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Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by Brynn, Dec 25, 2003.
Whats the best portable music thingy?
Ipod, new Dell thingy? MD? MP3?
Glen tbh - there's a discussion at the start of this thread.
Basically it seems that, at the moment, your choices are thus:
Hard-disk-based MP3 player
iPod - very expensive (£250-£400), but very good.
Creative Zen NX - rather less expensive (£200-£300), but perhaps a little less swish.
CD-based MP3 player - Pretty good in terms of storage (About 5-10 hours of MP3 per CD, depending on your encoding) and reasonably priced at about £100-£150, but not as fast, compact or flashy as a HDD player.
Solid-state MP3 player - Don't hold enough for anything really - only about 2 hours of MP3 at somewhat shoddy quality. Useful only for novelty value.
Hope that helps - throw any more questions you have this way and we'll try to answer them.
Possibly a tad harsh. Firstly, the quality is only as good as you want - if you demand high bitrate MP3 then yes, you will run out of space, but if ~128kbps is ample for your liking, then these may not be the washout that Fatty suggests. Similarly, if you want longer than 2 hours of music, you're again looking in the wrong place.
However, if both the above conditions actually meet your needs, they make very attractive options. Bear in mind how insanely compact they are: Roughly the same size as a USB memory stick, or the "remote control" on many larger units. That's an attraction not to be sniffed at. Costs are down to around £70 now, £120 for 256MB models maybe. There's a chance that maybe we'll see some 512MB sizes spread a little this year if flash memory drops in price.
Personally, I'd like to see compact players with flash card support - I know that adds the (optional) irritation of disk swapping, but it retains the compactness, and could add support for tech such as the IBM microdrive which (I think) is up to storing 3 gigabytes now - that would arguably be able for most journeys. *Pokes manufactuers*
Just my two penny's worth Basically, I agree with fatbusinessman that at the top end of the market, Apple's iPod and Creative's Zen players (even the 'older' Zen players which existed prior to the NX enhancements) are probably amongst the best to buy.
However, as Shovel highlighted, solid-state players occupying the lower-end of the market shouldn't be written off completely. Creative Labs' MuVo player is a prime example of this - it was incredibly small, had excellent sound quality, was widely (but not universally) supported without the need for drivers - the only thing it lacked was large storage capacity and an LCD display. But that said, Amazon for a long time sold the 64Mb model, with a free arm-band holder (useful for when jogging) for only £64.99, which isn't bad at all. Now Creative have updated their product lines with new MuVos (complete with LCD and extra capacity) as well as several other updated products.
So, as for what to buy, I suppose it really depends on your needs. If you're a dedicated audiophile with masses of music, then the iPod and Zen are probably your best bet, although such capacity (and style) comes at a cost. If you're just after playing an album or two every now and then, then perhaps some of the solid-state players may better suite your needs. In either case, be sure to check:
What file formats the player supports (MP3 is pretty much universal, but WMA (Microsoft's standard) would be helpful. Some other formats, such as OGG and Apple's AAC tend to be rarer).
What capacity and battery life the player has (capacity is obviously a personal preference, but if the batteries last only a short time between charges, then the player may not suitable for your needs).
Whether the player can be updated (some companies allow their players to be updated so as to add new features in the future, and whilst this isn't crucial, nor is there any guarantee updates will be issued, it is sometimes nice to have).
Anyway, forgive me for rambling on. You may be interested in this BarrysWorld/GAME.net MP3 Player thread. If you need any further help, or want assistance checking prices, just shout
I have a Creative Zen NX (30Gb) which i'm very pleased with ( I prefer its looks to the ipod ) and cost me £200 as opposed to £300 for the 15gb ipod.
Only thing about it tho is no recording and no cradle, altho i'm making a cradle for it out of some aluminium and some foam (more on that when ive done it )