@ UTF-16 …
#1 = i guess this cant be to important if you aint transferring stuff constantly.
#2 = if you got the money you can buy a fairly large MicroSD (or microsdhc) card and store stuff to it that way as the Sansa e250 i have has a external slot for adding more memory … if price aint a issue and you want initial big space you can get the e280 model which i believe comes with 8GB internal memory… just as always make SURE you got a version 1 player and not a version 2! (THIS IS IMPORTANT AS ROCKBOX ONLY WORKS ON v1 PLAYERS!)
3 = if that’s real important to you, you can always just stick to mp3 i guess… cause you can always convert mp3 to .ogg format if you want although in general i would always keep the original mp3’s safe for future use although converting em down to 45kbps .ogg is a good way to get ALOT of songs on smaller ammounts of memory… as to sound quality of .ogg files @ 45kbps i think it’s pretty impressive even though it aint perfect but it’s not to much worse vs original source and for the space savings overall i think 45kbps .ogg is a solid choice… you may or may not agree with me as not everyone will think 45kbps is great although i think people have to admit it sounds quite good considering the super small file sizes.
as far as the battery life on my Sansa e250 i aint test it myself but im fairly sure your looking at an easy 10hours but people claim upto 20 hours… im guessing though 15ish is a fairly safe bet from tests people ran on battery on rockbox.org… and another good thing is the battery is user replaceable on the sansa e200 series players unlike IPOD crap where you cannot change the battery yourself.
p.s. only drawback to using large external memory cards is the default firmware on the sansa does not support USB connections yet so basically if you get a large external MicroSD type card for it… you will basically either need a external card reader (which is probably best option if you can afford it) as the original sansa firmware i dont think supports that big of micro sd cards … so in other words say u got a 10GB microsd card for the sansa the only way to transfer files to it would be to copy the music to the internal flash memory and then boot up rockbox and then copy and paste from internal memory to the microsd cards (this is why i was saying a external card reader is overall easier)
to sum it up though rockbox dont charge your player or usb dont work so you still need to boot into original firmware for that which aint a problem cause when player is off if you connect the usb cable to it and plug it into the pc the bootloader will automatically boot back into the original sansa firmware and charge the player and you will have usb connections… or if the player is off and for some reason you need to boot into the original firmware all you do is power player off then before u turn it on hold down the LEFT (rewind) button and power it on and keep holding the left button til it boots into sansa firmware… by default it will always boot into the rockbox firmware when you power it on like normal.
bottom line = if all your doing is listening to music through headphones etc… i think a DAP (Digital Audio Player) like Sandisk Sansa e200 series is a great buy overall especially when you put rockbox on it as the space savings of .ogg alone (cause of overall good sound quality at low low bit rates in my opinion) makes rockbox worth using for me … cause even though i only have 2GB, it’s sorta like i have 4GB+ of space cause 45kbps .ogg vs 128kbps mp3…and in general i consider 128kbps the minimum bit rate needed to keep mp3 sounding good cause once i go from 128kbps to say 96kbps on mp3 i can noticeably tell the difference myself where as .ogg still seems to stay roughly the same (give or take a little) … so even if 45kbps .ogg is a tad to low for you… you could probably clean up the sound a little @ 64kbps etc.
p.s. i think .ogg shows it’s superiority over mp3’s at the lower bit rates mainly (i.e. under 128kbps , but more specifically 96kbps or lower as i think ogg sounds ‘noticeably’ better than mp3 at those rates)
and also if u goto rockbox.org it shows what Digital Audio Players it supports on the main page there
here is the app i used to convert my .WAV files to .OGG … http://www.rarewares.org/ogg-oggdropxpd.php (more specifically this… http://www.exe64.com/mirror/rarewares/oggdropXPdV1.9.0-1.2.0-P4.zip (this is for P4/Athlon64 CPU’s) … if you dont have that get whatever one that supports yours accordingly ) … the app dont seem to like going from mp3 to ogg so you need a app to convert your mp3’s to .wav first and then drag and drop the .wav files to that ogg app i linked to ) and also i think it’s a good idea to use this … http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ … as it’s a tag editor for your mp3/ogg files etc as you can put in artist info, album info etc… i.e. makes it quicker vs manually doing each file individually through windows explorer etc.