Non-Ipod MP3 player recommendations?

I currently have an IRiver that I won at work, but am put off by the fact that it’s powered by a AA battery. I’m not really interested in an Ipod since they seem pretty overpriced and I’m hearing that the software is pretty invasive.

I’m looking for something with a decent amount of space (my current one only has 128 megs). I’m not soured on IRivers if there’s models that are good that have a rechargable battery, as the one I have has good quality sound.

What are y’all’s thoughts on good MP3 players?

I have a Creative Zen Micro and while I like it there seems to be an issue with the headphone jack in that it comes loose. I had mine since Xmas '04 and over time I noticed the signal would cut out in one of the earphones and at first I thought it was due to crappy earphone wiring but it turns out that some ZenMicro’s are prone to having their jacks coming loose, at least that’s what I gathered from Creative’s forum. I had to RMA mine today for repairs.

Certainly this is not a glowing review of the ZenMicro but I have to say I do like it and the software is easy to use.

I guess one should ask what kind you are looking for, as there are essentially three types of players…

  1. Flash based. Typically about 1gig, some take SD Cards. The advantage is that they don’t skip and have long battery life. Rarely do they have a rechargable battery in them.

  2. Ipod Mini Sized. Between 4 and 6 gig. Smaller than the larger HD based players for easier transport.

  3. HD based. Between 20 and 40 gig. Expensive, large, but hold a lot of tuneage.

I’m leaving out the fact that there are CDR based players, and video players, etc.

I have an iPOD Mini. It’s nice, but the lack of DRM on anything but Apple’s store sort of sucks. I have music from other services I can’t use it with unless I burn them to a CD, rerip them, and transfer them over. Which I never do. But the actual iPOD interface is really nice.


I agree with Kevin’s iPod misgivings, but it is the best player around. The userinterface is the best around and I don’t understand what you could have against iTunes (invasive how? I don’t have ab iPod but still use iTunes - and there is alternatives like ephod).

The Zen Micro is the best non- Apple player out there… but the touchpad is a love it or hate it thing and doesn’t come near the clickwheel in usability.

If you want something bigger, go with an Archos Gmini400. Not as nice an interface, but pretty small with built in cardreader and the possibility to show movies as well.

I use my PSP, because there’s a limit to space avaliable in my pockets - the sound is great but the interface is limited.

Get an iPod, which are now both cheapish and with color screens.

Failing that, consider the Cowon iAudio X5. It uses filename-based browsing (as opposed to ID3-based), which I can’t stand, but it’s a solid player that also does video.

Get a Rio Carbon. They are excellent players.

Alternatives to Shuffle, with or without screens, or with or without those display remotes attatched to the headphones?