the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: Player

sansa clip zip

Latest hardware in the fantastic Clip line from Sandisk, the "Zip" adds a 1.1″ full color screen. Identical internals as previous models, so same great sound and plays a wide range of formats. Here's some test data.

On the web:


oppo dv-980h

Okay, after years of denying it, I'm now interested in multi-channel audio. It was the recent Genesis archival box set that put me over the edge – what does the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway sound like in 5.1 audio? Now where to start. Obviously there are three things you need for multi-channel audio: 1) six speakers, 2) a receiver to process the audio signal, and 3) a disc player that can play all those formats. Well, I've got 2.1 setup with my PSB speakers, so I just need to purchase a couple of surrounds (Alpha LR1's for $85 each) and a center channel speaker. I honestly have no idea on a receiver, as this seems like the most daunting purchase (and a later post).

But the player ended up being quite an easy choice. I'm not sure how I stumbled on to it, but the Oppo DV-980H is one amazing universal disc player. Nuforce, who brought us the wonderful Icon amplifier, even offered a 20% discount on the player for their customers. A trip to and $134 dollars later, I've got a universal disc player that can play DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, CD, HDCD, VCD; in fact, every format except BlueRay and the now deprecated HDDVD. It handles up to 7.1 audio, sports 24-bit, 192kHz high resolution audio D/A converters, and has Dolby Digital Surround EX decoding. Stylish, easy to setup, and above all, one great sounding disc player, it's no wonder that the Mountain View based Oppo Digital has won too numerous accolades to mention. As a DVD player, it also upconverts, which may be of interest to those looking for HD video.

I almost forgot to mention – it also plays discs with Divx and Xvid files, and it's easy to hack into an all-region player too. Check out the Videohelp website.

On the web:
Oppo Digital DV-980H

sansa clip

If you've read my book, you'll learn (at the very end) that I'm not a very big fan of the ipod or mp3 players in general. The iPod has destroyed music in two ways: it has hearkened the advent of lossy music, while secondly, the ubiquity of music has cheapened the listening experience to a mere fashion statement. Okay, enough of the soap opera; digital music is indeed a novel approach to the storage of music.

I recently purchased a 500GB hard drive (WD Green Power) with the hopes of digitizing some of my collection for use with my Squeezebox and the DAC of my Nuforce Icon. While I have "acquired" a lot of music in the MP3 format, I wanted to use either FLAC or OGG Vorbis (q=6) for ripping my CD collection. This presented one conundrum: Rockbox aside, where am I going to find a portable player that handles these formats?

Best Buy. $39.00 for the 2GB Sansa Clip. What's cool about the Clip? The latest firmware (1.01.29) supports OGG Vorbis decoding. The player also ranks highly for sound quality. Yes, it's incredibly small in size, maybe even too small, but the display is bright, with a menu for easy navigation. I know that 2GB isn't a lot of storage, but I have two needs for a digital music player: First, to plug into the old Sansui/Bose system I have in my garage, when we barbecue and hang out in the back yard, and second, on the occasion that I take some form of public transportation. So 2GB is actually a fair amount of music: almost 40 albums at q=6 for OGG Vorbis.

Now the rub: like all stereos… er, sound systems, they're only as good as the speakers, or in this case, the earphones. Stay tuned…

On the web:
Sansa Clip Official Sandisk page
AnythingbutIpod Sansa Clip disassembled