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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old March 11th, 2005, 04:54 PM   #1
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Help me choose a hard drive-based MP3 player

I'm thinking about getting a 20 - 40 GB hard drive-based mp3 player. The iPod obviously seems to be the general favorite, but Creative seems to have some that are less expensive (and, I think, they play a wider variety of file formats?).

Most of my CD collection is in mp3 format, but I do occassionally buy songs off of iTunes (which are easily enough turned into mp3s). I'm most interested in drive size, shuffle options, sound quality (to a certain extent), and good value for the money. I will typically use it in my car, plugged into the cassette deck via a tape adaptor.

So, does anyone have any recommendations for me? I know a 20 GB iPod is about $300, so let's call my price range in the $250 - $350 area. I'm most interested in getting the most GB as possible for the price...
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Old March 12th, 2005, 02:26 AM   #2
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Like you said, iPod

Ipod is certainly not more expensive than any others, in fact I've seen 20 GB mp3s from Sony going for more. So you'll get GB for your buck there. But as far as everything else, iPod leaves them in the dust. The sound quality is superb, I prefer it in my headphones to a cd player, and the amount of accessories specifically made for it make it wonderful. I have a tuner so I can play my iPod on any radio. Also, you mentioned shuffle capabilities. It will shuffle randomly every time and you can even create your own playlists in the ipod so that's great too. I'm not plugging it so much as just that I own one, have used others, and I think it is head and shoulders above what I've seen. You wouldn't be disappointed. Just my two cents.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 07:42 AM   #3
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Diamond Rio. The people who invented mp3 players. Still the best.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #4
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Thanks, guys. In particular, I am considering the Creative Nomad Zen Xtra: listing at Best Buy

This 40GB model has twice the disk space and is $40 *less* than the $300 model iPod. Reviews at epinions, circuitcity, etc. seem to slanted towards the positive, with some concerns about design and transfer problems popping up. Anyone here using one?
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Old March 13th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #5
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Go IRiver dude. Most features, and you can use it to record audio for your videos!
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Old March 21st, 2005, 06:46 PM   #6
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I have a generation 4, 20 gig iPod and I absolutely love it. The ONLY thing I don't like about it is that it scratches up easily. But it's awesome. You can't record with it, but oh well.

It works as an external HD, so you can even store some video on it if you want. If you get the 40 or 60 gig, you can definately use it to store some of your video stuff.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:53 PM   #7
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The iRiver stuff is excellent, some of their models look a bit lame, but the new H10 is sweet. There is a nice multimedia portable coming out too. I find them especially useful given many of the models support quality line-inputs for recording. I record production notes to mine when I don't have time to fumble with pen and paper. Some also download pictures directly from your digital camera, eliminating the need for a PC piggy back.
iRiver is currently the most innovative.

I've never been a fan of Rio, they may have come out with the first mp3 players but have been consistantly behind the pack ever since.

iPod seems to be behind too, they are only now releasing a colour model with picture support.

For total multimedia experience, the Archos stuff is awesome, but the new Sony PSP is set to rival these players with the much lower price tag. The lack of high storage is an issue, but the UDM movie format is picking up steam, and the PSP uses memory sticks... and it plays games, something other multimedia portables don't do. The release of the PSP should help drive down the prices of other portable devices.
Andrew | Canon XL1s, ME66, Vinten Vision 3, GlideCam V16 (for sale!)
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 11:09 AM   #8
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I would go iPod myself, but then again, I don't even have one. I'm waiting for the 100Gig model or the ability to remove the music from my computer. As it stands now, you can only move music "ONE WAY" which means from the computer to the iPod which sucks. I want to get the music OFF my computer BUT still be able to put some of it back if I want to create a play list for iTunes. Until they get one of those solutions I'll just wait it out.

And for a little technical background...

"The Diamond Rio's false status as the first MP3 player is practically cemented in technology lore, so before it's too late, I want to set the record straight. The world's first mass-produced hardware MP3 player was Saehan's MPMan, sold in Asia starting in the late spring of 1998. It was released in the United States as the Eiger Labs MPMan F10/F20 (two variants of the same device) in the summer of 1998, a few months before the Rio."

...quoted from an article on CNET.
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