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Brian Foster wrote:
| relax! this is not a distro war, in any number of bits.
|| the company I currently work for (I'm looking around for
| a new job, please see my CV details below), as part of its
| ever-running down-sizing campaign, has recently reduced
| the space rented by >50%. this means almost everyone is
| now very crowded together with a very high noise level.
| Earplugs might not be the worst idea in the world :-) Though a decent
set of closed headphones will give you a good 9~12dB cut in external noise.
| hence, I am now looking at purchasing a portable “mp3“
| player in an attempt to replace the noise with something
| rather more pleasant: my collection of >c.1500 music CDs.
| since I am a bit of an audiophile, I _insist_ on a high
| standard of sound reproduction. also, to date, I have
| generally been ripping my CDs to Ogg Vorbis (albeit some
| have suggested FLAC instead). and I rip on Linux (on an
| elderly box which has only USB1.1(? I think — how can I
| tell for certain (assume the specs are opaque)?)).
If you've got Ogg @ 160kbps (VBR or no) and are happy to listen to
them, then you'll find that most players are capable of producing good
enough sound for your requirements. While the iPod Shuffle has an
excellent DAC and o/p stage, it doesn't (and likely won't) play Ogg.
This is the (only) reason I've not bought one.
Last units I looked at / listened to were the iRiver 20GB and the Rio
Karma 20GB - both had excellent sound quality playing Ogg files (160kbps
VBR) and were quite listenable to with closed headphones. Clearly, a
true audiophile would be unsatisfied with anything less than Stax
headphone-speakers - but I'm guessing you're willing to make some
compromises into the realm of reasonableness :-)
|| one specific question about the H320/H340: apparently,
| they have two (2) USB ports, which I consistently see
| called a 1.1 (data?) and 2.0 (media?) port. whilst none
| of the sites I've looked at have been clear, they give
| the impression the 2.0 port cannot be connected to 1.1
| (i.e., my Linux box). this not only does not match
| my previous impression (I _thought_ USB 2.0 was fully
| backwards compatible with 1.1, just faster if the peer
| was also 2.0); it also suggests I won't be able to
| download my ripped CDs to the H3x0 from my Linux box
| (which is obviously no good). I want to believe the
| sites (or at least my reading of them) is confused,
| but can anyone clarify?
USB 2.0 is completely backward compatible with 1.0 and 1.1 - the cables
are identical. That's not to say that there is some special limitation
imposed by the device you mention itself - I don't have one to test.
| also, I assume there are USB cables with a “normal“
| sized USB connector on one end and one of those mini
| connectors on the other end? (I've never seen these
| mini — sorry, dunno what they are really called —
| connectors until I went into the shop to look at some
| “mp3“ players, so apologies if this is a particularly
| dumb question!)
Yes - no problem getting these. They're commonly used for laptops (Sony
Vaio especially), cameras and portable audio players. You'll get one
with a player you buy (almost certainly) but can buy replacements /
longer ones at Maplins / RS / $electrical_store_du_jour.
|| how long do the HDDs in "mp3"s last? I have read
| some reports that the iRiver H320 (at least) seems
| to be quite rugged (it is on the large and heavy
| side ;-\ ), but haven't seen any info on the
| expected lifetime of the HDDs? (I assume that is
| the part most likely to fail and hardest to fix.)
Generally the first part to fail is actually the battery. Difficulty of
replacing the battery depends on the make and model of the device. This
is a gross generalisation based on experience of friends and
acquaintances - please accept it with appropriate hand-waving and
disclaimers. Perhaps someone in Apple iPod tech support has some stats
that would give you a more accurate view? :-)
|| any suggestions on a competent reliable source in
| the EU who takes orders in English, and will ship
| to France? (and who can supply English manuals?)
No idea - sorry - but I thought electronics were generally relatively
easily obtainable and cheaper on the continent? Perhaps a trip to
Germany will sort you out with something? Aldi for teh w1n? ;-)
P.S. I find Linux the absolute and best Linux distribution, no matter
how many bits I want... :-)
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