On the downside, the V5 doesn't support ID3 tags or provide gapless playback. You can't import playlists, though you can set up a single on-board list of favourite files. The V5 doesn't present files stored internally and those on an SD card as a coherent whole. There is no DRM support, so you can forget watching BBC iPlayer downloads.
The V5 will take cards of up to 32GB capacity
The V5 is available with either 8, 16 or 32GB of Flash storage, and the SD card slot is good for up to another 32GB. Other features include both voice and AV recording facilities, a world clock, unit converter, calculator, note taking application, document viewer, Flash player and a couple of games.
Cowon reckons a fully charged V5 will pony up 45 hours of music playback or ten of video. The best I managed to get playing an H.264 video in a continuous loop was 8 hours 35 which is still pretty impressive.
The 32GB V5 will set you back £309 while the 16 and 8GB models cost £249 and £219, respectively - not unreasonable when compared to Apple's iPod Touch, which, for £306, comes with 64GB of storage but a much smaller screen. Yes, the Touch has Wi-Fi and a web browser and a host of games and apps but it can't hold a candle to the V5 in terms of video or audio fidelity which is surely the point of a good PMP.
Doesn't matter if it's black or white
The V5 isn't cheap but you are getting one heck of a portable media player for your money, one with superb audio performance, great video format support and a superb quality screen. The menu structure is antediluvian and the lack of playlist support irks, but you'll forget about those niggles once you start watching a decent-resolution video. ®
Thanks to Advanced MP3 Players for the review sample.
More Media Player Reviews
Cowon iAudio V5 HD media player
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.