If you want to hear every detail in your music--every breath, every strum, every rattle--lossless music formats are the only way to go. But if you hate the idea of your precious music files being tied up in some corporation's proprietary format (i.e. Apple Lossless and Windows Media Audio Lossless), the most popular choice out there is FLAC.
You can find free programs for Mac, Windows, and Linux that will play and rip FLAC files, but finding a FLAC-compatible MP3 player isn't quite as easy.
The Cowon S9 is a gorgeous-looking touch-screen MP3 player that had the unfortunate fate of appearing on my desk right before the end of 2008--a time when all I could think about was egg nog, Macworld, and CES. It took some time to recover from it all (especially the nog), but the tide of touch-screen MP3 players waits for no man, and my review of the S9 was overdue.
So here's the good news: the Cowon S9 sounds fantastic, and its 3.3-inch OLED display is so pretty I thought my eyes would melt. The bad news? Well, yeah, … Read more
(Update: CNET's full review of the Cowon S9 is now available.)
Cowon's S9 touch-screen MP3 player has arrived, bringing the expected music, video, and photo playback, and extras such as FM radio, Bluetooth, voice/radio/line recording, a Flash player, and a text reader. So far, I'd say the S9's design is spot-on, with a slight curved back and a bright 16:9-formatted OLED screen set at a 480x272-pixel resolution. The user interface is also quite impressive, combined with Cowon's choice of a capacitive touch screen, the onscreen control is about as attractive and responsive as you can get without investing in an iPod Touch.
The Cowon S9 comes in 8GB and 16GB capacities priced at $199 and $239, respectively. The cost could be worth it if you're a real stickler for sound quality, as the S9 is Cowon's first player to include the suite of BBE+ sound enhancements. The BBE+ suite improves on the already impressive BBE effects included in CNET faves like the D2 and iAudio 7, adding more than 30 presets in addition to a five-band EQ with independent bandwidth control.
Now for the bad news. The first drawback I've noticed on the Cowon S9 is that it just feels kind of cheap--which is a complaint I rarely have with Cowon. Unlike the glass and steel design of the iPod Touch, the S9 uses an all-plastic design that--though lightweight--has a hollow and flimsy feel. Even the all-plastic Samsung P2 feels a little more durable and substantial. … Read more
In the final MP3 Insider of 2008, Donald and Jasmine discuss Dr. Dre's super stylish in-ear headphones, a way-too-pricey iPod dock from DLO, some touch-screen alternatives to the iPod Touch, and a gaggle of gear for the Creative Zen family.
Plus, find out how to follow Jasmine and Donald while they cruise around CES 2009.
Despite rumors of shipping delays, Cowon America has announced that its S9 touch-screen media player will arrive in the U.S. before the year is out. If all goes as planned, The S9 will be available to order by December 19 from Jetmall for $199 (8GB) or $239 (16GB).
Designed to compete against Apple's iPod Touch and Samsung's YP-P2, the Cowon S9 includes a 3.3-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth audio streaming, BBE+ sound-enhancement effects, FM radio, Flash player, and an above-average assortment of audio and video format support (MP3, WMA, FLAC, OGG, WAV, APE, AVI, WMV, and XVID). … Read more
I wasn't blown away by the photos that surfaced earlier this week of the upcoming Cowon S9 media player's touch-screen interface. Today, we've got a video of the S9 interface in action, showing off an encouraging amount of system responsiveness and graphic user-interface sophistication.
Despite the S9's advantages of Bluetooth, advanced EQ, and all-around impressive codec support, I still feel that the S9's similarity to the iPod Touch comes off more like a flattering imitation than an exciting alternative.
I don't want to spoil it, but I'd be lying if I said the S9's GUI doesn't come across as a poor imitation of the Apple iPod Touch. I know that iPhone and iPod Touch comparisons get thrown around a lot these days, but really, this thing makes the Meizu M8 look original.
Like any Cowon device, the S9'… Read more