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Help Me Buy A New Portable Music Player!


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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 11:11 PM

OK - first of all - it was you guys who helped me buy my first mp3 player, and that worked out great, because it kept my cd's at home and allowed me to take music with me.  Of course, I've never been willing to plunk down a lot of money so I always buy cheapy players - and that's been just fine in most cases - but then... Treo happened.  When I got my first Treo (I'm on my 2nd now - actually a Centro), one of the main reasons I bought it (besides ever present email) was the ability to carry music with me and not have to change my headset to answer the phone.  Given that my commute has always been long and cumbersome, the fewer things to juggle by hand the better.  The neat thing about having the Treo is that I could organize my music into playlists.  PLAYLISTS!  Meaning - a little up front work, and I could have a nice selection of songs I'd want to hear, culled from my overall collection... and if I got bored with that one... I could go listen to another one! Yay me! :)

Except that the Centro doesn't have the battery life that the Treo had, and I ALSO use my Centro extensively for email and web browsing while commuting.. AND - the stupid 2.5mm jack in the phone breaks too darned easily, and screws up everything else.  SO - I've concluded that my phone is no longer an adequate mp3 device.

I just bought a very clever device off of ebay - an EvEO slice - which works with sandisk microcards.  Expandable memory.  At first I didn't think I liked the idea - but now I love it... because I actually have gotten to the point where 1GB of portable music is just not enough.  (When I first started, I was perfectly content with 256 mb...!)  the device is very nice, except for the following problems:  latent noise in the mechanism (REALLY BIG PROBLEM!), absolutely NO song details (unless 41 of 242 counts as a song detail) on display, no ability to create playlists, and really weak equalizer functions.  OK, so it was cheap - I bought two for 30 bucks, and I bought them because I was in a hurry, having some upcoming business travel.  But I've finally decided that my lifestyle and personal preferences justify my spending more than 50 bucks on an mp3 player.  I know what I want, but I haven't a clue how to find it... so I'm hoping you can help...

Here are the specs I need:

Portable: I need something that won't be bigger than my centro - and will preferrably be smaller (I still have to carry the centro!)
3.5mm jack - WHY do they even bother make 2.5mm jacks? They are way too flimsy!
STURDY: speaking of flimsy - I need a sturdy device. I'm commuting with the thing - so I'm eventually going to drop it. If it breaks first time I drop it, I'm going to cry.
Inexpensive: OK, I said I'm willing to spend more than $50, but seriously, given how hard I am on electronic devices - the fewer I can spend, the better.  I don't want to accidentally drop a $300 device in a puddle scrambling through the busy New York City streets....(yes, I've been known to do that...)

Other features:

Display: - I never thought I'd have to specify that I'd like to be able to see the name of the song I'm playing - even the cheap COBY mp3 player I bought 2 years ago had that feature... but I've also now owned 2 models (including the EvEO) that didn't have any way of knowing what song was about to play, and I've seen several such players on the market.  It would be truly awesome if I could watch video on the display - but I don't know if that will come in a price I'm willing to pay,
Equalizer - a decent one. I don't mind presets, but I need more than 4 presets if I'm not able to customize
Playlists - seriously - this is a big one.  It's not mission critical, because my centro still works... but I'd sacrifice lots of other stuff in exchange for the ability to create playlists.  Including the equalizer, and including
FLEXIBLE FORMATS: Mp3 and WMA formats seem standard, but I would also like to be able to play Vorbis and FLAC formats.  Mp4 would be a nice plus.

OK - so that's that.  One last bit: I have been actively avoiding the iPod and the Zune.  If I HAVE to go that way, then by all means tell me why that's best, but I have become resistant to the iPod marketing techniques (for instance, I resent the way QuickTime keeps pushing iTunes on me).  But I'm at the point now where I want the product that best meets my needs.  SO, have at it!

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 31 March 2009 - 11:11 PM.

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#2 QueenTiye

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:57 AM

:( 23 views and no comments.... is this really an unreasonable set of requirements?

QT

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#3 NeuralClone

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:05 AM

I don't think they're unreasonable, QT. :) I don't know if such a player exists through. I have to admit that I'm not real up to date on current players and haven't had time to look. I don't want to give bad advice.

However, in general, I've had pretty good luck with Creative's products over the years.
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#4 Vapor Trails

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:46 AM

I use a Sony Psyc CD player. So, I'm an old fogie. Sue me. :p~
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#5 Niko

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 12:21 PM

I'm quite fond of my Zen from Creative.  I'm not terribly rigorous with it, so I can't swear to it's long-term durability, and I have no idea what sort of jack it has, but otherwise it's a nice non-iPod/Zune option that still has a "name" company behind it.

The smallest one with 2GB of storage space starts at $80 (and up for more GB's), and it also takes SD cards.

Hmmm... on the other requirements:
Display - Yes, on-screen display, and it does play video.  I personally haven't had much luck getting any of my videos to download to it properly, but most of the files I've tried have not been terribly standard codecs, so the issue is likely on my end.

Equalizer - It has 8 presets.  I don't make use of them much, so can't comment on quality.  (I see Creative has a "Zen X-Fi" now, which has customizable EQ settings, too.)

Playlists - Yes

FLEXIBLE FORMATS: Per the website, it supports:  MP3, WMA, non-protected AAC, WAV and Audible 2,3 and 4.

Edited by Niko, 01 April 2009 - 12:26 PM.

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#6 SparkyCola

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 12:26 PM

Quote

I use a Sony Psyc CD player. So, I'm an old fogie. Sue me. :p~

If it makes you feel any better, GR, the only portable music player I have is a Sony CD player too :D

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#7 NeuralClone

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

View PostNiko, on Apr 1 2009, 01:21 PM, said:

I'm quite fond of my Zen from Creative.  I'm not terribly rigorous with it, so I can't swear to it's long-term durability, and I have no idea what sort of jack it has, but otherwise it's a nice non-iPod/Zune option that still has a "name" company behind it.
I can't speak about the newest Zens from Creative, but my 5 year old Zen Touch is still in working order. The battery doesn't hold a charge as well as it used to and the touchpad is a tad wonky these days but it still plays music just fine.
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#8 QueenTiye

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 01:08 PM

You guys are awesome! :)  Zen, by Creative. Lots of choices, and very good price range! Yay!

Off to investigate...

QT

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#9 foborg

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 09:20 PM

there are little blue2th thingies y'all cn put on the cord between the mp3player and the headphones. When y'all get a call, the blue2th thingie will cut the sound, and put the phonecall in the headphones instead. And there's a little microphone in the blue2th device pick up the sound from y'all.

That way y'all cn use an mp3 player, and still answer the phone without having take the headphones off. :)
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#10 Raina

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 09:45 PM

I have a Sandisk Sansa and a Creative Zen and I'm happy with them both. The only problem I've had with my Sansa is that neither the backlight or the battery indicator work properly when the battery goes down to 1/4 or less. But for a fairly cheap (I think it was $75 a few years ago) little player, it's good.

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#11 QueenTiye

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:07 AM

View Postfoborg, on Apr 1 2009, 10:20 PM, said:

there are little blue2th thingies y'all cn put on the cord between the mp3player and the headphones. When y'all get a call, the blue2th thingie will cut the sound, and put the phonecall in the headphones instead. And there's a little microphone in the blue2th device pick up the sound from y'all.

That way y'all cn use an mp3 player, and still answer the phone without having take the headphones off. :)

One downside to Centro and Treo 650 - bluetooth 2.0 (or whatever) not supported, and so - you need extra software to get stereo sound for music.  Plus - a bluetooth headset is just one more thing that needs charging...


View PostRaina, on Apr 1 2009, 10:45 PM, said:

I have a Sandisk Sansa and a Creative Zen and I'm happy with them both. The only problem I've had with my Sansa is that neither the backlight or the battery indicator work properly when the battery goes down to 1/4 or less. But for a fairly cheap (I think it was $75 a few years ago) little player, it's good.

I'm pursuing the Zen option, because there are a lot of different models.  But I'll also look into the Sansa option.

Thanks!

QT

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#12 NeuralClone

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 01:46 AM

I've read about numerous cases where the Sansa Clip has repeatedly lost data that is put onto it. People have loaded it with songs and some either mysteriously disappear, or the whole player is wiped. I don't know how widespread this issue is or if it's even an issue anymore, but it's definitely something to keep in mind as a possible problem.
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#13 foborg

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:13 PM

QT: You play the mp3 through the cable, and use the bluetooth headset profile to get the phone audio from the phone wireless. So you don't have to stream music from the phone.

There are even mp3 players that has the mp3 player part built in. Though I'd go for just a headset dongle with the input for an external sound source (the mp3), since then you can change the mp3 player and still keep the dongle.

True about the "one more thing to charge", though.

Edited by foborg, 02 April 2009 - 03:14 PM.

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#14 Captain Jack

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:28 PM

It does not have an equalizer, but it does have really good sound, the Zune 8, and 16 are great little machines and go for around $170 for the 16 GB one.  Flash memory is far better than a spinning HD for folks who are rough on their players.  1.8 inch screen that is color and easy to read.  Easy UI and controls.

The Creative Zens are cool, but I find their controls to be, well, clunky.  They are nice, but not my cup of tea.  But you might like them, so they're worth checking out.  

Stay away from the Sansa, or whatever it's called.  They break easy.

There is a black player that has glwoing blue buttons that looks like an iPod.  I can't recall the name, but Best Buy has them.  they look cool and feel rather nice.
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#15 NeuralClone

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 10:51 PM

View PostCaptain Jack, on Apr 2 2009, 09:28 PM, said:

The Creative Zens are cool, but I find their controls to be, well, clunky.  They are nice, but not my cup of tea.  But you might like them, so they're worth checking out.
The controls are really the weakest link with the Zens. I would have thought they would have come up with a better interface by now but they're more or less using the same kind of interface they've been using for years. They seem completely resistant to using any sort of wheel button and being identified as an iPod clone. I can't say I blame them but on the other hand, their interface is a bit...clunky. That's really the only way to describe it.

Other than that though, they're usually great players.
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#16 QueenTiye

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:53 PM

Well - I have another long trip upcoming so I went on to eBay and found an Creative 4GB, Vplus.  It's used, but we'll see how it goes.  I should have it in a couple of days.

QT

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#17 QueenTiye

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 12:46 PM

Wow. I have had the Creative Zen Vplus since then, and it worked GREAT. Still does, actually, but I finally broke the casing.  And,4GB is ok, but not great.

I have an HTC phone, but for some reason, loading music being sure it plays, creating playlists, and having the songs play after they are allegedly added to the device... all problematic.

So... back to EBay I went, and found the Creative Nomad Jukebox. 30GB. And bought it. Though I knew it was an older model, I was shocked by the size. Seriously - it's the size of the old cassette walkmans!  But... all the features included... and BETTER sound quality!

Weird how old tech sometimes is superior to new tech...

QT

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#18 RJDiogenes

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 04:57 PM

I still have my old Zen, but I haven't used it in ages. I'd have to get some of those tiny batteries if I did. But it was great.  Very small, smaller than a stick of gum, and it held a ton of songs. It even held a ton of OTR.
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#19 JamesBof

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 05:00 PM

развлечение для вас

#20 gsmonks

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 12:27 AM

You guys are all so-o-o-o lame, and out to lunch. QT is looking for a portable music player.

Here's just the thing, QT:

http://thehub.musici...stic-guitar.jpg

I will see myself out.
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