Mp3 player recommendations

I’m thinking of finally buying an mp3 player and I figured I"d turn to you guys for recommendations (I know there have been other threads on this but the last one I remember was a few months old so I figured updated recs might be good).

What I want:
– wmp compatible (this rules out the ipod; most of my music is .wma.
– 20 gigs (I have more music than I realized!)
– smallish (I’d like something that can fit in my pocket).

Right now my leading candidates are the iRiver and Samsung’s YH-whatever… anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

JD

Oh and something I don’t care about: being able to watch video and or view pictures. Just don’t care.

A lot of people really like the Cowon X5. Either that or there’s some kind of really amazing viral marketing program going on. I’m not a big fan of the player (no ID3 browsing, weird joystick, COLOR SOUND!) but it’s definitely one to consider.

A lot of people rag on Creative’s players, but I’ve had several opportunities to play around with the Zen Sleek, and it’s not bad. Looks a bit better in person than over the internet, feels durable, the tactile buttons are nice, and I’ve always thought Creative players to have pretty good SQ.

I’d also list the Sony NW-HD5 except that it doesn’t play WMA files and right now it’s starting to look like you should just avoid anything Sony makes.

Philips makes a very slick player (can’t remember the name) but it supposedly has terrible software. Toshiba makes some players with gorgeous screens, but their interface is very weird.

There really isn’t a knockout machine on the market right now, unfortunately. Right now most of the non-apple makers seem to be churning out dozens of identical, nondescript players that it’s hard to get excited about.

PS. If you’re going to need Yahoo/Napster/Rhapsody compatibility, you’ll need to do more research, as there are a lot of WMP players that don’t play Playsforsure files and/or are buggy about it.

PPS. The I-river H10 I can’t recommend, as I’ve known several people who’ve had to return it. Seems like it has some build quality issues. (also, it just looks cheap)

Iriver took a step backwards with their H10 series. If you can find a new H320 (20GB) or H340 (40GB) Iriver player, you’re in good shape, as they’re completely wmp compatible, and can also be used as standard USB hard drives.

Otherwise, you may want to try an Archos gmini player, ie: http://www.archos.com/products/prw_500703.html or that Cowan device selfnoise suggested.

Right now I think Sony makes the best non-iPod players (they rule when it comes to battery life), but no wma-support.

Stay away from the Philips. Crappy interface and the worst transfer software ever bundled with a player.

Archos is good, but I only know their players with video capabilities. But they support a lot of formats (and are Play for Sure).

The Sleek is really nice and plays really well with Windows Media Player.

I like my Creative Zen NX 30gb (getting old now), but the problem with it is that it’s not iTunes compatible at all. Considering that’s what I use to manage my mp3s, that’s an issue.

Oh and yes, the software that Creative has sucks balls. But works.

And really, after playing with an iPod, there’s no going back. Just convert your crappy wmas.

I have a creative zen as well and really like it. I bought my son an ipod and he seems to really enjoy that. After taking the time to learn the creative interface I actually had a hard time with the ipods.

Second that opinion. I was an iPod hater…but after actually using one, and having one for a week…it beats everything else. Hands down.