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You know that I am a music fan having a very big interest to Asian music, and more particularly to Malaysian and Indonesian kinds. If you don’t know you can ﬁnd more in my main web page on www.geocities.com/zliangas/malmus.htm and www.geocities.com/zliangas/dangdut.htm My small Degen 808A with a memory just 512 MB which today seems to be quite short , has a maximum number of ca 250 songs compressed in WMA on 48kbps. This mode this the highest in order to ensure good quality audio at the shortest possible ﬁle size. Considering that my music collection goes more than 5000 songs , all of them converted from casetes and LPs manually into MP3s as well form Sw direct to computer, it is sure that this collection is still too big to ﬁt into this player. And ﬁnally I managed to ﬁnd a good solution for this.Looking at the local market I found the Sansa E130. The SANSA E130 the smallest mdel of the 100 series with 512 MB bought from Multirama at a price of Eu70 which was possibly theright price for me. Surely this short memeory does not impress you , but Sansa as equipment manufacturer can offer better products than its rivals with the same price: the model is expandable to
2.5 GB using an external SD memory. I alerady had a 2 GB momery tat i used for my Nikon 70 camera and is now dedicated for the player The model seemed to me as a rival to Ipod, and was my entry to the new tehnollogy of Ipod likes. The model seems quite more sophisticated than my previous Degen 808A , 512 MB and my intermediate Crypto of 512 MB. The Degen 808A has a LED screen and series of icons navigated by a thumbbutton rightwsards adn leftwards and selected by pusihng the button The Crypto (this is the name of the intermediatery Greek compamy who imports and sells them, not the OEMs whose name is not evaialble anywhere!) works nearly the same as the degen model , with a USB direct connexion , however has been given immedaitely to my parents after very short for a special project and has not been tested. It’s main purpose is to play 24hrs a day in a remote place The e13o instead shows a menup of operations from standard playback of MP3s (and WMAs and other formats which will be noticed below )
As yoou may see the model is very simple. A LCD screen of ca 1 x 0.7 sq inch where everything is shown four directivity/ touch-up buttons and a small button on the middle. On the top side there is a headphone- plug socket 1.9 mm and a USB connector. The connector is preserved with a detachable plastic that i have lost it a few houss after i bought it... At the right of it there is a digital adjusted volume control . At the left side is just key lock switch and at the right side the socket for the memory and the on/off button.
After i bought it i returned to the ofﬁce, as it was morning. Trying to open its very strong plastic packing the player dropped from the table , but did not happed anything to it. Or just is what i supposed.
From below you will see several pictures of the model . (please notice that the following pictures come from diferent photo sessions ths is the reason the lighting differs )
Once switched on this picture is shown , showing the model and the standard memory:
As i always use the external card this message is always shown to the player, during its startup for about 5-10 seconds so that it is quite ennoying to me, But this time varies according to the changes made in the external memory. AS far as i can understand , the player checks the ﬁles and their ID3 tags and renews its database. The least timeis abot 5 seconds and in case of totally new collection can pass the minute!!I mean surely for a new collection of about 1000 songs as i do usually !!
and immediately after it shows this mesage , in ca se a external memory card is inserted:
Playbak : MP3 , a later clude
capabilities: The model pays WMA and protected WMA . IN version of this article i will inmore info on these capabilities main menu.
Here is a picture of the
Chinese letters (possibly new writing ) are corectly shown. I think that the same happens to my 808A
For anyone knowing the song shown below, one of my most favourite chinese pop songs and has excellent excellent melody ! (zaihui shou )I knw this song since 89 from Singapore having recorded it from the local FM station City Sounds.
There are two modes for FM region European and International . I did not found any signiﬁcant diference between both except that the memories have been deleted!!! another intresting point is the on/off frm FM stereo. Power mode is universal determining the sleep time (when the apparat will be shut off ) and the autio shut off , ie after how much time the player will shut off ,in case of non usage
Also once again pressing the middle button some information is shown in the display. The display is here illuminated. as you can seee the mode is quite high for Windows Media ,and info is for the same song as reffered above The radio is very simple display . A pointer shows the freq on a bar
Here cantonese letters (posibly older writing) seems not to be shown
And here is the listing of the stations you store: Pressing the up down , you move into presets , with the right or the middle you set the station. Up to 20 stations can be stored
Also greek letters are correctly shown
Audio effects: SRS wow
SRS is noticed as an audio enhancement , due to losses from the conversion into MP3 or WMA . I never use it as audio is severely ‘destroyed . Insetad of this i could really use the 10 band equalizer ‘
Earphones The earphones are insulated type and go into the ear . they offer some less nose then the standard ear buds, If you push them more inside the ear they become more bassy . They offer good audio but still prefer the 929 from Degen. These are the earphones from 1103 and offer better bass and higher trebles Favorites
The informatrion of the sion ! Now there is a have not installed it so no information on what model and its vernew version but i far. But there was are the updates ...
The player has ca 30 favorites .For the standard mode of 500 MB or 140 songs on 128/44 (a total of 505 secs), 30 MP3 as favorites are OK . However as far as I use it with 48kb WMA and with external memory of 2 GB , or a total of ca 1200 songs , the unchanged number of 30 favourites is very short
And there is a stopwatch , I really do not unserstand in what it can be used except that is just a chronometer with 100s of seconf of accuracy
Two observations i did not like:
Power usage: the company says : 17 hours using MP3 on 128 kb. However using it always on WMA and with external memory of 2 GB an alkaline battery drains in about 6 hours!! For this reason i have bought a mains to USB adaptor , together with mains cable extension Volume: still in its maximum the volume is just strong.I found abt 32 steps betweeen minimum and maximum Using the 808A volume is nearly the same on 16-17. Startup : the time requied to chack up the external memory in order to update the database. Comments: Now theis model is my most favourite among all the MP3 s i have used so far even that the model has sevrel very impoertant ﬂwas as for example the very slow starttup and and the high batery drain
And here are several measurements made with it and a audio processing program: First step : Making a noise ﬁle: It is a white noise of duration of 1 minute A) This is the original WAV ﬁle in spectral view , mean levels
this is the audio in linear scale
and here is logarithmic biew
The ﬁle has been converted into MP3 and WMA giving the curve as below
WMA 64 kb
MP3 128 kb
From the above picture it is clear that the MP3 format in the 128kb compression goes maximum to 18kHZ , that surely lossy but for most ears it is OK. As far as I tested so far my ears can listen to tones up to 14 kHz
Just look at the bandwidth ! It has a bandstop on 20 kHz
then transfered to Sansa and played This is the resulted curves ! LINEAR LOGARITHMIC
Instad here the response it quite linear . Just above 19kHz. the linearity drops somehow. and it ends on the 20,2 khz
MP3 128 kb
hmm here you see that it is not a linear curve. All freqs above the 1700 Hz drop by several db.. Is as like someone is turning down the treble
As is shown , this is no linear curve . Signals drop to 16 db after the 18.5 kHz . However it is still a linear response for all of us
WMA has the same linearity as 64 . In contrast , when listened there is some ‘artiﬁciality’ in audio.
If you thinkt that this is too theoretical , i am including here a more real example with only the results of a song conversion. But the song was quite bassy and came from a cassete
This is the resulted wav MUSIC ﬁle
Here is the resulted MP3 ﬁle: Uncommonly there is a bandwidth stop on 15.5 Hz !!!
this is the result of the WMA 48 v ﬁle Look at the and here is for the WMA 64 As you see the curve differences between the WAV and the WMA 48 is nearlay the same with the 48’s !!
Here is the pix- mix between all modes: WAV , MP3 and here is a comparative between WMA and and WMA as you may see being the WAV as ‘linear’ MP3
THis is the results between the original and the playbacked MP3 ﬁle . Both ﬁles have been at ﬁrst normalized for having the same audio level. This here can mean that above the 2000 kHZ the response drops up to 10 db
My conclusions :
As it is clear the MP3 format lacks the ﬁdelity WMA offers , and thogh i am generally contrary to this format , I always use it for its very good capability have very good results with the highest posible compression. For me the 48 kb WMA is the best compromizse for portability and quanitty Nowadays my Sansa together with a 2 GB SD memory can keep about 1200 songs , ie more an 100 albums!
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