Author Topic: Digital Audio Player Recommendations  (Read 1674 times)

phred

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Perhaps interesting, your Fiio X5 and an LG smartphone compared:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZUvPQ6SN5I
Thanks for that link. In summary, based on when the video was made, the FiiO X5 beats just about any phone that was available at the time of producing the video (2017.)

At this point I think I'll try my S8 as a phone/audio player for a week or so, and then either use the X5 or look for a used phone.
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phred

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I don't know if I have an additional phone to use as a dedicated music player if I'd need a carrier plan strictly to use WiFi. Something else to look in to.
In my experience you do not.  I've continued to use decommissioned cell phones for other purposes with just Wifi and they've worked just fine.
Good to know. I'll factor that into my one week evaluation. Thanks.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

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CritterMan

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  • Now with FiiO M11!
Have you looked at the M9? It's more locked down than the X5, but faster.
Home Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable • Questyle CMA400i (ASIO) • Sennheiser HD 660S (balanced) / Audeze EL-8 Closed Back / Fostex TR-X00 Ebony • Teac AI-101DA • Jamo C93 + Dayton Audio SUB-1000
Work Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable / Tidal • SMSL SU-8 v2 • Nobsound NS-05P • THX AAA 789 • Sennheiser HD 58X (balanced)
OTG ~ FiiO M11 • Audiofly AF180 / B&O H6

phred

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Thanks Critterman. I just looked at the M9 specs and see that it's running a more recent version of Android than the X5 (v7 vs v5.1) and the price is at the top of my range. The thinking right now is to convert all music playing to my S8 phone. But this could be the replacement. I also like that it can take a 2TB card. Not that I have one, but that's impressive.

FiiO says the M9 has a "highly customized Android OS." And lists some streaming apps that (I think) are built-in. Do you happen to know if I can install other Android apps on it? Specifically GoneMad.

I see you're still using the X5. Do you use it in Android mode with a music player app, or do you use the FiiO music app under the FiiO OS?
Do you find it sluggish at all? That for me is probably the main reason I'm looking to change.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

CritterMan

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  • Now with FiiO M11!
FiiO says the M9 has a "highly customized Android OS." And lists some streaming apps that (I think) are built-in. Do you happen to know if I can install other Android apps on it? Specifically GoneMad.

Yeah, whitelisted apps only, no Play store and limited sideload. Here's the whitelist: https://fiio.com/newsinfo/91534.html

I see you're still using the X5. Do you use it in Android mode with a music player app, or do you use the FiiO music app under the FiiO OS?
Do you find it sluggish at all? That for me is probably the main reason I'm looking to change.

The X5 III is sluggish as a hippo in quicksand due to poor memory management and a junk chipset. I only use the FiiO music app or Tidal from the Play store on it. An M11 is currently in transit to me, though the Play store can't be used due to Google not wanting to support older versions of Android. At least one can still sideload, though not all apps can be sideloaded as they rely on the Play store. But, the M11 supposedly does what I need it to and is reportedly not sluggish at all. If you want app freedom above all else, a good Android phone is your best bet in my opinion as well. The only advantage to FiiO products is good audio quality for the price. You can always add a DAC/Amp to an Android phone if BT is good enough for you and you want better sound or more power.
Home Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable • Questyle CMA400i (ASIO) • Sennheiser HD 660S (balanced) / Audeze EL-8 Closed Back / Fostex TR-X00 Ebony • Teac AI-101DA • Jamo C93 + Dayton Audio SUB-1000
Work Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable / Tidal • SMSL SU-8 v2 • Nobsound NS-05P • THX AAA 789 • Sennheiser HD 58X (balanced)
OTG ~ FiiO M11 • Audiofly AF180 / B&O H6

phred

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The X5 III is sluggish as a hippo in quicksand
HA! I'm glad to see it's not just me that feels this way.

Quote
the M11 supposedly does what I need it to and is reportedly not sluggish at all. If you want app freedom above all else, a good Android phone is your best bet in my opinion as well. The only advantage to FiiO products is good audio quality for the price. You can always add a DAC/Amp to an Android phone if BT is good enough for you and you want better sound or more power.
I've since read that the M9 has a few Android apps that have been white listed by FiiO and those are the only ones that can be installed. Naturally, GMMP isn't on the list. I don't know if it will allow direct APK installations. Doesn't really matter at this point.

I would be interested in hearing your impressions of the M11 once you take it for spin.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

CritterMan

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  • Now with FiiO M11!
I would be interested in hearing your impressions of the M11 once you take it for spin.

I'll try to remember to share them with the class. I started with an X5 II, realized I wanted more functionality so I went to the X5 III, found that had the function I wanted but was just too slow and is plagued by memory issues that the X7 was not, so now I'm essentially going to the X5 IV in the M11 ;D
Home Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable • Questyle CMA400i (ASIO) • Sennheiser HD 660S (balanced) / Audeze EL-8 Closed Back / Fostex TR-X00 Ebony • Teac AI-101DA • Jamo C93 + Dayton Audio SUB-1000
Work Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable / Tidal • SMSL SU-8 v2 • Nobsound NS-05P • THX AAA 789 • Sennheiser HD 58X (balanced)
OTG ~ FiiO M11 • Audiofly AF180 / B&O H6

phred

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Does anyone have any experience with Shanling music players? Specifically the M0 and the M5s. Two very different beasts, but both look like they might work for me.

I'm willing to remove 'android' and 'wifi' from my earlier list of requirements. Updated desired requirements are:
- ability to take a 512gb sd card
- ability to perform a one way, USB sync from MB
- ability to play playlists created in and transferred from MB
- shuffle
- good battery life
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

SkyZippr

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Do you need album artist tag support? You never mentioned but I thought it might be important.
FYI Fiio M9 and M11 doesn't support it. And if I remember correctly, none of Shanling's do as well.
With my way of organizing the library, lack of album artist tag support means any album with featured artist will be broken up into multiple pieces.

phred

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Do you need album artist tag support? You never mentioned but I thought it might be important.
FYI Fiio M9 and M11 doesn't support it. And if I remember correctly, none of Shanling's do as well.
With my way of organizing the library, lack of album artist tag support means any album with featured artist will be broken up into multiple pieces.
Thanks SkyZippr. I've searched the 'net and can't find any mention of whether the M0 does or doesn't support Album Artist. So I have emailed them. They're very response and I had answers to my two previous emails within 24 hours. So I'm hoping the same holds true with this. I shall report back.

While I do add Album Artist to any album I'm tagging, I don't think it would be a deal breaker for me. The only place it might be a minor problem is with the 197 albums where Album Artist is "Various Artists" - albums that are for the most part, compilations. And I can always find them by looking for the Album.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

phred

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Shanling confirmed that Album Artist "is not currently supported." I have asked if they plan on adding it in a future firmware release. We'll see.
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.

Mauser69

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Everybody has different preferences, so my choices may not be for you.  But wife and I had two fairly high-end LG phones from 2013 that we loved, but as the years passed and the Android OS was no longer being updated, we had to change phones.  Although we loved the phones, the battery life was just so-so, especially as they got older.  The last Android update for those phones was 4.1, which does prevent many new apps from working.

I took the smallest of the de-commissioned phones (only 4GB internal memory) and configured it without a SIM card (no phone support) as my mobile audio player.  My preferred app is Rocket Player, and it will play constantly for more than a day without any power connections - after a recent 8-hour trip, the battery was still over 70% (and that was with the audio cranked to Max for feeding the car radio from the headset jack)!  Not having any phone service configured makes a HUGE difference in how long it lasts.  And everything on the phone still works perfectly on any Wi-Fi connection.

Although I really like the Rocket Player, it does not have any casting support, so when I want to play music to my Chromecast Audio devices or other wireless receivers, I use the Hi-Fi Cast app.  I never use Bluetooth, as I consider that audio quality is total crap.

The beauty of using a de-commissioned phone as a player is that you can use any app that will run on your OS - if you do not like the features of one audio player, try one of the hundred other options.  My new Moto X4 phone has phenomenal battery life, a very fast CPU, and huge amounts of storage, but I still prefer to use a separate device as an audio player.  And you do not need high-end hardware to make a good player.
Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 05:40:22 PM by Mauser69

Mauser69

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Quote
An M11 is currently in transit to me, though the Play store can't be used due to Google not wanting to support older versions of Android.

I am not sure what that quote means - my old phones are only running Android 4.1, and they are still completely supported on the Play Store.  SOME of the newer apps say they will not load, or they give a warning because the OS version is too old, but that is an app-specific thing, not related to Google or Play Store support as far as I can tell.

hiccup

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Do you need album artist tag support? You never mentioned but I thought it might be important.
FYI Fiio M9 and M11 doesn't support it. And if I remember correctly, none of Shanling's do as well.

That's a good observation and fair warning.
(I was also considering a Shanling)
I would never have guessed one of the most basic and essential tags would not be supported by modern players.


I'm now glad I didn't immediately respond to your post, expressing doubts about your statement.
(damn, I gave my overly suspicious mind away now)

phred

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The beauty of using a de-commissioned phone as a player is that you can use any app that will run on your OS - if you do not like the features of one audio player, try one of the hundred other options.  My new Moto X4 phone has phenomenal battery life, a very fast CPU, and huge amounts of storage, but I still prefer to use a separate device as an audio player.  And you do not need high-end hardware to make a good player.
Thanks Mauser69. Someone else in this thread suggested using an old LG phone. But it means (for my use) carrying around two phone sized object. And even though the Shanling M0 doesn't (currently) recognize Album Artist, I ordered it today and will have it tomorrow. Mainly because of its small size, low price, and there's a thirty day return policy so if I really need Album Artist I can return it and keep looking.

Expect a 'first impressions' report tomorrow.

And thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.
Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 09:45:05 PM by phred
Download the latest MusicBee v3.3 patch from here.
Unzip into your MusicBee directory and overwrite existing files.

----------
Check out the MusicBee Wiki.
How to post screenshots is here.