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May 22, 2011 4:36 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for a great portable music player that supports wma lossless files (ie: not an Ipod)?

I'm basically looking for a player with a fantastic memory, support for lossless, and great sound.

Apparently back in 2008, only 4 players supported lossless (Cowon A3, D2, Q5W; Gigabeat T-Series; iriver clix 2G and Zune).
Since then, has anything better popped up? What do you recommend?

Thank you in advance
posted by ruelle to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The world of sound technology is a strange place, you will often find that the best products will stick around for a few years unlike other technologies that simply get better each iteration.

The Sansa Clip + is only 8GB but has a microSDHC slot for expandability. The Clips are touted to be one of the best sounding players around.

Anything by Cowon, the X7 has 160GB and is a beast of a thing.

Point is, don't worry about things being new if you truly want something that sounds great, Anything But iPod is a good site to check if you want to do a little more research.
posted by Zemoth at 5:33 AM on May 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Rockbox is an OS firmware that has been ported to many devices and which supports wma, so you may not be as limited in device selection as you think.
posted by dfan at 5:41 AM on May 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I second Rockbox, but adding that it doesn't support any type of DRM.

Regarding the Clip+, it appears that newer models had audible noise when using Rockbox firmware, though that might have been solved by now. If not, you may still use the Clip's original firmware, but it doesn't support gapless playback.
posted by Bangaioh at 6:29 AM on May 22, 2011

Came in here to recommend the Sansa Clip+. Even the default firmware has a slight amount of audible noise when starting/seeking tracks, but it's a slight blemish on an otherwise great little player. Sound quality is excellent.

I'm not sure about WMA lossless support (not to snark, but why would you use such a format? Convert them to FLAC, at least) but it does seem to support FLAC with gapless playback (just checked!).
posted by neckro23 at 8:17 AM on May 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just FYI, refurbished 4GB and 8GB Clips (and +'s) are often available for $25 or less. I'm very pleased with my Rockboxed 8GB Clip, but it does tend to get lost..

Zunes have been offered at attractive prices recently, too: bensbargains shows the 8GB@$56, the HD16GB@$105, and the HD32GB@$180. You have to use the Zune software to manage them, but it's serviceable enough (the auto-playlist, "ZuneDJ" is actually great), and the hardware is solid. Because the brand basically failed, you can often find premium accessories at a steep discount. They'll handle lossless WMA, but not FLAC, which is really the better cross-platform archival solution..
posted by unmake at 8:44 PM on May 25, 2011

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