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  • MP3 Player Recommendations

       February 28, 2005

    Update: Thank you for all the suggestions. I decided to go with the iPod Mini. My sister has the Dell 20 GB DJ, and while she loves, it just felt way too heavy for me. The iPod Mini, at around 3 ounces, weighs half as much. I would have liked something that hold more songs (the Mini holds about 1,000), but for now it was the best choice. I was really able to get a great deal from Amazon by using some coupons and my discount.

    Update #2: So, I ordered the mini iPod from Amazon around midnight on Tuesday. I used the super free shipping and they estimated I'd receive my iPod anywhere from the 11th to the 14th. Now, I know that you normally get it way before then, but imagine my shock when my iPod arrived at my office TODAY! Wow. They only way I could have gotten it faster is if the guy at the warehouse in Addison personally drove it up to me. I'm impressed.

    Even though I've yet to purchase a DVD player or join the Tivo cult, I think I'm ready for an MP3 Player. But, I don't really know what to buy. I could use a player with the capability to hold 10,000 songs, but right now I'd be fine with something with as little 1,000 songs.

    I doubt I'll use it in my car right away, but I would like to be able to strap it onto my arm to wear to the gym. I plan on using it to play both downloaded music and music from my own CDs.

    I want something that's sturdy enough to use while running or working on something like an elliptical machine. I probably won't bike with it as I'm not comfortable not hearing traffic, etc., while I bike. However, I could see using it while kayaking, if that's a consideration (note: I kayak on a generally mellow lake, not whitewater).

    I have a few possibilities in the poll below, but what would you all recommend?

    Posted by at February 28, 2005 10:56 AM

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    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at February 28, 2005 11:34 AM

    somebody has already voted for a "20 GB ipod," which seems silly to me as the ipod isn't exactly made for working out. either this person didnt read what youre going to use it for or they do very different things at the gym that i do. the ipod has a hard drive, which contains moving parts, which shouldnt be banged around all that much. i dont know what the ipod mini is made of.

    i have an iRock player, it holds 128 MB or about 35 songs.


    pros: under $100, small, light, no moving parts, belt clip, durable, leather casing for protection, battery seems to last forever, has FM tuner

    cons: only holds 35 songs, need proprietary cord to connect to PC (which is included, but if you want a second, you have to order it from them.) oh, and actually that little loop on the top of mine broke, too, but im really hard on it. (see durable), no arm strap like you said you wanted, but there is a belt clip, no AM tuner.

    i don't know a single thing about the other players that you have listed, so im not recommending one over the other, nor am i voting. my point is that if you plan on using it to work out you needs will be different than if you plan on using it in a car.

    it looks like you can get one of these on eBay for about $35.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 28, 2005 11:40 AM

    Thanks. That's exactly the type of info I was looking for. That's why I tried to explain what I wanted it for.

    I don't think I could go for something with only 35 songs though. If you think of something that would suit my needs with more songs (I'm thinking at least 1,000) let me know.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Bryan Smith at February 28, 2005 11:45 AM

    I'm an iPod devotee, so I'm biased. I voted for the 20GB iPod, which James doesn't seem to think is okay to workout with, but I workout with my iPod all the time (you can get an armband for running). I have the 60GB iPod Photo, which is pricier than the others, but the color screen is nice and if you take lots of digital photos is a nice thing to have. I used to have the original 5GB iPod, which held about 1000 songs and I usually felt limited when there was a song or an album I wanted to listen to that wasn't on there. 20GB seems good to me, but with photos I easily go over that limit.

    As for the moving parts, the iPods have like a 1 hour buffer - meaning the hard drive revs up only once in a great while (unless you are furiously switching songs). Since the hard drive is not actually moving very much, there is really no chance of the music skipping or any other problems occurring. Translation: the iPod is made for almost every activity one would want to use it for, minus underwater activities.

    My wife has an iPod mini and seems to like it. It also has a hard drive, so you enter into James' argument against moving parts. I know a lot of people with iPods and this has never been a problem. There is a new 6 GB iPod mini out, which holds about 1,500 songs and is pretty inexpensive.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at February 28, 2005 12:01 PM

    yeah, as bryan's post indicates, don't make too much of my "moving parts" argument, the ipod does have a buffer, etc.

    my point was really more that for me, someone who is pretty active and is "hard" on electronic equipment, i'd rather spend $50 on a player that i know won't break no matter what i do to it (ie drop it, throw it at a wall, etc) and then another few hundred on a second player (eg ipod) to use for less strenuous activities.

    before the ipod there was the archos jukebox 6000. i had one of those (hard drive) and the HD failed, i replaced it w/ a larger HD and it also later failed. i know that the ipod has much better protection against that sort of thing, but hard drives to fail. especially when your player falls off your bike at 30 mph. a fall like that won't hurt a memory based player.

    it also might be relevant if you include in your post what you're looking to play - downloaded music mp3's, "legal" downloads from apple, CD's that you already own, etc

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 28, 2005 12:05 PM

    Good idea. I added info on what I'll be playing and more specifics about how I think I'll be using it.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at February 28, 2005 12:19 PM

    where is your music going to be downloaded from? for instance, any mp3 player will play mp3's from kazaa. if you download from napster, though, the iPod wont play those. i know that my irock has problems playing downloads from iTunes - you can get it to do it, but you have to use media player as a transfer agent or something. (never done it myself, i steer away from pain in the ass proprietary formats.)

    i once returned a rio player for the same reason - it billed itself as an mp3 player, but it really wasnt. you could only transfer files to it using their (slow) interface software, and it would re-encode those files into a proprietary format (not mp3) that prevented you from transfering the filed back to your pc or to another pc. yet, it said "mp3 player" right there on the box. where are the class action lawyers when you need them? i kept the player for 1 day, then returned it to best buy.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 28, 2005 12:24 PM

    I probably have some old stuff (circa 2000) from Napster, but other downloads are through Kazaa or other smaller places.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: james at February 28, 2005 12:30 PM

    i meant the "new napster," "aka $15 a month for all you can download, but if you stop paying all of your songs will stop playing"

    i dont think any of these new 'legal' services have just regular mp3's. they're all proprietary formats. annoying. interesting, b/c i would have purchased songs in the past of they were just regular mp3's.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at February 28, 2005 01:05 PM

    Yeah, we're doing a promotion with downloads through and the downloads will only work on certain players. It's a pretty big list, but you'll note that iPods are not on it. I wonder if the Dell player will play them?

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: countertop at February 28, 2005 01:23 PM

    I have the original 5GB iPod. I paid about $500 for it two weeks after Apples introduce the iPod . . . Its about the size of the current 60GB iPod (think a pack of marlboro's) and holds anywhere from 500 - 1000 songs. After extensivly using it every day while communting (sometimes on the metro, sometimes on my bike) and while running/hiking and kayaking and skiing and traveling and in the car - the only problem I have encountered is I had to put a new battery in it last fall.

    It is a marvel of engineering wonder and one of these days, if the dam thing would ever die, I'll get myself a new, bigger one. Till then, I'll be the last person with the original iPod scroll wheel

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: John Tant at February 28, 2005 02:15 PM

    I know this isn't on the list, but I use my Kyocera 7135 cell phone as an mp3 player. It has one built in, I can use regular headphones with it, and I can keep the mp3s on one of those little Secure Digital cards. Putting songs on the card is a snap with a USB card reader.

    It doesn't have the bells and whistles an IPod or other dedicated mp3 player has, but it works well enough for what I need it for.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: KV Big Sis at February 28, 2005 02:47 PM

    I did NO comparison shopping, but I'm happy with my Dell 20GB Jukebox. At 4 minutes a song, it will hold 9,000 songs. I'm up to about 1,000 songs now with more to load, and I've only had it 3 weeks or so. I paid extra for a carrier with a belt clip; you can also get an armband. I've used it on the treadmill with no problems whatsoever. It comes with a plug-in to use it in the car, but I haven't done that yet.

    The battery is supposed to last 12 hours; it doesn't seem like it lasts quite that long.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: George Joslyn at March 1, 2005 09:02 AM

    One More issue with the "Unlimited" can download for "free" all you want, but once you decide to burn a CD of your downloaded songs, they charge you .99/song to burn them. That little charge is not apparent in all their splashy advertising.
    I have a 60 gig Ipod photo, and I love it!! I do DJ party work, and up until now, I was carrying around crates of albums and 45's, along with CD's. I can see doing a gig now with just a laptop and an iPOD!! Can't Wait!!

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: logan at March 1, 2005 06:23 PM

    Hi. I am searching for an mp3 player as well. I personally would suggest a creative zen of any model. My friend has one and it is extremely easy to use. Plus it has a removable battery. With the Apple Ipod, you have to send it in and get it changed for $99. It all depends on what you want. If you want one that can also organize you and use for a spare drive, go for the zen micro. If you want one where you can view photos and a larger hard drive with more memory, I would go for an iriver H320. One more thing. its youre choice, but if I were you I wouldnt get a samsung yepp. The software is entirely incomprehensive. Me and my father have tried forever to work with it. Hope you find the right mp3 player for your needs.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Kerry Voting Bigger Brother at March 2, 2005 11:35 AM

    Idiot, only buy that Apple crap if you want lower functionality at a higher price. But I guess with your wholesale support for big spending King George money is no object.

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at March 2, 2005 11:38 AM

    Is there really any need for you to be so nasty? I did some research, gathered opinions and chose the most cost effective player for my needs.

    Just because you disagree with me doesn't mean I'm stupid. I don't think you're an idiot because you voted for Kerry (although I do question your sanity at this point).

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: KV-BGB at March 2, 2005 02:50 PM

    I am sorry if I was nasty to you, however NO Apple solution is the most cost effective. It is
    ALL about image. A long time ago Apple tried to control both computer hardware and software. Now with the IPods they are trying the same tactic with music. Be warned!

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: logan at March 3, 2005 05:39 PM

    Im glad that you found a player that you like. Hows it going? I hope it works out for you. I however am deciding on the zen micro. I hope its as good as I think it is. Good luck

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: kris at March 3, 2005 05:42 PM

    Well, I'm sure I would have loved it. However, it does not work on my version of Windows. Rather than try to figure out how to install some Service Pack crap, I'm giving up and returning it. What a disappointment.

    #  March 14th, 2005 9:11 PM      logan
    im sorry, i missed it. so your returning the ipod. well, if you are, im sorry to hear the bad news. i am having trouble as well deciding. now im not sure whether i want the zen micro or the iriver h10.  
    #  March 14th, 2005 9:13 PM      kris
    Actually, I decided to just install XP on my computer and everything is working well. I'm really happy with the iPod after all.  



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