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View Full Version : Sansa Connect - internet radio on the go.



NauticusLX
2007-06-17, 20:36
I don't want to give a sales pitch, but has anybody seen the Sansa Connect? It receives internet radio via wifi, and even has a small built-in speaker and a slot for a 2GB microSD card (see the review at AnythingbutIpod.com, top right corner of screen). I was playing with one yesterday and it's very sexy, fits in the hand very nicely, with an absolutely beautiful gui and form factor - pictures don't do it justice. It doesn't seem as "fragile" as many other DAP's - just throw it in your pocket and go. The center 4-way toggle wheel is rubberized, and rotates VERY smoothly (unlike the comparable wheel on the Sansa e200, which has a ratchetty movement that is clunky). The internet stations are mainly through Yahoo but I think the urls may be customizable. It has other silly online features, but no FM or recording ability (small consolation). It's 4 gig ($250) but I hear an 8 gig version was just announced, which is just big enough to rip about 84 CD's with room to spare. Nice. Sounds like a "portable SqueezeBox" in disguise. This might be "The One". (But then again I don't own one yet, so take this with a grain of salt.)

oreillymj
2007-06-18, 03:39
I hate to burst your bubble, but I bought a Sansa E280 thinking it was "the one" and it's turned out to be the last Sandisk product I'll ever buy.

It seemed to have everything going for it,8Gb of on board flash memory + 2gb expansion slot with a user replacable battery.

But startup times on the thing are appalling and the firmware is riddled with bugs. Since Sandisk dropped 10% of their staff, firmware fixes have stopped.

Also since the RIAA seem determined to kill internet radio, I'm not sure how long that feature will be worthwhile. I'd think very carefully about buying this product.

NauticusLX
2007-06-18, 10:38
Oh come on! Startup time?

The issue with the RIAA seems to affect mostly music stations, and not talk radio (which I use a lot), and some music stations I listen to are in Europe (Cafe Cody for one) and not affected by the RIAA. I think the issue with the RIAA is simply a blip in internet radio evolution. A few titans will emerge as paid services. Fine. The industry is in transition. I strongly believe there will always be enough content worth listening to, to make things like the "Connect" worthwhile. If anything there's a glut of internet radio stations now, the 2-3 I favor I'd be willing to pay for. There will always be private radio stations that broadcast, like KRLA in Los Angeles. And, technologically, internet radio is superior to satellite radio (more content generally, on an infrastructure that's much easier to maintain, with a more effective network, at least for home users, although satellite radio may have an advantage when it comes to the cars). I think the SqueezeBox is riding on this belief.

oreillymj
2007-06-18, 13:06
Yes startup time. From the time of pushing the power button on the Sansa to actually being able to listen to music is about 1 minute or more.

Probably more, it's certainly fa slower than even an iPod coming out of standby.

Read through some of the AnythingButiPod forums and you'll discover that a FW upgrade to improve the situation was due months ago.

I have an iRiver 1Gb flash player, 8gb Sansa & 80Gb iPod and the Sansa is the worst player of the 3.

So, let the buyer beware.

NauticusLX
2007-06-19, 00:32
I actually did purchase an e280 over the weekend, but returned it. I may have overstated the case with the "Connect" being "the one", but it does have a remarkable form factor and gui - it's VERY intuitive, and seems not to be bogged down by extras, based on a hands-on trial. I wanted to pick it up as soon as I saw it, and couldn't put it down once I picked it up. That's saying something. Really, pick one up and spin that dial, and watch each icon enlarge as it takes it's turn. It's SO INTUITIVE. It's beautiful, but without looking like it should be "on display". I find it hard to resist it's looks. I can't say the same for any model of cell phone, which is 1 reason why I don't own a cell phone, besides the "curse of the monthly bill". I wouldn't mind ownning a blackberry pearl, for example, and paying for actual useage, but that simply isn't an option, so I don't own one. It's like buying something, but then paying a monthly rate on top of that. Outrageous.

dSw
2007-06-19, 13:36
Yes startup time. From the time of pushing the power button on the Sansa to actually being able to listen to music is about 1 minute or more.

Probably more, it's certainly fa slower than even an iPod coming out of standby.

Read through some of the AnythingButiPod forums and you'll discover that a FW upgrade to improve the situation was due months ago.

I have an iRiver 1Gb flash player, 8gb Sansa & 80Gb iPod and the Sansa is the worst player of the 3.

So, let the buyer beware.

A 1 minute startup time certainly doesn't sound right, but in any case I would suggest you read the "Rockbox" forum on the AnythingButiPod site and try sticking Rockbox on your Sansa. As I've said elsewhere - it has transformed my Sansa e280 into the best portable DAP I have ever used. Agreed - this is mostly down to Rockbox, but the firmware/UI is arguably the biggest factor in terms of how good a DAP is and at least with the Sansa you have the opportunity to improve that aspect. In terms of hardware the Sansa is a small and beautiful piece of kit with a very decent battery life (and easily replaceable battery).

In my fairly modest experience of DAPs I've used a 1GB iRiver for 2+ years and my other half has an iPod Nano 2G (which I've used a few times). Compared to these I would say that the Sansa with Rockbox on it is head and shoulders above both of them.

NauticusLX
2007-06-19, 14:22
dsw, what features of the Rockbox make it so desireable? What does it do that the Sansa can't otherwise do?

dSw
2007-06-19, 14:41
dsw, what features of the Rockbox make it so desireable? What does it do that the Sansa can't otherwise do?

For me, the main advantages are:

- Proper playlist support
- Audio codec support e.g. Ogg, AAC, FLAC
- A shuffle function that actually works!
- The ability to browse by files or tags
- The ability to resume playback as soon as it powers up (without having to press the play button)
- Comprehensive sound settings such as crossfeed, dithering, stereo width etc.
- General ability to customise the interface and behaviour
- Improved startup time
- Active development of the codebase

There is also the added bonus of plugins, which add games, an image viewer, MPEG movie player and other apps that may be of interest - but these are not so important for me.

It is the perfect complement to users of Slimserver! ;-)

Have a look at the manual - http://download.rockbox.org/manual/rockbox-sansae200/rockbox-build.html

MelonMonkey
2007-06-19, 20:28
There isn't a Rockbox theme (UI) in existence that doesn't look like it was created by a 5 year old with a serious mental deficiency. That's pretty much reason enough to not install it on any player.

Mind you I think the iPod "looks" fine but has one of the most backwards UI's ever put upon man - it's idiotic (and yes, I know exactly how it can be fixed if Apple cared). But as much as I could never buy any current or past gen iPod because of it, I could never run that Rockbox crapola on any DAP either.

dSw
2007-06-20, 00:38
There isn't a Rockbox theme (UI) in existence that doesn't look like it was created by a 5 year old with a serious mental deficiency. That's pretty much reason enough to not install it on any player.

Mind you I think the iPod "looks" fine but has one of the most backwards UI's ever put upon man - it's idiotic (and yes, I know exactly how it can be fixed if Apple cared). But as much as I could never buy any current or past gen iPod because of it, I could never run that Rockbox crapola on any DAP either.

Well, you like to shoot your mouth off, don't you?

I find your remark about "mental deficiency" particularly offensive so I would appreciate it if you could tone down your language.

As for Rockbox themes... some of them are pretty basic, yes, but in my opinion many of them look fantastic - see http://www.rockbox-themes.org/ (personally I use aZure v2 on my Sansa).

The beauty of Rockbox is that you can easily create your own design so feel free to create one that's up to your standard. If you can see past what you consider to be a poor UI then you'll be rewarded with what is probably the best functionality offered by DAP software.

MelonMonkey
2007-06-20, 06:42
Yes, I like to shoot my mouth off. When I'm right.

Rockbox is like modding out a Porsche with a Ford engine and the fugly skin from a Mustang.

"Skinning" is not a replacement for missing controls and widgets under the hood. Look at the common links of all the skins. Read through the features and more importantly, MISSING features of every Rockbox release.

Now what's this about toning the language down? Get real.

dSw
2007-06-20, 07:47
Yes, I like to shoot my mouth off. When I'm right.

Rockbox is like modding out a Porsche with a Ford engine and the fugly skin from a Mustang.

"Skinning" is not a replacement for missing controls and widgets under the hood. Look at the common links of all the skins. Read through the features and more importantly, MISSING features of every Rockbox release.

It was the UI that you criticised in your original post.. but you're now saying that it lacks features? I use it every day and, if anything, I would say that there are too many options! I would be interested to hear what features you think are missing - and how about some constructive criticism instead of a rant?


Now what's this about toning the language down? Get real.

I was referring to a remark you made that I found particularly offensive. Please show some compassion.

nicketynick
2007-06-20, 08:06
Bruno, chill a bit - obviously this is a subject near & dear to your heart (and livelihood) - but not everybody is going to have checked out your links to see where you're coming from.
And of course, you are qualified to prove your point by following up with a product!

mvalera
2007-06-20, 10:51
Guys,

Chill out on personal comments, now.

I think it's lost on a lot of people in the forums when they criticize a plugin or such and say something like , "whoever developed that must be a retard"...

A. Many of those developers are actually forum members, and they tend to take such comments PERSONALLY

B. Most of this software is provided for free, and done in their spare time... did I mention that most of them are free?

So, please feel free to criticize, but PLEASE do so in a way that does not involve personal attacks on the developers.

Play nice kids!

Mike

Pale Blue Ego
2007-06-20, 11:36
I can't say the same for any model of cell phone, which is 1 reason why I don't own a cell phone, besides the "curse of the monthly bill".

Just get one of the "pay as you go" phones. I use a Nokia Shorty with Virgin Mobile service, and it costs me only $16.50 every 3 months. Of course, that only gives me 20 minutes of talk time per month, but so far I've never actually used it all.