Please help me pick out an MP3 player

I’m in the market for an MP3 player, but don’t quite know which model would be the best one for me. And so, I turn to you, my fellow Dopers, for advice.

Firstly, I am looking for a model with a hard drive - preferably at least 8GB, but I don’t think I’ll need more than 20-30GB. I definitely won’t need 60.

I don’t think I’ll really need to watch any movies on it. I may store some pictures on it, but I’m not certain about that yet.

Ease of use is important.

Lastly, I have a fair amount of music that is already in WMA format. I know that this may rule out an iPod. For a lot of the music, I no longer have the original CDs and cannot re-rip them.

I had a Creative Zen Xtra 30GB for about a year and a half, but the screen died. I’m willing to consider a Creative model again, but I’m not married to the company and if anyone has any recommendations for a better or different brand, I’m all ears.

So, does anyone have any recommendations?

Zev Steinhardt


Anyone? Bueller??

Zev Steinhardt

Wow, I am surprised you’re not deluged with “iPod’s suck, I had 4 of them that had hard drive crashes”

I am a Mac user, so I wouldn’t buy anything but an iPod. I did have to replace the battery on mine in a little less than two years, but other than that mine has worked great.

You can certainly convert unprotected WMA files with iTunes, which I beleive is what ripped CDs are. Here is a link about converting WMA to MP3.

Join us on the bright side.

I’m a windows user who seconds the iPod love. I’ve had my 20G photo iPod (not video) for just over a year, and I haven’t had any problems, even after dropping it on the sidewalk twice. (knock, knock!)

When I first downloaded iTunes (which I did before I got the iPod), it somehow “found” all the existing music on my computer and asked if I wanted to import it into iTunes. As far as I can tell, it copied the files into the iTunes format, but kept the original files intact. I’m not enough of a techie (or audiophile) to be 100% sure that’s what happened, but it appears to be the case. Everything is there.

Both the iPod and iTunes are tremendously easy and intuitive to use. I didn’t read the operating manual, and figured out how to do pretty much everything just by “feel.” This was my first MP3 player, and I hesitated becasue I was never the person to bring a CD player with me. Now I don’t know how I’d live without it. Also, there’s the greatest thing ever: public radio podcasts.

I was excited that it can also be used as a hard drive, but so far I’ve never used it for that purpose, nor have I put any photos on it. Since I have my entire music collection on it (I gave up my CDs), I don’t think I have room for photos anyway.

Since you’ve had a different model and you’re willing to consider other options, I suspect you’re ready for a change. At this point I wouldn’t even think about getting anything but another iPod. Of course I haven’t faced the dreaded “sad iPod” icon yet.