Cowon iAudio V5 HD media player
PMP my ride...
Review As regular readers will know, I have a fondness for Cowon PMPs. The combination of comprehensive codec support and excellent playback found in devices like the A3, S9 and O2 has convinced me that if top notch audio and video quality is your chief desire, Cowon is the place to spend your money.
Cowon's iAudio V5: you want codecs, it's got 'em
Physically, the V5 closely resembles the old O2 but whereas the latter only had a 4.3in, 480 x 272 screen, the V5 has an altogether more impressive 4.8in, 800 x 480 panel. Despite the extra half inch it has added to the screen, Cowon has done a good job at keeping the size and weight of the V5 in check. It's just a little wider and taller than the O2 but thinner and lighter.
The glossy LCD is bright, vivid and has a full 16.7 million colour palette. If I had to pick a hole, it would be the sensitivity to viewing angle, which is rather poor when rotated about the horizontal axis. Otherwise it's a superb bit of kit.
The V5 comes in a range of colours
External controls and ports include a volume rocker on the right, an on/off/lock slider at the top and a flip-down panel on the left that conceals an SD card slot and a proprietary data port for which Cowon supplies a USB adaptor. The flip-down cover is flanked by a 3.5mm audio socket and a power jack. You can only re-charge the V5 with its power adapter only, so remember to pack it when you travel.
No ID3 - WTF?
Even the chapest £9.99 MP3 player hanging on a hook in Tesco does ID3
It is overrated, and often incorrect. However, having spent far to long with" Tag&Rename" getting my 60GB cd collection correctly tagged. I cannot understand why any manufacturer would omit support for it in their player. If I was looking for a new media player then lack of ID2/3 support would stop me buying it.
I'm STILL waiting for a non iPod high storage capacity (60gb+) Audio player. I
have no need for on the move video and the video player requirement for a large screen makes the device less portable as a music player; I just want album art - no more.
So I'm sticking with my old iRiver at the moment.
i have this
the device, as some have already indicated will play aac files with some tweaking.
However, the reason you buy this machine is for video playback while you;re on the move, as i often am - and for that, it's the best I've ever seen. The first video I played on it was a 1080p file of Quantum of solace - the video was more than just amazing - in fact I still have difficulty now describing how good it really is.
And yes - the sound quality is better than any MP3/MP4 player I have had in the past - and I had 4 different ones, including an ipod.
@ tas re. AAC
My V5 wouldn't recognise .aac or .m4a AAC files. However an mp4 video file containing H.264 video and AAC audio worked perfectly so clearly it has some level of support built-in. Lack of AAC support isn't a tradition at Cowon - my A3 plays them a treat so I am at a bit of a loss to know why the same isn't true of the S9, O2 and V5. As you say, it may be a licensing issue of some sort.