Hi there. This is my first post. I usually just avidly read the postings but don't contribute myself. However, this is a subject close to my heart. I have been searching for a high-capacity FLAC player for ages and have been dismayed the way development has actually gone backwards in the last few years. My final solution is not perfect but not bad either.
Firstly, I simply wanted a small portable unit that I could use with headphones on the train but also connect to a hi-fi or small and with speakers when I go on holiday. I have compared high bit rate MP3 recordings with FLAC and swear that I can tell the difference. MP3 has a slight strangulated quality (the best working describe it) when listening to some sounds and frequencies. Being in my 50s, I come from a generation where high fidelity was the holy Grail. I know a lot of youngsters don't think like that any more but from me it is still paramount. So I was looking to try and get as many of my CDs converted to FLAC and stored on a small portable player.
I start point was my existing MP3 player which is a 32GB creative Zen, now approximately 5-6 years old. This only supports MP3, not FLAC. I looked at the iPod but have never fancied Apple and their all pervasive control over music supply and format. I know Rockbox is a possibility but to be honest, having looked at it, I don't fancy it. Cowon did do a high-capacity player which supports FLAC and has received good reviews. However, in common with other manufacturers, Cowon no longer make the high capacity players so the only answer is to find one second-hand. As far as I can see, there is no technical support to speak of from Cowon to gain I have not pursue this.
In the end, having reviewed all options, I went back to a Creative Zen, choosing the Xfi-2 model. This supports FLAC, has a 32GB hard drive and a slot for micro SD cards. I have experimented with a number of these and cannot find a compatible 64GB card that will work with the Zen. 32GB cards work well and I am using a Kingston 32GB card now. So with the hard drive, I have a total of 64GB storage. This does not give me all I want but I feel that it is a reasonable compromise. The Zen and SD card were both very reasonably priced and the sound produced on headphones or when connected to the hi-fi is astonishing.
My search will continue for the perfect high-capacity FLAC player but in the meantime, I have some sort of a solution to my problem.