OK, I’m finally sick of my portable CD player, and November is the fabled three-paycheck month where I work, so it’s time to buy an mp3 player.
Stipulations: no iPods. Removable battery if at all possible (although I think the Sandisk is the only one that has that). Sound quality is important but quality of headphones is not because I’ll be using Sony MDR7502’s. 4GB and higher. Price range: $100-$150.
Given that, I’ve been looking at the Sandisks, the Creatives and the Toshiba Gigabeats. Any recommendations are welcome.
Edit: Also, online music services are meaningless to me. I’ll be putting the mp3’s on this the old-fashioned way: by buying CDs and ripping them. So iTunes etc. support matters not.
My own anti-iPod stance collapsed entirely a couple months back, recently enough that I still definitely sympathize with ones that are still of current structural integrity: that said, the newer Creative Zen 4 gig looks really nice. USB drive, so you can just drag your files over as you please, SD expansion slot to add more capacity, etc.
I’ve been using a 1GB Sansa Express for the last couple of weeks because I wanted something I could just throw audiobooks and podcasts onto without messing with iTunes. Once I realized I could get around the DRM (requiring MP10 to copy files) by changing the driver to a regular USB device, it became just about perfect. Nice LCD screen, small form factor, no external USB cable needed, expandable with MicroSD if necessary. The headphones were crap, but what do you want for $40 ?
I had a Creative Zen V+ and liked it, but the piece of crap broke 3 months after I got it - screen went black and the controller thingy broke off. I now have a 40gig ipod classic and love the hell out of it.
I recently picked up an 8gig Sansa as well. Got it on sale for less than the 4 gig. I haven’t bothered withe the video capability, I just love that it can store a shitload of music and the battery lasts longer than some marriages. My last player was a 256 meg Creative Nomad that ran off AAAs and neither the battery nor the songlist lasted thge entire 10 hour trip to and from my girlfriend.
Once you go rockbox, you can’t go back (especially if you listen to audio books).
It’s why I’m still using the ancient archos jukebox recorder 20 (which I upgraded to an 80gb hard drive) running rockbox. That Sansa e280 looks really interesting and seems rockbox development on it is pretty far along. Let me know how battery life is on it with rockbox. For about $120 + another $20 for 2gb micro sd you get a 10gb flash based player that can also play mpeg1/2 files (224X176 @ 29fps). Pretty impressive.
I just bought the Zune last week when Woot had refurbs on sale for $80. It’s got 30 gigs, a great screen and I’m loving the $15 a month subscription thing. I’m downloading artists’ entire catalogs left and right. Plust it supposedly upgrades to the new Zune firmware next month.
I think Buy.com’s still selling the new ones for $100.
Are there any 8gb+ that let you browse music by folder?
My mp3 collection is not organized enough to browse by tags and this makes setting up the music to work properly in the player a big hassle. i.e., I can’t just drag and drop the files and start listening. I have to edit all the tags first so they will be organized properly. If I could just put them in their own subdirectory and find them like that it would be so much easier. I don’t know why more manufacturers don’t include this as an option. So are there any players that let you do this?
I’ve had my Creative Zen Vision:M for almost a year now and I love it. The screen might be a little small, but video looks great on it-- although, I deleted the videos that came on it after one viewing and never used it for video again. Does anyone actually use the video on music players? What’s the point, especially now that airlines like Virgin give you a personal screen the size of a portable DVD player with tons of movie selection for cross country trips…
Anyway, easy interface, easy syncing, great that it has an FM tuner. I use media player for managing my files and I much prefer it to iTunes… but I’m biased, iTunes made a huge mess of my previous computer and library and I will never have that piece of shit ever installed again. There you go!