Does any mp3 player have this list of features?
September 28, 2006 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Is there any flash-based mp3 player that plays WAV files, has an FM tuner, records standard (44.1) WAV files from this FM tuner, has a 1GB or higher capacity, and is not much over $100? (I'm also grateful for any "almost" answers, since those might help me refine my Googling.)
posted by lorimer to Technology (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I THINK the MobiBLU Cube meets all of your requirements. It also looks pretty cool.

The 1GB is $90 and the 2GB is $120.
posted by JMOZ at 11:00 PM on September 28, 2006

Oh, wait- it looks like it doesn't support wav (or, at least it doesn't say it does). Damn, seems like a tough thing to lose on, doesn't it? Sorry. Good luck.
posted by JMOZ at 11:07 PM on September 28, 2006

Well, have you looked through this list? Alright, I'm off to bed.
posted by JMOZ at 11:10 PM on September 28, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks! That list is a great resource for model names to investigate, but sadly its spec sheets aren't specific enough. :) In each case, all they say is "FM radio recording capability" with no further specifics. In a few cases, the editorial review happens to eithe says or imply the recording format (and so far, no 44.1 WAV).

I'm ready to Google more & find/download product manuals where necessary, but first I'll give the hive mind a chance!

(-- Just for people who are curious: this player is primarily for recording my favorite hour-long, nightly radio show. It has to be portable since I'm rarely home when the show's on, and it has to record to WAV because I'll then edit each show into chunks I want to keep -- for which I need more flexibility than an mp3 splitter program could give me. And no, I don't have a computer I can keep running at home for scheduled recording-from-FM each night... but if you have other creative solutions, suggest away!)
posted by lorimer at 12:16 AM on September 29, 2006

Response by poster: Boy, I'm finding a lot of mp3 recording... and a lot of non-standard WAV recording (especially ADPCM compression)... but no standard 16-bit 44.1 PCM WAV yet.

I've gotta stop looking now (all my food's done cooking, so time for real work :)). But I'll cross my fingers for hive-mind in-the-mornin'...
posted by lorimer at 1:03 AM on September 29, 2006

Is it such a big problem to do mp3-wav conversion for editing?

Do mp3 splitter programs really not allow perfect cutting (it's a long time since I've tried)
posted by OldMansHands at 3:15 AM on September 29, 2006

The Creative Zen Nano has some of those features - not sure if it has all.
posted by srah at 3:42 AM on September 29, 2006

I have been looking for the same thing forever. Unfortunately as far as I've seen there are few or no models with 44.1khz 16t bit recording, especially not in stereo.

If somebody knows better I'd love to hear it.

Today I gave up and bought the closest thing I could find here in Obninsk, the Transcend T.Sonic 520. It records (and plays) standard uncompressed .WAV files at 32khz. Not perfect, but definitely serviceable. Actually, I bought it about just about twenty minutes ago.

Cons: build quality isn't extremely nice, plasticky everything. Display is a bit dim in sunlight.

Pros: small size, uses standard AAA's, no special software at all (works as a standard mass storage device) and what's more, it puts all the files into neat folders like this:


As standard .WAV files easily editable and without compression artifacts.

Better still, IMHO, is that it is one-touch recording. If you press the record button while listening to any source, it immediately begins writing a WAV file. This was my other requirement, it had to be ultra-accessbile. One touch recording sold me.

I made two test recordings for you. One of the radio, and one of me walking up the hallway to my temporary flat. You can hear me typing the answer to your question.
posted by fake at 3:51 AM on September 29, 2006

If you get an older iRiver model with FM, and install the open-source Rockbox, then one of the latest recording options enable uncompressed WAV recording from FM. The hardware limits the recording to 44,1kHz and 20 bits (no 24 available yet). Unfortunately, the models this codec currently supports are the hard-disk based iRiver and iAudio ones. Rockbox's recording options are, however, very extensive. I particularly like the little touch that when clipping ahppens, the LCD LED lights up, so you know to turn down your input to avoid clipping.

There have been mutterings about getting WAV recording working for the Archos models. One Archos model, the Ondio FM, is flash-based 128MB onboard but an MMC/SD expansion slot. I swap 2GB cards in and out of mine. Runs off AAAs in a removable cover - I get around 10 hours playback and 4 hours record (at ~320 kbps VBR MP3) out of a set of 1800 mAh AAAs. You can, of course, swap in more batteries as required. The recording quality is pretty good.
posted by meehawl at 5:06 AM on September 29, 2006

The old Neuros meets all your criteria except it's neither flash-based nor anywhere near $100.
posted by brett at 5:28 AM on September 29, 2006

I think that the fantastic freeware program Audacity will let you open and edit mp3 quite easily. In that case, the world is your oyster.
posted by JMOZ at 9:26 AM on September 29, 2006

You can edit MP3 files in Audacity, but you will have to decode them first (i.e., it's not lossless).

I wonder if it's just not feasible to make cheap flash devices capable of writing uncompressed CD-quality audio in real-time.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:16 AM on September 29, 2006

Try the IAUDIO U2. It seems to fit most of your specifications and since it's not the newest model out, you may be able to find a deal.
posted by pinksoftsoap at 10:40 AM on September 29, 2006

yup - just checked the specs and prices; sounds like your player comes in 1GB or 2GB
posted by pinksoftsoap at 10:46 AM on September 29, 2006

I got a RCA Lyra from Woot a while back for $40.00. It matches your feature list except that the export to WAV is done in software (don't know if this matters to you), and it only came with 256MB onboard. It has a flash expansion slot, so for your price point you could probably pick up one of these and a card to go with it to get the 1GB.

Amazon says that the particular model I linked is not available anymore, but maybe the Lyra line includes some other similar models, or you can find a used one.
posted by tkolstee at 10:55 AM on September 29, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers! Yeah, my issue is that I care most about quality so I can't be converting mp3-to-WAV (especially since I'd be turning the WAV-chunks back into mp3s again).

So if the consensus is that we're now talking about HD-based players... I think it would actually be cheaper for me (and more flexible for my other needs) to just buy a very old PowerBook and leave that sitting at my friend's house with a cheap FM radio fed into it, scheduled startup / recording / shutdown, and screen at zero brightness so it eats less power.

(So if anybody has opinions of schedulable-audio-recording programs that would work with OS9, I'd love to hear them! Thanks!)
posted by lorimer at 11:01 AM on September 29, 2006

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