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Old 01-11-2011, 06:03   #1
dissapointed!
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Default New X7 doesn't work, Are there any _good_ players?

I'm really frustrated with mp3 players in general. There don't seem to be any decent ones any more, everyone follows Apple's awful fad-driven design decisions!

Firstly there was the switch a while back to built-in rechargable batteries - I thought at the time that this would mean players becoming unusable after a year or two, and that's exactly what happened to my (otherwise great) Sony players - replacing the dead battery costs as much as the player did. No user replaceable batteries available for those models.

On top of that the costs of players seems to actually be _higher_ than they were a year or two ago, even for the same capacity.

Then there's the incredibly tiresome 'touchscreen' fad, something that is pointless on a pure music player, making it harder to operate than with buttons. But every manufacturer goes for that now, because its what Apple do, and 'the market' demands everyone copy Apple.

The X7 certainly suffers from the last of these, its interface is horribly clunky (though at least it has physical volume controls, unlike Creative's offering - having to operate a touchscreen to tweak the volume is insane). And its touchscreen is really inaccurate - you have to touch adjacent to some icons for it to respond.

Now, the good thing about the X7, as everyone says, is its more like Sony sound quality (in fact slightly better) than it is Apple's, and it doesn't have the stupid low-volume that Apples have long had and that Sony now has as well. Also, awesome battery life, something quite important to me. So it gets some things absolutely right.

But...as everyone has said, playlists don't work (how did they manage to mess this up?) and the UI is awful. In what way is repeatedly dragging your finger across an inaccurate touchscreen a better means of scrolling than just pressing an up or down button?

Most of all, though, upon receiving this thing I tried loading my music on it and found it (a) kept disconnecting part way through, and (b) finally locked up entirely, even the reset button doesn't help, it just freezes in the 'initialising' screen, leaving strange white dots and lines on the display. Unusable.

So its going back. But I can't find anything else worth buying (gimmicky touchscreens, low volume limits, poor sound quality, bad UI, stupid built-in non-replaceable batteries, higher prices than a year ago - every player seems to have several of these traits now). So I might be digging out my ancient minidisk player or going back to tapes or something! Or perhaps just make do with humming to myself!

I blame 'the market' for preferring stupid gimmicks to getting the basics right.

Why can no manufacturer avoid screwing something up? How can Cowon get the sound quality so right and then mess up playlists?

Last edited by dissapointed!; 01-11-2011 at 06:07..
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:27   #2
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I like my Sansa Clip+, so much that I'm going to buy a backup one .
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:52   #3
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Originally Posted by dissapointed! View Post

So its going back. But I can't find anything else worth buying (gimmicky touchscreens, low volume limits, poor sound quality, bad UI, stupid built-in non-replaceable batteries, higher prices than a year ago - every player seems to have several of these traits now). So I might be digging out my ancient minidisk player or going back to tapes or something! Or perhaps just make do with humming to myself!

I know nothing I will say will clear out your disappointment... I partially agree with you: there are many brands out there, but so little real options. I did my research before buying my X7 and I had narrowed my options down to two: Cowon X7 and 5.5 Generation Ipod (240 GB).

These both have:
- Customizable EQ (Ipod + Rockbox)
- Great HDD Space
- FLAC Support
- Drag'n Drop Support
- Gapless playback (Believe me even Zune 120 can't handle gapless playback; they say it can but it CANNOT)
- Good sound quality [IPOD 5.5 has good SQ due to the Wolfson DAC inside it - which later generation IPODs no longer have. Only yesterday I compared extensively the SQ of IPOD 5.5 vs Cowon X7 and I assure you the difference in SQ is negligible. Even there's little difference between IMOD (headphone out) and X7 in means of SQ. Zunes are also fine. What I'm trying to say is that all the major mainstream portable players have fine SQ, but of course reportedly they are not even close to Hm-801 and other audiophile players which also have major problems like hdd space, UI, size, cost etc.]

Then you have an imperfect interface and an average touchscreen on the X7. You have the wheel on the IPOD, a "genius idea"? No. Still, neither the interface and touchscreen on the X7, nor the wheel on the IPOD are trash. They are imperfect, but good enough.

There are too many complaints about the X7, so I believe it's a shame for Cowon to have manufactured a device so susceptible to failure. (But then my Zune 120 died on me after 8 months without warning.) However there are not many options out there that harbor so many positive traits. So send your X7 back, but don't turn away from it, get a replacement, start anew. That's my recommendation to you...

Hope things turn out well.

Regards.

Last edited by meurglys0; 01-11-2011 at 09:01..
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:41   #4
kyleclay
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Surrender Gave up ~ Going back to quality

Totally agree with you......I kept my X7 simply because there is nothing out there I like...To me...you might as well have an Ipod.
I am viewing this X7 as a temporary at best. Simply for HDD size and Screen size. Thats it. Getting playlist on this thing is a pain in the rear.
It is by far, without question, the buggiest device I have ever owned.
I was so proud and happy to try something else but, I can never go back to Cowon.
I do have experience so before you try to give me all the work arounds for this device, I will say; I have in my arsenal beginning about 7 years ago, creative labs 1g mp3 player, Ipod classic, Zune 32g, creative zen, Ipod touch. I have worked in IT.
I, as a consumer, just want to buy a media player that works, that I do not have to spend time with figuring out work arounds and other crap. I want to hook it up, sync, drag and drop other docs and thats it.
This X7 has totally turned me off to alternative MP3 players. This is why people use apple and the likes.
Oh it sounds all noble and cool to bash others and talk of fads and the like, yeah I have done that too but, reality is, the masses buy these because they work. We tout alternative and better but reality is people buy the popular because its popular because it works and is easier.
I wanted X7 to work so bad, gave it all the positives I could but in the end, can't even really enjoy it. Too much work.
Bottom Line is X7 miserably failed and will turn people back to Apple.
Peace

Last edited by kyleclay; 01-11-2011 at 18:33..
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Old 01-11-2011, 18:12   #5
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well i'd never go for sony, cant see what the fuss is about, creative have been ok, their Zen vision M, was the don!and then came apple touch...really poor sound, but great user interface-heck even mediamonkey transfered all my files to it without problems!! but cos of the poor sound and the 64gb space, i moved onto the Cowon!!!

now everyone agrees that the cowon sound is the don at the moment, esp with its equilaizer settings. Cowon released the X7, now with a massive hard drive and great battery power, i'd have to be crazy not to get it!

well what a disaster the X7 is!!! went through two of them!! it was like going back to the stone age!!! transfering playlists was a disaster, i encountered more problems with the x7 than all my previous mp3 players put together!!!

now i'll just wait for cowon to get off their fat ar55es and do something about it! or wait for creative to come up with a more decent player, or apple to improve their sound (i doubt that'll happen though)
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Old 01-11-2011, 18:17   #6
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Originally Posted by meurglys0 View Post
These both have:
- FLAC Support

Regards.

sorry, but apple will never have flac support (actualy maybe 5yrs down the line)
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Old 01-11-2011, 18:32   #7
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Surrender Not concerned about flac files

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Originally Posted by JackBauer View Post
sorry, but apple will never have flac support (actualy maybe 5yrs down the line)
After this experience, I am not concerned with FLAC files. My understanding is that IPOD will play WAV files. I haven't tried it but message boards says it does, and if so, well all the better.
I will go back to quality next generation that increases storage, trash the X7 and never look back.
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Old 01-11-2011, 18:46   #8
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there is nothing wrong with flac files, its the player that has the problem!!
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Old 01-11-2011, 19:02   #9
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Default Love the FLAC but not worth the player

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there is nothing wrong with flac files, its the player that has the problem!!
Yeah true, very true, love the FLAC files, just so turned off by this player....never ever have I had this kind of problem. This was an expensive experience for me. What I meant was that I will go with WAV files if need be for the non-compression or low compression. However, in the end, the sound simply was not worth it, all my other MP3 players just played...just did playlist....just worked. And that by far is the most important of all.
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Old 01-12-2011, 00:22   #10
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sorry, but apple will never have flac support (actualy maybe 5yrs down the line)
Ipod generation 5.5 is rockboxable which provides the flac support.

Still, even if you choose to buy a newer Apple product, there's Apple Lossless codec you can turn to. Just convert your flacs to apple lossless and you will have lossless files playing on your Ipod. But will you be able to enjoy your music with no customizable EQ, that is the question....
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:57   #11
dissapointed!
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Originally Posted by JackBauer View Post
well i'd never go for sony, cant see what the fuss is about, creative have been ok, their Zen vision M, was the don!and then came apple touch...really poor sound, but great user interface-heck even mediamonkey transfered all my files to it without problems!! but cos of the poor sound and the 64gb space, i moved onto the Cowon!!!

now everyone agrees that the cowon sound is the don at the moment, esp with its equilaizer settings. Cowon released the X7, now with a massive hard drive and great battery power, i'd have to be crazy not to get it!

well what a disaster the X7 is!!! went through two of them!! it was like going back to the stone age!!! transfering playlists was a disaster, i encountered more problems with the x7 than all my previous mp3 players put together!!!

now i'll just wait for cowon to get off their fat ar55es and do something about it! or wait for creative to come up with a more decent player, or apple to improve their sound (i doubt that'll happen though)


Well, in my opinion Sony _used_ to be very good, in the short period between the point when they ditched Atrac/Sonic Stage and the point when they embraced touch screens, hugely increased their prices and imposed a volume cap. During that period they had very good sound quality and good capacity for the price and better volume than Apple, and were reliable and well built. And amongst the best battery life. Now they seem to have given up competing and have lost most of those advantages. (They were actually pretty good as hardware even before then, but Sonic Stage was a piece of crap and the use of Atrac was a major limitation).

Part of my reasoning for going for the X7 was that if I'm going to have to pay 2 to 3 times as much as I did for the last player I bought, I might as well get one with massively more storage so I can just bung everything on it and forget about it, and don't have to keep changing the tracklist.

Now it looks like the ipod classic is the only option (no point getting a Touch and paying 3 times as much as my old Sony for just 2 times the storage and _worse_ sound quality). Shame it has no radio (I want a radio!) and dodgy sound qualty, mediocre battery life, _and_ a volume cap though.

There just are no good options these days. Looked at Creative's offering - idiotic control system, you have to go through menus on the touchscreen just to tweak the volume! How do you do that when its in your pocket?

I don't understand the way this market works - surely if someone produced a _good_ player it would sell? Why are they all flawed in one way or another? Cowon looked good till it turned out they employ chimpanzees to write their firmware.

Just make something with top sound quality, simple WMP/drag-and-drop loading of tracks and playlists, and a simple button-based control system (NO touchscreen nonsense!). And either 32Gb+ of flash or a decent sized hard drive, and at least 40 hours or more battery life. Ideally go back to letting you insert AAA batteries instead of the short-lived built-in rechargeables. If they must use built-in ones, make them user-replaceable!

That's it (maybe gapless playback and a radio as a bonus). It's not asking a lot, surely?
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:16   #12
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Default Not a lot to ask for

No its not a lot to ask for in this day and time. Companies have had plenty of time to learn the market and have an MP3 player meeting most desires of the consumer.
I struggled on what to buy, it was between IPOD classic and X7.....shoulda went with the Classic.
By the way, I have IPOD classic 64g first generation bought in 2005.....my daughter is still using it, same battery. Can't get her to part with it.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:20   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meurglys0 View Post
Ipod generation 5.5 is rockboxable which provides the flac support.

Still, even if you choose to buy a newer Apple product, there's Apple Lossless codec you can turn to. Just convert your flacs to apple lossless and you will have lossless files playing on your Ipod. But will you be able to enjoy your music with no customizable EQ, that is the question....
Wished I had went with the IPOD classic....I was at a fork in the road with X7 and classic.....there is a reason the road is less traveled....its been a bumpy ride....X7 froze up on me 3 times in an hour last night......just another reason to turn around and go back.
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Old 01-12-2011, 14:22   #14
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Originally Posted by kyleclay View Post
Wished I had went with the IPOD classic....I was at a fork in the road with X7 and classic.....there is a reason the road is less traveled....its been a bumpy ride....X7 froze up on me 3 times in an hour last night......just another reason to turn around and go back.
did u tell cowon?? u need to tell them!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 16:46   #15
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Wished I had went with the IPOD classic....I was at a fork in the road with X7 and classic.....there is a reason the road is less traveled....its been a bumpy ride....X7 froze up on me 3 times in an hour last night......just another reason to turn around and go back.
How does it freezes and then comes back?

The touchscreen of my X7 froze 3 times in the month that I've had it. It happens when the music is playing and suddenly the screen stops responding while the music is still playing. The tactile buttons all function normally but the screen is dead. I turn off and on, still no change. I noticed that everytime this happened the battery was either full or near full but never close to drain. Then I plug the recharge adaptor to the device, it says "battery is recharging", after a few seconds I unplug it, then comes the screen back on! I also noticed that all three times this happened, I had the sleep mode on. I had been undecided about whether to keep the sleep mode on or just have the device turn off completely, so I had changed the setting a few times. Every time The freezing touchscreen phenomenon took place it was on "sleep mode" setting set to "on" and the battery was far from drained. Another odd bug...
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