2007 PCDP?

    Give up hope, at least for high end. Frankly, I think some redesign aside (more clearance room on the top for the CDs) or what not, the CD Walkman (Technically) still exists in the cheap PSYC models and what not, but I think we've seen the end of ATRAC CD players. They've also been partly supplanted by the DVD Walkman as well (to a point)...
  11. How are you connecting your Walkman to your CD Player? Tape Deck converter? Patch Cable? Unless you're using a FM Transmitter, check your cabling first. Then your transmitter, then your file.
  12. I'd love to stick one of those SSDs in my HD5 and give that a whirl.... Flash 32GB MP3 player...
  13. Damage

    New iPods

    Outside of the Vaio pocket, I've owned or used (and lost/been victim of theft) of many of the said devices you have listed, plus more (including most of the Atrac CD player lineup and couple of CLIE PDAs that are still in my collection). So, I think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to modern Sony Gears. In addition, I've owned too many devices, including Sansa, Rio, iPods, Creative Zens amongst others. So I do know what I'm talking about. And I do know that for the most part, they do competent job of decoding and delivering the decoded audio to your ears. I will stand by that given equal files (a 320kbps MP3, since all of these devices can handle MP3s) that you can find the tell tell signature differences of each DAP, but you won't tell which DAP is which DAP based on that difference alone in a blind AB Test setup. And I attribute this, in large part, due to the codec chip being commoditized by few companies: SigmaTel, PortalPlayer, and Sony being the major three that designs and furnishes the CODEC chips. The remainder differences do lie in the components used and what not, but unless thye've totally screwed with the design/firmware (see MZ-RHx10 HiMD for the blatant example) the final sound quality will vary very little. Ancedotally, I'd attribute this to the big cable test that was done at Head-Fi, where a guy had cabled the phones with several types of cable (silver, cheap Radio Shack, and one other) and sent these cables to be tested. The results? One tester got the cables right, and most ended up attributing the cheap Rat Shack cable as the more expensive and higher quality silver cables. Audio Quality is very finicky, and even more so when you have bias and such working against you. Finally, AudioTStation is no longer an Sony/MD exclusive board. ATRACLife is to a degree, but many of us do own and use other brands. Doesn't mean we can't enjoy offerings from Sony along with other brands now does it?
  14. Damage

    New iPods

    He has much right to nitpick Sony's stuff as you've done with iPods. And again, I don't think you've put in as much time in other DAPs as Pata or other members of the board have. As irrelevant as his posts might seem he has been a valuable contributor to this and other boards for far far longer than you. And you'll get other long time members to vouch for him at a drop where as you're essentially adding nothing to the conversation at this point. Again, I will make my point that all DAPs will sound decent enought to most ears that the differences that are there will be minimal. The only glaring weakness that iPods have in the SQ regard (and most people will acknowledge this) is the lack of functional EQ. Personally, that's a moot point since I don't use EQ-if your gear can't stand the basic test without having to fiddle around with the EQ, your gears got issues. One of the bigger flaws in the previous generation of HiMDs and MP3 playback (the RH10 generation) was the crippled MP3 SQ. It's questionable decisions like these that made the Walkman more or less irrelelvant.
  15. Damage

    New iPods

    When it's all said and done, and given proper equipment in a blind test setup, I'm betting that you won't be able to tell the difference between an iPod, a Zen, a Walkman, and whatever DAP you want to throw into the mix. You might be able to discern that one is different from another, but not necessarily say that A is iPod, B is Zen, etc. So, in light of that I say that most DAPs soundwise is equal to one another-or at least, there isn't one that is obviously inferior to another as you may have insinuated. What is interesting is the addition of video, which I believe got started by Sony thanks to Vaio Pocket (to a degree) and PSP. If memory serves, both of these devices did portable video and (especially) PSP showed that there is some interest in the portable video market (that, along with tons of portable DVD players on the market to boot). Sony may have gotten there first, but as always, botched it with the UMD format. Getting back to the point at hand. Frankly, no one has taken the time and the effort to actually do Blind Test to see which DAP is indeed superior. And that might be ways off, if it all takes place. However, understand that the iPod (for all intents and purposes) is still the leader inspite/despite/because of its lack of features and other weaknesses that we see because of very superior user experience. That is one thing that's lacking in all other DAPs, especially if you're not technical like many of us here are. Yes, I think many of us would like to eventually see an iPod killer. I think there is already one in the making in Zune, in a way that's much like the original XBOX. XBOX had no right to be here, but look at its successor the 360... It revolutionized online console gaming, and now it's a standard feature in all consoles of the new generation. Once Microsoft figures out how to do the squirt properly, I'm thinking that WiFi might be a standard in the upcoming generation of DAPS. The whole convergence thing notwithstanding of course. In that, Sony Ericsson has the advantage, but not the marketing. Whic is a missed opportunity... The Walkman Phone could've been the iPod of the Phone industry had SE marketed the heck out of it like MOTO does with its phones. As it stands, the Walkman Phones are virtually unknown here in the states. Which is too bad. If the rumors are to be believed, then Apple's got the market sewn up even before it has released anything of importance.
  16. Damage

    New iPods

    Having been in both camps (iPod and Walkmen), and having used several other DAPs, the whole iPod vs. DAPs is quickly becoming one of user experience. 1. Components: Nuts to soup (outside of Cheap Chinese Generics, CCGs), the DAPs that you're using are provided by very few companies-PortalPlayer, Sony, SigmaTel. SigmaTel now powers quite a bit of DAPs on the market, including most Creatives, newer iPods, and many smaller brand DAPs. PortalPlayer (which used to in majority of iPods until the newer iPods) now powers all of SanDisk's Sansa line (outside of the cheap looking E100s and M100s). Sony, obviously, uses its own solution mainly due to ATRAC, but it is obviously powerful enough to decode all of the codecs on the market. Given the commonality of these parts, by in large, most of these players will sound very similar to one another. In a blind test (which admittedly I haven't done), I'm not sure if I can pick out my NW-HD5, Rio Carbon, Sansa E100, or other various MP3s I've used over the years. And this is with any number of headphones I've used. I can tell you the impression of each DAPs I've listened to, but in a blind test environment (no EQ, same files, same CODEC choice, etc.), I'm not sure if I can tell which would be which. 2. Battery Life: Used to be that the battery life was critical, and it is to a degree. However, ask yourself this question. How much music do you really listen to during your day? And how often far away are you from a USB Charging solution? Granted, it's easier to charge a CCG DAP (or to a degree NW-HD5 among others) with a simple USB cable, but even then, the iPod cable is a de-facto standard of its own... Unfortunately, this is a bit of a hairy point since each brand of player seem to be using its own weirdfangled port for charging. 3. Capacity: I remember reading a report (that came out sometime last year?) that said an average user has a total of 400-500 songs in his or her DAP at one point or another. So, majority of people do not need a 30GB nor an 80GB (why is iPod the only DAP that has such a capacity? It's staring to answer that nicely, don't it?), their needs and their library can be filled with an 8GB DAP (or 20~30GB at most). As for the slow fill argument, it's an one time process, to copy your library to your device initially and update incrementally. 4. Feature Gap: Outside of actual functional EQ, the iPod and other DAPs have similar functionalities (outside of FM tuner, which seems to be a personal preference). With the Gapless playback, now enabled on the iPods, you can really say that most DAPs have become equal. Given these four points, the biggest difference between the MP3 players now lies in the form, price, and user experience. OF the three, I think the user experience (how easy to get the DAP setup and running, how easy it is to navigate, how easy to add songs and podcasts, how easy... etc.) becomes a key point to how a DAP can succeed. Given its equal price and superior features, why has Zune all of a sudden fallen off the face of the earth? The Zune software is still rough around the edges (and given its 5 year late start, its understandable), and that in turn has turned off a lot of potential buyers. Likewise, the early woes with SonicStage turned off a lot of potential customers as well. The whole 3 times checkout nonsense, forced transcoding to ATRAC (though the processor was apparently powerful enough to handle MP3s-note, this does not include about ATRAC3plus devices), clunky interface (that's changed very little since 2003? with SonicStage 2.0) all compounds Sony's problem. The Connect Player fiasco probably exacerbated the situation. What about the navigation within the unit? All of the iPods (hell, even the Carbon) has zero lag during playback to navigation. HD5 on the other hand has that 4 second lag when you want to navigate during the middle of the playback. Or have you conveniently forgotten that part? The HD5 has a good navigation system given the lack of jog or scroll wheel. However, it still can't compare to the relative ease of iPods navigation system. Sony has taken an interesting step with the newer DAPs - premium quality to add to the overall user experience. The newest Walkmen with the NC phones are I think an indication of where Sony wants to head in the future. That said...
  17. Couple of options: 1. Use Disc2Phone, easiest for those of us that are not computer savvy. 2. Use MediaMonkey. It has provisions for media management for Walkman phones. Run MediaMonkey, hook your phone to your PC and allow auto management. 3. Drag and Drop. On your memory stick pro duo card (or on the phone itself), there should be a folder called "MP3," Open it. There is a strict folder hierarchy that SE phones use for management, but it's quite easy once you get the hang of it. X:\MP3\<artist>\<album>\track.mp3 Keep that hierarchy in mind and you'll save yourself a river of tears. Note that while your phone supports MP3 and MP4s (standard AAC, ripped by Winamp or iTunes), it doesn't handle HE-AAC, WMAs, or ATRAC files.
  18. It should work. After all, if that didn't work, the unit couldn't run off of AC either (as the pack also has an AC Port). I know I've ran the unit with depleted gumsticks and without gumsticks in the past. Just to add extra, I know I've done likewise with few MD units as well...
  19. Pata is absolutely right on the nose. As far as MP3 sound output is concerned, outside of the cheap $5 chinese MP3 players, most reputable DAPs will use a recognized part from SigmaTel, PortalPlayer, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, etc. Because of this, most DAPS in the end will sound very similar to one another (provided they use quality Caps, headphone out, etc.) with some variation on its general signature. Having listened to Sony's, iPods, and various Sigmatel powered DAPs, the Sigmatels and the Sonys offer that pleasing fuller bass and a bit brightish treble, probably to compensate for cheaper pack ins. iPods have that "flat sound" upto 4th Gen. and the Nanos. The Shuffle (powered by Sigmatel) is often declared the best sounding DAP, so take that for what's its worth (remember that upto the 5th Gen and the newer Nanos, all of the iPods were driven by PortalPlayer)... So, we're at a point where most DAPs will sound very similar to one another (and fungible with EQ). The biggest stumbling block is now then the delivery device. For most, the Bose Triports will be as high a end as they're willing to go. And if that's the way they want to go, that's fine. After all, $150 is still a substantial amount, and not everyone is willing to pay more for headphones than the actual unit itself (I myself included). With judicious shopping, you can find good alternatives like the SA1000s (~$125), Grado SR60s, MDR-V6s, Senn HD555s, etc. The new Sony NW-S70X series is I think where DAPs has to go to differentiate itself - Premiums. What sets the NW-S70Xs apart from all others? By including noise cancelling headphones as pack ins, you've just gave someone an incentive to buy the S70X rather than a cheaper DAP and a Bose QC2s, perhaps. And you know there are market for NC phones...
  20. Hmmm, from the model numbers, the EX85s are going to have the usual canalphone action going. Just not quite evident from the pictures. Otherwise, it'd probably be a part of the MDR-E8X8 line... I must say I want one of those D333s here... They look quite hot, especially in White.
  21. The biggest issue with this player and airplanes is probably due to FM Transmitter. AS so long as you don't use that feature, then you should be OK in using the unit on board.
  22. Damage

    Thoughts on the D-NF430?

    Mine comes from using the D-NE330, which is essentially D-NF430 sans AM/FM tuner. 1. Read more, but to sum it up, it's a Sony Portable. SonicStage is completely optional, unless you want to listen to ATRAC files. 2. 15 mW + 15 mW won't necessairly lead to louder sounds (well, hold that thought), but will result in reduced distortion when the volume is cranked up. This is more important with higher impedence (read: usually more expensive) headphones being driven without an amplifier. Outside of that application, you won't notice that much of a volume boost (per se) when you're using standard earbuds or other low impedence (read: usually cheaper) headphones. So you can get louder sounds with less distortion. 3. My experience is that there will be some noise associated with headphone out with any portable units. The recent flash players and ones using High Definition/Digital Amps notwithstanding, most PCDP units have some hiss, which you can hear with more sensitive phones during quiet passages. In standard portable scenarios, it won't make a difference. 5. Never had a problem with Battery Life. I tend to use Compresed Audio (high bitrates, at least 192kbps) for the most part, and they held up pretty well (at least 20+ hours). 6. Unless you're in total darkness, the LCD shouldn't pose that big of a problem. However, it might be frustrating to read the screen occassionally, as it is pretty small, even compared to some Flash LCDs. 7. The Jog Lever is a bear, and you might get frustrated with it, especially if you have big fingers. Media compatibility? Well, the previous generation of CD player (D-NE20 specifically) had some issues with certain files, though they seem to have fixed that in this iteration.
  23. Having the (Black) E005F in hand... There are couple of ergonomics issue, the volume buttons and the fwd/rew button locations are close enough to get them confused (and I've done this several times already). I'd rather had the volume buttons on the opposite side of where it is, or move the fwd/rew buttons to the front. OLED is virtually useless in bright/daylight locations, but we knew that already. Also, to touch on briefly, the E00XF series makes for a compelling iShuffle killer, but that's all that it is. A USB Key that can play MP3s as well. Frankly, they could've thrown in extra features here or there, like the Virtual Expander compatibility for Data files. There are some very intriguing features here that are not on other DAPs that I'm aware of. For instance, the E00X series seemingly feature on the fly normalization (D.Normalizer under Advanced->Sound) and ability to work with both normal power and low power (hub based) USB ports. Frankly, these features should be standard, especially the latter. Besides, for $130, it's a good DAP, only outclassed by the cheap generics from China and Taiwan.
  24. Damage

    Battery Life Troubles

    Not with HD units you do. You will want to charge it up to full nonetheless, but on units that uses LiIon batteries (most DAPs these days), discharging the battery fully will kill it faster than partial charges (at least in the terms of how long the battery will be able to hold a full charge). Battery University does recommend a full discharge once every thirty full charges (or 60 half charges, etc.) for fuel gauged devices. Depending on your use, that's probably once every 3 mo. or so.
  25. I don't forsee Web Browsing to be a major problem, as it's done using Opera browser. That is, at least ones that are not heavily reliant on AJAX. Add white veneer to it and you can almost call this an iPhone
  • Create New...