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View Full Version : Know anything about portable MP3 players? iPod, non-Apple, etc.



Opty
01-08-2007, 04:56 AM
I really want to get an MP3 player soon.

Apple's iPod dominates the market, as you know. Most people I know who have MP3 players have iPods.

But, is iPod the best option? When you have an iPod, are you only able to upload music onto your player through ITunes? Do iPods only use proprietary Apple software or can I use something like Musicmatch Jukebox or Roxio?

Is there a really good non-Apple player out there? What programs can I use to upload music onto it?


Thanks for the help!

:)

alleycat
01-08-2007, 04:59 AM
I gave one away for a gift at Christmas. After shopping around and comparing other models to an iPod Nano, I bought one made by SanDisk. It had good reviews and a number of added features. The young lady I gave it to seems to like it.

They have several models, with different memory size. This is the one I got: http://www.amazon.com/Sandisk-SDMX4-4096-Sansa-Player-Expansion/dp/B000ETVKHE/sr=8-4/qid=1168217990/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4/104-4252047-0464740?ie=UTF8&s=electronics

aadams73
01-08-2007, 05:00 AM
My better half and I both have iPods and we use Red Chair's Anapod to upload and organize our music and create playlists. The interface is simple and resembles windows explorer. iTunes just annoys me.

The sound on an iPod is really superior to everything else out there.

tourdeforce
01-08-2007, 05:01 AM
The iPod is a work of art and iTunes is a fantastic program for managing a music and podcast library. You can also handle iPod formatted video.

Officially, I think you must use iTunes to load music onto the iPod however, I bet there is a workaround in order to use other programs only a Google search away.

Cath
01-08-2007, 05:01 AM
I've got a Sansa (http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-SDMX4-2048-Player-microSD-Expansion/dp/B000ETXOC8/sr=8-1/qid=1168217866/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-9335260-7062265?ie=UTF8&s=electronics) and I can recomend them. The sound quality is suberb, the interface is easy to use (even halfway through a workout) and it will either plug and play or automatically sync (through windows media player) with your PC. You can transfer playlists from the PC too. No proprietary software required.

Opty
01-08-2007, 05:03 AM
Cool.

Thanks guys. Guess I'll check 'em all out and see which one I like best.

alleycat
01-08-2007, 05:05 AM
By the way, Sansa and Sandisk are the same thing. It's just the name SanDisk uses.

Carrie in PA
01-08-2007, 05:15 AM
I've had this one (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4659585) for over a year and I LOVE it. I get a lot of songs at walmart.com - they're only 88 cents, and the files are smaller, so my mp3 holds a lot more songs.

I looked at iPod, but for the money, I opted for a cheaper model. I just want to listen to songs. Nothing fancy.

The model I have, you can have different playlists, etc. Very user-friendly.

DamaNegra
01-08-2007, 05:21 AM
I have a Sony (A100 I think). I like it better than the ipod because of the atrac3 thing, sound's good and you can store more songs than other models with the same capacity. Of course, I refuse to buy an Ipod because everyone else has one and it's boring.

MidnightMuse
01-08-2007, 05:24 AM
The price convinced me to avoid iPod and go with Sandisk. I love it, no special software and easy-as-pie to use.

Pat~
01-08-2007, 06:24 AM
I have an iPod shuffle and absolutely love it. It's the size of a package of gum, and I can wear it in an arm band when I work out. The sound is terrific. And yes, I can only put tunes on through iTunes.

DamaNegra
01-08-2007, 06:28 AM
I have an iPod shuffle and absolutely love it. It's the size of a package of gum, and I can wear it in an arm band when I work out. The sound is terrific. And yes, I can only put tunes on through iTunes.
The downside of the shuffle is the lack of LCD display. It makes it dreadfully hard to find any particular song you'd like to hear, which is a mayor turn-off.

robeiae
01-08-2007, 06:30 AM
My daughter has an iPod. I have a Dell MP3 player.

I think iTunes works like crap on a PC and I like MusicMatch Jukebox.
As far as I know, you have to use iTunes for an iPod. Also, USB ports on stereos that allow you to play your MP3 songs don't support iPods, unless they explicitly say that they do. So if you have a PC and use something like MusicMatch, I suggest avoiding iPods.

William Haskins
01-08-2007, 06:32 AM
these are cool and now come with a fancy carrying case:

http://www.pbs.org/saf/1308/images08/elias4.jpg

A. Hamilton
01-08-2007, 06:35 AM
We got the SanDisk Sansa for our son for his birthday. The same one Alleycat linked to, i think. He loved it. Best Buy has a website for downloads with a free 60 day (i think) subscription.
One thing though. We purchased the extended warranty from Best Buy. About a week after he got it, the screen went weird. He had it in his backback and it probably got bumped. We took it back to Best Buy, but they would NOT honor the warranty. They said it did not cover physical damage. We called SanDisk directly and they had us send it back to them. It's been about four weeks and we don't have the replacement yet.

tourdeforce
01-08-2007, 06:39 AM
We purchased the extended warranty from Best Buy... but they would NOT honor the warranty.


99% of the time, do not get the warranty.

I would only purchase extened warranties offered by, oddly enough, Apple.

writerterri
01-08-2007, 06:40 AM
No, but is that you in your avatar?

Pat~
01-08-2007, 06:40 AM
The downside of the shuffle is the lack of LCD display. It makes it dreadfully hard to find any particular song you'd like to hear, which is a mayor turn-off.

Yes, for some that might be a problem. I use mine almost exclusively for working out, though, and don't like to stop to look for a particular tune. I like the Shuffle because I don't like to hear the songs playing in the same order each time, either.

eldragon
01-08-2007, 06:46 AM
I got my daughter an Ipod for Christmas and feel like Itunes is a rip-off.

.99 per song! $9.99 + for the album.

I'm el cheapo - I admit, but still - for the price of a CD - I'll take the actual cd so that I can at least turn around and sell it online and get some money back someday.

Crap. I wanted something easy and cheap. Now I have to buy additional software to use the free services like Limewire.

A. Hamilton
01-08-2007, 06:49 AM
99% of the time, do not get the warranty.

I would only purchase extened warranties offered by, oddly enough, Apple.
I've been anti-warranty for ages. I caved with this one, because we were giving this device to a 15 yr old. I was not there to ask questions when it was purchased. If this had happened 30 days after purchase, SanDisk would not have helped either.
Best Buy did offer to refund the cost of the warranty.

Jadezuki
01-08-2007, 06:49 AM
-

tourdeforce
01-08-2007, 06:49 AM
Now I have to buy additional software to use the free services like Limewire.

But that is copyright infringement. You don't really want to do that, do you?

maestrowork
01-08-2007, 06:54 AM
You really can't go wrong with the iPod. But if you really don't want to go that route, I'd suggest the Creative Lab's Zen. I don't like Microsoft's Zune a bit.

kristie911
01-08-2007, 07:18 AM
I have a 1GB Creative Media Zen Nano Plus and I love it. All I wanted was something to play music on while I work out. Nothing fancy and for $60 it was perfect. I've been very happy with it.

CBeasy
01-08-2007, 07:23 AM
I have a Philips one, I think it's called a RUSH or something, it has a FM tuner and most I've seen don't have that, so I'm pretty happy with it. Most brands are similar as long as it's got features you like and the storage you want. iPODs are really, really cool, have huge storage, and lots of other cool features but they're so freaking expensive! You can spend 40$ and get a decent mp3 player so why shell out 150$+ for and iPOD. If you have extra cash, sure they're really cool, but if you just want to listen to music I'd recommend something like a RCA Lyra.

bluejester12
01-08-2007, 10:00 PM
Can one use pretty much any software for managing songs and downlaod from any store offering songs, regardless of the brand of the player?

dclary
01-08-2007, 10:51 PM
I like Microsoft's new one, and I had a Rio Roxio that was nice. The iPod's battery life (unless you buy a nano or shuffle) is horrid for long-term use (like 6-7 hours).

The iPod is proprietary, but I think there's ways around it that I dont' know.

robeiae
01-08-2007, 11:48 PM
...but I think there's ways around it that I dont' know.Like my prom date's bra.

*sigh*

tjwriter
01-09-2007, 12:09 AM
I have a CREATIVE MuVo Nomad that's a few years old. My dad, with the foresight he has, bought one for his "technology-addicted" daughter a couple of years ago.

It does double functions as a flash drive and an MP3 player, which is why I love it so much. Also it needs nothing extra to interface with Musicmatch Jukebox which is what I use to manage my music. When I buy a new CD, I load it onto the computer and burn a copy to use in the car so that I don't ruin the original. So when I want a new play list, I just create one in Jukebox and whatever little button it is that loads it the Nomad, and I'm ready to go.

I also use it a work, either by itself or as a flash drive in the computer and plug the the headphones in too. That works well when I want to work on files and listen the music I brought with me.

MMcC
01-09-2007, 12:32 AM
I have a ZUNE that I love, but for Yule this year I also got the Franklin MP3 player with the full Merriam Webster Dictionary, calculator, and Thesaurus.

I love it. I load it with maybe 40 songs and take it with me when I work on my laptop.

Opty
03-31-2007, 12:50 PM
Okay, so I've been reading a lot of positive reviews for Creative Zen Vision: M.

Anyone know anything about them?

I'm preparing to purchase an MP3 player (video might be nice, too) that I can use in my car and pretty much everywhere.

So...iPod or Creative Zen Vision:M?

Pagey's_Girl
03-31-2007, 03:33 PM
The price convinced me to avoid iPod and go with Sandisk. I love it, no special software and easy-as-pie to use.

Same here - I have a Sansa and I'm very happy with it. Uploads through Media Player, easy as pie.

And Rhapsody is ten cents a download cheaper than iTunes. That adds up.

benbradley
03-31-2007, 04:45 PM
But that is copyright infringement. You don't really want to do that, do you?

Furthermore, those P2P programs are chock-full of spyware and other malware, and are badly written. I saw a friend's brand-new XP system running like a 386 with Gnutella or whatever it was running. The thing hogged all the computer resources for no good reason.

If you want free music downloads, may I suggest music sites where the musicians are putting their recordings up specifically for free downloads, such as http://soundclick.com

I know, no one wants to hear anything that hasn't been played on the radio...

BottomlessCup
04-01-2007, 05:22 AM
You can get around iTunes, if you really want to. There are lots of freewares that a quick Google search will deliver for you. I use iTunes for most things, but I use YamiPod for some things, too.

Other than its inability to copy a song off an iPod to a computer (which I guess is a copyright thing), I've never had a major problem with iTunes. The interface is fairly simple. Finding track names and album art is automated. Lots of playback options. The music store is gigantic and fun to browse.

The one issue I have had with the Music Store is that help is next to impossible to get from them. If you contact them with a problem, you get a form email, which in my case didn't address my specific problem at all. Apple's own support forums seem to confirm that it's literally impossible to get ahold of an actual person from iTunes Music Store.

I'm on my third iPod and I love it. I don't know much about the other MP3 players.

Opty
04-04-2007, 08:39 AM
I decided on the Creative Zen Vision M.

It's gotten rave reviews, I've read a ton of glowing customer feedback on it, and it just made more sense to me to get it over the iPod.

Should be here tomorrow. If anyone's interested in its features and performance I'll post a little something after I get used to it.

Coincidentally, my car stereo finally died so I ordered a new CD-receiver with an external input (for MP3 players) on the cheap (it was only $80 plus shipping). So, the new Vision M should go great with this, too, and I'll be able to plug it directly into my car stereo.

Yay! No more singing to myself on the way to work!

Medievalist
04-04-2007, 09:03 AM
Other than its inability to copy a song off an iPod to a computer (which I guess is a copyright thing)

Current versions of iTunes will allow you to automatically copy purchased music from your iPod to a computer. You must then authorize that computer to play the music, but you can authorize five computers .

BottomlessCup
04-05-2007, 01:20 AM
Current versions of iTunes will allow you to automatically copy purchased music from your iPod to a computer. You must then authorize that computer to play the music, but you can authorize five computers .

But only iTunes-purchased songs, right? Not songs from CDs?

Last April my computer died, and with it, my iTunes library. Trying to back up my iPod again took freeware.

Medievalist
04-05-2007, 01:44 AM
But only iTunes-purchased songs, right? Not songs from CDs?

Last April my computer died, and with it, my iTunes library. Trying to back up my iPod again took freeware.

I'm a nut about backups, personally, but there are some good freeware apps available; it's also fairly easy to use Terminal under Mac OSX to copy anything on the iPod.

Apple will also provide a one-time restore of purchased songs.

MarkButler
04-05-2007, 01:53 AM
You are correct, iTune-purchased files are DRM-protected (if you can call it that) to allow listening via only 5 authorized machines (and you must ask them for authorization and they can revoke the authorization any time they want to and you lose your ability to listen to your music but don't get your money back). Other files, such as MP3's added to iTunes are fine. You can burn cd's or copy them around to your devices.

Make sure your player plays AAC file formats. Since EMI and iTunes will be releasing their DRM-free files in that format, it will quickly become an even bigger standard.

One last thing.. soon you won't be able to legally do what you want to anyway. The new Coldplay album comes with a new version of the EULA that specifically says it is illegal to make mp3's of the songs..I expect that to proliferate. link: http://boingboing.net/2006/01/01/coldplays_new_cd_has.html

expatbrat
04-05-2007, 05:27 AM
You need to decide what you want your MP3 player for. If use mine for working out and the sweat wrecks them after a year or two. If you are just using it to work out then you will want the smallest thing you can get - lots of cheaper brands are smaller than the ipods. I love my Sony Walkman (it's a MP3 player).

If you want to save your entire CD collection and use the MP3 player everywhere (home stereo, car, office, walking around) then you'll need the bigger players. You need to decide what you want it for.

I wouldn't get ipod because of all the copyright rules. But living in Asia... well we don't take such things so seriously (sorry folks - but I can't remember the last time I bought a non-fake CD, DVD or software (I wouldn't know where to buy them!). I also happily pay bribes, to refuse to do so would make living here impossible.)

Deadbeat 007
04-05-2007, 09:51 AM
I'm in the market as well. What is the average price per song?

expatbrat
04-05-2007, 03:41 PM
If you do non-ipod you can download from your own CD collection (or those CD's you borrow for a few hours from friends).

swvaughn
04-05-2007, 03:58 PM
You really can't go wrong with the iPod. But if you really don't want to go that route, I'd suggest the Creative Lab's Zen. I don't like Microsoft's Zune a bit.

I second this. I have a Zen player. They aren't tiny like the iPod (which is a good thing for me, because I'd lose the damned little expensive pack-of-gum-sized wad of plastic and silicon) and they hold a ton of songs in different formats.

That's what bothers me about the iPod -- you can ONLY get iTunes on it, and they aren't compatible with any other damned program. I'm sure the sound quality is great and all, but the Zen player also has great sound (if you use the earbuds it comes with. If you get one, and lose the earbuds, order another set from CM. Generic earbuds don't really cut it as well and you have to turn the player way up to drown out ambient noises like trains and marching bands).

Yeah, anyway, Zens are great. :D

Medievalist
04-05-2007, 07:16 PM
If you do non-ipod you can download from your own CD collection (or those CD's you borrow for a few hours from friends).

You can do that with any iPod as well; rip CDs and load it, or download mp3 files from other music services besides iTunes, like eMusic or Amazon, or import mp3s or aac or wav files. The iPod will play them just fine.

If you buy songs from the iTunes store, at .99 each, and most albums are 9.99, they are protected files. You can only play them on five computers at at time; you can change which five at your will.

You can burn red book audio/cd-audo cds of any of the music, but only seven (or ten, I forget) copies of any given playlist that contains songs purchased from iTunes.

You can make an unlimited number of backups of iTunes purchased music, and any other muisic.

You can make mp3 cds as well.

The current generation of video iPods also lets you watch slide shows, and downloaded or ripped movies and tv shows.