Sunday, July 12, 2015

Research And Patience

A few years ago I owned a Zoom H4 audio recorder. I spent a lot of money buying it and even though I looked after it it eventually developed a fault which couldn't be fixed and like so much modern technology it went into the bin. I didn't replace it because although the H4 is great when it worked I didn't think that a few years use was good value for money.
Since the H4 died I've been looking for a replacement. It certainly wouldn't need all the bells and whistles that I'd had before. What I require for an audio recorder is firstly that it's cheap and secondly that it's portable. I've looked at a lot of bits of gear and nothing appealed to me so I put the idea on the back burner.
Moving on a bit, I recently joined a gym and wanted an mp3 player. Like just about everyone else I wanted some distraction from doing anything physical that was out of my comfort zone, I think that's the correct parlance.
After doing a lot of research I decided on and bought a Sandisk Sansa Clip Plus. It ticks all the boxes and a few more too. It also incorporates an audio recorder. I've found a couple of recorded samples and it's perfectly OK for my needs. But as the title of this post suggests it doesn't end there. There's one big surprise to add to this tale that'll make you rethink spending big on your next mp3 player.
Whilst doing my research on the Sandisk Clip Plus I found that there is an open source alternative OS for the player called Rockbox. Not only does it add countless options to the player but it dual boots alongside the existing OS so you lose nothing and gain everything.
Even on my Ubuntu PC it's simplicity itself to install with it's GUI. It took me all of ten minutes to get it up and running. It'd take me hours to list all the extras that Rockbox adds to the Sandisk so I won't bother. Suffice to say that a trip to rockbox.org will give you all the details. You may have an old mp3 player that's in their list of supported devices.
I suppose I should finish by telling you what it sounds like, after all I'm talking about an mp3 player here. My evaluation for what it's worth is that it sounds as good as any mp3 player I've ever owned. In fact it sounds better not least because I can tweak the audio settings to my liking and not have to rely on naff presets which are never quite right. It's also loud if that's how you like your audio with no restrictions on volume up to 24db.
Personally I'm very happy with my Sandisk Clip Plus and the Rockbox OS and I've finally got my replacement audio recorder.
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