Cowon D3 Plenue Android media player
Review Like it or loathe it the Apple iPod Touch continues to maintain its position as the default choice for punters after a touchscreen media player. The recent arrival of the Archos 43 came close to tipping it off its perch but the cost-saving resistive screen let it down and the least said about Samsung's Galaxy 50 Player the better.
The right touch? Cowon D3 Plenue
Now Cowon has discovered Android, can it succeed where others have failed? Let's start with that part of the D3 you will spend most of your time looking at, the screen. The glossy 3.7in AMOLED panel has a resolution of 480 x 800, supports 16 million colours and it looks absolutely stunning and is easily a match for the best Samsung panels.
It's also capacitive but sadly this doesn't mean the UI flows as smoothly as it does on an iPod Touch. This is presumably down to either a lack of RAM – kill all running tasks and you are told there is a whopping 78MB free – or a rather gutless chip. Cowon isn't saying exactly what CPU it uses in the D3, though I've heard it's a 750MHz chip.
The UI is by no means unusable but the three capacitive buttons on the front of the device below the screen aren't particularly reactive, and the entire interface feels just a bit sluggish. Physically, the D3 is not a bad-looking gadget and it feels very well made. My only issue is the two-tone grey bevelled edge below the screen, which looks cheap and makes the D3 appear rather large for its screen size.
Features an HDMI output and SD card expansion
Around the edge of the device you will find volume and fast-forward, play and pause/rewind buttons, a lock key, MicroSD port, 3.5mm audio and 2.5mm power jacks and a bespoke port for USB and HDMI connection. The D3 can be bought fitted with 8, 16 or 32GB of built-in storage.
Next page: Walled garden
Why is everyone obsessed with touch?
Doesn't anyone else keep their music player* in their pocket any more? Touch is all well and good for web browsing, etc., where looking at the screen is the point of the exercise, but having to take your media player out of your pocket in the rain, just to skip, pause, or change the volume i9s a right royal pain. I know there are some non-touch devices out there but they seem to be getting smaller in number, unless you want a 5GB throwaway player rather than something you can keep your entire collection on.
*Trying to watch films and TV on my commute doesn't appeal, and the screen is so small even on the biggest of these that I'd only watch video if desperate to watch something different to the in-flight movie on a trans-Atlantic flight or similar.
RE: entire collection...
I don't like to get personal on these comments but you are obviously a moron.
The reasons for wanting my entire collection of music are simple:
1. I'm never sure in the morning what I'll want to listen to in the evening or at work.
2. If I have a yearning to listen to something, or remember it I can.
3. I can listen on "shuffle" to everything if I feel like it.
4. I can have a book on tape or a language CD on there as well as the music.
5. When away from home I have access to my entire collection.
6. It's a good "off-site backup" as well as just a good backup to avoid recoding if my HDDs fail.
Not related directly to it being my entire collection is:
7. Can trade music with friends.
8. Can be used to "off-site backup" other stuff too, like a photo collection.
If you read my original post you may have realised that this is what we are complaining about -- it doesn't seem possible to buy a non touch device any more, unless you want a throwaway.
Show music playing me a device with <70GB of storage, physical buttons and no touch screen and I may be in the market.
Still no gapless playback?
Sort it OUT, Cowon! How hard can it be?
This is not a title
By the sounds of it then, forget that it's Android - the OS is no more accessible than in a sony walkman - and the rest of the review was of a media player.
This is as things should be. Buy the product, not the development route. Wide range of formats, clunky menus. But by the sounds of the review the audio quality is good, which is what I would expect from Cowan. 21 hours battery life is not bad for something with a big screen, I think I might be tempted.
How do you get music on and off it? USB storage mode in Linux?