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*ANY* Audiophile grade music player with alarm feature.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
EDIT: Updated thread title as no one was interested. (It's not working though)...

I am currently using this http://www.amazon.com/Sony-NWZS545-Walkman-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B002IPHA1W I know, shameful.
But don't worry, I also own a Cowon Z2. I have my eye on the Fiio X3 and X5 BUT I can't upgrade to something that will be "useless" (I don't know it's full features yet) Let me explain:

The god awful Sony with it's flickering and scuffed screen will turn on 100% of the time 5 minutes before the alarm is set for and start playing an album over some speakers strapped to my bed. It is my alarm clock. I usually let it play for 30 minutes to an hour and I won't have to plug it in for 2+ weeks. When it's not playing it shuts off after 30 minutes, COMPLETELY OFF, yet it will turn on and play music 9 hours later without any quantifiable hit on the battery. It is really old and still gets better battery life than the Z2.

I bought the Z2 thinking I could finally escape 14.7GB, MP3 and terrible audio quality, then fully embrace FLAC and OGG Vorbis. But I haven't been using it at all because I have yet to get it to successfully wake me up as a music alarm. In standby with it underclocked and all radios off it will drain to death in half a day. Navigating through folders with touchscreen is much harder to do compared to the up/down/play/back of the Sony Walkman. I would LOVE only dedicated buttons!

I need to have one device that does it all, I don't care what it costs, I'll just save.
...Well actually... $400 is a LOT of money. I am willing to spend anywhere from $50 to $500 if I really like it. (I'll probably sell the Z2.)

Minimum Requirements in order of importance: (is this an oxymoron)?

Is reliable as a set and forget MUSIC alarm clock. Not beeping, Music. As if a scheduled ghost hit the play button on a normal MP3 player.
Sleeps around as efficiently as this 5 year old piece of plastic.
10 hours of audio playback and (Sony NWZ-S545 had "46" hours of music playback though I suspect it's more like 12).
Can play OGG Vorbis and FLAC.
Has SDXC slot(s).
Sound quality on par with Cowon Z2 or at least not horrible.
Doesn't run android, doesn't have a touchscreen.

Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! smile.gif
Edited by cookieboyeli - 2/12/14 at 1:25pm
post #2 of 7
I highly doubt what you are asking for exists. Might be able to get an old iPod + a dock, but old iPods have terrible sound.

If you you're plugging it into speakers at night, why not plug it into a charger or dock at the same time? Why is the long sleep battery life needed?

A Sansa Fuze or similar with Rockbox would fill most of your requirements, but I would think that mp3 players that can power on from RTC are a rare thing.

Why not Android? a tablet would match your requirements exactly.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yes the sound quality does narrow down a lot of options. I definitely consider myself an audiophile, but for this device I don't NEED the ultimate, just above average.

As for plugging into the wall at night, my Sony actually can't do that and use the alarm so that didn't occur to me.. but what if I don't have my charger with me? In the summer I bike for 6+ hours at a time (sometimes at night) and might crash somewhere else for a day afterwards. If I do that an Android won't even make it a day VS my Sony 4 days. Also, have you ever tried to use a smartphone while jogging while it's in your pocket? You need to be constantly looking at it to do anything with it, and the "low brightness" doesn't seem to exist on those things.

This Sony Walkman has the old school buttons on it and runs a *SIMPLE* pain free firmware, it's everything I need and nothing I don't. I've used android enough to know I don't need or want it.

I actually did own a Sansa Fuze+ at one point but (and I swear I'm not being super sensitive about this) the touch swiping controls were worse than a touchscreen. You couldn't tell when it worked or it didn't and the response was really laggy (250+ms). I've also used a Sanza Clip+ but I didn't know about Rockbox at the time.

Does Rockbox support this power on from RTC alarm feature? As an insomniac, that functionality is invaluable to me. This Sony is like a (nearly) indestructible watch, alarm clock, and MP3 player all in one with insane battery life. More complex devices don't even touch that. They don't survive my test of life. (How poetic haha)

EDIT: It appears even my wildest dreams can come true with Rockbox (Although I can't confirm if it has alarm or not)..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ow7pmMMlMU This is amazing!

Now I just need to find a suitable device that supports it. I don't want to default to Sansa Clip if I can get something higher quality. Thank you very much for mentioning Rockbox!
Edited by cookieboyeli - 2/13/14 at 4:19pm
post #4 of 7
Rockbox has an alarm clock, but I just tried fiddling with it, and its useless.

When your out and biking, you may have speakers to plug into your mp3 player to wake you up, but not a charger? Your requirements make no sense to me. Sure, you might forgot your charger, but then you might also forgot the speakers, and then you'd be screwed.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention my current MP3 player has built in speakers that will work in a pinch if I'm not wearing earplugs (which I didn't think of that) although the headphones I use (V-Moda Crossfade LP) are loud enough at maximum to work in place of speakers if I'm not wearing earplugs. (For some reason I sleep fine at other places)..

It's really very rare that I do that though. I shouldn't even have mentioned it. What's most important is the alarm feature. I don't see why on earth it would be so hard to implement or even why it would be a less cared about feature. In the comments on that youtube video there was even someone asking the same basic question as me "can I plug this into my stereo to use as an alarm clock?"

I need to know exactly what the alarm function does on Rockbox. Is it just a beeping alarm? Or will it let me select music? Does the device stay on the whole time? Or does enabling the alarm shutdown the device until the selected time, then turn on the music like I want?? That exact functions of that feature determine whether or not I have to keep searching.

If it turns out that Rockbox has similar or at least workable functionality for this then I have to figure out which device is the best for me to buy. Otherwise, my search must continue.
Edited by cookieboyeli - 2/14/14 at 4:00pm
post #6 of 7
No, The rockbox alarm clock is completely, really useless.

Its this app that you open up, and then at a specified time it seems to.. Actually, I'm not sure. There's no options whatsoever. It doesn't save the time- you have to reset it after every use. And you have to leave the app up- you can't do anything else with it. You'd hate it.

MP3 players don't have alarm clocks because they require hardware RTCs that can wake up the main CPU. The SOC on the fuze includes a realtime clock, but it seems all it can do is trigger an interrupt on alarm- I don't think it can turn the CPU on.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
As I can get a decent alarm feature for some player that runs Rockbox somehow. Plugins are fine. I actually posted on the Rockbox forums asking what device I should get ideally with this feature, I'm sure they'll realize what I was talking about even though I didn't say hardware RTC..

You say it's useless but it's the same on my Sony. Before bed I set it to 9 hours and 20 minutes later from the exact time to account for fall asleep time (20) and end during light sleep and not in a rem cycle. (8 or 9 hours) It says powering off and shuts off the screen, if you hit any buttons within 15 minutes it wakes up quick asking if you want to cancel the alarm, but longer than that and it needs 30-40 seconds to fully power on and go through like 3 loading screens. When it's time it immediately starts playing from where it was paused during the alarm setup at the last volume it was playing at and loops through the folder it's in like it's normally set to. It'll play for 1 hour then shut off if you don't interact with it.

I know my sony isn't the only player that does this because I googled Rockbox alarm and got some reassuring results
http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/6044
that's from 2006! There's GOT to have been waaaay more development since then. Heck, even if there's only one player that does this, as long as it has more than 16GB of storage somehow then I'm set. But I'm sure there's more than just 1 to choose from. I just can't tell from the main supported list.

EDIT: To future people, The Sansa Fuze V2 (firmware 2.xxxxxxx) is what you want. It is fantastic! Get one off ebay. I paid $128 for an unopened 8GB + 32GB MircoSD and I couldn't be happier! But you can find them for as little as $30 used (got a beat up one as a backup) Make sure to get a rubber case for $4 and maybe some screen protectors if you pocket it much.thumb.gif
Edited by cookieboyeli - 3/9/14 at 10:07pm
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