I stopped by Fry's today to pick up a Rio Volt SP90 portable CD player. It's cheap at $99, seems durable enough and has the basic functionality I was looking for (can play WMA files from CDs). However, it leaves a lot to be desired.
- If you play a CD with lots of tracks, the device ruins the flow of the album by pausing a few seconds between tracks. [k] by The Disk Orchestra is totally unlistenable on this device, for example.
- It seems to have problems playing some audio files, but not others. I still haven't been able to pin down exactly what types of files don't work well, but I'm working on it. I have a CD-RW with 196 Kbps encoded WMA files, and it barfed all over itself trying to play these files, which resulted in kind of a cool disc-style album, but that isn't really what I was hoping for. It seemed to play 196 Kbps encoded files from a CD-R okay, but the gaps between songs are still incredibly annoying.
Sigh. Dan, we need to go back to Fry's. I think we should forget about mp3 or wma CDs and just burn a bunch of ordinary audio CDs instead.