Although the D3 runs Android 2.1, Cowon has done a thorough job of locking it down and modifying it. This means you don't get any Google goodies nor the Android Market. Furthermore, the absence of a file manager or Cowon 'apps store' further hinders loading third-party APKs. Alas, I couldn't connect the D3 with the Android SDK, which is generally a sign of serious behind-the-scenes tinkering.
Further expanding existing functionality with additional apps appears unlikely
What Cowon does give you is Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, the standard Android web browser and e-mail client, an FM radio, calendar and a nice selection of widgets to populate the five home screen pages.
Yet the most impressive feature of the D3 is that it will play most standard video codecs and containers. These include MP4, AVI, MKV, QuickTime, VOB and TS up to and including 1080p. Audio file support is similarly comprehensive with AAC, Flac, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, WMA and MP3 all catered for. Most common subtitle and image file types are also supported, which makes the D3 one of the most versatile pocket media players on the market.
CPU and RAM issues may blunt the UI's performance but they don't have any effect on video playback with even 1080p MKV files running perfectly smoothly. In fact, video looks quite superb on the D3 with sound quality to match. The latter is bolstered by Cowon's, always impressive, JetEffect 3.0 and BBE+ sound modification suites, which work with both music and video files.
There are a few problems with the D3 as a general purpose media player though. To start with there are no playlist options of any sort and no DRM support so you can forget about watching BBC iPlayer downloads. Gapless albums aren't recognised as such either and on the navigation front, when you tap "Artist" in the music browser, all the tracks present themselves in one long list rather than subdivided by album. OK, there is a separate album view, but that's not the point.
Next page: Firm commitment
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?