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post #721 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 12:31 AM
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I used ClownBD and only do the main movie, plus subs and AC3 audio in a mt2s file or bd folder format.

Pretty much any media player will play mt2s file since that's bd file format. MKV is just a container. Some media player won't play subs with MKV.

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post #722 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by agogley View Post

You should care very much about storage. If you have a 1TB drive, you can store about 25 movies if you go with a full rip without eliminating the previews, etc.

so 150 dollars will get 2TB that will give you 50 blu ray movies at the best quality possible.

150 dollars for 50 movies = 3 dollars a movie. sounds pretty good to me!



I have some questions, I haven't compard Blu ray side by side with standard dvds , is the quality really night and day?
is it really worth going all blu ray?
25gig files WOW, for that much space it really should be unreal.
when I download a 1.5gig rip movie I am already thinking its to much.LOL
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post #723 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by coffeeman101 View Post

so 150 dollars will get 2TB that will give you 50 blu ray movies at the best quality possible.

150 dollars for 50 movies = 3 dollars a movie. sounds pretty good to me!



I have some questions, I haven't compard Blu ray side by side with standard dvds , is the quality really night and day?
is it really worth going all blu ray?
25gig files WOW, for that much space it really should be unreal.
when I download a 1.5gig rip movie I am already thinking its to much.LOL

Funny the difference a few months makes. Before the insane price hikes on hard drives, I was able to buy many many 2Tb drives for $60. Now that blank 50GB discs can be had for $4 each, I am weighing my options for continuing on ripping to back up my discs or simply burning them and always having a copy not dependent on a hard drive that could flake out on me...
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post #724 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 06:26 AM
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It depends on the bitrate, TV size, and the original transfer to blu-ray. But, in general, there can be a noticeable difference.

I remember why I never wanted to "handbrake" Last night I took one of the Cars 2 blu-rays and 'braked it down to DVD size...ugh. Slow and painful. Never do that again.
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post #725 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeeman101 View Post

so 150 dollars will get 2TB that will give you 50 blu ray movies at the best quality possible.

150 dollars for 50 movies = 3 dollars a movie. sounds pretty good to me!

Those $150 2TB drives were under $100 pre-Thai flood. The WD Greens I was about to buy were $85 and now they are $160 or so. I don't need a 20TB server like I need to eat and pay the mortgage, so I will simply wait until the supply chain returns to normal.

Here is an article on that.
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post #726 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbryanr View Post

It depends on the bitrate, TV size, and the original transfer to blu-ray. But, in general, there can be a noticeable difference.

I remember why I never wanted to "handbrake" Last night I took one of the Cars 2 blu-rays and 'braked it down to DVD size...ugh. Slow and painful. Never do that again.

Exactly. Also, the attention is always given to video, but let's not forget with Blu-ray you also get a superior audio track versus DVDs. Of course this once again depends on your setup whether or not you notice the difference.

On my cheap 32in tv in the guest room I probably could not tell the difference between a DVD and Blu-ray. On my 58in TV with AVR/speaker set I can tell the difference

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post #727 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeeman101 View Post

I have some questions, I haven't compard Blu ray side by side with standard dvds , is the quality really night and day?
is it really worth going all blu ray?

That's a super loaded question only you can answer on your equipment. There are BluRay fanatics who will swear up and down that BluRay even looks better on an iPod -- and curse you if you don't think so.

So the answer is -- it depends.
Assuming we are talking about the original full bit-rate BD (no compression), whether it looks noticeably better than DVD depends on:
  • The quality of the transfer
  • The size, resolution and quality of your display
  • How far back from the display you sit.
  • The lighting in your viewing area.
  • How good your upconverting DVD player is.
  • The quality of your vision.

Then there is the audio. BluRay DTS core at 1.5Mbps sounds better than DVD DD/5.1 at less than 640Kbps -- but not if you are playing it through PC speakers, ear-buds or a walmart home theater in a box. By the same token you may not hear the difference between DTS core and DTS-MA unless you have a decent audio rig and a spouse who lets you play it loud enough. Then of course there is the age and quality of your ears.

It's usually not a problem and pretty easy to tell BluRay from DVD when viewed side-by-side on say a 46" 1080p screen. But most people don't do that in their homes. Unless you have a 60"+ screen of good quality, you may be hard-pressed to walk in on a movie and say what you are watching is DVD or BD -- again it all depends.

I've watched enough DVD and BD movies on a quality 50" plasma that I get the "feeling" that my BD titles are a little sharper and crisper. Maybe I'm just imagining it since I know I'm watching BD. Unfortunately, I have seen the side-by-side comparison of the same title playing on same model screens in DVD and BD. As I said, it's easy to see the superiority of BD when side-by-side. So, I know BD is intrinsically sharper than DVD so I buy BD otherwise I feel I'm cheating myself. And anyway the wife gave approval to a 65" plasma next year.

Now if only I could get my daughters old toy room cleaned out for that 110" screened man-cave.

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post #728 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 09:24 AM
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OK...so this is a question that has been bugging me for a while, and maybe I should start my own thread for this, but I'll ask here since I bet dbone, jmpage, Kelson, aaronwt etc. can provide a link for my edification.

I fully understand the importance of bit rate in visual quality (as opposed to file size), but what I don't understand is how you can have different bit rates for a given resolution. I mean, to my simple mind, I originally assumed that if the material were 1080p at 60hz, you would have to have all the info for each pixel of 1920x1080, all refreshing at a given refresh rate (each pixel is just displaying one color, right). I realize this changes depending on the image being displayed, but for a given scene in a movie, it seemed there should be a given bit rate to display every pixel at a given refresh rate. If that isn't the case, then it seems you can't say it is 1080p at 60Hz.

Now apparently this is incorrect, but I don't understand what is going on at a lower bit rate that results in lower quality but must still be resolving at the full resolution and at the given refresh rate (in order to still call it 1080p/60).
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post #729 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 09:27 AM
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To follow-up on Kelson's post. I remember switching to blu-ray and not really noticing "that" much difference even on my 51" TV. I can now notice a very noticeable difference on my 58" TV....whether I finally passed the size necessary from my viewing distance to notice the difference, or my eyes got attuned to the differences over time, i can't say for sure, but there is a noticeable difference to me now, on my 58" Panasonic plasma.
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post #730 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 09:49 AM
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I highly doubt that your eyes got better attuned to seeing a difference. You're probably correct about the screen size to seating distance ratio improving sufficiently enough to the point that you are now finally able to see the better resolution with that new larger screen. I'm guessing your seating distance has been in the 9' to 13' range. Had you been sitting 6' to 8' from the old 51", you probably would have been experiencing the same better resolution perception as you are now with the new 58".

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post #731 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

I fully understand the importance of bit rate in visual quality (as opposed to file size), but what I don't understand is how you can have different bit rates for a given resolution. I mean, to my simple mind, I originally assumed that if the material were 1080p at 60hz, you would have to have all the info for each pixel of 1920x1080, all refreshing at a given refresh rate (each pixel is just displaying one color, right). I realize this changes depending on the image being displayed, but for a given scene in a movie, it seemed there should be a given bit rate to display every pixel at a given refresh rate. If that isn't the case, then it seems you can't say it is 1080p at 60Hz.

H.264/AVC is already a lossy compression codec just like MPEG-2 is for DVD. You tell it the bitrate to use when compressing the original uncompressed transfer and information is lost during the compression. The higher the bitrate you allow, the less information is lost. The "player" then takes the compressed video stream and renders (rebuilds) the full pixel image for the screen.

So you can start at a very very low bitrate and so much information is lost that when the player renders the screen image it is full of very visible defects -- i.e. macroblocks. As you increase the bitrate, more information is retained and the macroblocks disappear, but there is still a lot of missing information so the picture is "soft" and lacking detail that was lost. Increase the bitrate more and the softness gives way to sharpness and the detail reappears. Even more bitrate and you now start to see shadow detail where before there was none.

Eventually there is a point of diminishing return where additional bitrate doesn't result in a perceptible increase in picture detail or quality. H.264 is a very efficient codec compared to MPEG-2 which means it can get to that diminishing return point at a much lower bitrate. There is more to it than that. Encoding bitrate is rarely constant. A variable bitrate is used so that static scenes with little change frame to frame can be compressed with a lower bitrate without sacrificing quality and that bitrate could then be applied to more complex scenes that need it for detail rendition. This allows for a lower overall bitrate to be used without sacrificing quality but saving space.

Hope this is what you were looking for.

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post #732 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 10:14 AM
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Thanks Kelson...so this is solely a compression issue. If the data are uncompressed, then there would be a fixed bitrate for a given scene at 1080p/60.

It still seems weird that we can call an overly compressed source 1080p if there isn't the possibility to resolve at 1080p after rebuilding. I understand that it due to the source material, but really...who cares what the source material is if you can't ever achieve anything close to it after unpacking.
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post #733 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

To follow-up on Kelson's post. I remember switching to blu-ray and not really noticing "that" much difference even on my 51" TV. I can now notice a very noticeable difference on my 58" TV....whether I finally passed the size necessary from my viewing distance to notice the difference, or my eyes got attuned to the differences over time, i can't say for sure, but there is a noticeable difference to me now, on my 58" Panasonic plasma.

I don't know why you didn't notice a difference because I've got two 50" plasma tv's and my whole family noticed the difference between video / sound quality of a standard dvd and bld dvd.

The other thin I did to my TV was to calibrate the colors, which help to make it a little better

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post #734 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by skro View Post

Thanks Kelson...so this is solely a compression issue. If the data are uncompressed, then there would be a fixed bitrate for a given scene at 1080p/60.

It still seems weird that we can call an overly compressed source 1080p if there isn't the possibility to resolve at 1080p after rebuilding. I understand that it due to the source material, but really...who cares what the source material is if you can't ever achieve anything close to it after unpacking.

No, there is no fixed bitrate as with each scene there is a different amount of data being passed through that determines the necessary bitrate. For example, a high paced action scene will most likely have a higher bitrate then a scene of two people sitting in a coffee shop talking. Animations tend to have a lower bitrate. All varies as there are a lot of variables at play

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Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I don't know why you didn't notice a difference because I've got two 50" plasma tv's and my whole family noticed the difference between video / sound quality of a standard dvd and bld dvd.

The other thin I did to my TV was to calibrate the colors, which help to make it a little better

DVD quality vs Blu-ray.
I can see a difference on my 50" Plasma. It is not a HUGE difference, but it is there.
On my 67" Samsung LED DLP there is most definetly a big difference.

On my 123" screen with my Panny ae-7000u, I could not watch DVD anymore! :-) Too spoiled with blu ray. And this was with using various video processors to tweak the dvd source, an Edge, Denon 602, etc..

Sound is of equal importance to me, and even at 46 I can still hear a big difference between lossy and lossless...
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post #736 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

No, there is no fixed bitrate as with each scene there is a different amount of data being passed through that determines the necessary bitrate. For example, a high paced action scene will most likely have a higher bitrate then a scene of two people sitting in a coffee shop talking. Animations tend to have a lower bitrate. All varies as there are a lot of variables at play

Thanks dbone. That was what I was trying to get at when i said "for a given scene"....seems obvious now, but I wasn't anchoring my reference point to the source material, rather the displayed image.
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post #737 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I don't know why you didn't notice a difference because I've got two 50" plasma tv's and my whole family noticed the difference between video / sound quality of a standard dvd and bld dvd.

The other thin I did to my TV was to calibrate the colors, which help to make it a little better

Well, i went from a RPCRT to Plasma at the same time (and moved a foot closer), so it could have been all of those things. i did notice a difference, it was just very much more apparent (more than I would have guessed) by moving up from 51 to 58...although if you do that math, that is a lot bigger jump screen area than you might intuitively assume.
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post #738 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 12:44 PM
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I know somewhere in this thread we were talking about media players. For anyone who is interested, my PCH A-300 review is finally live (phew..)

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2011...h-a300-review/

Next up a few more media players to test out, gonna run through Clown_BD again to see if an updated guide makes sense, etc...

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post #739 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:13 PM
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Damian, someone on another forum, Networked Media Tank maybe, said that PCH did not read the database created by meta. It was in the context of me asking about YAMJ and Flash. You're using meta and PCH, right?

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post #740 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pepar View Post

Damian, someone on another forum, Networked Media Tank maybe, said that PCH did not read the database created by meta. It was in the context of me asking about YAMJ and Flash. You're using meta and PCH, right?

Jeff

Yes, I use metabrowser. I am not sure I understand as far as the "database" and metabrowser simply creates metadata. Metabrowser does not have a "YAMJ" specific plugin, but you can use the XBMC plugin to get nfos, fanart, and coverart (and even specify in YAMJ exactly what file names to use)

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post #741 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

I know somewhere in this thread we were talking about media players. For anyone who is interested, my PCH A-300 review is finally live (phew..)

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2011...h-a300-review/

Next up a few more media players to test out, gonna run through Clown_BD again to see if an updated guide makes sense, etc...

Hi Damian and thanks for the write-up. I am a little confused though. Since this product touts itself as a "media" player, I was looking forward to seeing how it handled audio (particularly hi-res files) and photographs. Will you be evaluating those qualities as well?
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post #742 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Hi Damian and thanks for the write-up. I am a little confused though. Since this product touts itself as a "media" player, I was looking forward to seeing how it handled audio (particularly hi-res files) and photographs. Will you be evaluating those qualities as well?

Don't have either of those lol I use Sonos for music and don't view photos on my TV (don't think I even have hi res photos anyhow)

If you have any suggestions of samples I would be more then glad to look at and update. Typically these types of players are geared towards video playback (that is all I use them for) so in general the other aspects have usually been a weak point.

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post #743 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Yes, I use metabrowser. I am not sure I understand as far as the "database" and metabrowser simply creates metadata. Metabrowser does not have a "YAMJ" specific plugin, but you can use the XBMC plugin to get nfos, fanart, and coverart (and even specify in YAMJ exactly what file names to use)

Thanks. I see now that the only way I'm going to figure this all out is to order an A-300, set up a "test" media server on my main computer and dive in.

I'm reading your review now. I appreciate all of your efforts.

Jeff
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post #744 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Hi Damian and thanks for the write-up. I am a little confused though. Since this product touts itself as a "media" player, I was looking forward to seeing how it handled audio (particularly hi-res files) and photographs. Will you be evaluating those qualities as well?

Good question! I am specifically interested in the MPD and reading DSD files from my server.

Jeff
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post #745 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Don't have either of those lol I use Sonos for music and don't view photos on my TV (don't think I even have hi res photos anyhow)

If you have any suggestions of samples I would be more then glad to look at and update. Typically these types of players are geared towards video playback (that is all I use them for) so in general the other aspects have usually been a weak point.

Damian, my Dune is a much better media player than the Sonos because:

It plays high resolution audio
Has a customizable user interface
Plays more file formats
Is cheaper

I have had and sold a sonos system, logitech transporter, logitech touch, and olive.

PM me and i will send you a list of good free audio test files
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post #746 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Damian, my Dune is a much better media player than the Sonos because:

It plays high resolution audio
Has a customizable user interface
Plays more file formats
Is cheaper

I have had and sold a sonos system, logitech transporter, logitech touch, and olive.

PM me and i will send you a list of good free audio test files

Yeah, really just depends on the person. I don't keep any high res audio (simply all 320kbps MP3s), so just one format and I don't require a TV to operate, don't need an AVR if I don't want to use, can throw a Sonos anywhere in the house, and have full access to a variety of music streaming services.

I would assume if the Dune can handle so can the A300 since it is just a slightly upgraded SMP being used, but will gladly test.

FYI - the user interface on the A300 would be via the NMJ

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post #747 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Yeah, really just depends on the person. I don't keep any high res audio (simply all 320kbps MP3s), so just one format and I don't require a TV to operate, don't need an AVR if I don't want to use, can throw a Sonos anywhere in the house, and have full access to a variety of music streaming services.

I would assume if the Dune can handle so can the A300 since it is just a slightly upgraded SMP being used, but will gladly test.

FYI - the user interface on the A300 would be via the NMJ

The Dune can play some files that other Sigma based players either don't or have chosen to ignore. Can the NMJ interface gather album metadata or song metadata or both or neither? Can it distiguish between 5 channel surround and 2 channel versions of the same song or album? Can it playback gapless between tracks on an album? How does it handle playlists, navigation, randomization? What is displayed when the song is playing? Can you bookmark an audio file (audio books)? Can you do a search by song, artist, genre, time, file format, resolution, etc? What is the maximum bitrate, bitdepth, resolution, sample rate, etc. Lots of things to consider for a decent media player.

For photos:
What kind of views do you get? Thumbnail? List? Tags? Zoom in and out? Pan? Speed between photos? Pre-buffer next photo, previous photo? Rotation based upon EXIF info? Music and photo displayed at the same time? Formats supported? Max resolution? Randomization? Sorting?
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post #748 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 02:30 PM
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How many straight m2ts streams are people able to do over gigabit?
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post #749 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

The Dune can play some files that other Sigma based players either don't or have chosen to ignore. Can the NMJ interface gather album metadata or song metadata or both or neither? Can it distiguish between 5 channel surround and 2 channel versions of the same song or album? Can it playback gapless between tracks on an album? How does it handle playlists, navigation, randomization? What is displayed when the song is playing? Can you bookmark an audio file (audio books)? Can you do a search by song, artist, genre, time, file format, resolution, etc? What is the maximum bitrate, bitdepth, resolution, sample rate, etc. Lots of things to consider for a decent media player.

For photos:
What kind of views do you get? Thumbnail? List? Tags? Zoom in and out? Pan? Speed between photos? Pre-buffer next photo, previous photo? Rotation based upon EXIF info? Music and photo displayed at the same time? Formats supported? Max resolution? Randomization? Sorting?

I am beginning to lose my grip.

I was about to order an A-300, but just read Damian's reviews of the A-300 and Popbox V8, and now this. Now I am back to square one and don't know what to buy ... or build. :

Jeff
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post #750 of 6194 Old 12-20-2011, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post


The Dune can play some files that other Sigma based players either don't or have chosen to ignore. Can the NMJ interface gather album metadata or song metadata or both or neither? Can it distiguish between 5 channel surround and 2 channel versions of the same song or album? Can it playback gapless between tracks on an album? How does it handle playlists, navigation, randomization? What is displayed when the song is playing? Can you bookmark an audio file (audio books)? Can you do a search by song, artist, genre, time, file format, resolution, etc? What is the maximum bitrate, bitdepth, resolution, sample rate, etc. Lots of things to consider for a decent media player.

For photos:
What kind of views do you get? Thumbnail? List? Tags? Zoom in and out? Pan? Speed between photos? Pre-buffer next photo, previous photo? Rotation based upon EXIF info? Music and photo displayed at the same time? Formats supported? Max resolution? Randomization? Sorting?

the views for photos, music, and videos are all the same (list, wall, and catgeory)

As far as music I think I gave a screenshot in my review that showed the options available for searching for music. Also I think the other music screenshot shows what is displayed when playing.

I do understand those various aspects of music and photos, so thanks for pointing out. Just something which for me is useless. However, when I do my reviews I always try to test the broadest area based on feedback I get from people who read them, and about 95% of the time the focus is always videos. I will look into the photo/music side but dot know how in depth I would get in to (much easier to do on the video side and know what to look for/test since it is directly relevant to how I use a media player if that makes sense)

Cheers,
Damian

MSS.net blog (contributing editor) - http://www.mediasmartserver.net

Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP 2010-2012

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