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Old 12-04-2005, 12:34 AM   #1
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Cowon America iAudio X5L, opinions?

Hi folks,

I've finally narrowed down my search for a replacement audio player.
My NetMD player finally died. The optical laser head stopped moving, and the ol' shake-the-unit-hard trick didn't work. I've performed many open-heart surgeries on my MD player, but alas, the poor thing died. It served me well for many years.

Recently, I picked up a cheap MP3 discman from a London Drugs near my home. Cheap $100 CAD one, but it was defective (broke down a few days later), and I got a full refund for that. So much for the cheap alternative.

I've been doing some research during my "inspiration" breaks in my studying cycle for upcoming exams. And through these "inspiration" and motivational breaks, I've decided that I'm probably going to go ahead and get a Cowon America iAudio X5L MP3 player.

I was wondering if anybody has experience with one of these, or knows of anybody who has one or has had one. I've read many reviews, and they say that the sound quality is equal to, or even better than iPods. But there were many "fanboy" reviews saying that the iPod is the only way to go, yadda yadda yadda. You know how those kids are: too biased and stubborn to consider alternatives.

I was originally going to go with an iPod, but the price is just unjustifiable for so few features. I'm not going to fork up $300 for simply an MP3 player, when I can spend $50 more and get 10GB more storage and 30+ hours of battery. Plus, iPods don't support WMA. Also, I intend on using it as a hard disk (I know that iPods do this to), but am unaware of iPods working well with Linux (SuSE). Don't want to run any risks there. In addition, doesn't Apple have a really bad name battery life with their iPods?

p.s. Thank you to Volchitsa for recommending the "Cow on America" X5 . I never would have considered it had it not been for him, as Canadian retailers do not sell it (at least in store -- NCIX and Atic of Vancouver have these in warehouse).
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:02 PM   #2
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Haha, hey.
What exactly do you want to know about the x5? I don't have one myself, but 2 of my pretty close friends do...
Sound quality is indeed pretty good. It also has video, which is pretty awesome, but the quality for videos is pretty bad. Comparatively. If you really want good video, then go for the archos gmini. But I remember this conversation, the fact that you'd rather have battery life..
Oh, and apple's batteries are pretty bad. As in they're supposed to die after a year. Then, apple supposedly replaces the unit, but who needs the hassle?

Another thing. If you do not need video, then there's another great alternative. The philips HDD6330.. Well. It's an amazing player, but not much features. (still beats iPod though)

And one more thing. Lately, a whole new player emerged from the depths of Zen's labs. The zen Vision:M It sure seems to be a biggie. It's like an iPod video except better. You should really take a look at this one. If you buy it, tell me all about it. People are really liking this one.

Canadian retailers, you mean stores? You know, cowon is not at any store here either. They're just online. (Don't know why)

Oh, and I am not a "him".
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Old 12-10-2005, 04:14 PM   #3
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I don't care about video at all, really. It'st just a little gimmick for me, so I'd tinker with it, but I have my TH55 for much better video quality etc. etc.

All I really want is music playback (well duh... ), radio (no iPod that I know of can do this without paying extra $$$ for an attachment), and a voice recorder (my 256 MB card isn't enough for my TH55).

I know that iPods can do voice recording, but I don't want to spend $50 on a microphone and then another $10 for some adaptor, all on top of the $350-$400 for the unit.

If I wanted design, then I'd go with Apple, like SonyStyle brought up in the other thread. But looks don't matter for me, and I couldn't care less if it was pink coloured, as long as it does what I want for a good price.

As for the "he" reference.... I don't want to sound sexist at all, but I find that it's safe to assume that the person on the other end is a "he" on these types of forums, mostly because men tinker with battery powered, and overhauled gadgets more than women... Sorry about that!
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Old 12-10-2005, 04:25 PM   #4
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Daver, Staples is selling this MP3 player on their website for $249; add a couple of coupons, and you get it for $230.

http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/c...&affixedcode=WW

And use coupon code: 88439 to knock off another $20
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Old 12-10-2005, 05:29 PM   #5
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i've had some bad experiences with Staples shipping before. mainly, i ordered, product never arrived. Staples said they shipped it, claimed that it was insured, but nobody ever knocked on my front door.
the other time, my brother ordered an iPaq from their website. it was supposed to be brand new. when it arrived, we found out that it was refurbished, and not very well refurbished at that as well.

it seems that my family doesn't have very good luck with Staples.ca, while everyone else has no problems. i guess somebody's gotta get it bad, right?

thanks anyways though!

however, for $12 more (http://atic.ca/index.php?search=iAudio&x=0&y=0), i can get it from Atic, which is located in Vancouver. i've been going to Atic for years for my computer hardware, so i trust them very much. personally, i think the extra $12 (before tax) is worth avoiding the fears of another bad Staples experience. plus, a close friend of my dad's works there as one of the manager people (i still don't know what he actually does there...), so he tends to knock off a few bucks here and there from the listed price. since they're the type of store that uses online and in-store pricing, they'll obviously charge you the higher price (usually in-store). not for my family, my dad's friend will charge us whichever is cheaper, before knocking off $10 here, or another $15 somewhere else... don't worry, it's all legit workings. the store just doesn't get as much profit, or my dad's friend just gets less commission, whichever way their system works.

i'm also thinking of negociating my way through a free carring case or cradle... or both. connections can really pay off
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Last edited by daver : 12-10-2005 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:31 PM   #6
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No, if you want style/design, you still wouldn't go for iPod. You'd want to go for Philips or maybe the olympus m:robe.

But did you look at the new M:Vision? It's really an awesome player. The screen is gorgeous.


It's not out yet, but from what I've heard Zen is trying to get it out before christmas... I'd wait if I were you.

If $300 was my budget, I'd go for the zen.

But now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my parents will be nice enough and get me a nice shiny cowon a2 for my birthday in 17 days... (a decent present, for once, please?)

P.S. Are those pics working? ^^^
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:59 PM   #7
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those pics would work, if i cared about a decent LCD screen. to be honest, a black and white CRT monitor as an accessory would be enough for me. i just need something like a discman LCD screen at the bare minimum. at least tell me that it's playing SOMETHING, and little things like that. video isn't necessary for me, so really blotchy images and stuff like that won't really tick me off.

since it is my own money... i might think about the zen. but if it's not available on shelves by boxing day, then no point in waiting any longer. i'm going to Big White (6+ hour drive to the skiing mountains.. sigh...) soon, so i need something that can last me longer than 1 CD. X5L is still my #1 choice, unless the Zen shows up real soon.
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Old 12-10-2005, 09:05 PM   #8
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Alright then.

Good luck, let me know if you have any news...
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:23 PM   #9
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Hey, so what are you thinking? Did you buy it yet? Hopefully not, I think there's an awesome deal on eCost right now. Check it out.
Hurry up!
LINK
I don't know about eCost and Canada, but I'm pretty sure they can ship there.
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:02 PM   #10
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wow, thanks much for the link.

however, i will be buying the X5L (30 GB version) from a store in Vancouver. one of my dad's good friends works there, and can get me about $15 off that model, which is selling for $400 Canadian, and he might be able to throw in a free cradle or case.

the one selling at eCost is about $50 cheaper, but after the shipping costs, it's pretty much the same price. so i think i'll stick with in-city shopping. but thanks for the link!
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:17 PM   #11
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Sure thing. i noticed it, went WOW, remembered you.
Tell me what you think of it when you finally get it.

Hmm. They also have the 60 gb one on sale right now. Awesomeness.
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:21 PM   #12
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... And every other x5 model for that matter...
Too bad a2 is not on sale. It's still $40 cheaper than retail. I'm going to get it soon.
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volchitsa
... And every other x5 model for that matter...
Too bad a2 is not on sale. It's still $40 cheaper than retail. I'm going to get it soon.

speak of the devil..

i just ordered my X5L (30GB). it should arrive in store by Friday latest, so it'll be in my hands sometime this coming week.
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Old 12-22-2005, 02:53 PM   #14
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Hahaha. I beat you. My new A2 arrived today. It is simply amazing. A bit bigger than I expected, but it's the best thing ever made...
Ahhh.

*load some more giggage into A2*
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volchitsa
Hahaha. I beat you. My new A2 arrived today. It is simply amazing. A bit bigger than I expected, but it's the best thing ever made...
Ahhh.

*load some more giggage into A2*

*grumble grumble*
so there's been a nice little delay in the delivery of my X5L. apparently some sort of trouble with some of the computer parts on the same cargo plane, so they total cargo shipment has been delayed by a day. so maybe i won't be able to get my X5L until I return from my relative's place on the island. ho hum.

but i'm being a little optimistic this way: thanks to my dad's friend, i'm saving a few quids here and there. at first, he couldn't get any carrying cases designed for hte X5. instead he gave me a sleeve-thingy (vertical loading with a velcro latch) that's designed to fit iPods, but which the X5L fits very snuggly into. and instead of paying $400 + the $50 for hte carrying case, i paid $350 (+tax) and not a cent more. so technically, i saved $100!
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