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MP3 Player Recommendations

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by jimeez, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    I just started running again...after an 18 year hiatus. I have been back into long enough to know that I am going to stick with it. So my accountant (the wife) has approved some purchases and I gotta have tunes while I run.

    Before I go and spend a gazillion dollars on a full sized iPod, I was wondering if you guys have any experiences with anything a bit smaller that you like?
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Hell man, that has nano written all over it. And the new shuffles are nice too.
  3. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Why waste time and money? Get an iPod of your choice. I'm perfectly happy with my 6GB mini now perhaps 2 years after purchase. My only regrets are when I realize that a 30GB iPod could store my entire music collection. However, the 6GB is more than enough for jogging or vacation tunes.
  4. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    I'll second the Nano. Both my wife and I have a Nano and love them. I have the 2 gig version and with 298 songs on there I still have about 485 MB's left.
  5. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    I have to claim techno-ignorance here. I have zero experience with MP3 players. Don't own one...never used one. :blank:

    I like the look of the nano. Nice and small. But man, I didn't expect it to be so expensive. $250 for 8G? I might as well spend and additional $80 and get the 80G model.
  6. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    That's what I would do. Smaller is better, but even the large iPods aren't that big, and you get more than ample storage for all the tunes you'll ever have plus other stuff (photos, perhaps movies). Did you know that it's possible to download pictures from your digital camera like on vacation, so you don't run out of camera media?

    One bit of advice: Get some sort of protector (sleeve) for your iPod so it will be less likely to break if dropped. Mine has fallen off my belt onto a concrete floor as I got out of my car, and would be surely chipped if not broken without the protector.
  7. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    For running, mowing, other outside activities, I got this cheap player at Wal-Mart. Came with an arm strap, and figure if it falls off and gets destroyed, at least it wasn't so expensive. I really like the large forward, backwards buttons, etc., easy to hit when you're moving.
  8. MNeedham73

    MNeedham73 Well-Known Member

    My only concern on getting a large IPod vs. a Nano is the hard drive vs. flash drive, especially with the bouncing around while jogging.

    Don't know how good the large capacity IPods are for handling that.
  9. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Very good point. Something to definitely take into consideration. I sent my brother an email...he's got an 80G unit. I'll see if he's used his while running.
  10. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    My wife uses her 80gig for running three times a week (or she did when her leg was working right...and she will again!). No problems with skipping or anything, ever. The buffer is huge--it's just not an issue.

    Spend the extra money--it's worth it to have all your music available as you need it!

    And a case is a nice thing--myself, I'm into leather (all right, hold the jokes! ;)), so I went for a Sena case--it's great. http://www.senacases.com
  11. ravital

    ravital Banned

    What Mike said. Of course, what Joseftu said as well. It's entirely possible that a hard-drive based player can be stable enough, but you KNOW that a RAM-based player has no moving parts.

    Also, pardon my bias, but does it have to be Apple? If not, take a look at the Creative site, see what's what.

    I use a 1Gb Creative Muvo TX for podcasts only or for music when I travel by air. Advantages:

    1. AAA battery available everywhere - don't scoff, you won't believe the rigamarole Apple makes its loyal customers go through when the rechargeable battery in the iPod doesn't hold a charge anymore.

    2. Doubles as a thumb-drive, no additional software required, shows up on a computer as just another drive, drag and drop (been doing this on both Windows and Linux systems).

    3. Has FM reception and recording capability (your headphones are the antenna).

    4. Small mic good for reminders and such.

    Alternatives, for when you want the gizmo that holds pictures, videos, and the whole kitchen sink, look into Creative Vision, or Creative M. I use a Creative Zen Xtra (strictly audio), 60Gb and I can replace the rechargeable battery by simply unlatching the cover, as intended and documented in their manual. Batteries available on eBay, $9 to $12 or so.

    [Edit: I currently have in the vicinity of 2,800 full-stereo, high bit-rate 320kB tracks on my 60Gb player, which takes up garely a little bit of 1/3 the available space.]

    And no matter what, you will probably want to buy yourself a set of earphones that are better than what's provided with the original unit. I hear many iPod owners do that, because the cable on the iPod-provided earphones is white, which is an invitation for a mugging in some circles.
  12. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Good stuff here, Rav. Thank you!

    No, I am not brand-loyal to Apple by any means. But obvioulsy Apple is the first brand name that popped into my head when the topic popped in there.

    These Zen Micros are pretty cool. Removeable battery. Removeable disk. A 98dB signal to noise ratio. 6GB model < $200.00. Hmmmmm *scratches chin*
  13. ravital

    ravital Banned

    Happy to assist :)

    Bear in mind, RAM storage is more expensive than disk-drives, in terms of Kbyte/Dollar, so a RAM-based player will always cost more. Consider whether the Apple brand is worth it if the price-difference is small enough. Also, I admit the Zen Micros look clumsy by comparison to the sleek iPods.

    To me, the user-replacable battery is important. To the rest of the industry? They're actually counting on you experiencing the need to buy something else in a couple of years :)

    [Edit: Watch out for that "Plays for sure" software upgrade. If your unit already has it when you get it, good. If not, upgrade ONLY if you really need to. Most of the discussion groups for these devices have been calling it "Crashes for sure." :) ]
  14. jimeez

    jimeez Thread Killer

    Yeah, those iPods sure is purtier than the Zen units.
  15. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    I have a 4 gig Nano. I'd rather have the 8 gig, but it wasn't available when it came out. I've have it about 18 mos??? I have my music on random shuffle, I use it 5 times a week, and I've yet to hear all my music even once. I have about 750 songs on it. I also use the balance for my podcasts (gotta love that Leo LaPorte!), plus I've downloaded hours of old time radio shows I listen to as well.

    While the larger flash drive would have been nice, the one I have is just fine. The battery is still as strong as when I first got it as well.

    This has been one of the best purchases I've ever made. When my mom wanted one we got her the Samsung YP-Z5 which is just about the same size, you could call it a near clone. It's nice too.
  16. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    Another consideration is where you're getting the music to put on the player you purchase. This might only be a factor at the margin, i.e., whether you love or hate iTunes, or MusicMatch, or any of the other commercial services. Strong preferences in this department might steer you to an Apple or non-Apple solution.

    Of course, the point is moot if you simply plan to rip CDs.

  17. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    I've never purchased a single tune online. Rather, I have about 300 CDs and ripped every last one of them. Of course I can't fit that all on my iPod but I can easily change the programming whenever I want. I also have all my tunes on a NAS server so I can play all my music on any PC in the house.

    Actually I have a strong dislike for Apple which I had to overcome to buy the iPod. In the end I decided it was the best MP3 player so I bought it anyway.
  18. ravital

    ravital Banned

    That is of course true, but it should be noted that ultimately, there's more than one way (and an easy one at that) to simply put MP3 files on your device and create playlists. Preferences for iTunes and such might be extremely convenient for "synch" operations - the software will compare ALL mp3 files on your system vs. what's on the device, or other such options, but if what I've been told by iPod fans is correct, nothing should keep anyone from putting any mp3 file on any mobile device - Digital Rights Management notwithstanding, of course :)
  19. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    It should be noted that just today Steve Jobs announced a deal with EMI to download all of their catalog through Apple in DRM free form, which is nice. One down, three more to go. Once you pay for a song, you should be able to store it anywhere you wish, burn it, have it on two computers, etc. All my music is DRM free as it's ripped off my CDs. That was one reason I refused to buy anything from Apple. If this keeps up, I may have to give them a go some day.
  20. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    I used a Muvo for a long time (one without FM, but otherwise the same), and I liked it a lot--finally sold it to someone here on GA. As far as I know, it's still going strong. They're very nice little devices, if you don't mind loading and reloading them with new stuff from time to time--and I agree that the AAA battery and no cables are huge advantages.

    Finally, for me, though, getting the color screen was a good thing--but even better was being able to have all my music, podcasts, even videos with me at all times--with the Muvo I was constantly finding that the one thing I really wanted to hear was what I had forgotten to add to my Muvo before leaving home that morning.

    This is absolutely essential--not the anti-mugging part, which I've heard about but never mattered to me--but the sound quality. The earphones that come with any player are decent at best--and usually not decent at all. I like to listen to music loud, and I like to really hear all of it--not lose highs (more than I've already lost to old age and too many rock concerts :(), and especially not lose lows.

    I know some people (ethics?) who spend almost as much on the headphones as they do on the device...and I understand that completely.

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