MP3 player rant

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I just got a Sandisk Sansa Clip+. $50 for an 8GB player that can be upgraded with a microSD card, that plays .ogg and .flac files, supports audiobook formats, has a minimal monochrome screen, a voice recorder, FM tuner, and needs no special program for access. On top of that, it's tiny, maybe 2" x 1.5".

The only unknown is the battery. Sandisk says 15 hours, which seems reasonable.

Pretty spiffy.
 

LunarMist

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I just got a Sandisk Sansa Clip+. $50 for an 8GB player that can be upgraded with a microSD card, that plays .ogg and .flac files, supports audiobook formats, has a minimal monochrome screen, a voice recorder, FM tuner, and needs no special program for access. On top of that, it's tiny, maybe 2" x 1.5".

The only unknown is the battery. Sandisk says 15 hours, which seems reasonable.

Pretty spiffy.
I have several of that type including the exact one. Battery life is about 11-12 hours when new.
 

ddrueding

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I'm looking for an iPod nano competitor. Only requirements are:

1. Direct file-level access over USB (no iTunes or other proprietary app)
2. Small with screen and browsing capabilities.
 

time

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Personally, I think the new iPod Nano screen is way too small for a touch interface. Touchpads are never that small for that very reason; trying to flick to scroll would be really tedious.

If you want capable hardware, how about the Creative Zen Touch 2. It runs Android and has a GPS option. :)
 

LunarMist

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Yuck. I hate touchscreens on those type of devices. You should not have to look at the player to use the basic controls.
 

ddrueding

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Personally, I think the new iPod Nano screen is way too small for a touch interface. Touchpads are never that small for that very reason; trying to flick to scroll would be really tedious.
I would have agreed until yesterday when I actually used one. Would it be easier to use if it were larger? Yup. Is it usable the size it is? Quite. Is it worth making the whole damn thing bigger just to make the interface easier? I don't think so.

If you want capable hardware, how about the Creative Zen Touch 2. It runs Android and has a GPS option. :)
I'll take a look.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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My Clip+'s battery is basically dead after about 15 months. I used it perhaps 90 minutes a day and charged it irregularly. I was using it to carry about 40GB of music.

For now I've moved to just keeping around 30GB of stuff on my phone and playing music from that, but sometimes I miss the small form factor, though I do really like and appreciate the Android version of WinAmp instead of the creaky interface on the Clip.

I stuck the Clip+ in my car, where it can sit and be charged continuously as I use it. I need to figure out a better way to mount it.
 

Handruin

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My girlfriend and I both own one of the new Nanos. She uses hers all the time and I mainly use mine during exercise. I think it works fine for its size and if you have the latest updates for it, they've improved functionality of the physical buttons to make the shuffling easier so that you don't have to use the touch interface. Aside from requiring iTunes, the device is fine for what it offers.
 

ddrueding

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Creative Zen2/GPS. Unboxing impressions:

1. Obvious that this product was opened before (two layers of "tamper proof" stickers, the bottom one broken). This was purchased from Creative via their Amazon store. At least all the accessories were sealed.
2. Getting started guide. It is one of those poster-sized pages folded up into a playing card with all the languages in different rows. Since any individual would only need one row, how did they fold it? By columns, of course, so you need to unfold the whole thing to read any of it. Turns out the instructions require two rows per language, and instead of putting the second part under the first part, the second part is on the other side of the poster. Brilliant.
3. It specifies a first-time charge of 5 hours before use that I am considering obeying.
 

ddrueding

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Is it Android 2.2? Yes. Does it support the App market? No. Does it come with GPS? Yes. Does it have a GPS app installed by default? No.

Now I need to find out how to root the thing. It would be awesome if I could somehow get it to work with ANT+ sensor networks. Music+navigation+cadence+heart rate would be an awesome device for cycling.
 

mubs

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Need help from the experts here.

Daughter has an Apple iPod 5G 2005 Classic (with Video) 60 GB (MA002LL/A*) hdd based player. Its battery is dying and there are some other reliability issues. She wants a newer flash-based Ipod.

Checked out the current 5th Gen 4" Retina, and it seems to have problems; low battery capacity, display dying, poor wi-fi connectivity, early death, etc. The 4th gen likewise seems prone to the display cracking / shattering easily. Her current Ipod has withstood a good amount abuse despite being HDD based!

What do folks recommend? Her music library is inside iTunes now.

Grateful for suggestions. Thanks.
 

mubs

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I will do that in any case, but the wife wants the old one. Kid is fixated on a new one.

Prices here are 50% higher than the US, but my understanding is that there is no warranty here if I have someone bring it from the US.

I'm looking for alternatives to the Ipod, if any. If there isn't, will have to bite the bullet and get her a 5th gen (current) Ipod.

Thanks.
 

Handruin

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I will do that in any case, but the wife wants the old one. Kid is fixated on a new one.

Prices here are 50% higher than the US, but my understanding is that there is no warranty here if I have someone bring it from the US.

I'm looking for alternatives to the Ipod, if any. If there isn't, will have to bite the bullet and get her a 5th gen (current) Ipod.

Thanks.
Would a decommissioned phone with a SIM card removed be an option? I'm not in tune with the MP3 player market anymore and I'm guessing with so many mobile smart phones being available these days it's impractical for people to carry two devices making the mobile phone the replacement mp3 player for many. I use my phone for listening to music quite regularly. I know you didn't mention using a phone but my thought was a lot of last generation phones that people upgrade from are likely in good condition that could be bought for less money might serve as a good mp3 player as well as a decent gaming/browsing device when on Wifi.

The only non-phone mp3 player I use these days is a previous generation iPod nano (6th gen) for when I run. The size and integrated clip served perfect for what I wanted. I don't think that's what you're looking for though.
 

mubs

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Thanks Handruin. She already has a 3 year old (purchased new) touch Samsung phone, but I guess its storage & audio capabilities are not good. Getting her a phone that also has good audio is a possibility; I had never thought of that!

SD, using iTunes is not mandatory! I only mentioned iTunes because we'll need to get the stuff off there one time. Even if that's not possible, she can rip the CDs again. But the move has to be worth it.

So I guess practically nobody is using a dedicated MP3 player anymore? Either iPhones or Android smartphones?
 

ddrueding

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Android smartphone here. Works amazingly well. Does her phone support a microSD card? I'm thinking it must. A 64GB card is cheap enough, and should suit her needs. Rather than ripping the disks again, just use one of the programs that converts to a non-lame format (MP3 is the obvious choice). I used one once years ago; I don't remember the name, but there were many free programs available at the time.
 

mubs

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I checked; apparently her phone sucks on audio (it was a cheapie Samsung the kids were all crazy about some time ago; it's not Android). She doesn't use her phone much, for a teenager, and prefers a dedicated player.

It's either a new phone with good audio or the Ipod at this point, both choices unappealing from several angles.

Thanks anyway, DD.
 

Stereodude

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So I guess practically nobody is using a dedicated MP3 player anymore? Either iPhones or Android smartphones?
I have a 160GB iPod Classic in my car (My only Apple product. I own it in shame.). I use a 8GB Sandisk Sansa Fuze with a 32GB micro SD card outside of the car.
 

mubs

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Thanks for the tips guys - I'll check them out. I'm also planning to check out Cowan.

And we didn't buy the Ipod - it was a gift made to us in 2006. No shame, no worries. And if you use one long enough, it will kill itself, no need for a hammer!
 

Chewy509

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Does anyone know if iRiver is still competitive in the portable player market? I still use my ancient iRiver Clix 2GB, does pretty much everything a modern portable media player does (it even has the capacity to play flash games, in addition to audio, video, fm radio, audio recording and has a text reader application). Damn thing won't break...
 

LunarMist

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Does anyone know if iRiver is still competitive in the portable player market? I still use my ancient iRiver Clix 2GB, does pretty much everything a modern portable media player does (it even has the capacity to play flash games, in addition to audio, video, fm radio, audio recording and has a text reader application). Damn thing won't break...
I have no idea if they are still in the business, but the products are not seen around the retail that I can remember.
 

mubs

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Amz has only one model of the iriver, so I guess they're not doing well.

In my searches, only there seems only one worthy competitor to the Ipod, and that's the Cowon Z2. But over here, it's about 88% the cost of a current gen Ipod. Don;t know if it's worth the hassle of switching platforms.

SD, the Anythingbutipod website seems to not be updated on a regular basis. Sandisk has 3 players with puny flash storage. Looks like the Ipod and smartphones have steamrollered everything else.
 

Mercutio

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One of my students carries a Samsung Galaxy audio player. He quite likes it, but it's physically very close to the HTC Evo I carry around all the time and shockingly expensive for an audio player. I suspect you could get a very similar level of functionality from any three year old Android phone with a MicroSD slot. I keep a second Evo hooked up to my car stereo and really appreciate the fact that it plays any format I throw at it and the fact that I can use it as an information appliance.

I know they're a dead product, but Nitsirk is incredibly fond of her Zune. Personally, I loved my Sandisk Clip+ until the battery crapped out. Which it did.
 

mubs

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Availability of dedicated players here is limited. Not sure an older Android phone will do the job. Not a single phone is available here discounted by the carrier in exchange for a contract. You always buy the phones in stores at full price. So limited options there. Thanks for all the tips.
 

Howell

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I went looking for a cheap as possible Pandora player. External speakers are already in place as well as power. It looks like an 8G iPod touch for $50-$60 is about is cheap as it gets with that functionality.

Someone had posted that Android phones will not let you unlock the screen if they can not activate. Probably only under specific circumstances but I don't know enough to gamble.
 
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