Sunday, February 17, 2008

Media on the n810

Media on the n810

So, I've had my n810 for about two months now. I'm really starting to integrate it into my daily life more and more now (I can almost type without looking at my thumbs!). One thing that has taken me a while to figure out is how to consume media on this thing.

My Cowon D2 has more storage (4gb) then my n810 (ok, the same amount now that I've got a 2gb external card for it). It also has insane battery life (something like 45 hours). It also takes standard sd cards which I have a bunch of kicking around. It plays Flac, Ogg, mp3, wma out of the box. When I plug it in to my 'puter, it shows up in Rhythmbox, and I can fill it just by dragging and dropping. It can bookmark files, so I can pick up an audiobook right where I left off. There is no competition for which device I'm going to use for plain old listening. The n810's biggest drawback is its lack of space, but it's also pretty clunky when it comes to interacting with a music library. I'm aware that there are a few dedicated media players out there, but they don't help with the lack of space. So, I just don't want to listen to music on this thing, and that's fine. I have another device that does the job wonderfully and is quite small and portable.

There is, however, another type of listening I do. podcasts, and Internet radio. In these areas, the n810, with its connectivity, obviously shines. Well, I haven't found a good podcast client (the built in reader seems to fare poorly), but I haven't really looked. With all the apps available for this devide, I'm sure I'll find something. For now, I've just been downloading marketplace right from their site. Internet radio, on the other hand, has been great. We have poor reception of npr at my house, so I often stream it on my n810 while shoveling snow or stacking wood (yea, I live in NH). This is one of the "killer app" uses of this device for me.

Now, on to video. My D2 can play video. But. It has a 2 inch screen. It has a horrible time keeping audio in sync.I have to plan ahead and go through the process of converting what I want to watch, plugging in the device or an sd card, and copying it over. I'm far too lazy for that. With the n810, I simply point the browser at my box running mediaserv, click on a movie, and save it. Sure, it takes a while to convert and copy over, but I can do it the night before my commute. I use mplayer for playback, so I can easily sync up the audio. The only feature I'm missing is bookmarking, to come bqck to the middle of a file, which I do often because my bus ride is only an hour and a half or so, so I don't make it all the way through many movies. Again, I haven't really looked for this feature yet, since its not *that* hard to find my place again, especially with mplayers wonderful keyboard shortcuts.

Now if only there was a (semi-legit) way to grab tv shows with rss, my video on the n810 experience would be complete. Its not too bad as is.

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