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Which MP3 Player?

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by barrybarryr, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. barrybarryr

    barrybarryr
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    Hi,

    Im buying my first MP3 player and just wondered if anyone had any opinions on which is the best/easiest to use.

    Im not really sure what I want as to be honest I know very little about the players.

    Is it worth buying an IPOD or a Zen or what?

    Also I dont know whether to buy a mini or a 'big' player are there any advantages of one type over the other?

    Anyone's advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Barry
     
  2. ipodstudio

    ipodstudio
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    Hi Barry, start with 3 questions:

    1. What will you use it for? Is sound quality your primary need or something else?

    2. How much are you willing to spend?

    3. How much music do you need to store on it.

    Here's a gallery which will give you an idea of what's available at present, BTW. :)
     
  3. barrybarryr

    barrybarryr
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    In answer to the questions: -

    1. What will you use it for? Is sound quality your primary need or something else?

    I'm going travelling to Australia for a year at the end of the year and want to put my music collection on it.

    I would like a decent sound quality. I want it as a replacement for my mini disc player.

    2. How much are you willing to spend?

    I suppose I will spend up to about £250

    3. How much music do you need to store on it.

    I would guess about 300 - 500 albums or so.
     
  4. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    The Sony NW-HD3 is an option. It goes for ages on a single charge, is very small, and you won't get any 'culture shock' coming from Minidisc, as most of the controls work in a similar if not identical way. You also get the chance to equip it with a display remote, once again something that MD'ers like.
    However, the Minidiscer-friendly user interface is also it's weakness. I'm a firm believer in changing the way you listen and changing the way the player navigates through a large library. The Sony user interface is still really a 'small-scale library' design, more suited to Discmen and MD players. The other issue is loading and managing it. The companion software, Sonicstage is pretty easy to use for the very basic functions, and I suppose if you didn't use anything else and ince again if you were coming from MD, you wouldn't notice anything amiss. However I think it's the second-worst music management software of the mainstream players right now. There is one other piece of software you can use, but it eventually leads to more hassle IMO. When all's said, it's the way the HD3 operates which leads you to listen to music in a very fixed, linear way which I think is wasting the opportunities of a high-capacity player. The hardware is high quality though, if not as ergonomically designed as the iPod. The sound is not dissimilar to what you would have got from MD.


    The iPod is the inevitable other option. It's the best player on the market and packs unrivalled power for navigating your music in a fast easy and flexible way. iTunes, the software to load the player is the yardstick by which all others are judged and is very easy to use and quite powerful once you get familiar with it.
    Quite a lot of people however have complaints about the iPod's sound as thin and lacking richness. It's a justified one as the iPod's sound is "clean" rather than "hugely entertaining". Coming from MD, where the sound is tuned to be a little bassy, you might have the same complaints yourself. Apart from that and their ubiquity these days, there's not much to dislike about the iPod. It also has the advantage that you can get third-party accessory support in pretty much any major country.


    I also quite like the iAudio M3. It's from Cowon, one of the newer companies on the market, and is a feature-packed, remote-operated player which looks slim. (actually, it's the same size as the equivalent iPod... but it doesn't look or feel it) It's drag & drop to load your music, goes for a respectable amount of time on a charge, has the basic functions you want plus much, much more. Although it's not as well built as the Sony or the Apple it looks pretty smart. It's available in 20gb, 40gb and extra-long-battery life 20gb varieties. Go to www.iaudiophile.net for more feedback on this player.
     
  5. grimoor

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    I would have a look at the iRiver H320 20GB that you can get for £250. It's got a radio as well can be used as a voice recorder and supports OGG files as well as MP3, WMA and ASF.

    It's what I would be looking at, if my when my current (Thomson PDP2840, got a great deal on it and I can transfer data so easy with it as a external harddrive on my PC) one broke down. But also thinking of the more up market ones which can store movies as well (if they can get good battery life out of them).

    Some people like iPod some don't I'm in the latter.
     
  6. barrybarryr

    barrybarryr
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    Hi,

    Is there any particular reason why people dont like the Ipod?

    I dont think I need all the gadgets such as a voice recorder as I have this facility on my mobile.

    Also I dont want to store movies, I dont see the point in this.

    I want it purely as a music player.

    Anybody got any more ideas?

    What are the Zen's like?
     
  7. Ekko Star

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    Actually there's not a lot to dislike about the ipod, it is ubiquitous for a reason.

    Although there are now far more players on the market that do what it does and maybe just that little bit more.

    These topics are covered endlessly and here's a great forum to help you out

    http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22
     
  8. ipodstudio

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    Having heard your answers I think I'd probably be going for either an ipod or perhaps the now hard to find iRiver IHP-120/40. The iRiver has the advantage of digital out, though that may not be a consideration if your travelling and not planning on hooking it up to an amp and DAC anytime soon.

    Checkin at the ipod studio ipods, HD and Flash players forum, too.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Terry101

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    There is a new iRiver H10 Color Screen Mp3 Player (5GB) from igearbox.com It looks really nice and ipod-like. Also it comes with built-in FM radio, voice recording and photo viewer. By the way, it has four colors.
     
  10. extremelydodgy

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    It's also buggy as heck.
     
  11. Moviebuff

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    I've just bought a mini iPod, and the sound quality blew me away. The build quality is awesome, and the control method is simplicity itself. Unusually for me, I bought this blind, but guessed that millions of people couldn't be wrong.

    They weren't!
     
  12. degringo

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    I've just got a SONY NW-HD3 and very impressed. The sound quality is superb, IMHO it's better than the Ipod. If size is a factor it cannot be beaten as only the size of a credit card. Worth having a look at. Also the local sony centre where very helpful.
     
  13. martincousins11

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    I've Just had the Sony (NW-HD3) love it, wins i-pod on size, battery life, weight, also you can switch to line out for those who like to link to hi-fi.

    I don't however seem to get as much bass out of this as i once did on my Sony CD Walkman bass boost. Using same ear phones (sonys best in ear ones)

    The I-pod is likley to be easyier to use, but who cares. I'm used to the Sony after one day.
     
  14. combustion

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    I also love my hd3, beats all the other players in so many dif areas.
     
  15. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    It's not so much how easy the iPod is to use, but how it does what it does that's different. The HD3 has a much more Minidisc/Discman method of operation which misses the point of a large capacity player. The control, ergonomics and the operating system design is where I think the Sony falls down. The hardware's good (size, battery life, build quality, etc although some bits I can pick holes with the HD3), if not as versatile as the iPod.
     
  16. combustion

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    I also think it sounds much better than the ipod, and the interface is much better than the zen touch (IMO anyway) I hated having to lock the device everytime it went in and out of my pocket... I guess the same can be said for the touch wheel on the ipod.
     
  17. barrybarryr

    barrybarryr
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    So really its down to the Sony or the Ipod then?

    Looks like Im just going to have to go to a shop and look at them.

    Thanks
     
  18. lammy

    lammy
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    i ya want a small mp3 get the mini ipod. if ya want a big storage space get the sony hd3.
     
  19. matiano

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    I am in a very similar situation (even down to the travelling) and am looking for something to put my whole collection on. I have about 15gb of music on my computer already so the software is a big factor for me. I have been looking at the iriver around £200-£250, will that sync in with windows media player? Anything that would directly will be a massive help. I have had a lot of expericene with the Sony and really dont get on with the interface or Sonicstage so thats a definite no for me, whats the easiest to sync in with media player?
    SOrry to hijack your thread barry but hopefully the response will benefit us both!
     
  20. Jimbo73

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    I've got the iRiver H10 (5Gb) and think it's great. I used to have a 20Gb player, but I never used to listen to most of the stuff on there.

    The main advantages of the iRiver H10 over the iPod Mini are - longer battery life, colour screen, radio, text reader, picture viewer, recorder, UMS (i.e. - plug it into your PC and the PC sees it as a storage device - you can put what you like onto it).

    The firmware is currently on v2.0 and is a vast improvement over the originally shipped (buggy) firmware. The firmware gets updated automatically when you sync the player with your PC (if you have an internet connection).

    The biggest reason why I didn't buy an ipod is simply that I think that Apple's stance on DRM is too restrictive. DRM can be a good thing, if implimented loosely, but recently Apple have been tightening up in certain areas, and I can see a bit of a backlash on the horizon as people come to replace PC's and/or ipods and realise that they cant keep their (legitimately downloaded) music library as it's been copied "too many" times.
     

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