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Mata
I don't have the money for a MP3 player at the moment, and I need to buy a decent removable storage device before I get one (because my zip drive has once again given up the ghost), but I'm finding that it would be increasingly handy to have one for things like audio book versions of texts I'm studying.

So, what would people recommend?

Currently top of my list is the Creative Zen series, 30 or 40GB:

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CRE-ZEN40

But I quite like the idea of having radio and voice recording functions too:

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?CRE-ZENB

I know that past 10GB is just silly, but I'm probably not going to buy another one for a long time, so I might as well get one that has enough space for clutter to not be a problem.

Bear in mind that I'm not too convinced about the idea of spending extra money just to support a clever marketing campaign and have a pointless lowercase 'i' in front of the name.

Also, I'm probably going to import one from the US, because the dollar prices are about half of their UK equivalents.
CommieBastard
Having used both the iPod and the Creative Zen Touch, I'd recommend the iPod, personally - though admittedly not by a huge margin.
Hobbes
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Mar 17 2005, 03:15 PM)
Having used both the iPod and the Creative Zen Touch, I'd recommend the iPod, personally - though admittedly not by a huge margin.
*


Your reasons?

I only ask because I've put off buying an mp3 player for years, even though I've desperately wanted one. A few years have passed, and now I see the iPod and its rivals. And I want! But it's a lorra' money!

So, why do you favour the iPod?
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Mar 17 2005, 08:04 PM)
Your reasons?

I only ask because I've put off buying an mp3 player for years, even though I've desperately wanted one. A few years have passed, and now I see the iPod and its rivals. And I want! But it's a lorra' money!

So, why do you favour the iPod?
*


Two reasons. Firstly and famously, design. The Zen is quite clunky, whereas the iPod is an exercise in aesthetics. Also, the iPod interface - the touchwheel - is easier to use and more intuitive than the Zen's touchpad + buttons (though my iPod was the older design, now they've incorporated the touchkeys into the wheel itself and I can't say whether or not that's an improvement as I've not used it).

The second reason is the menu system. The iPod's menus are customisable; you can set it up so you can access the "Albums" menu item from the root, which is what I did. The Zen's aren't, so you always have to go through the preset Music Library > Albums > Play. A minor irritation, but it's a couple of extra button presses (made slightly fiddly by the above-mentioned interface).
Mata
Does the iPod have a sleep function? I know it sounds daft, but it's something I'm quite interested in.

There is the point that iPods will generally cost more because of what they are, so is the extra convenience worth the extra expense?
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Mata @ Mar 17 2005, 09:18 PM)
There is the point that iPods will generally cost more because of what they are, so is the extra convenience worth the extra expense?
*


Depends on how highly you value convenience; I'm not sure what the price difference is.

When you turn an iPod back on it's at the same place as you left it, unless it's been off for a long time...
Sir Psycho Sexy
When my ipod get to the end of the play list/album, it idles for a little while then goes to sleep...so yes, it does have a sleep function (because I don't think Sean answered the question properly) also if you press and hold the play/pause button it goes to sleep then too.

The most frustrating thing about my ipod is that when you plug it in to upload new songs, it always starts charging, which is generally detrimental to rechargable batteries if they're not properly worn down before you charge them.
Mr Fuzzy
Depends on the battery chemistry. If it is lithium ion/polymer you actually extend your usable battery life by leaving it charging as much as possible. They cannot be overcharged like the old NiCad or NiMH types, and can be damaged by being allowed to run completely flat.
Mata
He's a wealth of information, isn't he?
Mr Fuzzy
That's not the way people normally describe me. It usually has something to do with mining and faecal matter...
Jonman
QUOTE (Mr Fuzzy @ Mar 18 2005, 01:48 AM)
That's not the way people normally describe me. It usually has something to do with mining and faecal matter...
*


You're a poo-digger?

----------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm in exactly the same tech boat as Mata here. I've been getting by with a crappy 128M Flash stick mp3 player, but that's just given up the ghost, and Creative tech support have yet to fix it up. However, aside from the silly small amount of memory, the interface is soooo 1985, the sound quality is atrocious (and I'm a bit of an audiophile), and you look like a pillock with it on a lanyard around your neck.

As a result of developing a habit of downloading online acquaintances mixes (hour long mp3s), I'm running out of hard disk space, so I too am looking to get an external hard drive. Which of course means I'll need to get a USB2 PCMCIA thingamy, as all my USB's are USB1.0, which will take forever.

And, like Mata, I'm skint too.

In answer to Mata's question about whether you need a > 10Gb mp3 player, I say why not? I thought that my 40Gb hard drive would NEVER get full when I bought my lappy. How wrong I was.

I reckon that if I was to mp3-alise my entire music collection (with a half-decent sound quality), and add that to the mp3s I've got, I'm looking at way in excess of 20Gb. I love the idea of having my entire music collection in my pocket. Who wouldn't?

So I'll be watching for advice too.

QUOTE (Mata)
Also, I'm probably going to import one from the US, because the dollar prices are about half of their UK equivalents.

Just be aware of the electricity flavour issue. If it's a rechargable battery (which it probably will be), I'd guess that the charger probably won't be dual voltage. Which means that you either only ever charge it in your bathroom (if you've got a 110V shaver socket), or you're looking at another 20 quid on a step-down transformer (let me know if you need one and I'll point you in the direction of where I got mine - it's fairly compact, and will provide a good clean power source (it's running my gamecube)).
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Jonman @ Mar 18 2005, 07:07 AM)
QUOTE (Mata)
Also, I'm probably going to import one from the US, because the dollar prices are about half of their UK equivalents.

Just be aware of the electricity flavour issue. If it's a rechargable battery (which it probably will be), I'd guess that the charger probably won't be dual voltage. Which means that you either only ever charge it in your bathroom (if you've got a 110V shaver socket), or you're looking at another 20 quid on a step-down transformer (let me know if you need one and I'll point you in the direction of where I got mine - it's fairly compact, and will provide a good clean power source (it's running my gamecube)).
*



Actually, that's another bonus about the iPod just there, they were very clever with the deisgn of their mains charger and you can plug it into anything from 100-240v AC, what's more is it's quite easy to modify it slightly to plug into UK mains, as with the use of a digital camera, and some time to waste, I will not illustrate.



One iPod charger (US)



With moving parts! ooooh!!



But lookit! It comes apart



Look familiar?



I thought so


et viola!


...or failing that, you could pick one of these up for a tenner, and they're universal (anything to anything)
Mata
Cool, so flavours of electricity aren't a problem then.

Nice photostory Pat!
Sir Psycho Sexy
In fairness I think a lot of things work like that now, I'm pretty sure it's the case with the charger for my camera batteries, but the lead is a _slightly_ different shape...damn you sony...
Greeneyes
QUOTE (Mr Fuzzy @ Mar 18 2005, 12:39 AM)
They cannot be overcharged like the old NiCad or NiMH types, and can be damaged by being allowed to run completely flat.
*


Wooh, explodey death!. Ahem. Things like that aren't really a problem with built in chargers though. It's only when you're charging stuff manually and not using something with some kind of battery voltage warning level that it becomes an issue.

Presenting: All the information you will ever need
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Mr Fuzzy @ Mar 18 2005, 12:39 AM)
Depends on the battery chemistry. If it is lithium ion/polymer you actually extend your usable battery life by leaving it charging as much as possible. They cannot be overcharged like the old NiCad or NiMH types, and can be damaged by being allowed to run completely flat.
*


So you're saying I don't have to run my ipod down every time I want to recharge the battery or be really quick when I want to upload more music onto it?! You'd think they'd have something about that in the manual

*reads manual* unsure.gif
Greeneyes
I think what he was getting at was that Lithium Polymers, should they bd discharged to less than 3 volts (it's actually less than this, but that's the generally accepted level), then they just stop working. I very much doubt that you can actually discharge them that low if you are using the charger it came with, 'cos that would be a major design flaw. The other thing is just to keep the thing on charge when you're not using it (and in an area where charging is available) just to keep the peak voltage up. Otherwise when you fully charge it in a year's time, it won't be as charged as if you fully charged it now. I think. The first bit is right, anyway.
zivane
The adapters for the iPods really are great. I have the universal apple kit for my laptop and iPod and... really, it's just sliding in a new plug as opposed to plugging it into something, and then something else. I've heard good things about plenty of products but I really don't remember which. I think mostly the Zen had good news when I was last in a debate over mp3 players (on LG). But, really, the scroll wheel on the new generation iPod is quite convinient. You can store not only music but entire operating systems (a computer store where I live uses the iPod to update their computers in the stores, hehe) as well as text and image files that you just want to transfer. I think most mp3 players have options similar. Plus, they are cute. And, if you get the apple warranty for 2 years or whatever, and "break" you iPod about a month after a new version comes out, viola, new iPod. (I've done that, but the battery on my first one had actually died).
froggle-rock
Creative's Zen seems to be very popular. Have you made your mind up Mata?
gothictheysay
Ah, I have a Creative Zen, and my few complaints are that

1. It has to be on to transfer music, and this dwindles the battery a bit
2. I don't know how to view music by artist _and_ title, instead of just one.

I think that's about it smile.gif It comes with its own carrying case, too.
Mata
Given that there doesn't seem to be a great deal of a price difference between the zen and the ipod, and that people seem to think the ipod is a little bit better, then I'll probably get one of them. I'm hoping that by the time I can afford to do this then the little bit of financial difference won't bother me!
Greeneyes
Get some normal earphones/headphones though. White earphones == big "mug me" sign. Apparently anyway.
mooooooooooopo
Or just spraypaint them, but then you have to wait for it to dry. Common mistake I'm told.
zivane
Mata... your adapter will look like this...

http://www.boomspeed.com/sparkleziv/IMG_0739.JPG

(only because i can't do pictures yet)
Mata
QUOTE (Greeneyes @ Apr 3 2005, 11:39 AM)
Get some normal earphones/headphones though. White earphones == big "mug me" sign. Apparently anyway.
*

smile.gif Don't worry, I'm not silly enough to wear the white headphones!

Oh, on the subject of batteries, Toshiba has invented a battery that can be recharged to 80% in around one minute. It should be on sale next year. Wow!
Jonman
QUOTE (Mata @ Apr 3 2005, 12:41 AM)
Given that there doesn't seem to be a great deal of a price difference between the zen and the ipod, and that people seem to think the ipod is a little bit better, then I'll probably get one of them. I'm hoping that by the time I can afford to do this then the little bit of financial difference won't bother me!
*


From what I've gleaned on forums frequented by folk who take their music very seriously indeed, avoid an iPod. You're paying muchos for the Apple badge on it, and for your money, you can get more and better with a non-Apple brand.

iRiver is all the rage at the moment, I hear.
Mata
My instinct has always been that the brand name would be half the price, but everyone in this thread has seemed very approving of them.

What do the music geeks suggest is the best for your buck then?
Jonman
QUOTE (Mata @ Apr 6 2005, 02:21 AM)
My instinct has always been that the brand name would be half the price, but everyone in this thread has seemed very approving of them.

What do the music geeks suggest is the best for your buck then?
*


QUOTE (Jonman)
iRiver is all the rage at the moment, I hear.



What i said up there.

^
|
|
|
Mata
Ah, right. I figured that was another branch of Apple's stuff, after all, with a name like that... I'm surprised that Apple haven't taken action, although they've probably tried!

Hmm, the specs on it do look rather nice. Checking around in the US for prices (which is harder than you'd think these days, sites love to automatically bump you over to their UK branch) it looks like once again everything is near half the UK price. The 20GB player is about 200 over here and around US$220 over there. That's a hell of a difference, and I can't imagine it costs an extra 90 to moce things across the Atlantic. I still can't afford one at the moment, but it's nice to know what's around.
zivane
You could always get an American to get it for you and give them the money. That's what we've been doing here at uni to get around some of the dollar vs. pound stuffs...
Mata
I might get it shipped directly to me, but I do also have numerous friends over there, both from these forums and outside, so I'm sure someone would be willing to give me a hand! ... When I get enough money!
patback87
I bought an MP3 player just a couple of weeks ago, I didn't want to spend a whole lot, but wanted to be able to expand it so I bought a RCA Lyra 2010
so I figure I can have a 1.2GB (1152MB) for $171.61. Plus with SD memory changing and getting bigger and better, it also is getting cheaper. Plus I don't use it enough to put 30GB worth of music it on there, I have also heard people complain about the battery life that it goes dead after a year or two and you can't go buy a new one you have buy a whole new unit.
Mata
QUOTE (patback87 @ Apr 7 2005, 09:11 PM)
I have also heard people complain about the battery life that it goes dead after a year or two and you can't go buy a new one you have buy a whole new unit.
*

What make have you heard that about?

I don't think most of the modern models have been out for that long, but not being able to change the battery would be a major problem. All rechargable batteries do have a limited lifespan after all.
Faerieryn
My MP3 player is made by a company called Rio. I bought it simply because I got an extra gig for the price of a mini ipod. It's simple, efficient and really sleek. It fits into the smallest bag/pocket and has a battery that lasts centuries. It also comes with a program that allows you to download audiobooks for free for a li mited time obviously
gothictheysay
QUOTE
so I figure I can have a 1.2GB (1152MB) for $171.61.


My Creative Jukebox with 30GB cost $189.99. ._. Does yours have bells and whistles?
zivane
Yeah, with the iPod, get the apple protection warranty thing. All lithium batteries go to the heaven after awhile and you can't change an iPod battery. So, if you have the protection plan, they give you the new iPod out whenever you battery dies. I originally had a 15gig iPod with the buttons and scroll wheel. My battery died after awhile and I had the warranty... and I got the new 20gig version with scrollwheel and no buttons. ^.^ Nifty upgrade.

That so sounds like a testimony... hehe.
Hobbes
I'm still toying with the idea of an iPod, but I still have a couple of questions. I would appreciate some help from anyone 'in the know'.

I am currently part way through ripping my CDs to .mp3 onto my PC. Can you put these onto the iPod (each 'album' is a folder on the comp) directly, or does iTunes have to rip them itself?

And... do the larger-capacity iPods have a shuffle option (plays all the loaded tracks randomly), and do they have good playlist functions?
Silver Star Angel of Da Towers
QUOTE (Hobbes @ May 7 2005, 01:07 PM)
I'm still toying with the idea of an iPod, but I still have a couple of questions. I would appreciate some help from anyone 'in the know'.

I am currently part way through ripping my CDs to .mp3 onto my PC. Can you put these onto the iPod (each 'album' is a folder on the comp) directly, or does iTunes have to rip them itself?

And... do the larger-capacity iPods have a shuffle option (plays all the loaded tracks randomly), and do they have good playlist functions?
*

I think they do have the shuffle option... my friend has a large capacity one with it. I'm not too sure about the playlist though.
saucy_tara
I have aSamsung Napster It's a 20 GB one :-)
It's really lovely and easy to use, and is a lovely brushed aluminium casing rather than the tacky plasticy Ipod case. The Napster software is easy to use as well.
Moosh
I have a Novatech Npod (yes I know the name is a ripoff of the iPod) which is actually really good. It's 20 gig, does loads of nifty things like playing radio and voice-recording, and it was only 150. Very easy to use, looks lovely, and the best bit is, it's no longer available to buy, and it was only available from the novatech site in the first place. That means it's very unlikely anyone else you know will have one.
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