This thing is without a doubt the finest mp3 player I have ever owned or even heard. I never wanted to go down the iPod route, even though they are, from a user interface standpoint, very nice. But there are several things that have kept me away from Apple. One is sound quality and the other is organization which is, at base, my resistance to doing thing the way Steve Jobs insists is the way I want to do them.
Sound quality is simple. Ask any audiophile, the iPod is not known for its good sound quality. The Cowon A3 on the other hand is the most amazing thing I have ever heard, and everyone I play it for (including my brother the Jazz enthusiast) is blown away by how good it sounds. Add that to the fact that you can play virtually any audio codec out there and you have a wonderful player for the music fanatic.
The other thing is the “Apple Way” thing. I don’t like the way the iPod only organizes by tag. I am old and anal about my music so I have everything meticulously organized into directories. And if I have something with the wrong tags it is difficult to find in iTunes or an iPod. The Cowon lays it out there like I want it, though I do wish there were a search function. The other thing is iTunes which is just crap software. Personally, I use Media Monkey on Windows or Amarok/Exaile on linux.
The battery on my preciousssss is starting to act a bit flaky. It is after all two years old. I still get four or five hours of video and maybe eight or ten audio. It is time to consider changing the battery, which apparently is fairly easy and cheap. I will run this thing until it dies, and when it does I will buy another Cowon. Could not be more happy with this player and no one has sound like this.