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What MP3 player to get?


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#1 of 28 Jeremy Illingworth

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Posted October 16 2004 - 11:05 AM

I was thinking of getting an MP3 player but there are so many out there. I want either 128 or 256 MB and either internal battery or AA. What do you have and what do you recommend?

jeremy

#2 of 28 Don Black

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Posted October 16 2004 - 11:33 AM

Well, you're talking about flash memory players with those memory requirements. That rules out most of the overall portable mp3 market since most use hard drive (e.g., iPod, Sony, etc.).

Flash memory players are generally much more expensive than their hard drive counterparts and are worse overall values. But they have their advantages, such as small size, portability, and ruggedness. So if you're looking for something to use while working out, flash memory might be the way to go.

I own an iPod myself. Sorry I couldn't be more specific....

#3 of 28 MikeH1

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Posted October 16 2004 - 01:22 PM

Yeah I look at the prices for a 256 mb flash player and think "are these guys crazy?" Buy another stick or two and you might have well bought a 20 Gb HD based player...

#4 of 28 Scott L

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Posted October 16 2004 - 03:56 PM

How is the SQ on the iPods? I bought my sis an iRiver CD player last Xmas that also decoded mp3s but it sounded so weak and tinny compared to my aging Sony Discman.

Just wondering if Apple takes into consideration people may use $100+ headphones instead of the ones they include. And before anyone asks I used to have a META42 based portable amp that didn't sound that much different when connected to the Discman. Posted Image

#5 of 28 Phil Kim

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Posted October 16 2004 - 05:06 PM

According to well publicized rumor (CBS Marketwatch), Apple is developing a flash memory-based iPod in time for Christmas.

On a flip-side, another source points to new 60 GB iPod with color LCD that can manage photos.

Many new cell phones have MP3 playback capability as well, such as Nokia 6230 (many can also accept memory card for expansion).

#6 of 28 Phil Kim

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Posted October 16 2004 - 05:09 PM

Quote:
How is the SQ on the iPods? I bought my sis an iRiver CD player last Xmas that also decoded mp3s but it sounded so weak and tinny compared to my aging Sony Discman.

Just wondering if Apple takes into consideration people may use $100+ headphones instead of the ones they include. And before anyone asks I used to have a META42 based portable amp that didn't sound that much different when connected to the Discman.

According to Stereophile magazine, iPod's sound quality is audiophile quality, particularly when encoded at higher bitrate. Since the review, Apple has released Apple Loseless Encoding option for iPod as well.

#7 of 28 Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 16 2004 - 06:10 PM

Quote:
Just wondering if Apple takes into consideration people may use $100+ headphones instead of the ones they include.

I use $100+ headphones with my iPod and it sounds great.

Go for an iPod mini, Jeremy. Or spend $50 more and get the 20-gig iPod.

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#8 of 28 Philip_G

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Posted October 16 2004 - 06:21 PM

I picked up a 15 gig dell DJ last week for 129 shipped and have been really happy with it.

#9 of 28 BobV

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Posted October 16 2004 - 07:43 PM

This one seems to be popular in my own store...

http://www.x-micro.com/eva.htm

We sell the 128mb for $99CAD, not sure what they are in the US.
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#10 of 28 NickSo

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Posted October 16 2004 - 08:31 PM

Might i suggest an MP3CD player?

The ratio of cost to storage is way better than much else out there... 120 songs at 192+ KBps per CD.

A bit bulkier, but the amount of music available is just awesome for the price.

I have one i bought 3 years ago that doesnt even have ID3 tag support, and i still use it often, when my MP3 player runs out of music (got it from my friend, CAD$80 for 128MB player and CA$45 for 256MB SD card). Cant beat having many hours of CD in a single CD case.

But seeing the price of flash memory (saw 1GB SD card for ~$60 USD, insane!), might wanna just get a flash player and invest in a big flash card.


#11 of 28 Philip_G

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Posted October 17 2004 - 04:46 AM

Quote:
Might i suggest an MP3CD player?

I used to agree, but now that you can get 15 gigs for under 150 bucks, 20 gigs for about 175 I've thrown mine away, no more cd's to carry around, they all fit on the DJ and I have 8 gigs of free space.

#12 of 28 Chris Bardon

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Posted October 18 2004 - 02:22 AM

Unless you're looking for something that can take a whole lot of shock, a HD based player is a much better value than a flash one. Besides, having 40 Gb of music on hand is really handy. You never have to think about what mp3s to bring, since you have ALL of them with you all the time!

I've been really happy with my Creative Nomad Jukebox 3, but I believe that Creative has discontinued this model. The Zen players are similar (and smaller), but have fewer buttons and are missing the line outputs that the NJB3 has. Sound quality is really good on both the noise cancelling headphones (though they're not $100 headphone quality), and on the line out to my amp. I've also found that the creative players have a better feature set than the ipods, and also come in cheaper, so definitely worth looking at.
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#13 of 28 John Alvarez

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Posted October 18 2004 - 02:28 AM

Which of these has a FM tuner? I know you may say you don't need that with the gazillion meg of space but I do cardio first thing in the morning at the gym and like to watch the news via the wireless transmitter to FM. After that I want my kick it in high gear music..Posted Image

#14 of 28 Jason L.

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Posted October 18 2004 - 05:08 AM

Personally, I use a flash player because of following reasons:

1. Perfect when working out.
2. They are more rugged and lighter.
3. Longer battery life [no moving parts].
4. They are a little bit smaller than HD mp3 players.

If you don't really care about these things, then get a HD-mp3 player.

Rio has a new flash player coming out, the
Rio Forge 512 MB Sport mp3 Player. Put in a 1 gig SD card and you're set.

#15 of 28 Seth G

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Posted October 19 2004 - 02:17 AM

Don't want to hijack this thread, but at the same time, don't want to start another "which mp3 player" thread. So just wondering if anyone can provide some advice for me. Here are my requirements:

HD based, 15+ GB
No silly sync software, I just want to be able to plug it in and drag-n-drop files to it, ideally it would work without drivers
Be able to store any kind of file
Don't need any more support than MP3 (don't care about WMA, OGG, or AAC)

Past that, the features I would be most interested in would be:

Good battery life (does the kind of battery matter? can anyone explain the difference between Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer?)
Easy use in my car (via FM transmitter, tape deck, whatever)

As far as I can tell, the iRiver H120 is my best option. Are there any others out there that suit my needs?

#16 of 28 John Alvarez

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Posted October 20 2004 - 04:29 AM

Jason,
Do they have an F.M. tuner?
Also what does this mean? At 64kbps WMA
If I download something at a faster rate does it change how much room I have on the flash?

#17 of 28 Seth G

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Posted October 20 2004 - 04:48 AM

John Alvarez
Quote:
Do they have an F.M. tuner?

Some do, some don't. I tried looking around briefly for a definitive list and couldn't find anything, but I would imagine there must be a list somewhere. I believe the Rio Forge (the one Jason mentioned) does not, but another model from Rio called the Chiba does. Pretty much anything from iRiver (both flash and HD based) does. I also believe that Creative has a Muvo model that does. I'm sure there is more than that, but that's probably a good start.

John Alvarez
Quote:
Also what does this mean? At 64kbps WMA
If I download something at a faster rate does it change how much room I have on the flash?

This does not refer to the speed of the download, but to the bitrate of the music file. A higher bitrate music file takes up more space (thus fewer songs on your player), but you get higher quality. A lower bitrate music file takes up less space (thus more songs on your player), but you lose quality. It's personal preference really. How much quality are you willing to sacrifice to get more songs on your player?

Now I've got a question of my own to throw out to any iPod owners out there. Anyone use XPlay, EphPod, or Anapod? I'm not a fan of the iTunes so looking at alternatives if I deicde to go with the iPod.

#18 of 28 John Alvarez

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Posted October 20 2004 - 11:07 PM

So if the bit rate is 128 verses 64 should I expect half the amount of songs? What does a typical c.d. run at? Is there a conversion of memory space to bit rate?Also what's the biggest diffrence between Flash, SD and MMC?
Sorry so many questions. The wife is getting me one and I want to be sure of what I want.

#19 of 28 Seth G

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Posted October 21 2004 - 01:58 AM

I'm going to do my best to answer John's questions. However, I feel like I'm far from the best resource for this. So if anyone else can step in and correct me, that would be much appreciated.

John Alvarez
Quote:
So if the bit rate is 128 verses 64 should I expect half the amount of songs?

Essentially.

John Alvarez
Quote:
What does a typical c.d. run at?

CDs use uncompressed PCM to store their music. The bitrate refers to how often the compression algorithm samples the music to make a compressed music file (be that MP3, AAC, WMA, whatever). Since CDs are uncompressed, the concept of a bitrate doesn't really apply.

John Alvarez
Quote:
Is there a conversion of memory space to bit rate?

This is the best I can do:

http://www.waxy.org/projects/mp3calc/

John Alvarez
Quote:
Also what's the biggest diffrence between Flash, SD and MMC?

Flash is the umbrella term refering to all sorts of various solid state storage. Thus, SD and MMC are different kinds of Flash storage. The 2 most common types of flash are currently CompactFlash and SecureDigital (aka SD). I don't believe anyone really uses MultiMediaCard (aka MMC) anymore. They are just different types of storage cards. At the end of the day, there is not a whole lot of difference between them. Probably, the biggest difference is that CompactFlash has been able to get their biggest cards up to 4GB, while I believe SD has been unable to top 1GB. So if that is a concern, you may want to be on the lookout for a player that takes CompactFlash cards.

Just like to reiterate that none of these answers are definitive. But hopefully this provides you enough info to keep you going.

John Alvarez
Quote:
Sorry so many questions.

No problem at all. Posted Image

#20 of 28 Jean D

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Posted October 21 2004 - 02:07 AM

Id like to suggest the new Sony mini-disc walkmans. (fairly small) they just released some that doubled the capacity of the mini-discs. which is nice. I use it at the gym. one day I want to listen to all things tupac, the next I want nothign but Tool or GNR. all I have to do is switch mini-discs. But I must admit, the Dell thing sounds interesting. how big are those?
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