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Old 08-19-2005, 04:31 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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iPOD Killer? Sony's New Walkman Bean Players

My knee-jerk reaction without knowing the facts yet is that Sony's high handed DRM approaches will kill the future of this device also, despite its traditionally excellent engineering. But I'll hold off on judgement till the facts are in.

The device is actually available for pre-order at the Sony site.

Read more here at Yahoo News from NewsFactor.com.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:26 PM   #2
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As long as it doesn't require MemoryStick or MemoryStick Pro, or some non-mp3 "MP3" (as Sony calls it), then it'll probably be successful.

On a side-note.. has anyone noticed that manufacturers tend to inflate the number of songs that these devices play, by 3x or more? Looking at a basic group of "average length" mp3s I have here, 695 of them would require roughly 3,475,000 megabytes to store. Dividing that by 3.4 to get near their 1GiB figures means my songs would have to have 2/3 or more cut from their length to fit.

I don't know anyone whose full-length mp3 songs are 1.5M in length.

No thank you.
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Old 08-19-2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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Most probably they provide the figures using 64-bit rates and the ATRAC format instead of 128bit mp. Just as Windows people are touting that 64b WMA are near CD quality, unlike mp3 which require 128 to be near CD quality.

The bean look very nice, if a bit large compared to the shuffle. It could be a Shuffle killer but Apple would probably back away from the Shuffle by the time the bean hit the market... The Shuffle is really a bit aged by now, it small size is still cool, but with so many great mp3 player that are smaller in size, more stylish, and even have a OLED screen (the Tiny cube made in Korea comes to mind), If placed side-by-side, I choose those over the Shuffle...
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Old 08-19-2005, 11:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetguru
Most probably they provide the figures using 64-bit rates and the ATRAC format instead of 128bit mp. Just as Windows people are touting that 64b WMA are near CD quality, unlike mp3 which require 128 to be near CD quality.
You must be joking!

I rip all of my albums to no less than 256 VBR Ogg Vorbis format. Anything less (including 256-bit mp3 format) sounds like absolute garbage. Any quality ambient tracks will sound very different in 128-bit vs. 256-bit, if you have headphones that can reproduce 6-2300Hz or better. Comparing 64-bit WMA to 256 VBR Ogg is hilarious (if that is indeed what they're using as a baseline).

Maybe people are used to low-quality headphones and crappy music that sounds the same in 64-bit as 128-bit or higher, but proper recordings sound horrible at anything under 256-bit (192-bit in some fringe cases).

Maybe I'm just picky, but I prefer it to sound like the CD, not like a copy of the CD recorded from across the room using a microphone taped to the opposite wall.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by hacker
Maybe I'm just picky, but I prefer it to sound like the CD, not like a copy of the CD recorded from across the room using a microphone taped to the opposite wall.
The thing is, people hear things differently... What may sound entirely unacceptable quality to you, may be perfectly acceptable quality to someone else.

That said, I personally think 64-bit anything is too low quality. 128-bit MP3 is even too low quality for me. I find it has to be either 128-bit+ of a good format (i.e. OGG), or 192-bit+ MP3/similar.
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Old 08-20-2005, 06:51 AM   #6
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128kbps MP3's sound "shallow". I think 192kbps is fine for my headphones. For a 10k+ stereo system, I agree with hacker, nothing below 256kbps and if possible Ogg.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:13 PM   #7
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The mass market has been trained to enjoy the transisitor radio experience. I get the feeling we're not the mass market.
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Old 08-21-2005, 11:39 PM   #8
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For a 10k+ stereo system, I agree with hacker, nothing below 256kbps and if possible Ogg.
I guess that's why I don't mind 192kbps MP3 - I don't have a 10k stereo system - I have a pair of ~$50 (Canadian) headphones (since anything cheaper has a tendency of dying very quickly on me - say a month, max ), and a pair of ~$50 speakers (clairification: computer speakers - not a stereo-system-type pair) which I use sometimes...

(Offtopic: Wow, never noticed the smiley before... That's officially my favourite smiliey now...)
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