Join Date: Feb 2012
Back when the D2 was released it mopped the floor with everything else available and put Cowon on the map.
-32 gb onboard flash
-supporting SD expansion was unheard of
-having 52 hours playback was unheard of
-first (good) player to rely solely on touchscreen interface for navigation, with no hardware buttons necessary on the front
-walkman buttons on the side so you could skip forward/back and keep it in your pocket, without unlocking the player and fiddling with controls on the front. This was the single biggest asset. This concept was explored by Creative on their Zen line of players, Cowon improved on it.
-the sound quality was good compared to other players of the time. Before 2006, you were making a sacrifice listening to an mp3 player instead of a portable CD player. The soundcards just weren't up to par. Creative were seen as the audiophile player of choice during this time (as a manufacturer of professional audio equipment for many years before getting into the PMP business, they obviously knew something about sound quality), but their horrible software and flimsy build quality of their players made them a very resentful company to buy from.
-solid build quality. It was a brick that could not be destroyed. Mine got flung/dropped so many times and kept working with no signs of age. Meanwhile ipods were dying left and right.
The D2 is still a good player and if mine hadn't been stolen, I would still be using it.
Cowon and other companies had done some of these things before on earlier players, but this was the first PMP ever to do all of these things. I think the D2 is what made Cowon important, and they simply haven't done anything as important since. The S9 and the J3 were just small enhancements on the D2 style formula. Better interfaces, better screens, and support for newer standards.
Support for ogg and flac was and still is rare on PMPs. That could be all Cowon has left that makes it special.
I think if Cowon want to make the kind of market invasion it did with the D2, they need something that is as disruptive as the D2 was in scope. In 2006, the D2 had the best specs across the board compared to all other players in existence. There was literally no reason to get anything else other than price, if you wanted a flash based player. That is what they need to do again. That is where I agree with the OP: Cowon were and should strive again to be the premium option. That is their best niche.
Last edited by Spatula; 03-11-2012 at 21:45..