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Freeform poll: best mp3 player

  1. Nov 18, 2007 #1


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    What mp3 system (hardware/software) do you have?

    What mp3 system (hardware/software) do you recommend?

    My criteria and (possibly unfounded) concerns, in case you want to address them:
    - some systems (such as iTunes) might be propietary, forcing me to "lock in" to the software - and switch only with effort
    - some systems might have smaller selection of music
    - some systems might not easily transfer between multiple players in my house
    - some systems might not have the accessories to plug into my home/car stereo
    - some systems might require more "housekeeping" to manage my music collection
    - some systems might make it harder to rip my existing CDs

    - some systems might include satellite radio options, which would be cool
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2007 #2
    Well I have an Ipod which of course means I use Itunes and I love it. I have used a few other mp3 players and always come back to the Ipod. You cannot beat Itunes for ease of use, it has a huge music selection, you can easily hook it to your home or car stereo ( I use mine in my car all the time), and it is very easy to rip exisiting cds and you can use it to burn cds as well if you want. I won't be switching from the Ipod anytime soon, if mine ever craps out I will go out and buy another one I like it that much.

    I had a Toshiba Gigabeat and I absolutely hated it so definitely stay away from that hunk of junk. The software was horrible and the machine itself was not well thought out at all.
  4. Nov 19, 2007 #3
    ipod is the best I've tried in the 20 gigs and up range... for smaller memory, the smaller ipods are too expensive compared with some cheaper choices.

    but for the bigger mp3 (and now videos, games, pictures, calendar, notes, etc. etc.) players, the ipod is my favorite and is not expensive compared with its competitors. a bonus feature is that it's one of the few players that can handle being dropped so many times by my clumsy self :biggrin:. ... the screen of my ipod color is almost cracking. but it still works! — which is more than I can say for my old mp3 players, R.I.P.

    as far as itunes goes: I'd say it's the best mp3 jukebox but the worst music store on the net.

    - itunes interface is awesomeness. it's really something; there are so many great features that I don't know where to begin.
    - podcasts and video podcasts and itunes U are all great too.

    - tsk tsk tsk... stupid itunes store. ... 128 ENCRYPTED AAC files... which means that not only is the sound quality of your downloads god-awful, but you can't even play those god-awful rips on other computers or burn them onto mp3 CD's (the only way to get around it is to burn them onto an audio CD and then re-rip them into your computer as mp3's). lame.

    so ipod is great for the 20 Gigs and up range. and itunes is great as a jukebox, but it's a good idea to buy your music elsewhere and import it into itunes rather than buy it at the itunes store.
  5. Nov 19, 2007 #4


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    This is the kind of gotcha I'm looking for. It's the kind of thing that's a show-stopper for a wife who doesn't want "managing her music" as a hobby in and of itself.
  6. Nov 19, 2007 #5
    I have an 80GB iPod video. I cannot tell you how much I love this thing. I have filled it with seasons and seasons from TV shows, movies, music videos, podcasts so much that you have to use the search function to find anything. With all of that, it is about a third full.

    I would say that the main problem is iTunes. Not that I do not like iTunes, iTunes is great, however, all of the music and videos on my iPod need to be in the library, and I do not have much space left on my computer.

    I have heard that the new iPod touch has internet and iTunes access on it without the need to use a computer. I feel that to be a HUGE advantage.
  7. Nov 19, 2007 #6


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    I have the new iPod nano with video. I must say that it is friggin' sweet. I too like iTunes. The only thing I have against it is Apple's way of dealing with digital rights management (DRM). If I buy a song, I should be able to take it anywhere and play it anywhere I want. The workaround is what Moe already mentioned. Still, I have issues with this. The other, closely related issue is that they do offer another option to buy songs without DRM, for an increased cost. However, your private info is still embedded in that song file.

    All in all, I am glad I sold my soul to Apple. I really enjoy the iPod.
  8. Nov 19, 2007 #7
    Currently using an ipod shuffle. Prefer it greatly over my Sandisk 1Gig. I like the size and the recharge-ability of the shuffle.
  9. Nov 19, 2007 #8
    sweet, apparently itunes now sells non-encrypted AAC's at 256 kbps.

    so yea... forget what I said.

    mh hm... so you too read the small print on your apple product licenses, eh.



  10. Nov 19, 2007 #9


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    That's the one thing that bugs me about it too. I'd like to be able to upload everything to my iPOD and get it off my computer, then download it back onto my computer later. But, I don't buy much off the iTunes store and instead just copy my CDs into iTunes to load onto my iPod. I prefer owning the CDs so that when I buy music, I know I have it to keep. Then again, my cat has taught me that even that method is not impervious to losing my music when she initiated an avalanche that resulted in the destruction of several CDs. :grumpy: But, that was when she was still a clumsy kitten.
  11. Nov 19, 2007 #10
    But still a great marketing setup for the iPod touch.
  12. Nov 19, 2007 #11


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    Yeah, they were offering them only at 128 kbps for a while, but recently (within the past few weeks only I think) cut back the price for the 128 kbps non-encrypted AACs back to 99 cents (the same as the DRM-encrypted files), and offered the 256 kpbs files at the slightly higher cost.

    The thing that annoys me though with that was they will let you upgrade existing music...basically for the 30 cent cost difference...but you can't just upgrade SOME songs, you have to upgrade everything in one fell swoop. Since most of my downloads were free songs I wouldn't choose to pay for (the Free Music Tuesdays stuff), I don't want to pay to upgrade all those, but there are a handful of songs I chose to buy that I might consider paying a small fee to get the non-encrypted version because I ended up liking them enough to want to copy them onto other computers I use. They're going to have to allow users to select individual songs to upgrade before that's something I'd go for.
  13. Nov 19, 2007 #12
    Yea, the itunes store is far from perfect (I've only bought 5 albums through it, and two of the albums have major glitches in the sound... on one song the last 10 seconds are missing, while another one starts with a minute of static where there should be music).

    Usually I download with bittorrent, listen to the CD, then buy it if I like it or trash it if I don't... I don't know if it's considered illegal to download what I will buy anyway, but I end up buying more music than I would otherwise; most of the music I listen to I wouldn't have even heard of if it wasn't for the internet.
  14. Nov 19, 2007 #13


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    What are non-iTunes files compressed to? Does this upgrade in quality equal their quality now?

    Really? I can't spare any space on my laptop. That's bad.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
  15. Nov 19, 2007 #14
    in itunes you can choose to import files from a CD as either mp3's or AAC's of up to 350 kbps, or as Apple lossless, which is basically CD quality. you can also import any mp3, AIFF, or WAV. lossless will eat through your ipod battery like there's no tomorrow though.

    itunes has the option of not copying new music into your library somewhere. you can also choose an external hard-drive or USB drive to place your library in.
  16. Nov 19, 2007 #15


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    The best is iTunes on a Mac with iPod shuffle hands down for me. I've tried them all.
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