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Thread: MP3 Players?

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    MP3 Players?

    Hi,
    I am looking around at MP3 players and the ones that use a laptop hard-drive seem pretty handy.

    I am tossing up between a few but can get any real opinions on how they will handle on a bike. They are about 4.5x3.5x1.5 inches in size so they are not small but I will carry it in the handlebar pannier.

    The reason I want one of these is they hold 20gb or more and I can take digi photos in full resolution and copy them over so I dont have to buy more memory cards. Also, a bit of music wouldn't hurt riding up those mountains and I can use the hard drive in my laptop when I finally buy one.

    My question is...has anyone used one on their bike and do the vibrations adversely affect them? The handlebar pannier should provide cushioning for the bumps.

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    Senior Member sebring's Avatar
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    Never heard of putting digital photos on the MP3 player. If it can do that great, but the MP3 player will take up a lot more space than a memory card. I recently bought a RIO S30S which is a sports model. It's about the size of a soda can around and like a half inch thick. Can clip to a belt or the arm band. Put out for a 256 MB memory card. It now holds 2 hours of music on the card taking up about a third of the memory with no internal memory being used. It only takes a couple minutes to remove the songs and upload new ones if I need a change. This may be a better option since it is so much smaller. No MP3 player should have any trouble from vibration though since they have no moving internal parts. By the way, I love having one. I use it when working out, sitting around, at work, every where.
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    Hi
    I should clarify the item I am on about. I am looking at a mStation Pocket 2 or similar HDD MP3 player:

    http://mstation.com.au/ms/products/?...&show=Category

    They contain a laptop harddrive and connect to the USB port on a PC. Once connected they act as a portable harddrive hence I can copy my photo's from my camera to the MP3 player. (just drag and drop in Windows Explorer) You can also copy mp3 music onto the hard drive and play them with the built-in MP3 player. So unlike conventional MP3 players that use memory cards this one uses a hard drive which obviously is spinning when in use.

    I am wondering if they can cope with the vibration on a bike. I will store it in my handlebar pannier while it is in use.

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    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are trying to re-invent the wheel with this one.

    I have never tried the products you mention but will say I doubt it will hold up over time bouncing around on your bike, just like a laptop wouldnt. MP3 players replaced the systems you are looking into (spinning mechanisms).

    For what you would spend on the proprietary laptop hard drive mentioned, I would just get a mp3 player that holds music, and get a few memory cards or a new camera.

    I regularly use 128MB flash card (weigh about 2 grams and smaller than most postage stamps) for my older Kodak DC220. I also have a flash card reader (4 grams) with USB support (most all new camera's have this now) which allows me to just drop and drag.

    Hope this helps.

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    the harddrive type will not hold up, as ehenz mentioned. i too use compact flash cards for my mp3 player. works for me.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

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    Got Jesus? bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
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    I debated and researched these things about a year ago.

    I decided to go with a CD-ROM based MP3 player for several reasons.

    1 - Price...way less expensive than the HD based and Memory Chip based units.

    2 - Durability...no spinning HD to worry about getting trashed from vibration.

    3 - Convenience...though you CAN load a full 20gb drive with a LOT of MP3's - programming various playlists can be a real pain in the arse. I've got several CD's that I simply dragged and dropped MP3's onto with whatever flavor of tunes I wanted to put on them. Each CD can hold something like 20+ hrs of CD quality MP3's.

    3a - Memory Chips just don't hold enough tunes unless you've got bags of dough to spend on 256mb or bigger chips. CD's are simply DIRT cheap by comparison!

    4 - I use recharchable NiMh AA's and they last for about 20 hours!

    I ride VERY rough, VERY rocky technical terrain and mine RARELY skips!

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    i used to have a MiniDisc player... talk about tough. that thing never skipped, one day i want to get a new one.

    later

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    Hi,
    I am not really re-inventing the wheel...just living in the 21st century. A harddrive is much more resilient to vibration then CD and they do have built in protective mechanism's for the read/write head to return to the 'home' position when severely vibrated while in use to prevent damage. My current MP3 player wont read cards anymore and it is a similar price for me you buy a new 256mb solid-state MP3 player or a harrdrive MP3 player...add to that the savings on buying more and more cards for my camera. I have costed it and it will be cheaper to get a hdd MP3 player.

    What I really need is real testimony from someone who has used on of these Hard drive MP3 players...thanks.

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    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    fujitive,

    Oops, I should pay more attention when I'm posting from work. First, I thought those were U.S. Dollars...silly me. Does not sound as pricey as I thought.

    Second, your are right. After looking further into your purchase I think I'm behind in the times...I thought CD's would never take hold

    Let us know how it works out, I think you might be the first to try this cutting edge technology.

    Regards,

    ehenz
    The love of oil is the root of all evil

    And before I forget to mention it, this is one polite and professional forum.

    Thanks,

    Ehenz

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    To infinity and beyond Anders K's Avatar
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    Hi,
    The Apple iPod http://www.apple.com/ipod/ works as a hard-drive as well as a music player. Available for both Mac and PC.

    Anders
    Eat my saddle ;-)

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fujitive

    What I really need is real testimony from someone who has used on of these Hard drive MP3 players...thanks.
    I own an old Archos Jukebox6000. It has built-in anti-shock protection and even has armoured sides. I've dropped it from a height of 6 feet while running and the unit automatically "scrams" the drive to protect itself. I like the fact that it is an agnostic system. It will work equally well with all types of OSes including Windows, MacOS, FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, etc... I have not used it while biking because I don't subscribe to the idea of riding with headphones and I don't have a speaker system for my bike but I have used it in the gym on a treadmill and hooked up to my Jeep's audio system while going offroad with no ill effects. I have however met someone who uses one for his daily commute by bike and he says he has had no problems with it skipping or undergoing head-crashes. You must remember that most of these things don't always keep the hard drive spinning either. They do have buffering capability so they only need to go to disk to pre-fetch a couple of songs and then park the drive.

    I am looking at getting the new Archos AV120 which has video playback capability via its colour 237x234 LCD display, card reader modules (SD/MMC, CF, MS, SM), video-capture, camera module and is both USB2.0 and Firewire/IEEE1394 compatible. It simply shows up as a USB or Firewire mass storage device to the OS and depending on the OS you use, may not require additional driver configuration at all. The problem with these things is that they can quickly run out of power long before they run out of playback memory. The rechargable batteries in my JB6000 only last about 8 hours. I usually have it plugged into a cig. lighter adapter in the Jeep. Additonally, the price seems quite competitive compared to say the iPod.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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    Carbon Fiber Nazi!
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    Originally posted by Aemon_
    i used to have a MiniDisc player... talk about tough. that thing never skipped, one day i want to get a new one.

    later
    Oh yes! MiniDisc is the stuff of geek dirty dreams! I have a Kenwood MD and I have never heard it skip, not even when I dropped it to the floor once (oops!). Discs are about $1 each and can be written and rewritten more times than I have ever tried, heh. Swappable Nickel Metal Hydride battery with a AA pack available in case you dont have two of the rechargeables. Nice desktop cradle. Better sound than I have ever heard from any MP3 on any player.

    MiniDisc, when you want first class!

    Allan

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    and now sony makes the netMD, so you can actually copy to the MD player like you would an mp3 player (as far as i know, i dont have one so dont hold me to that. thats how i understood it.). anyway, i dig MD players, thats my recommendation.

    later

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    My wife has a Sony MZ-R90 which is a couple of years old. She has the USB->optical converter so she can just hook it right up as a USB device. She loves it. I really like the form factour and features. For some reason, Sony decided not to continue on with the same form factour in their newer MD players.

    However, I myself chose not to go the MD route at the time because it would require me to record the music in realtime. How is it handled these days with the NetMD stuff? I thought you were still basically doing a recording. I like being able to just copy and manipulate files from my localhost to my Archos Jukebox like I would any other storage device. I can dump 6GB worth of stuff into my Jukebox in the time it takes my wife to record 10 songs to a minidisc.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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    Carbon Fiber Nazi!
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    However, I myself chose not to go the MD route at the time because it would require me to record the music in realtime. How is it handled these days with the NetMD stuff? I thought you were still basically doing a recording. I like being able to just copy and manipulate files from my localhost to my Archos Jukebox like I would any other storage device. I can dump 6GB worth of stuff into my Jukebox in the time it takes my wife to record 10 songs to a minidisc.
    That all depends. Some of the newer MDs will indeed copy files extremely quickly, and even compress them so that you can fit more than 80min on a single MD. Problem is, then you lose the quality just like MP3s. I prefer the old slow way of making real time MDs because I notice a substantial increase of music quality when I do it that way, and to me, it is more than just noise to pass the time, it is m-u-s-i-c. Then again I have a really nice player and really nice headphones, cheap players and headphones probably wouldnt see much difference between MDs and MP3s no matter how you did it.

    Allan

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Flea77
    That all depends. Some of the newer MDs will indeed copy files extremely quickly, and even compress them so that you can fit more than 80min on a single MD. Problem is, then you lose the quality just like MP3s. I prefer the old slow way of making real time MDs because I notice a substantial increase of music quality when I do it that way, and to me, it is more than just noise to pass the time, it is m-u-s-i-c. Then again I have a really nice player and really nice headphones, cheap players and headphones probably wouldnt see much difference between MDs and MP3s no matter how you did it.

    Allan
    Yeah, the MDLP is nice in that you can fit more music but I think you drop to 66kbps. My wife and I keep all our original music in MP3 format at at least 320kbps which is close to standard CD quality. MD is 290kbps (I think). Most of my music (original as well as net-acquired) is kept at either 256kbps or 320kbps CBR when possible (sometimes you just can't find higher quality than 128kbps). It means pretty large files but my MP3 player has a lot of room to work with. I notice no difference between music stored on MD/ATRAC vs. MP3 at the bitrates I use. Most people will tell you that ATRAC is superior quality to MP3 but what they don't tell you is that it's because ATRAC only compresses 1:5 while 128kbps MP3 is a 1:10 compression. If you only did 1:5 compression of the original to MP3, you wouldn't notice a difference.
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    Carbon Fiber Nazi!
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    It means pretty large files but my MP3 player has a lot of room to work with. I notice no difference between music stored on MD/ATRAC vs. MP3 at the bitrates I use.
    Interesting, but that is not my experience. To me, and of course music is very subjective, as is sound in general, everyone's ears are a little different, even at very high bitrates I can hear a SNR difference and slight differences with the lower freqs. To me, the sound quality of MD is superior to MP3s at any bitrate and compression, your mileage may vary :-) But either way, both high bitrate MP3s (assuming they were originally recorded that way and not converted, and assuming a quality recording setup) and MDs sound extremely good, both far and away better than 99% of the junk floating around the net I have seen these days.

    Other things I like about MDs include:

    1) Bummer, I dropped my Disc on the ground and ran over it with my car, I'm out $1. vs Bummer, I dropped my flash card on the ground and ran over it, I'm out $30.

    2) General durability of the player, discs etc.

    3) More mature technology than MP3 players.

    4) Extreme temp changes can screw with hard drives in MP3 players, not an MD (well your discs may not read right for a few minutes, no damage though).

    5) Generally, MD players offer better sound conversion than MP3 players because MD players are for the geeks or purists, not every teenager who treks to walmart :-) (hence them costing more in general)

    Just my two cents worth. Not saying I would turn down a free Ipod though, heh. Then again, I wouldnt trade my Kenwood MD player for two new Ipods either!

    Allan

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    second vote for iPod

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    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Anders K
    Hi,
    The Apple iPod http://www.apple.com/ipod/ works as a hard-drive as well as a music player. Available for both Mac and PC.

    Anders
    iPod rules. I don't know about the pc version, but the Mac version can also store and display an address book and your calendar schedule. In addition, I sync RSS news feeds to my iPod so I can read them on the go. I saw some of the older ones on sale at Best Buy. The 10GB one was going for $200 USD. They are also going for dirt cheap on eBay.

    Also, keep in mind that as far as hardware, there is no difference between the Mac and PC iPod. The only difference is the software that is loaded onto it. If you have a PC, you would simply need to get a hold of the software for the PC version. That shouldn't be a problem.
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by danr
    iPod rules. I don't know about the pc version, but the Mac version can also store and display an address book and your calendar schedule. In addition, I sync RSS news feeds to my iPod so I can read them on the go.
    Yeah? Well... I can play Doom on my Archos Jukebox!

    Okay, in all seriousness, I think we're way off topic here. The original post was about having a mass storage device that not only played music files but could also act as a portable offline storage facility for digital camera images stored on card-based media. I think the various Mambos and the Archos AV120 (20GB) or AV140 (40GB) fit the bill. Between, the two, I would chose the Archos units because they have some ruggedised features which would make them more survivable for cycling. Additionally, the AVs have video playback on-unit via their colour LCD displays.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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    Thanks for the comments guys...plenty for me to think about. I am still undecided as the one big doubt I have is most of my holiday pics will be on it and I am worried if the harddrive crashes due to vibration/knocking/dropped/whatever I may lose them.

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    Senior Member Hawkster's Avatar
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    Hey fujitive,
    My Parents got me an Archos 6000 for Christmas the year before last and I have not had it skip on me yet.

    Around two months after I got it it started acting all funny and wouldnt play unless I held the ON button down and such so I called tech support and they were very helpful and friendly and they sent me another one with no fuss.
    The new one has been working just fine ever since.

    As for the Pictures getting lost could you keep a copy on your computer hard drive as well? If you have a cd burner you can put a copy of the pics on a cd for backup, I can get around 800 1024x768 750Kb pictures on a cd which is quite handy, plus I can put pics on CDs for friends & family since they are so cheap. (no, not my friends and family)

    ANYWAY I have had very good luck with the Archos and it is highly recomended, Also you can make a playlist so that they play in a certain order or whatever but I usually have mine play randomly.

    Hope this helps on your Quest for picture-taking, music listening, BLISS.

    Nater for Low, Paul J. :cool:
    Three wheels do not a bicycle make.

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    Senior Member Hawkster's Avatar
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    Is this the one you are looking at? That thang looks pretty frigging Hot!

    Ok, Bye
    Three wheels do not a bicycle make.

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    thre real question is why do you want to listen to music or take pictures when your riding. i know it might be fun, or cool, and something to play with, but after time it WILL get boring. there is only so many times you can take pics of the same intersection before you must reinvent the food you had fro lunch, or even your cliff bar. and music.. you might as well just buy a jersey that says hit me with a trash truck. listen to music takes away your one of the best censors you have when you ride. And isn't it called riding for a reason. not pedalling on a piece of metal while my mind wonders in the music i am listening to. riding is ment for riding you dont need anything else on or with you when you go riding. it has its music, and pictures right there infront of your eyes. so drop the music, and the pics.. (anyways) no matter what you buy it will get worn out guicker, because no electronical devices like being vibrated to death.. it will break. so put your little music pleasure on your desk or dresser and get on your bike, and do some real pedalling. come back to the music after you have gotten your riding fix

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Hawkster

    ANYWAY I have had very good luck with the Archos and it is highly recomended, Also you can make a playlist so that they play in a certain order or whatever but I usually have mine play randomly.
    If you're interested, there's a group that has reverse-engineered the Archos Jukebox-Players and Jukebox-Recorders and created an advanced firmware.

    Check out: http://rockbox.haxx.se/

    Also, if you want, send me a private message and I'll share with you my .wps file which allows you to customise the format of the display for when a song is playing.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

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