Looking for a good MP3 player

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Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:47 pm

So I'm thinking about getting a MP3 player. The defacto thing to buy nowadays seems to be an iPod, but I know some TR gerbils have other opinions. I have my own issues with the iPods as well. I owned a 30gb model I think it was a few years ago, and lost it in an unfortunate road trip expedition. Ever since then, I've been without portable music which drives me crazy.

I care most about battery life. I was very disappointed with the iPod battery life, I was honestly expecting it to last longer. Completely disabling the LCD screen helped a lot, but I wish I got more time out of it. Part of my problem with poor battery life also was due to what I perceived to be a poor method of turning off one's iPod. Is a power button so freaking hard to ask for? Holding down the center butting and enabling hold never seemed to work as planned for me. I was very frustrated, especially having drained my battery without realizing it.

I also abhorred iTunes. That thing was a POS.

I was additionally miffed by the fact that I couldn't put DVD's I owned onto my iPod, but rather had to purchase them (which I never did). The only DVD's I desire to put on a music player are concert DVD's with renditions of songs that you can't find on audio CD's. Being a huge Pink Floyd/David Gilmour fanatic, I would have loved to been able to listen to the Pompeii version of Echoes on my ipod, but I never could.

Is the iPod my best choice this time around? What are thoughts on the Zune? If there is a better alternative than the iPod I'd be glad to hear it.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:52 pm

Just sayin', but the battery has almost definitely gotten better
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:18 pm

I guess it really depends on what you expect out of an MP3 player. For me being a podcast nut iTunes is hands down the best. I have the iPod Touch FWIW and think its the best MP3 player money can buy. You get iTunes huge azz library of music, podcasts for almost anything you can think of, movies, apps and games if you want them. Tell us exactly what you would want the player to do and I think you will get a much better answer.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:29 pm

what exactly do you plan to do with it?
you have a gym membership or you going to ride the bus?
what you need is an iphone. :oops:
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:33 pm

If you don't like iTunes and want excellent battery life, screen, sound quality, file support... check out the Cowon S9. It lacks apps tho.

Walk into an Apple store and play around with an iPod Touch. See how you like it.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:43 pm

potatochobit wrote:what exactly do you plan to do with it?
you have a gym membership or you going to ride the bus?
what you need is an iphone. :oops:


He's disapointed in battery life and you suggest an iphone... :roll:
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:43 pm

BoBzeBuilder wrote:If you don't like iTunes and want excellent battery life, screen, sound quality, file support... check out the Cowon S9. It lacks apps tho.

Walk into an Apple store and play around with an iPod Touch. See how you like it.


Much as I hate iPods, the Touch (especially the latest one with the Cortex A8 processor) is an awesome gaming device in addition to being a good mp3/media player.

Otherwise, if you only want to play music and nothing else, the S9 also gets a thumbs up. Oh, and Cowons have much wider format support for audio and video than iPods if that's an issue.

I wonder if anyone here has the Zune HD and would like to comment?
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:51 pm

thecoldanddarkone wrote:He's disapointed in battery life and you suggest an iphone... :roll:

Yeah, I thought we were talking about MP3 players and not religious worship devices.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:57 pm

Hance wrote:I guess it really depends on what you expect out of an MP3 player. For me being a podcast nut iTunes is hands down the best. I have the iPod Touch FWIW and think its the best MP3 player money can buy. You get iTunes huge azz library of music, podcasts for almost anything you can think of, movies, apps and games if you want them. Tell us exactly what you would want the player to do and I think you will get a much better answer.


Literally all I want it to do is play music. When I had my iPod (hell, even my CD players before my iPod), I listened to it nonstop. Listening to it walking down to class. In between classes, with the 5 minutes I have, it'd be on. When I go for walks, music accompanied me. Music for me is such a crucial component in my life. I always have a song or a tune in my head. I can't even begin describe how much I've been craving a portable music device since I lost my iPod. I used my old cd player for awhile afterward, but it broke.

It is extremely therapeutic for me, and it really helps me focus and think. I probably rely on music too much, but it is a huge blessing for my mental state. There is nothing better than walking around, listening to music, and getting lost in your thoughts, whether they be academic/intellectual or emotional/personal thoughts.

Podcasts might be nice to listen to, but I'd probably listen to them infrequently. I suppose having some sort of radio functionality would be nice as well, but not necessary. Games/apps are really unnecessary, I don't want a portable gaming device. And again, the only DVD's/movies I would consider putting on would be concert DVD's so I could listen to live renditions of songs.

The Cowon S9... I've never heard of it but I'll give it a look. I also don't want the damn thing breaking on me, that is a huge worry of mine.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:13 am

I love my Sansa Clip. It's inexpensive, small, has decent sound quality and reasonably good battery life, and will even play OGG format files (smaller file size than MP3 for equivalent fidelity). It also has an FM radio and audio memo-taking capability, though I never use those two features so I can't really comment on how well they work.

For putting concert DVD soundtracks on it, you'd have to rip the audio track to MP3 or OGG (which shouldn't be particularly difficult).
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:23 am

+1 on the cowon s9. it is extremely good at what it's made for- playing music and videos.

and now i'm even happier since i bought it, as cowon added support for m3u playlists. yay!

still, i recommend you download Claw's User Settings mod- http://iaudiophile.net/forums/showpost. ... tcount=559
adds some extra functionality to the player. lots of user-made skins and stuff, too.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:34 am

Everyone seems to be recommending combo music/video players. But OP says "literally all I want it to do is play music". If that's really true, then there's no need for video playback capability, and he can save quite a bit of money.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:48 am

while that's true, there's very few music players that only play music... at least, ones that have more than 2GB capacity or whatnot. i personally needed a 32GB player (64GB would have been preferable) and at those capacities, there are ZERO music-only players anyways.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:19 am

willyolio wrote:while that's true, there's very few music players that only play music... at least, ones that have more than 2GB capacity or whatnot. i personally needed a 32GB player (64GB would have been preferable) and at those capacities, there are ZERO music-only players anyways.

Clip is available in an 8 GB version. Unless you really feel you need to carry your entire music collection around with you at all times, that's quite a bit (over 100 hours at ~140 kbit/sec, which gives pretty decent sound quality in OGG format).

I have the 4 GB version; I just swap out some of the music every few days (I maintain a copy of my entire music library in OGG format on both my home and work PCs, so I can load new stuff into it either before I leave for work in the morning, or before I head home at the end of the day). Seems flexible enough to me...
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:43 am

just brew it! wrote:
willyolio wrote:while that's true, there's very few music players that only play music... at least, ones that have more than 2GB capacity or whatnot. i personally needed a 32GB player (64GB would have been preferable) and at those capacities, there are ZERO music-only players anyways.

Clip is available in an 8 GB version. Unless you really feel you need to carry your entire music collection around with you at all times, that's quite a bit (over 100 hours at ~140 kbit/sec, which gives pretty decent sound quality in OGG format).

i do. actually, i only carry about half of it, but i still feel like i'm "missing something." mostly because i carry many albums and soundtracks, which i may listen to as a whole, as well as many (hand-made) playlists which select a little out of each. it's just how i listen to music. since the OP originally had a 30GB player, i presume he knows how to make use of that space.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:54 am

I really have to second the suggestion for a Sansa Clip, they are fantastic audio players. Inexpensive, light, great audio quality. As a basic MP3/OGG/FLAC player that can use FM radio you can't go wrong and was voted MP3 player of the year on http://www.anythingbutipod.com/. Buy a good pair of earphones and they will sound better than any ipod. The new version of the clip has a micro sd drive so you can upgrade the internal 8GB up to 40 if you so choose. Just awesome! :D
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:59 am

I bought a Sony NWZ-S639 as a Christmas present for my wife last year, and I think it's great. It didn't hurt that a promotion was running that cut the price of 16GB version down to the usual price of the 8GB, but I can't fault it from a size, construction, sound quality, usability, or battery life point of view. Unlike the ipods, it also comes with a pretty good set of earbuds and simply appears on the PC as a removable drive, so no need to use poxy software to transfer files across. I haven't played around much with videos, but format support is pretty good from what I understand (though the screen is on the small side if you were to want to do this a lot).
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:15 am

willyolio wrote:since the OP originally had a 30GB player, i presume he knows how to make use of that space.

Well... if you have the space, you'll find a way to fill it up. It isn't really about "knowing how". :lol:

John59 wrote:The new version of the clip has a micro sd drive so you can upgrade the internal 8GB up to 40 if you so choose. Just awesome! :D

Hey, I'd completely forgotten about the new one with the uSD slot (I have the older non-expandable 4 GB model)! There you go. A great sounding player with expandable flash storage, in a unit about the size of a matchbook.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:35 am

I have another vote for the sansa clip. I have the older 4gb model and I can't speak enough about it. Battery life even a year later is exceptional. The only problem is if you would like a bigger screen. I then recommend the sansa fuze. My brother owns one and absolutely loves it. It gets a little less battery than the clip and slightly more expensive, but that's because of the screen.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:36 am

Figure out how much space you want first and go from there. MAking a decision like this is all about figuring out your parameters first otherwise you just get overwhelmed with choices.

just brew it! wrote:Everyone seems to be recommending combo music/video players. But OP says "literally all I want it to do is play music". If that's really true, then there's no need for video playback capability, and he can save quite a bit of money.


Everyone seems to be recommending whatever they happen to own ;) just sayin' 8)
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:33 pm

The Cowon i7 would have been my recommendation a year or so ago. Now I think I can suggest the i9. ABI said it is now shipping.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:27 pm

Zune HD 32 gb. Thing is awesome with Zune pass. I loaded it up with comedy cds from Mitch Hedberg, Dane Cook, and Lewis black, along with a few dozen new cds I haven't heard yet. Hooked up to my car it ran for 14 hours on my latest trip and (if you believe the battery meter) still had over half the battery life. It sounds great, is compact, and the software is fantastic. It makes my Creative zen look like a pile of dung. For 15 bucks a month, you have access to an unbelievable amount of music, and you can search and download wirelessly right to your zune. No fuss.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:43 pm

I would recommend a Sony S-series mp3 walkman. It will play most formats that an ipod will play, has a good battery life, has stellar sound quality when coupled with good headphones and it is cheaper than the ZuneHD or iPod touch.

There are many walkmans in the S-series so you will have to look around to find the one that is right for you. For example, some come with FM while others don't and some have noise cancellation built-in but others don't. Some of the S-series walkmans come with premium headphones too while others don't. Personally, I would suggest something like S63x or S73x series. The Sony players are also usually have a fairly easy to use and stable firmware so it won't crash on you randomly while listening to music. Sony players worked for me on Windows using MTP so you dont need iTunes and u can either drop songs one-by-one by hand or sync with something like WMP or Winamp etc.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:59 pm

just brew it! wrote:I love my Sansa Clip. It's inexpensive, small, has decent sound quality and reasonably good battery life, and will even play OGG format files (smaller file size than MP3 for equivalent fidelity). It also has an FM radio and audio memo-taking capability, though I never use those two features so I can't really comment on how well they work.

For putting concert DVD soundtracks on it, you'd have to rip the audio track to MP3 or OGG (which shouldn't be particularly difficult).
You beat me to the punch. I just bought my mother-in-law a 4GB Clip+, and as far as I can tell, it's a damn good music player. As JBI menitioned it plays OGG as well as FLAC, and it has a built-in FM receiver. I think the biggest reason for buying it versus the regular Clip is that it comes with a memory card slot that you can use should you need to have more music than what the player's internal memory can handle. All for $50, and it's a steal.

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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:10 pm

I will have to agree with Justbrewit. I also own a Sansa Clip, and it has good sound quality, decent battery life, and is very small, simple and compact. If all you are going to do is listen to mp3's and wma's, and apparently Ogg, which I wasn't aware it would play, then the Sandisk Sansa Clip will work great.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:26 pm

The older sansa clips actually had numerous firmware problems
I dont know about current ones but the one I bought last black friday for someone is still doing great after I patched it from their website
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:36 pm

My Sansa Clip died after about 6 months. It was probably from all the sweat dripping on the poor thing. But Sansa replaced it under warranty.

Several of my friends have bought the Clip when it was $25 on Newegg (refurb). They are all very happy with their purchase.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:38 pm

I'm going to second the reccomendation about the Zune HD. If you want a music player and you want to explore music, there really is no better combination than Zune with Zune pass. It really is a fantastic way to explore music. And the Zune hardware is very nice too...beautiful screen, pretty good battery life.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:03 pm

The cowon S9 is a nice player, but if your considering it, you should open your mind beyond the commercialized expensive junk thats in stores. Take a look at http://www.anythingbutipod.com and http://www.pmptoday.com. It has a good selection of the latest players coming out and should give you a good idea on what features really make the ipod minuscule in comparison. I picked up a slim 16gb 4.3" pmp from mp4nation and it has played any video i threw at it (except hidef) pretty smoothly. no converting, no software, just drag and drop. i recharge once a week, and use it (video playback) on my subway ride 2.5 hours a day. for that extra in extraordinary, my player uses the microsoft playFX dsp for something i have never experienced in an mp3 player. it does something to the bass frequency that makes my zune 2.0 earbuds sound like there's a subwoofer in my ear. its totally immersive. but whatever your choice, stay away from rockchip based players like the plague and go for a smooth GUI.
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Re: Looking for a good MP3 player

Postposted on Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:06 pm

The larger screen on the Fuze is nice (and so is the media slot, but now the Clip+ offers that too) but I bought the Clip because I didn't have to buy a case, and being able to stick it virtually anywhere without having to futz with straps or pockets is a major plus for me.

The battery life is good too (agrees with their claims) as long as you stick to MP3s; using the radio eats into battery life noticeably.
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