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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Cowon iAudio T2

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 14:33:15 -0400 (CLT)

I picked this "MP3 player" up a few days ago and thought I'd note a few
comments here.  More when I get home and listen with some decent

Background - I wanted something that worked well with Unix, played ogg
files, etc.  This player connects via USB and looks just like a typical
"pen drive" USB disk; music can be copied across from the command line (or
using my musictree software).

First impressions - It's smaller than I expected; even after looking at
the pictures.  The supplied headphones connect via a silver "cube" that is
not as shiny as the pictures (this is a good thing - it doesn't look quite
so "bling bling" as on Cowon's website).  Silly detail - the headphone
wires are not that flexible, so when you use it as a necklace there are
"kinks"; these are slowly smoothing out.  The display is great -
jewel-like; very nice.  The overall design is nice, although all the
writing (mostly on th eback) is "holographic" so it changes colour
depending on the angle, which is a bit cheesy.

It came with front + back protective plastic sheets that I am using for
now, although they make it look considerably worse (can't get all the
bubbles out, even with water).  Once I've got it home + shown Pauli the
shinky newness, I think I'll take the sheets off - I suspect the very
shiny finish will pcik up some scratches, though.

The biggest drawback is that, despite some of the photos on cowon's site,
there is no way to use the supplied headphones as "normal" phones, with
the device in your pocket.  You have to use it as a necklace.  Of course,
you can buy other headphones, but the supplied pair are not "dual use".

Software-wise, the interface is pretty nice.  Very nice graphics.  No
errors.  Consistent behaviour.  Upgrading to the latest firmware required
Windows (2.12 doesn't; 2.20 does) and failed first attempt; I reformatted
the drive, tried again, and it worked.  The physical interface - the six
buttons - does get some getting used to, but is consistent (two buttons
are up/down; two are left/right; one is "select" and one is "cancel", but
the button layout gives no clue as to the which is which).

By default it has some strange non-flat EQ preset (and a lot of
"processing" options) - I set it flat.

One other odd problem - at least in Linux I can't figure out how to listen
while it is connected to the USB port (charging), or how to see what the
charge level is (until I unplug it).  However, it does appear to charge
very quickly.

Assuming the battery lasts well, I am happy with this.  If carrying it
round in a pocket works (once I get home to my "real" 'phones) and it
sounds OK (ditto), then I would buy again.

Bottom line: very small, works with unix, seems well made.

Cowon - http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/iaudio/t2/
Musictree - http://www.acooke.org/jara/musictree/


Cowon (iAudio) T2 After Use

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 20:50:13 -0300 (CLST)

So, what's it like living with this thing?

I like it.  I use it regularly, both while wandering around town, and when
travelling to/from work (overnight bus journey).

As described elsewhere - http://www.acooke.org/cute/Sennheiser0.html - I
bought some headphones that block out background noise (in-ear things
don't work in my left ear for some odd reason).  I also made a little
cloth bag that I keep the T2 in - then the headphones go on my head (or
round my neck), the cable goes down my back (under my short) and the T2
goes into a packet in my jeans, so tiny it's hardly there.

Small, carries enough tunes for a trip, looks great, sounds just fine. :o)

But life is not perfect:

While it displays the song titles from the Vorbis tags, I can't persuade
it to read album or artist name.  So I've selected "folder" under the
relevant option (something like General/Browse or Music?).  With "ID3"
selected under Display/Title that lets me group by artist/album in
folders, and display the artist/track via the title tag.

Shuffle doesn't seem very random - some folders seem to be never played.

The battery lasts as long as claimed I guess, but it's still annoying it
doesn't last longer - 6 or 9 hours is fine for a trip, but if you don't
recharge after, you get caught without music.


Cowon (iAudio) T2 Software Updates

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 20:52:48 -0300 (CLST)

Forgot to add - to upgrade the firmware you need a windows machine.

Also, the firmware update is a bit unreliable at times.  But if the worst
happens, just reformat the drive and try again.

Loading music from Linux is fine as long as you select the correct option
from the menu ("UMS").


Headphone Socket Failed

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 07:20:25 -0400 (CLT)

A final update here - the headphone socket now has a poor connection.  I
think this is because I carried it regularly in my back pocket, which
would have put some bending stress on the headphone plug relative to the
player (even though the plug was a "bent" style, so didn't "stick out"
much).  This is work a pair of Sennhesier headphones - the same problem
wouldn't occur with the supplied phones because the "cube" holds
everything in position.

They still work, but I have to occasionally adjust the connection - I
don't use them to much now I am not travelling to work.


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