MP3 - Buying advice

  EFC1878 22:30 31 Oct 2005

Help please...

My daughter wants an MP3 and I must admit to not really knowing what I should be looking at when comparing MP3's with a view to purchase. Is storage size the key? Any manufactures to go by or avoid? Any other factors I need to consider?

Any tips and advice would be appreciated

  Tim1964 23:00 31 Oct 2005

Check out click here for reviews of the latest batch of players.

Personally I'd go for one that supports .wma files as well as .mp3 (more tracks per Gb with .wma), therefore avoiding the "mug me" white headphones of the ipods.

Aslo, do you have a budget in mind?

Good luck.

  EFC1878 23:36 31 Oct 2005

Tim 1964 [good year that.....]

The budget limit is the usual i.e. no more than I need to spend. I guess tops is £100 (£50 upwards) but would prefer to sepnd less if possible - in case it is a 'craze' that will pass once the novelty value has worn off.

Don't neceesarily want state of the art but more a very good solid player that will do the 'biz' and not leave my daughter embarassed...

Can you explain the differnec ebetweem wma and mp3 files and how this affects how I transfe rvia pc to the player? Any differneces?

[PS/ At the risk of appearing a complete novice I assueem that the transfer method is via USB from the PC to the player trnasferring in an MP3 (or wma) format and that trasnfer software will come with the player?

  CHAIRLEG 00:04 01 Nov 2005

click here I have just bought 2 PACKARD BELL 256mg mp3 players from here for under £20.No software needed as you can download music using Windows Explorer.There are also MP3 with more storage if required.256 mg holds about 60 songs.mp3 or/and wma.

  Belatucadrus 00:47 01 Nov 2005

click here
more light reading.

  EFC1878 23:22 07 Nov 2005

Very grateful for all your help.

Having looked at the links and read the comments above I feel I have a better idea to gauge the choice of size and functionality.

I think I will aim for a 512mb or 1Gb [not sure if the extra storage is really that necessary.

Not sure whether equalizer mode is really a necessity but I do think that having a radio will be an added bonus.

Again I still feel fazed by the choice available and the different makes/models.

I did see this on E-Buyer and wondered if it was worth a shot? or whether going for a 'value' product is a false economy.

Any advice?

By the way I have seen references to mp3 that have internal memory and others that don't. I s this an issue that I should be bothered about?

  Totally-braindead 23:45 07 Nov 2005

If I remember rightly you already had a thread in Consumerwatch about this which I replied to, you really shouldn't start 2 threads on the same subject. To answer the query about internal memory. Some players have a slot which can use a memory card, the same as digital cameras instead of having internal memory. This of course means that as well as buying the player you have to buy a memory card.

I think most of the flash MP3s have equalisers but one with a radio may be a good idea. A 512mb one should take about 100 songs at 128k which I would hope would be sufficient for her. Yes the MP3 players connect via USB and no a lot of them don't come with any other software but its not too differcult to do. Basically what you do is convert a CD to MP3 or WMA using software then just drag the files over the MP3 player (which will appear as another hard drive in My Computer)and drop them, and thats it. The software to do this can be bought but there are some available on Freeware such as Audiograbber click here If you look at audiograbber as an example it does look complicated but once you've used it more then once its fairly easy and if your daughter is anything like the kids I know she'll have no problem with it at all.

  the old man 23:53 07 Nov 2005

Over the weekend I noticed a Venturer MP3 player on sale at either PCWORLD or Dixons or Currys, not sure which. this has 40gb storage and was on sale for £99.00. I couldn't tell you what they are like but if quantity comes before quality then this is the bargain of the year.

  EFC1878 22:58 08 Nov 2005


Point taken about 2 threads. Was not sure if to use the helpforum but then thought of the consumerforum.

Thanks for the info. I am still looking for the mp3 layer that fits the bill - would help if I had decided what the bill is. I think I am looking for a 512mb. Not sure if a radio is a luxury or requirement - probably the latter. Also some use AAA batteries others don't nt sur eif that makes any or much differnece.

The old-man
4OGB - more like a pc!! She would spend more time 'loading' music than playing it.

  the old man 08:19 19 Nov 2005

You thought i was joking, have a look at this.
click here$cip%3D28956.Sound+and+vision.htm

  Belatucadrus 11:15 19 Nov 2005

I don't think EFC1878 was suggesting it was a joke, simply pointing out the practicalities, the time required to up/down load 40GB of music to a PC then transfer to the player, even at maximum theoretical USB2 data flow rates is going to be considerable. Another thing to consider is ease of navigation, searching out what you want from 40GB worth is going to be fun. You're right at that price it's a bargain, but I think the race to increase the spec on MP3 players has gone beyond the optimum size for day to day usability.
I'm probably wrong though two years from now the multi terabyte player will probably be the smallest available.

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