Headphones & Mp3 Players forum

General discussion

Anime aficionado searching for versatile media player.

Before we begin, I'd really appreciate it if all brand-name bias were kept out of this thread. I do not condone fanboyism in any form. I desire functionality, and that is a purely scientific and fact-driven concept.

So I'm looking for a really versatile media player that'll fulfill a lot of my needs. I have previously owned a Creative Zen Vision W (now broken), and I will be basing my standards off of that product.

The first and most important feature I need is support for a large variety of video formats. I'm an anime fan, so I download a lot of subtitled Japanese anime, and the nature of such media causes many sources to go with more open-source or obscure media codecs, particularly H.264 and DivX/XviD, as well as container formats that support soft-coded subtitles such as MKV and OGM. Since these files are usually pretty big in size and in large quantities, I don't want to have to deal with transcoding my media, which is extremely time-consuming. The Zen Vision W didn't quite meet that expectation, but it supported DivX/XviD, which was nifty since many anime releases were encoded in such formats. However, H.264 is becoming far more commonplace and is also of much greater quality.

In terms of space, I'll be satisfied if I can fit at least five seasons worth of anime onto it and then some, so maybe around 30 GB, though more would be nice.

Preferably I'd like to have a widescreen media player, since most anime is in 16:9 format. Screen size should be big enough to allow ease of subtitle reading, so maybe around 4 inches (ZVW was 4.3). I'd also prefer a resolution equal to or at least 480x272 (same as ZVW, and that was perfect).

The size of the actual player really doesn't matter to me that much, but I'd at least like to fit it in the front pocket of my cargo pants. Anything around the size of a first-generation Sony PSP is fine.

Another feature I almost desperately desire is a custom equalizer that allows me to set individual bands (meaning, I don't want to be forced to use presets like Rock and Pop, but rather make my own entirely). The Zen Vision W had a 5-band custom EQ which served that purpose wonderfully, so my expectations as to HOW customizable the EQ is isn't as much of a deal to me, as long as the functionality is there.

And while it's not as high priority (after all, function > fashion), for audio, I have a pretty big music library of about 3,500 songs, and I keep everything very organized and tagged. An intuitive and maybe slick-looking interface is a huge plus. I wasn't very impressed with the Zen Vision W's clunky interface, and I am definitely not a fan of how the iPod's music library is navigated, although it is very slick and good-looking. From my limited use of it, I'm particularly fond of the Microsoft Zune's XY-based navigation interface, which it appeared to inherit from the very slick Windows Media Center. I love how you can press left and right to switch from album to artist to genre to playlist etc., and then up and down to browse the list. It was intuitive, it was user-friendly, and it let me navigate my music efficiently and quickly.

Brand name isn't a big deal for me. As far as I can tell, big name brands like iPod and Zune don't have the same amount of versatility as some of the more obscure name brands out there (especially in terms of video support), so I haven't considered those much. If they've sneakily done things to their software behind my back to improve upon their functionality and include the things I'm looking for, then I'll certainly reconsider them.

My personal favorite media player is WinAmp, so the ability to interface with that is a plus. Windows Media Player is okay too.

I'm hoping to net a price around $300 or less, though I'm kinda okay with exceeding that by $50-100 or so if necessary.

To summarize, here is what I'd like:

- Support for more obscure video formats (H.264, DivX/XviD, MKV, OGM)
- Custom audio equalizer (5 bands or more)
- 30 GB or more
- 16:9 screen, 4 inches or greater.
- 480x272 resolution or greater
- Sleek, intuitive interface
- WinAmp support

I greatly appreciate any feedback anyone can send my way.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Anime aficionado searching for versatile media player.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Anime aficionado searching for versatile media player.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Cowon?

In reply to: Anime aficionado searching for versatile media player.

The A3 seems like the best fit.

Anime-nerds, and collossal nerds in general love Cowons. Check it out.

Collapse -
Probably Cowon

In reply to: Anime aficionado searching for versatile media player.

I have to recommend either the Cowon Q5W or the A3. They have support for lots of file formats.

Collapse -
In regard to the A3...

In reply to: Probably Cowon

I've taken a look at the Cowon A3, and I like it a lot so far. With the latest firmware updates, it's able to play most of my MKV's. However, the big problem with it is that it's got absolutely no music tag support, no multiple custom playlist support, no support for subtitles within container formats like MKV or OGM, and the joystick is a little iffy to use as well.

Either way, I might be going with this one purely for its video capabilities... but I think I may have to pick something else for music.

I'd like to see if I could get my hands on a Q5W for testing, though...

Popular Forums

icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

SMART HOME

This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.