I spent a while searching for an MP3 player in the leadup to xmas 2007. I thought my criteria were reasonable:
- Access as a USB Mass Storage device
- Decent enough sound quality that I’m not compelled to buy an amp
- FLAC and ogg support
- A form factor that I can take running with me in a pocket
I ended up with a shortlist of:
- iPod nano
- the 3rd generation form factor isn’t great
- it can’t play ogg and flac (well, until rockbox gets ported)
- isn’t well-regarded for its sound quality.
- Sony NWZ-S61x
- It certainly seems from Sony’s promotion, user reactions, and some RMAA tests that sound quality was a focus, and that Sony were taking advice from their users by switching to UMS.
- The lack of ogg and flac support was disappointing
- The form factor tipped the balance. Really it’s not that bad, but it reminded me of my V600i, whose appearance I loathe.
- Cowon iAudio 7
- Looks ugly
- conflicting reports regarding its sound quality
- Meizu M3
- A form factor that fit my criteria
- Comprehensive codec support
- Some bells and whistles (FM, mic recording)
- A decent price
- I couldn’t find much regarding quantitative tests of the sound quality (the others had been subjected to RMAA and similar).
On separate whims I came close to getting the iAudio 7 and an NWZ-S616.
So the belated birthday present from my sister was an M3 SP, 8 GB, stocked with the T 2.003.3 firmware. I christened it “simble”. Here are my first impressions, chronologically ordered rather than logically categorised.