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Layout of the PortablePlayers list

Wouldn't this list be easier to read if there was a seperate heading for each product, sorted by manufacturer? --Blenda 09:13, 11 January 2006 (PST)

There'd be a lot of entries then, I like the idea of a table format as suggested by G Markham on the Vorbis list recently (cut and pasted below). Although I think providing links to suppliers for each device and trying to maintain up-to-date availability is going too far.
Imalone 09:19, 24 February 2006 (PST)
Make it a table - or rather, four tables, for each combination of flash/hard disk and current/historical, with historical data below current. Split it up by model, not just by manufacturer - one manufacturer can have many different models with widely differing feature sets. Provide a link to the manufacturer's product page for each model, and either a table-based or a freeform list of commonly-sought features (microphone, radio, capacity, other formats). Provide details of which countries a player can be purchased in and, if it's not commonly available, details of how to find it in major markets (US, Europe).
I want to be able to come to the page (as I tried to recently) and say "I need a flash-based player with a built-in USB connector and a mic, available in Europe", and find which models I should be googling for without difficulty.
Gervase Markham on vorbis mailing list, inserted by Imalone
Here's a quick attempt I put together:
Model Storage Capacity UMS Device Vorbis w/ std firmware Power Line-in Mic Radio Formats Comments
G3 Flash (builtin) 256MB, 512MB, 1GB yes yes AA yes yes yes MP3, MP2, Ogg, WMA, ASF and WAV Very white, available from online retailers in UK
Pianist Savant Indefinite no yes n/a ? no no Manuscript No, they don't really make this.
Obviously templates would be of some use here—someone more wiki-wise than me want to suggest something? Also those check boxes, I had a quick look but haven't got a way to do them that looks good (again, if you could come up with some convoluted solution, then it could be templated for convenience). Perhaps little icons might be easier for a few things like batteries, capacity, memory type where there tends to be a limited number of common choices.
Imalone 09:56, 24 February 2006 (PST)
On reflection, column 5 should be 'without firmware update' (or a less confusing text), because then support without firmware update would be green and green is good (or at least consistent). Left red above so you can see the contrast until someone does a less fully featured player. Imalone 17:23, 24 February 2006 (PST)
Changed this to an example template based table. XiphWiki is running on a version of mediawiki that doesn't support defaults so all fields need to be specified (even if empty). There is an 'NA' entry provided alongside 'Yes' and 'No' for the binary fields. All are case sensitive. Imalone 08:25, 23 March 2006 (PST)

New layout proposal

I think the table gets too wide this way (I changed a bit to make it more narrow). It hardly fits on my 1400x1050 pixel screen and adding any other features that might be relevant is cumbersome. Too bad you can't put the header data vertically. I propose the following layout instead:

Model Storage & cap. Comm. Formats OggV support Features Comments
G3 flash 256M, 512M, 1G ums(20M) q0-q8, vc  
5 flash 256M, 512M, 1G ums(20M) q0-q8, vc  
U2 flash 256M, 512M, 1G ums(20M) q0-q8, vc  
G2 flash 1G ums(6M) q0-q8, vc  
U3 flash 512M, 1G, 2G ums(35M) mpeg4, jpg, txt q0-q10, vc  
F1 flash 1G ums(20M) q0-q8?, vc  
X5 HD 20G, 30G, 60G ums(480M) mpeg4, jpg, txt q0-q10, vc Rockbox in alpha stage 
6 HD 4G ums q0-q10?, vc  
M3 HD 20G, 40G ums(480M) q0-q10, vc  
M5 HD 20G ums(480M) q0-q10, vc  
A2 HD 20G, 30G ums(480M) jpg, png txt, bmp, wmv9, avi, xvid, divx q0-q10, vc  


  • Comm.unication: UMS=USB mass storage protocol (number indicates max. bit transfer rate)
  • Features:
Lib=lithium ion accu, built-in; Lipb=lithium polymer accu, built-in; AA=AA battery; AAA=AAA battery
LI=line in; mic=microphone; fm=FM radio; col=color display; rm=remote control; otg=USB on-the-go host; spk built-in speaker
db=ID3 database; gl=gapless playback;
Vorbis comment support: vc (only title, album, artist, ignores others); vcx (arbitrary fields)
Frm=Vorbis support only with firmware update

What do you think? Hankwang 17:22, 24 April 2006 (PDT) Updated example table with all current iAudio models

It's neater than mine, but the Features codes are a bit cryptic (the original intention of redesigning being that people should easily be able to find a player that meets their needs). I think we need someone who can design icons for it, and possibly a newer version of mediawiki which allows default arguments. Definite improvement though. (Sorry to be so long in responding, a bit busy recently) Imalone 12:51, 1 May 2006 (PDT)

Funny about the G3 actually, the iAudio website definitely says up to Q8, but mine will play Q10 (one test though).

OK, I made a few icons. Didn't want to spend too much time on creating them and they do not yet cover all features that I thought of, but it looks nicer indeed, don't you agree? Problem: xiphwiki doesn't support file uploading, so I hotlinked them directly to a separate website. Not a good idea as a permanent solution. Who can enable/disable features on the wiki? Hankwang 15:08, 2 May 2006 (PDT)

I emailed the Vorbis mailing list responding to the original thread on this topic to see if Xiph are willing to upload files and possibly upgrade the Wiki (default arguments for templates in newer versions would be really useful for this). No response yet. I doubt they'll ever turn on uploading because of the possibility for abuse, but for this it would make sense for them to host the icon set as part of the site. I'll try the Xiph list instead if nothing happens. May be easier to get someone in a position of power on IRC though. Imalone 06:00, 19 May 2006 (PDT)

OK, let's see what will happens. Otherwise I could put this stuff on the HydrogenAudio wiki. If the icons can be hosted on the xiph server (not as uploads), we'll have to think of a reasonable list of other features that can be iconified: Firmware update required; vorbis comment support; tag database; gapless; communication through Media transfer protocol (MTP), ethernet? Any others? Hankwang 08:57, 19 May 2006 (PDT)

Icons disable text searching of formats and features. How about:
player storage com(spd) ogg other formats bat fm mic features
Cowon iAudio G3 flash 256M, 512M, 1G ums(20M) q0-q8, vc asf mp2 mp3 wav wma aa fm mic linein
Cowon iAudio U2 flash 256M, 512M, 1G ums(20M) q0-q8, vc asf mp2 mp3 wav wma lio fm mic linein
cnet editors choice 2004, firmware GNU/Linux unfriendly
-- Jeandré, 2006-11-04t08:29z
Looks nice, I like the comment-below format, since it doesn't have to take much space if unused. Again this could hopefully be templatised, but I think it might be time to try it out a bit first. You're probably right about icons, maybe icons + text (templates would make that easier for users adding comments as well as making changes to the format, it's why I keep talking about them). Will see if I can find time to create a table version of the current page (other people are of course welcome to do it if they find time before me). -- Imalone 15:53, 17 November 2006 (PST)

How 'bout a column for when the player was released to market?

Eg. the date when the first of the player in question was available for sale 'for real' to the general public. Just one date, either internationally or locally doesn't matter whichever was earlier; perhaps a note on the 'Comments' column if not released internationally, etc. It would be useful in identifying wether the player in question is still being sold or already ancient history. Maybe it should be noted in the 'Comments' too if the player has been discontinued.

Awesome table, BTW. --Lemi4 00:47, 19 August 2006 (PDT)

Yet another layout discussion

It looks like the tables thing is starting to come together, now for some outside the box thinking: there are a lot of players listed, and the table format will actually make listings longer. What can be done? Split the pages alphabetically by manufacturer (makes it harder to find a player you don't already know about)? Split them by features? Something incredibly unconventional but inspired?

Seperate note, it's about time to give the layout discussion its own page, I'm not sure if that's just a cut and paste job. -- Imalone 16:02, 17 November 2006 (PST)

Hi, I saw hits from this new page on my website for the included pictograms in my proposal; I haven't been here since a while. I personally think the discussion is of limited value if the admins here are not willing to allow image uploads, but if you want to go the way of dropping the pictograms and accepting nonobvious abbreviations... I think a better approach is to drop the Wiki concept and put everything into a database with a search function. I could host it on my own site for that matter. Hankwang 09:08, 20 November 2006 (PST)