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Old 11-06-2010, 12:12 AM   #16
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The problem with audiobooks on the Sony is that there's no resume function; Audible books on the Kindle are self-bookmarking (as they are on mp3 players).
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:54 AM   #17
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The problem with audiobooks on the Sony is that there's no resume function; Audible books on the Kindle are self-bookmarking (as they are on mp3 players).
Yes, that's exactly it. But since I mostly use my ereader to read and my iPod to listen to music, I can't complain too loudly. I do think the new audio player is better than previous models. I'm not sure why it's not functioning properly for JakesFriend.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:00 AM   #18
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Also, doesn't the battery life gets reduced or something if the audio player is used? At least, it depletes faster.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:50 AM   #19
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Bookworm_Girl,
I worked on the problem this weekend, and here's what I found: if I have more than one song IN ONE ALBUM, I can get the feature to work as expected. However, my songs are all from different albums; there does not seem to be a way to play them all.

Does this make sense? My 900 Reader did not group songs into albums (same thing with my 500 or 505).

Can you get songs to play continuously across albums?

Sony didn't mention this as a possible source of the problem or even offer a solution.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakesFriend View Post
Bookworm_Girl,
I worked on the problem this weekend, and here's what I found: if I have more than one song IN ONE ALBUM, I can get the feature to work as expected. However, my songs are all from different albums; there does not seem to be a way to play them all.
Ah-ha! JakesFriend, I understand your problem now. I did a few testcases for you. It appears that Sony did not design an All Songs list on the 950, and I can understand your frustration!

The 950 appears to only group songs into albums. I cannot find a way in the settings or user guide to play All Songs. The shuffle and repeat functions work specific to the tracks within the album you are playing. When you are done playing all of the songs in an album, the player stops. To be fair that's how my iPod works too. However, on my iPod I have an All Songs category and that seems to be what is missing on the 950. Sorry, I don't know what else to tell you other than I sympathize with your problem, and I'm sure you are not alone. I assume the 350 & 650 are similar. It would be helpful if someone who owns a 350 or 650 could confirm.

I can't think back that far to remember how my 500 handled songs. I think it might have been a single list ordered by date loaded?

My 505 dumped all the songs into one list ordered by title. That really drove me crazy because I had music of different genres loaded and didn't want to listen to it mixed up.

My 900 was slightly improved. It still had all the songs in one list. However, it added the ability to sort by title or artist so at least I could get songs of an album ordered together.

For me I like that the 950 has added albums. I like that now my music is organized and can do shuffle and repeat specific to an album. When I read, I like to listen to a single album for light background noise. It seems that you are the type of person who likes to listen to a playlist of songs by different artists. I am sure there are many other people out there who also would want this capability. It seems that Sony made improvements to address past user complaints but forgot to keep the original functionality at the same time.

Last edited by Bookworm_Girl; 11-09-2010 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:07 AM   #21
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JakesFriend, I just had a random thought. Could you make copies of your songs (or make a safe backup of the originals) and edit the metadata to "fake" them into being a single album? A bit of effort but maybe a workaround?
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:00 PM   #22
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I had the same thought(s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
JakesFriend, I just had a random thought. Could you make copies of your songs (or make a safe backup of the originals) and edit the metadata to "fake" them into being a single album? A bit of effort but maybe a workaround?
I had the same thought, and made a small stab at it. I ripped a CD to my computer to get music files whose metadata was uniform, then imported the files into my Reader. As expected, the Reader made one album with all songs within it.
Next, I deleted that music from the Reader, dragged a song from an entirely different album into the ripped music, then re-imported the files. The Reader did not include the extra song with the album (it placed it at the album level by itself), so there's no quick way to fake out the album metadata.
I long ago removed my metadata editor, and am not certain I want to get another -- just because this small problem seems to be getting larger!
And if it works (as I think it will), this means I would need to do this for any and all music I load on my Reader in the future if I want to play all songs.
So it seems Sony only went half-way with its album-song set up.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:10 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakesFriend View Post
I've enjoyed Sony Readers for years -- my first was the PRS-500. Eventually got the 505 and the 900 and quite recently the 950.
But the 950 has some issues (won't move to next song automatically, even with proper settings). Have been trying to get Sony to resolve this for several days. Got disconnected during my 30-minute phone call, and got sent the same info over and over again by email support.

So that's it. I quit Sony. Sending it back.
Good luck to all.
Just to echo some of the other posts on this thread: um, it's a reader. I can't imagine why Sony even bothered to put music playback on it in the first place. I had a 505 for years and never once put a song on it; it took me months before I even realized the thing could do that. I equally can't imagine someone buying a multi-hundred dollar device that is intended for reading and then getting "disgusted" with Sony because the thing doesn't play music. To each his own, I suppose: have you considered the iPod Touch or perhaps the iPad? Your focus appears to be on the multimedia capabilities of the device, so why not just buy a device like those offerings from Apple that are specifically intended to be rich multimedia platforms?
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:37 PM   #24
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I really don't want my Reader to do much more than let me read books, but as I sit on the subway and TRY to read I'm distracted by loud phone calls and music blasting from earphones. So I jack in to my Reader to drown out the competition.
And I have an iPhone/iPod, but really: do I want to get tangled up in two devices just to read a book?

My disgust is with the poor support from Sony. Seems the really don't bring their staff up to speed on their products. I've done customer support, and know that they could go further at least in attitude in resolving problems. They've given me irrelevant and contradictory information, and I just don't see any reason for that.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:09 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakesFriend View Post
I had the same thought, and made a small stab at it. I ripped a CD to my computer to get music files whose metadata was uniform, then imported the files into my Reader. As expected, the Reader made one album with all songs within it.
Next, I deleted that music from the Reader, dragged a song from an entirely different album into the ripped music, then re-imported the files. The Reader did not include the extra song with the album (it placed it at the album level by itself), so there's no quick way to fake out the album metadata.
I long ago removed my metadata editor, and am not certain I want to get another -- just because this small problem seems to be getting larger!
And if it works (as I think it will), this means I would need to do this for any and all music I load on my Reader in the future if I want to play all songs.
So it seems Sony only went half-way with its album-song set up.
JakesFriend, I did a test too. I agree there is no quick way, but at least it is a workaround. What I discovered is that you can use the album feature to create custom playlists if you will. That's pretty neat! Although I still agree that you have the right to your original rant. It is a reasonable expectation that a next-generation model should add rather than remove features from the previous models. Here is what I did in my test:

Round 1:
First, I picked a mix of songs from different albums and artists. I also made copies of my songs so I wouldn't alter the originals and have to worry about restoring the correct info. Then I edited the tags to change only the album name and the cover artwork. I also sequentially numbered the tracks to force-order them so I wouldn't have multiple # 1s, 2s, 3s, etc. I drag-and-dropped the files over to my ereader. It created an album filled with all of the songs just like you want.

Round 2:
I picked some new songs. I changed the album name and cover artwork to be the same as from Round 1. I did not delete anything from my ereader. I drap-and-dropped the new songs to my ereader to ADD to the original list. I did not change the track number this time because I wanted to test what would happen. I thought it might auto-load them at the end. Instead my new songs kept their original Track #s and got mixed into the Round 1 group. So instead of Track 1, 2, 3, etc I now see Track 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3 (multiples). Hope that makes sense.

Round 3:
I deleted the tracks from Round 2 only from my ereader. I left the tracks from Round 1 on there. Then I took the songs from Round 2 and changed the Track #s to be sequential following the batch from Round 1. This time drag-and-drop put the songs at the end of the album list as expected.

I guess my conclusion is to keep the album name the same to force it group your songs together. If you want to add or delete songs, then you don't have to retransfer the whole batch every time. Just make sure that you keep the same album name, and it will group the new songs with the old ones. The interesting part to my testcase was that I had to change the track # to force order the songs. But, if you just want a mix and don't care about order, then that extra step shouldn't matter.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:40 AM   #26
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I can't imagine why Sony even bothered to put music playback on it in the first place.
I don't know for sure but I have theories.
1. Because the first Reader was the product of the audio department, they added it just because they could.
2. They needed it even if for a checkmark in the feature list. Many people compare competing devices by features, and if the Reader was missing the audio and some other device had it, many might have chosen the other, even though it might have been a really crappy implementation in reality.
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Old 11-10-2010, 12:18 PM   #27
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I don't know for sure but I have theories.
1. Because the first Reader was the product of the audio department, they added it just because they could.
2. They needed it even if for a checkmark in the feature list. Many people compare competing devices by features, and if the Reader was missing the audio and some other device had it, many might have chosen the other, even though it might have been a really crappy implementation in reality.
igorsk, I think you have very good theories. Those are my best guesses too.

I think people would complain about missing the audio player if it weren't there at all. And, it wouldn't look quite so good for marketing on a side-by-side comparison list. General consumers want to think that they are getting the most features for their money, even if they won't necessarily use all of those features.

Here is a comparison example. The Kindle music player is so basic that you can't even see a list of what songs you have loaded, and Amazon has labeled it an "Experimental" feature. At least they can claim they have one! However, the Kindle has a separate audiobook player which is well-developed and even integrates with your audible.com account. No surprise since Amazon purchased Audible and wants you to buy their audiobooks.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:49 PM   #28
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I agree--I personally think that having the mp3 player gives Sony another "check" in the features column. And they already had their technology there, so it was pretty easy to incorporate it into the 650s/950s.

But, I think Sony's misstep is not having built in wi-fi for the 650. I think Sony would have been far better off to include wi-fi and no mp3 player. I personally don't miss the wi-fi, but I know that is a major selling point for a lot of folks who will not even consider the 650 because of the lack of it.

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Old 11-10-2010, 03:19 PM   #29
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Sigh. I wish they had Wi-fi in the 650 as well. I am getting tired of reading reviews complaining about it. Often the reviewers don't understand ereaders. New buyers read those reviews and then probably get turned off from even considering Sony models. And surely Wi-fi would entice people to buy from the Sony store out of convenience and increase book sales. Sony also needs to release their smartphone apps soon too!
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:19 PM   #30
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I don't have the 950, but only the 900 and the 650 (bought in that order), but surely having an MP3 player isn't such a bad thing, considering we can use it for audio books and podcasts. I mean, sure it's not perfect, but for podcasted broadcasts you want to listen to, it can be used in a pinch.

Of course, another player with an SDHC slot means I can often hear it through that, but the option is nice.

WiFi ... I so wished the 900 had had wifi instead of 3G as I live in Denmark and that part doesn't work here. But on the other hand, I prefer to surf the web on my computer (full keyboard with æøå for the win, lol), or in a pinch on my (WM) phone. WiFi for transferring stuff would be sort of useful from time to time, methinks.
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