Need some advice on what to ask for...

Need some advice on what to ask for...

Postby Gloria on Sat Nov 23, 2002 7:17 am

I'm asking for an mp3 player for Christmas. However, I haven't the foggiest idea what kind/brand/etc. I should ask for. I want something that's high capacity, but not any fancy extra stuff. Should I go with one that has a storage memory, or should I go with one of those CD/CD-R mp3 ones? Do I understand that, on the latter kind, you can just pop a disc in like you would on a computer and just listen to all the files clear through?

So... yeah. I just need an idea of what I should ask for.

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Postby Anillennium on Sat Nov 23, 2002 11:06 am

i would say those new sony walkman brand ones. they dont skip as much, or use as much battery...but thats my opinion. and i dont own one :-/ all i know is that anything is better than the one i have.
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 10915 on Sat Nov 23, 2002 11:03 pm

I'm having the same dilemma.

Originally, the MP3 players seemed like the way to go but the ones I've seen in department stores around here seem expensive for the amount of play time. A PDA might be a better choice for the money, at least you can do more with it.

The disk players are what I'm leaning towards. I would like one that plays CD-R/RW's and MP3's, has a car kit and since allot of my driving is at night a remote would be handy.

Unfortunately, none that I've seen so far have all the features in one package.
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Postby Rowan Bristol on Sun Nov 24, 2002 2:15 am

In the past 2 years, I've bought 3 such players, 2 from Rio and one from Apple.

The first is a basic Rio 600 with a backpack, giving it a total of 64 megs of memory. It gave me a CD's worth of songs, that I could pull from Itunes. It was a good travel setup, had an 11 hour battery life, but could be very twitchy. Songs would disappear, or certain songs wouldn't be allowed in. Also, the Rio had power problems. I had to RMA it twice, but the response time was fantastic.

I did like the portability. However I'm twitchy about having variety in my songs. Even if it's 15 songs, hearing them over and over was a pain, and it was time consuming to clear and re-import new stuff.

The second was the Rio Volt. This is my spouse's toy. It can handle any thing. Burn a cd with nothing but MP3's or WMA's, and it's fine. If you like making mixes, this is a great setup. Just burn and go. It does have a good buffer for movement, and is upgradeable for new media formats. There are about 5 or 6 Rio Volts, with different bells and whistles. I like the one with the coca-cola logo.

Finally, last week I got 2 5meg ipods. One for Windows (spouse) and one for Mac. They're fantastic. Not only do they store an ungodly amount of music, but it's easy to manage. You can create playlists, organize everything, and it's small. Ours are even engraved!

Rio 600 (a 64 meg player): Roughly $150
Rio Volt S50 (barebones version): $70 (the common version, the SP90 is $90)
5 gig Ipod: $318 (Includes -$50 student discount +$20 engraving fee)

The best value is by far the Rio Volt. If you have a burner, make use of it, and go to town. Since it also plays ordinary CDs, and on more advanced models also has equalizers, it's a very good all-in-one toy.

I like having ready access to all my music, and the ability to put my entire Lord of the Rings BBC radio drama all on the same portable player. Besides, I want to free up the 3.9 gigs my music collection entails from my poor computer.

That's my 2 cents.
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Postby Rowan Llwellyn on Sun Nov 24, 2002 3:01 am

I guess I'll toss in my own $.02 worth here.

The first player I had was an Archos 20. 20 gig hard drive that held/played mp3's and could act as a portable data storage device as well. It had 6 hours of battery life using rechargeable batteries. And pretty basic beyond that.

My current one is a Nomad 3. Also 20 gig and also able to act as a portable storage device. It uses a lithium-ion battery that has a 10 hour lifespan between charges and the device has a second port; so that you can add a second battery and extend that charge life to 20 hours. It will connect to a PC through either a USB or a FireWire cable.

As for features, it's very loaded. Either on the device itself or through the companion software that comes with it, you can create playlists and several other tricks. Being from Creative, it is fully compatible with their EAX SoundBlaster effects. It has a standard stereo headphone jack as well as two line-out jacks; so it can be used with both a two and a four speaker system. It also has a line in jack, so it can be used to connect another device to your computer through it and, while connected to the computer, you can create your mp3's and store them directly onto the Nomad.

The only drawback that I've seen is that it is (at least as of last Labor Day) not Mac compatible. It has played well for me through a cassette adapter that had come with an old portable CD player and I nearly always take it with me whenever I'm driving. The only skipping or other such noise I've heard has come solely from some poor mp3 copies I'd made.

Pricewise, the Nomad 3 (and the Archos unless the price has dropped since I had purchaed it) would set you back about $350 or so.

It all really comes down to just what you want to do with it and how much money you wish to spend; or be spent on you if this is what you're looking for as a present.

I've seen cd/mp3 players offered for sale; the units will play musical CD's or mp3's off of a CD-R. The packaging makes them sound like they are as stable as most of the other portable CD players out there, and most of those usually have a memory feature that counteracts shocks that would make older portables skip. You gain the ability to store about 700 or so megs of data per disc but you have the same drawbacks of any CD player (scratches on the read surface causing read errors. "where the heck did I put that cd...") However, most of the ones I've seen have been selling in the $100 range; so they are more affordable.

Okay, I think that's enough of diddle tech-talk for now. :)
Rowan Llwellyn

Who, deep in her heart, really is a good squirrel.
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 10925 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 10:13 am

Well, for our trip, we bought a Samsung CD/R /MP3 player, a CD gets you about 10h of music, it lasts several hours on rechargeable batteries. Quite convenient... it was about 160$Cdn, which comes to about 100$USD.

Remember that USB only transfers at about 0.5-1MB per second while a disc you just snap in.

On the flip side you need to have access to a CD writer to burn the MP3 CD's.
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 12931 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 6:46 am

My Dad owns a Sony, and it works really well, but we don't use it whole lot because it turns out to be too much music. I suppose the fact it lasts for a school day is more a plus for you though. I dunno, I just figure that cds are here to stay for a while, nobody has been putting out new MP3 music, it's just a recording device.
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 10915 on Tue Nov 26, 2002 3:33 pm

but we don't use it whole lot because it turns out to be too much music

Is there such a thing? :wink:
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