A good MP3 player-recomendations?

I’m in the market for a decent mp3 player-my disc man is a pain in the ass, and I’m really tired of carrying it around-especially since I broke it. :frowning: :wink:

Any ideas?

Love my sandisk sansa m230 :slight_smile: RCAs are also generally okay.

There’s that new up-and-comer. Not sure if it’s really going to take off or not yet, but it’s pretty small and I’ve seen a lot of them around. i-something… :smiley:

I hear Apple is making an MP3 player now. It’s got a wheel and a screen.

I don’t think it will catch on though. It’s APPLE for gods sake.

Yeah, I mean Microsoft’s got one with a camera and a phone and everything! How can Apple keep up?

At the risk of sounding a bit doddering, I wouldn’t mind some suggestions as well.

I’ve ripped CDs onto my hard drive at work and at home, and will listen to them while I work, so I’ve certainly built up some MP3 files over the years. However, other than an Archos that I bought years ago that was really too heavy to be reasonably portable (I mostly used it as a portable hard drive for transferring work files back and forth), I haven’t bought an MP3 player. My deepest desire was to have a device that could hold all my music, and with the 160GB devices, it looks like my wishes may have finally come true, and I think that it’s finally time.

So, I’d like a bit of advice here. The first thought is for an IPod, of course. If that is the best, than that’s fine. But a few questions remain. The 8GB Nano is $199. The 80GB IPod Classic is $249, the 160GB is $349. From what I can see, I can buy 72GB extra storage (8GB to 80GB) for $50, but then spend $100 for the next 80GB. Why is the Nano so (comparatively) pricey? Is it just for the compact size? The Touch looks cool, but again I would seem to be paying the premium for a new technology.

If not Apple/IPod, then what companies have a good player with a lot of storage?

With respect to file conversion: I have no problem going back and re-ripping my CDs, and if I get 160GB of storage, I’d probably try to do it at the highest bit rate that would be reasonable, given typical playback equipment. What rate makes sense? And what is the best software for ripping the CDs? My brother swears by Media Monkey; I know that I like the way it organizes the music. Is that a good suggestion?

Thanks,
plynck

Plynck because of your reasoned analysis, I now know what player to get my fiancee for her Birthday. Thank you.

Ah, grasshopper. One must know the answer in order to ask the questions. :wink:

Actually, I’m not that Zen. I really don’t know, just trying to ask a reasonable question.

But I do welcome this opportunity to add one more question. A review of the IPod said that one must use ITunes to transfer files. I can only assume that this refers to software on the IPod, and not that I must buy all my music from their on-line service. Is that correct? It isn’t possible to just drag and drop?

I have the Sansa m250 and am also happy as a clam with it. Mind you, the only thing I do with it is load it up with tunes and play them on shuffle. I don’t even bother with separate playlists, much less the video features, etc.

I have a related question:

When I bought my Ipod it was really the only game in town if you wanted a relatively painless audiobook interface. I could take a bunch of audiobook files, encode them as such, and the Ipod would recognize them as such, not playing them when I set it to shuffle, bookmarking it, etc. Even the Ipod interface was pretty clunky and trouble-prone, not to mention, the rest of the player was rather mediocre compared th past players I’ve had for music, and expensive.

Are there any other modern MP3 players out there that have a better, or just HAVE one, period, interface for audiobooks? I have asked at the store, all I get from the sales drones are blank looks.

iTunes is (IMO) the easiest way to manage your music, but there are third-party applications that will let you transfer your music as well. Whichever piece of software you choose, it is most definitely possible to drag and drop any non-DRM music on your hard drive (e.g. CDs you have ripped to .mp3s).

It depends upon a couple of factors. If you’ve got DRM-free music (you’ve ripped it from your CDs, bought it from Amazon’s DRM-free store, or other DRM-free music provider), then you can play it on your iPod. You don’t have to use iTunes to do this, but it’s a heckuvalot easier if you use iTunes to do it.

If, however, you’ve got DRM-encoded music that you’ve bought from some other online music source, then you will not be able to play it on your iPod. If you’re outside the US, then it’s legal for you to strip the DRM off of it as the DMCA doesn’t apply to you (of course, there might be similar local laws, so I suggest you consult with the appropriate legal authorities).

You’ll also run into trouble if your music has been ripped in a format that the iPod won’t recognize like .flac, .ogg, .ape, and a bunch of others that I’ve no idea how you can convert them into something the iPod (or 99% of the other MP3 players on the planet) will recognize.

Throatwarbler Mangrove, check audible.com as they probably have a “recommended player” section on their site for their audiobooks.

Can anyone give me a list of players that have bookmark functions? As mentioned in my Pit thread, which I’m too pissed off to link to, mine just died, and I need to buy soon, probably. I’d be fine with the iPod, but I really need a bookmark ability for a lot of the stuff I listen to.

Thanks for allowing my hijack.

I’ve had my Creative Zen Touch for almost 3 years now and it has performed WONDERFULLY! They don’t produce them anymore but Creative Labs has several other products that seem to work well.

The software used to transfer and update music is EASY. It’s essentially windows folder system on steroids. Looks the same, lot more options. You can even use the drag and drop music folder on the mp3 player if you want to skip the software.

Will be purchasing my next one from them.

Just as another correction, iTunes is software on your computer that can be used for playing music and video, among other things. It’s not specifically related to the iPod or Apple store.

Also, nice to know the price of the Nano has dropped with the new gen. Last time I checked, the larger Nano was the same price as the smaller Classic, and didn’t play video either. Since I don’t really see the appeal of having an mp3 player small enough to lose in your buttcrack, I was wondering why anyone would even bother with less storage and functionality when the price is the same.

And as a rather unrelated point, dBpower AMP music converter might be useful if you have mp3s in some odd format. It doesn’t handle a lot of formats, but it does seem to handle ogg and flac files (can’t really check though as I don’t have any, or the related codecs). For ripping, I’ve always stuck with Windows Media Player, once I remember to change the settings to .mp3 and not .wma. I’m too lazy to see if there’s anything better. 192bps seems to be typical for music, and comes out to roughly 1 meg per minute of audio. You can always go higher if you want though, or if you’re a real audiophile rip to .wav, which is more like 10 megs per minute, but lossless.

Another Zen fan here.

Zen players are also compatible with subscription music services that do not work with an iPod

My Creative Zen Micro has bookmarking ability (I just tried it and it seemed easy enough to use, but I don’t really use bookmarks often). The Micro is an older player, but I’d guess that the new Creative players still have bookmarks.

I’d be willing to bet that since the new model iPods have come out, there’s a whole lot of lightly used previous generation versions on eBay. Oh, and Apple does have a lossless version of it’s codec that you can rip your CDs to.

There are subscription music services that don’t work with the iPod? Why would they do that? Love iPods or hate 'em, that’s one huge market segment to just blow off.

Apple more or less decided not to support any subscription music services but itunes music store, or to let any players but their own work with itunes.

Microsoft responded by developing and supporting a competing standard to Apple’s fairplay.

A number of hardware manufacturers, locked out of Fairplay because it’s exclusive to ipod, have signed up with the microsoft alternative instead.

(That’s how I understand it.)