Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: MP3 player?

I bought an iAudio X5 just a couple of days ago. It's early days but I'm quite happy so far. The reasons for buying the X5 over other players were...
[1] Linux support - the x5 is just a USB mass storage device - no proprietary software needed to transfer music to and from the device.
[2] 20G storage - I have maybe 300 CDs (actual CDs that I bought - Imagine!) so my music collection fits easily on the device.
[3] The X5 has 95dB SNR - OK I won't even pretend to know what that really means but allegedly it has better sound quality than the iPod.
What I don't like about the X5:
[1] Battery is not user replaceable.
[2] Requires a propietary dongle to connect to PCs and to recharge. I know I'm going to lose the dongle. They should have put the connecting ports on the player itself.

While not as important the following has turned out to be a nice extra...

[1] Video playback. My 5-year-old daughter loves this. (so much so I'm wonder should I have got an iPod video instead - they have much larger screens). Great for long car journeys, and it's surprisingly watchable. (I was skeptical about video playback too - the quality really isn't that bad).
[2] The X5 can operate in USB host mode. If you have an SD/Flash card reader you can plug it into the X5 and transfer files. (I haven't tried this out yet).

The X5 is old-school in that if you want to easily navigate your collection, you really need to have it organized something like this...

${LETTER}/${Artist}/${Album}/${TRACK} ${TITLE}.mp3

I've ripped my CDs using different software over the years so they didn't all use the same ID3 tags (some were ID3v1, some ID3v2), and the X5 didn't recognize all the different tags. So I nuked the tags and retagged based on the directory structure with a bit of perl code (yeah I probably should've just used iTunes but that wouldn't have been as educational ;-).

As an aside - do any MP3 players support tagging ? Organizing an MP3 collection by tags (I mean del.icio.us tagging not ID3 tagging) would be cool. A player that lets you tag stuff as your listening to it and constructs playlists based on tags (single or combined) would be nice.

Comment on MP3 player?
by walter