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[Recommend] .flac and .mp3 music player

Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
So I recently came into possession of a lot of .flac files which are amazing. Unfortunately and frustratingly iTunes does not support .flac.

As my ipod kind of kicked the bed a while ago, could someone recommend me a music player that is not a resource hog, very simple and basic, that can do both .flac and .mp3, and still have some features like playlists and such?

As well, any mp3 player gadgets that people would recommend that can take flac and mp3?

Thanks in advanced!!

Metal Gear Solid 2 Demo on
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Posts

  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Edit: Nevermind, you meant actual device. I think the newer Sansa players can play .flac files

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  • Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I liked my sansa sandisk until I broke it at work and it played flac files but tbh, you're probably going to want something that holds more because you would fill them up pretty quick.

    roland even though you are just living life until ragnarok

    us mortals have to deal
  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've got a little 4gb Sansa I use that handles both those file types and more, plus has extra features like playlists and a bunch of other stuff.

    And I've never had a Sansa suddenly up and die so hard after owning it for six months that any machine I plug it in to bluescreens. The same can not be said of iPods.

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  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Foobar does playlists and FLAC. And its not itunes, which is a plus.

    Steam & GT
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  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I liked my sansa sandisk until I broke it at work and it played flac files but tbh, you're probably going to want something that holds more because you would fill them up pretty quick.

    I'm pretty sure that most of the new Sansa players can also support SDHC cards, so that's covered if he has another $10 laying about

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  • Metal Gear Solid 2 DemoMetal Gear Solid 2 Demo Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah heard a lot about both Foobar and the sansas so that's probably where I will end up going if there's nothing else

    Spoiler:
  • meatflowermeatflower Registered User
    edited April 2010
    There aren't that many devices that support FLAC, those that do may have storage issues (or not, see above).

    Best thing to do would be to decompress the FLAC files to WAV with the FLAC Frontend (available on their website for free), then convert those WAV's to high quality 256Kbps VBR MP3's using LAMEmp3 in conjunction with something like RazorLame (another free front-end for LAME).

    I think you'd be hard pressed to detect a difference between uncompressed FLAC and a 256/320Kbps VBR Mp3 on a portable player. And they take up a lot less space.

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  • Rotting MeatRotting Meat Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Any player that you can install Rockbox on will be able to play FLAC. Which is a surprising number.

  • krushkrush Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Any player that you can install Rockbox on will be able to play FLAC. Which is a surprising number.

    whoa... new firmware for that little Sansa C250 I have sitting in my drawer??? I just might have to dig it out just to tinker with it.

  • Shorn Scrotum ManShorn Scrotum Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Any player that you can install Rockbox on will be able to play FLAC. Which is a surprising number.

    Oh shit, this looks pretty awesome. If my little Sansa didn't already do everything I want it to I'd consider messing around with that.

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  • JeltzJeltz Registered User
    edited April 2010
    My current player is the Cowon iAudio D2, and I love it dearly... The Cowon D2 has up to 16 GB internal storage, and this may be expanded using an SDHC card - a 16 or 32 GB card should give you a nice amount of total storage. It has a built in FM radio tuner (some models have DAB as well) and you can record from radio, line in or microphone.

    I like this player a lot because I can get a relatively large amount or storage without using a hard drive, thus getting great battery life. The D2 has 40-50 hours of battery when playing music, and it's the only player I've seen that also has useful battery life when playing videos (~10 hours)

    It plays some of the more esoteric audio formats such as OGG and FLAC, which is pretty cool if you're a geek. (I think all of the Cowon players do.) The built-in amplifier is powerful enough to drive fairly large headphones, it supposedly does a much better job of this than the iPod. Most importantly, you don't have to use iTunes (which I hate with a passion) or any other music management software, I am free to organize and transfer my files manually just using Windows Explorer. On the player itself I can select songs by navigating through the folder structure on the player rather than the music database thing that the iPod does. (The D2 has the option of using a database as well but it doesn't force you to like the iPod)

    The user interface is a bit clunky compared to the iPod though, the general design is definitely not as slick.

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  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Rockboxed player. Adds flac support along with a bunch of other features to the models it supports.

    www.rockbox.org

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Rockbox or a Cowon player.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • birrubirru Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    What, no mention of Head-Direct's HiFiMAN HM-801?

    I mean, I don't think a budget was mentioned. ;)

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I agree with the "uncompress to WAV then convert to VBR MP3" plan.
    FLACs are awfully huge.

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  • SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Why uncompress first? Just use a converter than can go straight from FLAC to mp3/aac/ogg/whatever.

    To be honest though, even with high-end speakers, I doubt very much that the DAC on almost any pmp you'd care to name is good enough that you'll be able to tell the difference between a FLAC and an mp3 at ~256kbps (or hell, even 192). I can see the utility if you're using it as sort of a second storage medium rather than a device that you're constantly shuffling music off of, but otherwise you're probably just wasting space.

    Not to say that ripping to FLAC is a bad idea, though. It just might be a good idea to convert it to a lossy format before putting in on your pmp.

    But yeah, I've heard good things about Sansas and Cowons.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I actually listen to .FLAC files on my Symbian Nokia phone thanks to a third-party app. It's amazing, specially because it's one of those Xpress Music phones, which are tailored for music lovers.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • IceBurnerIceBurner Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I agree with the "uncompress to WAV then convert to VBR MP3" plan.
    FLACs are awfully huge.
    Please don't recommend VBR for music. It was originally created with human speech in mind, and doesn't handle sound outside that range very well.

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  • JeltzJeltz Registered User
    edited April 2010
    IceBurner wrote: »
    I agree with the "uncompress to WAV then convert to VBR MP3" plan.
    FLACs are awfully huge.
    Please don't recommend VBR for music. It was originally created with human speech in mind, and doesn't handle sound outside that range very well.
    Woah there, you probably should back that statement up with some references if you want people to take it seriously. Most of what I've read is advocates VBR for most purposes, including music. That also makes the most sense from what I remember of my multimedia signal processing course.

    Of course if you want to target a specific file size or a specific bit rate (for streaming) you'd want to use CBR or ABR. A few decoders have difficulties with VBR material, so you'd want to use CBR if you run into that problem. I can also see that if an encoder has a horribly bad VBR algorithm you would get problems, but doesn't everybody use LAME these days? :p

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, all I know is that the size cost/aural benefit of FLAC is very bad for portable players, and a few scant albums will fill up a hell lot of gigabytes.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Well, I have 15 FLAC albums which amounts to 5GB. It's not that much if you ask me.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    That's fucking terrible.

    You can fit around 270 songs in an Ipod shuffle 2nd gen using 128kbps AAC... that's on 1 GB. Assuming an average of 15 songs per album, it adds up to 18 albums. Times 5, you get 90 albums. 128 AAC is more than good enough for an Ipod with regular earbuds. Not the bitrate I have on my PC, Itunes converts stuff on the fly when copying to the ipod.

    So you're losing 65 albums for a tiny AUDIBLE increase in audio quality.

    Even if you double the bit rate to 256 (and assume that the file size doubles too), which is definitely much more than good for ipod+earbuds, you're still missing on 30 albums.

    The very definition of fucking terrible.

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  • JeltzJeltz Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Well, that really depends on how much storage space you have. I wouldn't put huge files on a Shuffle, but if you have a player with lots of storage then file size isn't a big deal.

    It also depends on the size of your music collection of course. Depending on your storage space and the number of songs you own, you may very well be able to store all of it on the player even in a lossless format.

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  • Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.

    But then, I use primarily use mp3 players in environments which make them and the headphones pretty much disposable since it's not an if rather than a when will they get broken.

    roland even though you are just living life until ragnarok

    us mortals have to deal
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.

    But then, I use primarily use mp3 players in environments which make them and the headphones pretty much disposable since it's not an if rather than a when will they get broken.

    That's my point, unless you have a 160GB classic ipod plugged into a marvelous audiophile sound system, you're trading away your precious jigabytes for no audible advantage.

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  • JeltzJeltz Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.
    Of course. I have no illusion about hearing any difference between mp3s and FLACs on a portable player. Personally, I use FLACs on my player for convenience, i.e. it's simpler to just copy the files without re-encoding them to mp3 first. As storage space isn't an issue for me, that's a solution that suits me well. As a nice bonus, the mp3 player becomes a secondary backup device for my music files.
    That's my point, unless you have a 160GB classic ipod plugged into a marvelous audiophile sound system, you're trading away your precious jigabytes for no audible advantage.
    And my point was that gigabytes aren't that precious to everybody. As storage space is constantly falling in price and increasing in capacity, it's a non-issue for a lot of users.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, besides having a small music collection my phone has a 16GB MicroSD card. :)

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • Skull2185Skull2185 Smile Puddin'! Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I hope this is a good place to ask:

    Is it possible to upload MP3's to an iPod without using iTunes? My itunes went kaflooey on me, so I uninstalled it from my laptop and attempted to re-install but during the installation I get a message about accessing some file or rather the lack of the ability to access a file and that I need to make sure I'm logged in as an administrator.

    I'm not exactly sure what to do here but now I can't upload anything to my iPod...

    It's like the N-word and the C-word had a baby, and it was raised by all the bad words for Jews.
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  • IceBurnerIceBurner Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.
    Some people just plain have ears more sensitive than others, and there's no way to demonstrate this to anyone who doesn't hear it outright because it is biologically impossible for them to experience it. I can hear the difference between VBR MP3, 320kpbs CBR MP3, and FLAC. To make a really bad analogy, VBR feels like listening to a gramophone or telephone audio when compared with the original.

    If you can't hear it, you may actually be lucky :P

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  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    IceBurner wrote: »
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.
    Some people just plain have ears more sensitive than others, and there's no way to demonstrate this to anyone who doesn't hear it outright because it is biologically impossible for them to experience it. I can hear the difference between VBR MP3, 320kpbs CBR MP3, and FLAC. To make a really bad analogy, VBR feels like listening to a gramophone or telephone audio when compared with the original.

    If you can't hear it, you may actually be lucky :P

    If you can show you can tell the difference whilst blinded to the source I would be impressed.

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    corcorigan wrote: »
    IceBurner wrote: »
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.
    Some people just plain have ears more sensitive than others, and there's no way to demonstrate this to anyone who doesn't hear it outright because it is biologically impossible for them to experience it. I can hear the difference between VBR MP3, 320kpbs CBR MP3, and FLAC. To make a really bad analogy, VBR feels like listening to a gramophone or telephone audio when compared with the original.

    If you can't hear it, you may actually be lucky :P

    If you can show you can tell the difference whilst blinded to the source I would be impressed.

    And using earbuds on an Ipod.
    Jeltz wrote:
    That's my point, unless you have a 160GB classic ipod plugged into a marvelous audiophile sound system, you're trading away your precious jigabytes for no audible advantage.
    And my point was that gigabytes aren't that precious to everybody. As storage space is constantly falling in price and increasing in capacity, it's a non-issue for a lot of users.

    Then by all means piss away two thirds of your storage capacity for no benefit! I don't give a fuck, it's your loss.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    No, it's your loss if you can't notice the difference between an mp3 and a flac. That means that your hearing is shit.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • XantusXantus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    corcorigan wrote: »
    IceBurner wrote: »
    I also doubt you would have much luck hearing the difference between flac and mp3 unless your earbuds cost more than the player.
    Some people just plain have ears more sensitive than others, and there's no way to demonstrate this to anyone who doesn't hear it outright because it is biologically impossible for them to experience it. I can hear the difference between VBR MP3, 320kpbs CBR MP3, and FLAC. To make a really bad analogy, VBR feels like listening to a gramophone or telephone audio when compared with the original.

    If you can't hear it, you may actually be lucky :P

    If you can show you can tell the difference whilst blinded to the source I would be impressed.

    +while jogging through downtown with headphones on.

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  • elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User
    edited April 2010
    No, it's your loss if you can't notice the difference between an mp3 and a flac. That means that your hearing is shit.

    I can hear the difference between a MP3 and a FLAC file, when I'm at my computer with the $100 speaker system. When I'm using a MP3 player with $5-20 headphones/earbuds, not so much

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    No, it's your loss if you can't notice the difference between an mp3 and a flac. That means that your hearing is shit.

    What part of "earbuds" and "ipod" are you so unable to understand? That means your intelligence is shit. Anything mp3 higher than 192 is virtually identical to FLAC or whatever unless you're a top audiophile with top audiophile ears and top audiophile equipment. Saying you can tell the difference walking the street with earbuds is fucking bullshit pedantic lies.

    Well, whatever, shame on me for argueing with impersonator, of all people. Won't lower myself any further.

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  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Well, boo me for having a good enough hearing that allows me to notice the difference between an mp3 and a flac.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • shadydentistshadydentist Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Well, boo me for having a good enough hearing that allows me to notice the difference between an mp3 and a flac.

    ...while wearing earbuds, and travelling through a potentially noisy area?

    Realisticially, in any sort of real-world setting, the sound isolation properties of the earbud is going to vastly outweigh any difference in encoding. I don't take my iPod outside to enjoy a pristine listening experience, I do it so I have something to listen to while walking to class.

    Steam & GT
    Spoiler:
  • ImpersonatorImpersonator Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Well, boo me for having a good enough hearing that allows me to notice the difference between an mp3 and a flac.

    ...while wearing earbuds, and travelling through a potentially noisy area?

    Realisticially, in any sort of real-world setting, the sound isolation properties of the earbud is going to vastly outweigh any difference in encoding. I don't take my iPod outside to enjoy a pristine listening experience, I do it so I have something to listen to while walking to class.

    I don't wear 'earbuds' since I very much enjoy listening to music, and it's totally worth it for me to have my entire music collection in FLAC even if for 5 or 10 minutes of a 24h day I have to go through a 'noisy area'.

    edit: Ultimately, this is my personal opinion. The problem with this thread is that the OP was asking for a good FLAC/mp3 player and some people just came here and criticized his/her request, rather than helping him/her.

    Bioptic wrote: »
    Lemmings was pro-Communist propeganda. All are created equal, sorted into specific jobs and roles that they will hold for the rest of their lives by a higher authority, and must sacrifice continuously for the good of the group. Success is measured by meeting quotas and nothing else. Also, nuclear holocaust.
  • Roland_tHTGRoland_tHTG Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    No, his question got answered, and he replied as such so the rest of us did the next logical thing which is discussing the things in the thread.

    And as far as flac vs mp3s, I've played around with comparing them and I can tell a difference sitting at my pc with some decent headphones but considering the bulk of my portable music listening is doing yardwork or while working (construction) I'm not about to pay a premium for my stuff when it's lucky to have an eight month lifespan.

    roland even though you are just living life until ragnarok

    us mortals have to deal
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I store my music collection on my hard drive at home as lossless audio (at that point, and on a desktop, FLAC vs. ALAC vs. APE vs. SHN is basically an academic distinction) because hard disk space is absurdly cheap per gigabyte and you can cram pretty much as many disks in a desktop as you'd like. When I'm moving it to my player, I use a converter program (dbpoweramp) to drop the files as Ogg Vorbis right onto the player, because flash memory space is not absurdly cheap and I can only fit the one MicroSD card in there.

    Thing is, I can't find the download link for the free version of dbpoweramp anywhere; I think it's only a paid app now. Anyone have any other good recommendations?

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