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Gonz

Trying to assist a guy getting deployed

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Maybe you guys could offer some input...

For his requirements, this is what I know so far:

He cares about audio and build quality.

He wants PDF reading capability.

And photo capability.

I'm probably going to suggest a media player, hard drive based, rechargeable... and a separate mp3 player, flash based, 4-8Gb, with AA or AAA batteries, as being more compact/rugged, and in case he's away from electricity for awhile.

I will talk to the guy about portable amps. But ability to sound good without one is important.

I could definitely use some suggestions for headphones too.

So if you were going to Iraq, what would you want to take with ya?

Thank you for any input :)

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Sorry, that was news to me -- I will now bow out of this thread until I can be of service again, since I'm not contributing anything useful.

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Ok, well we've now discussed the issue of thumb drives so he could access PDFs.

He has a laptop, but its not going with him.

But with some thumb drives we might eliminate the need.

I don't want anyone to bow out of the thread :o

How about some headphone suggestions?

I'm a full size can guy, likely not what he's needing.

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Archos 504 views photos and reads PDFs (mostly), though I don't know about sound quality. Kind of clunky, too. Unfortunately, reading PDFs on top of photos really narrows the selection a lot, especially if it needs to be an all-in-one solution. The method linked for reading PDFs on the iPod really isn't a method of reading PDFs, but a method of packaging plaintext that can be read on the iPod. You use a computer to extract the text from the PDF, and then use the computer also to package it thereafter, and then finally upload that packaged text (as 'notes') to the iPod to be read. So, it's not actually a method of reading a PDF per se, it's just a generalised method of reading text on an iPod that includes a step for extracting the text from a PDF.

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Pocket PC will do PDF, videos, photos, music, wi-fi -- kind of a mini PC in your pocket.

I thought Pocket PC, too, but then thought maybe that wasn't what he was getting at. Still, it would do all those functions, for the most part anyhow.

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Well, I've had a number of emails with the guy yesterday, and basically heres where we're at...

PDFs will go on USB drives, no worries.

His main need is the ability to hold pics of his family, and add short video clips they send from home.

Along with music.

He's not going to go with a big HDD based player yet, till he checks out his living arrangements.

So portable, meaning small and lightweight, good battery life, drag and drop, durable, are the requirements.

So I've come up with the following recommendations:

Creative Zen 8Gb

Sony 8GB

Cowon D2

We're now going back and forth on these three.

It would seem the Zen is MTP, so not seen as "external storage"...

I'm thinking it would be a bad idea to rely on any software at all.

That would rule out Creative.

Any thoughts?

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Well, based on what you said, I think I really would lean toward an Axim X51V. It has a VERY nice screen, and expandable memory via an SD slot and a CF slot. The headpone out ain't too bad either. Although it is my opinion that the screen is just a bit too small for reading a PDF, it is much bigger than the other options you have provided.

Plus the unit is small, has wifi and bluetooth, and can play video/display pictures no problem.

As for headphones, what budget are you working with? Would he prefer a nice IEM, or an over the head 'phone?

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Thanks for the PPC idea, but with 3hr battery life, thats not so hot.

I'll still mention it to him nonetheless.

Like I say, PDF reading is no longer a requirement.

As for headphones, I suggested the Sony EX90s, because they sound good, and don't completely isolate.

They are sort of open. If I was in Iraq, I would in no way want sound isolation.

Their hybrid design is a in-ear/ear bud mix, which is comfortable to wear.

I'm not big on canal types nor ear buds, but the EX90s fit great.

Cord is long enough, durable storage case, no headband to interfere with helmet, at $80 don't break the bank.

And finally, their very low impedance (16 Ohms IIRC) makes em easy to drive.

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Get a Zune 30GB -- under $100. It will do music, videos and photos. The price compares well to small flash DAPs.

I second that recommendation, mine has been working quite well once I got it loaded with music.

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