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Strommer
13-03-2010, 08:47 AM
The 4 mp3 players are:

Sony 4 Gb NWZB143FB {current price approx} $99 - $130

Laser 4 Gb MF611 $45

Samsung 4 Gb YP-U4 $59

Dick Smith brand 4 Gb $39

All of these mp3 players are thin and compact, without large screens.
See photo here: http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/4mp3players_.jpg

I wanted to update the cheap no-name 1 Gb mp3 player that I bought off Trademe a long time ago because the sound quality was poor and the menu was frustratingly awful.

Starting at the cheapest, I found that the Dick Smith mp3 player was the same as the old Trademe and in fact the Laser was the same except the outer appearance was better. All 3 cheapies have the same frustrating menu. Therefore I can sum up the Laser and DSE players in one word: Bad. But they are cheap, and they do work, so if you are on a very tight budget and all you want to do is dump a huge number of individual mp3 tracks and don't care about the sound quality, then they are OK.

The Samsung was next. I chose the purple colour and I must say that it looked beautiful. The sound quality was better than the previous cheapies but not by much. However the worst thing about the Samsung was the 'tap control'. There are no buttons - you have to 'tap' specific areas to move around the menu or to adjust the volume. What a joke - I had to repeatedly finger tap to get what I wanted and in the end gave up. Nice idea but not practical.

Sony is next and now I want to admit that in general I do not like Sony as a company mainly because they seem to have overpriced products and have done nasty things like secretly installing root kit 'trojans' on PC's. [For other reasons why I do not like Sony, read this article (http://digg.com/tech_news/Gizmodo_How_Sony_Lost_Its_Way)and the comments below the link.] So reluctantly I bought the more expensive Sony...

... And wow was I impressed! The Sony simply surpassed all my expectations. The sound quality is superb - the bass control and equalizer actually work very well (unlike the 3 above mp3 players). The screen is very bright and very easy to read and navigate - way way better than the Laser / Dick Smith and my old Trademe unit. The FM radio is more sensitive, with more memory pre-selections than the others. The voice recorder has 3 quality settings. 18 hours battery life is much more than the others (other reviews have shown the Samsung not to have the 15 hours stated), and the recharge is quick - less than an hour for me, and a 3 minute charge gives 90 minutes of music. Sony's ZAPPIN function works well - it is a type of fast-forward in either long or short play segments. The Sony menu allows you to easily navigate and go up to 5 levels of folders.

BTW, I compared the sound quality on all mp3 players with good quality headphones (not the ear plugs provided with each player). I had assumed that whatever mp3 player I would have, I would have to buy better quality ear plugs (paying at least $30), but the sound quality with the Sony ear plugs is good enough not to require an upgrade.

Finally, a word about total storage size: I was going to go with a 2 Gb Sony for $79, but I am glad to have double the size for only $20 more (I paid $99 at Noel Leemings). The extra storage means you will not be using your pc to transferring files as often. Noel Leemings had no problem with me returning the Laser and Samsung, and DSE was also OK; I did return each unit on the same day that I got them, did not use the ear plugs, and the packaging was in perfect order.

gary67
13-03-2010, 10:27 AM
So can you just do drag an drop from your PC Steve with no software needed as I remember the early Sony's needed sonicstage which is why I no longer use my mp3 player cant find the software and it was a pain anyway couldn't just copy my mp3 in they had to be ripped into the software

Strommer
13-03-2010, 10:54 AM
So can you just do drag an drop from your PC Steve with no software needed as I remember the early Sony's needed sonicstage which is why I no longer use my mp3 player cant find the software and it was a pain anyway couldn't just copy my mp3 in they had to be ripped into the software

Yes, drag and drop is OK with the Sony. Features and specifications:

# Direct USB connectivity
# FM tuner and record function
# Super-quick charge: 3 min charge for 90 minute playback
# Drag & Drop functionality (no software required)
# Up to 18 hours battery life
# Voice recording function
# ZAPPIN function which automatically detects and plays the chorus of each track in 4 or 15 second intervals
# MP3 and WMA playback (DRM)
# 5 preset equalizer: Heavy, Pop, Jazz, Unique, Custom
# 29 grams with Flash Memory powered by Inbuilt Rechargeable Batteries.
# Data Storage

kenj
13-03-2010, 03:53 PM
So can you just do drag an drop from your PC Steve with no software needed as I remember the early Sony's needed sonicstage which is why I no longer use my mp3 player cant find the software and it was a pain anyway couldn't just copy my mp3 in they had to be ripped into the software

Sony are all MP3 now... in some wys a shame as I always felt that despite the clumsy procedure with Sony's ATRAC format, it gave a better sound than MP3 compression. I am hanging on to my old HiMD player for this reason, even though I have a Sony 8GB MP3 player.

Interesting that the PS3 will only rip in ATRAC and AC3 formats. The ATRAC is brilliant on a PS3!

Ken

pctek
14-03-2010, 08:50 AM
The 4 mp3 players are:

Sony 4 Gb NWZB143FB {current price approx} $99 - $130

Laser 4 Gb MF611 $45

Samsung 4 Gb YP-U4 $59

Dick Smith brand 4 Gb $39



... And wow was I impressed! The Sony simply surpassed all my expectations.

So the most expensive won?

A friend of mine, a bit of an audiophile, thinks there are only 2 worth bothering with - the ipod and the Creative Zen.
he looked at the frequency range as well.

Billy T
15-03-2010, 09:11 PM
[U]... And wow was I impressed! The Sony simply surpassed all my expectations. The sound quality is superb - the bass control and equalizer actually work very well (unlike the 3 above mp3 players). The screen is very bright and very easy to read and navigate - way way better than the Laser / Dick Smith and my old Trademe unit.

So what part of 'you get what you pay for' didn't you understand before you undertook this research exercise? In the history of consumer electronics, there has always been a yawning gulf between quality and price, and Sony has always been superb, but more expensive and well worth the price.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

R2x1
15-03-2010, 11:15 PM
Just add one further ingredient - - luck.
I bought an MP4 player off Trademe about three years ago, it is still going fine. It does some of the things the Sony does, FM radio (which it can record) plays most audio formats including Ogg Vorbis which matters to me, plays movies (although a 40 mm diagonal picture is not too useful) in WMV or MP4, has 4GB of flash memory, can drag and drop in or out, and can act as a reasonable audio recorder. It only has about a 4 hour playing time now, so I lashed out $6.00 for a new Li-Po battery which I will solder in tomorrow to restore the old 8 hour play time. Not as good as the Sony, but at $27 I could have bought 3 of them to beat the Sony ;) and still have a bit of change.
I have tried to buy more of them, but the trader who sold it to me has vanished.

utopian201
16-03-2010, 10:15 AM
Re sound quality: did you measure this by using the headphones/earbuds the players came with, or did you use the same headphones for each one?

I have one of those laser ones, the menu system is poor and it only transfers files at USB 1. But using good headphones, it sounds as good as any other. It also uses AAA batteries, which for me is a good thing (I always have a charged set). I only paid $30 for 4gb.

roddy_boy
16-03-2010, 12:02 PM
Re sound quality: did you measure this by using the headphones/earbuds the players came with, or did you use the same headphones for each one?

I have one of those laser ones, the menu system is poor and it only transfers files at USB 1. But using good headphones, it sounds as good as any other. It also uses AAA batteries, which for me is a good thing (I always have a charged set). I only paid $30 for 4gb.
Re your question: did you read the post at all or could you not be ****ed?

BTW, I compared the sound quality on all mp3 players with good quality headphones (not the ear plugs provided with each player). I had assumed that whatever mp3 player I would have, I would have to buy better quality ear plugs (paying at least $30), but the sound quality with the Sony ear plugs is good enough not to require an upgrade.

kenj
16-03-2010, 12:04 PM
Re your question: did you read the post at all or could you not be ****ed?

:):)

Ken

roddy_boy
16-03-2010, 12:59 PM
I'm not sure I get your point there Ken.

utopian201
16-03-2010, 01:30 PM
Re your question: did you read the post at all or could you not be ****ed?

haha, whoops, I only read the start of the review and stopped at the sony part...

Strommer
16-03-2010, 03:34 PM
Re sound quality: did you measure this by using the headphones/earbuds the players came with, or did you use the same headphones for each one?



Yeah, sometime I also only read part way. :rolleyes:

Strommer
16-03-2010, 03:38 PM
So what part of 'you get what you pay for' didn't you understand before you undertook this research exercise? In the history of consumer electronics, there has always been a yawning gulf between quality and price, and Sony has always been superb, but more expensive and well worth the price.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Sure, usually you get what you pay for, but not always and as I stated, I am not (was not :p) a fan of Sony. With the 'right of return or exchange' I had nothing to lose and time to compare.

Metla
16-03-2010, 04:33 PM
My DSE mp3 player has spent the last few months being used as a USB stick attached to my freeview box, It appears to have gone missing in the last few days, no doubt it will turn up in the kids toybox or the washing machine at some time.

If I were to repeat the purchase I'd buy the DSE item again, Sony can suck my balls.They aren't getting my money under any circumstances.

Strommer
16-03-2010, 06:08 PM
Sony can suck my balls.

:lol: :stare: :lol: : :lol:

Classic Metla: straight to the point, with that unique wAngvegas style. :D

SurferJoe46
16-03-2010, 06:31 PM
Alter-Angst, methinks.

Billy T
16-03-2010, 06:47 PM
Classic Metla: straight to the point, with that unique wAngvegas style. :D

Doesn't alter the fact that Sony make quality equipment, and charge accordingly. Sounds like Metla discovered that Sony products don't work when drowned in beer or used as axle-stands for the V8.

I base my opinion on 45 years of experience in electronics, but I'm not one-eyed, I rank Panasonic, Samsung and LG fairly highly too. Most manufacturers have good and bad periods, and bottom feeders like DSE and The Warehouse get more of the dross than average.

I don't think Sony will take up Metla's kind offer any time soon.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :D

Strommer
16-03-2010, 08:47 PM
Alter-Angst, methinks.

Mets is the alter ego for most PF1ers and that is why we love him, or at least love to laugh with him. :banana




I don't think Sony will take up Metla's kind offer any time soon.



Metla should be worried.
If Sony were to get anywhere near his b****, he would be crippled for life! :eek:

kenj
16-03-2010, 08:59 PM
I'm not sure I get your point there Ken.

Was just amused that you query an apostrophe in other folks posts but write ****ed in yours! A wee bit incongruous I felt.

Ken

plod
16-03-2010, 09:10 PM
Mets is the alter ego for most PF1ers and that is why we love him, or at least love to laugh with him.

You really shouldn't speak for others

razzarphenix
16-03-2010, 09:17 PM
So the most expensive won?

A friend of mine, a bit of an audiophile, thinks there are only 2 worth bothering with - the ipod and the Creative Zen.
he looked at the frequency range as well.

Wonder what he would think of an iRiver? I have both an ipod touch (gift) and a iRiver IFP 899 (http://www.lordpercy.com/iriver_ifp-899.htm) and think its pretty good simple menu, long battery life great sound, came with Sennheiser headphones and arm band, plays ogg files and only paid around $100 (a few years ago).

Strommer
17-03-2010, 09:45 AM
Wonder what he would think of an iRiver? I have both an ipod touch (gift) and a iRiver IFP 899 (http://www.lordpercy.com/iriver_ifp-899.htm) and think its pretty good simple menu, long battery life great sound, came with Sennheiser headphones and arm band, plays ogg files and only paid around $100 (a few years ago).

"40hr battery life from the single AA battery"

Impressive.

sroby
17-03-2010, 10:31 AM
So what part of 'you get what you pay for' didn't you understand before you undertook this research exercise? In the history of consumer electronics, there has always been a yawning gulf between quality and price, and Sony has always been superb, but more expensive and well worth the price.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

"You get what you pay for" is becoming less meaningful with the GOOD cheapy imports starting to be more common.
I have seen many 'name brand & expensive' electronics goods that are truly awefull.
El Cheapo DVD,mp3 etc etc players are often more compatible with the different formats & codecs.
My el-cheapo mp3 players are still going. My Expensive Cowan is not.