MP3 Player Selection Advice

  SURVEY 18:11 27 Aug 2005

I have made a couple of postings recently regarding MP3 players but remain undecided which model to purchase. I earnestly need the input and advice form forum members.

I would like to accommodate say 20-30 CD’s at compression to retain good quality. I therefore reckon that I need a 5GB minimum and it looks as if it needs to be a hard disk. I need a player that will accept some jolting but nothing excessive. A bit of extra space perhaps for carrying some extra files would be useful from time to time and perhaps some photos. Thus for this and expansion, perhaps I am looking at 20GB as the difference in price 5GB to 20GB is not that much! It would be nice to have usb on the fly file transferring (not requiring special software to upload and download).

Some of my music is already on my computer in Windows Media Player (9). I have looked at the Ipod 20GB but note this will not play wma files. Is this important? Will I lose any quality by converting the wma music to mp3? The Ipod plays aac files and I believe that itunes tries (or does) convert everything to aac; does this lose quality and can the files be converted back to wma or mp3 from this at a later date if I change the player? Will the Ipod allow a simple transfer of mp3 files via Explorer or Media Player and still allow tagging and playlists based on this? Some have stated that there is a memory problem with the Ipod battery – is this so with the latest Ipods. Surely all use lithium now?

I have looked at the iRiver H320 but that is now discontinued but a 40MB (H430) is now available. Pricey but spec appears to be OK. Are there problems with this player? I have read that iRiver are poor at responding to emailed queries when things go wrong.

Creative Zen – lots of problems reported with sensitive controls and it cannot be read by Explorer as a hard drive without Creative software.

Sony NW-HD5 20GB – like the ipod won’t play wma files. Also Sonic software supplied is not well liked. But 30hour battery life!

Cost is not an issue.

Any advice, recommendations please.

  DieSse 18:29 27 Aug 2005

My grandaughter just got an Archos (reason - they do a pink one!) - but it works very nicely. No special software in the PC - just copy tunes/albums into the "music" folder in the device - i sorts them all out itself. Does mp3 and WMA - sounds fine. Nice easy to use display/controls. Impressed me with how simple it was.

  bremner 20:24 27 Aug 2005

The iPod needs iTunes to transfer and manage music tracks but IMHO it is in any event better than WMP.

We have three iPods and none suffer from battery memory problems. The newest models also offer much greater battery life - although to change batteries is not for the faint hearted.

  Munkeysbum 20:30 27 Aug 2005

I own the Sony NW-HD5 20GB (Red) and feel it is the best player for me. I only have to charge the built in battery once a week and it takes about 3 hours and then I get 35 to 40 hours play time. So far there is about 2,000 tunes in it and it is not even half full. Sound quality is excellent, coupled with a pair of Sony in ear headphones for about £30 I feel that I have a very good music player, but, after all I am also Sony mad as well. Why not convert your music to Mp3 format, I can't tell the difference between the 2 formats. Navigation is very simple and besides the difficulty controlling SonicStage, which I can't, I have no other problems. A bit costly as well, but you have to pay well for cutting edge technology.

Hope this is of help to you.


  Magik ®© 21:15 27 Aug 2005

iRiver everytime, mine is the 40gb model, holding nearly 14000 tracks, not sure where you get the bit about support, in anycase they have their own forum..plays all types of files,

  [email protected] 22:19 27 Aug 2005

allows you to use it on computers without the drivers installed on it.

" Creative Zen Micro PlaysForSure Firmware for subscription music services 2.11.02

This firmware update adds PlaysForSure® functionality and Microsoft® Windows Media® Digital Rights Management (DRM) 10 capabilities to your Zen Micro. As a PlaysForSure-enabled device, your Zen Micro will be recognized on Windows® XP systems, without needing to install drivers or software and will work with subscription-based online music services."

I own one and find the controls fine once you are used to them. You just have to get into the habit of ALWAYS locking the keys when not using them.


  bfoc 23:08 27 Aug 2005

The 'new' iPod 20Gb and so far am really happy with it.

iTunes is excellent for 'ripping CD's and makes updating the iPod really simple.

It is so easy to control and sounds great - the only problem I have is keeping other family members off it!

I also like the fact that, via the camera connector, I can transfer photos from my digital camera.

I have an Archos Gmini which works OK but the software and controls are just nowehere near as 'natural' to use.

  squashman 01:30 28 Aug 2005

My wife and I have both just got new ipod 20gb, and agree with bfoc, itunes much easier than expected, altogether excellent

  SURVEY 08:47 28 Aug 2005

Thanks for your posting. Are you talking aout the Gmini or the XS range?

  SURVEY 08:49 28 Aug 2005

Thanks for your posting. If yuo can't control the Sony SonicStage software, what do you do? Do you need to use the Sonicstage to transfer MP3 files to the player?

  SURVEY 08:53 28 Aug 2005

Thanks for your posting. If you can't control the Sonicstage software, what do you do? Do you need to use this software to transfer MP3 files to the player?

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