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Advice from the net

30 May, 2006

Advice from the Internets

Dear Internets,

As you can tell, I have a bit of short-timers’ and senioritis combined, what with the end of term (Finals next week!) and moving and all. And I need retail therapy. Not really. But I do need to get a headset so I can use my new Skype account and, most importantly … I want a music player.

I wanted an iPod mini, but those are gone. And then some people said I wanted to stay away from the iPods, because you can only play things in iTunes format, and I could get more memory, more playtime, and more formats for less if I went with something else. So here’s what I want — pretty big memory, at least 15 hours play on a charge, the ability to download pretty much any format and play it (I use Rhapsody, but don’t know if it’s better/worse than iTunes), and comfortable headphones. Why? Because I need to have something to listen to at the gym and when exercising. I would like to be able to listen to podcasts and books and stuff off of BBC Radio. Otherwise, I can’t see where I would use it. But I don’t want to buy something that needs upgrading soon, so I’d like something that’s good — but preferably no more than $150, and that’s pushing it.

Suggestions?

Oh — if it turns out I get something mac/powerbook at SLAC, should that push me in the direction of a nano?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 May, 2006 6:11 pm

    I’m no help – I have a mini, and I have no problem with being limited to iTunes because I love all things Apple (and iTunes still has plenty of stuff for me to buy!). But have fun choosing!

  2. 30 May, 2006 6:51 pm

    FWIW, iTunes converts all other formats, so you could still buy through other programs/platforms and convert to iTunes for an iPod, if that’s what you wanted.I love my Nano, but I only just got it and haven’t *really* used it to death (yet). What I really love about it is that it fits so nicely in the pockets of my running shorts. I think it’s still the physically smallest player on the market. And certainly, if SLAC is a Mac place, a Nano would make sense to go with it.But I also have used an iRiver product — a lipstick case sized player that could play up to 4 hours, but only if you ripped them at low bit-rates. I don’t know about the larger iRiver products, but it was hard to read the display on mine.

  3. 30 May, 2006 9:41 pm

    I was raised to hate apple, so I do. I have a little samsung player that works fine. I spent about $80 on it. It holds about 120 songs (116 right now I think, but some of them are longish). it works just fine for me. most of my music is ripped from actual cd’s I own and it all plays fine. you have to have windows media player and xp, but I do so that is fine. the only thing I don’t like about it is the limited functionality in terms of menu, organization of music, creating playlists, things like that. i think that stuff is better in the next model up, which is around $120, I think.

  4. 30 May, 2006 10:20 pm

    Like Anastasia, I have a Samsung. A Samsung yp-mt6, to be precise. I just drag file folders of songs over to it when it’s plugged into my USB port. However, it won’t play AAC file formats. I don’t use iTunes software or their store, seeing as being in Canada all of these services are a pain!, so I can’t speak to any of the online services.

  5. 30 May, 2006 11:04 pm

    My iPod plays all the stuff I ripped on my unix machine, no worries. And boy is it podcast heaven! But it was >$150.

  6. 30 May, 2006 11:58 pm

    I love my Nano. I use it with lanyard headphones. My Nano’s full of podcasts and I haven’t filled it up yet. If you buy a Nano, I’ll send you a Tube to use with it 🙂 (Dr. V, do you need a Tube?)

  7. 31 May, 2006 12:02 am

    “some people said I wanted to stay away from the iPods, because you can only play things in iTunes format” Nope, not true.My iPod is full of mp3s (which is not a system-specific format) that I ripped from my CD collection. If I decided to switch to another, non-iPod portable music player, I could load all of those mp3s onto that one, too.It *is* true, however, that the music you buy on the iTunes store can only be played either on your computer or on an iPod. You can burn those files to CD and then rip them back as mp3s, but that’s kind of a pain in the butt.I’d go with an iPod if I were you. They’re awesome, and they just work.

  8. 31 May, 2006 12:11 am

    And iPods are good for BBC downloads? Tiruncula, dibs on the scary green if I get a nano.

  9. 31 May, 2006 12:23 am

    Scary Green Tube reserved in your name. I’ve used the podcasts from BBC’s pilot (but quite extensive) podcasting program. I haven’t tried other download methods; I’m used to streaming BBC programs on my ibook, but most of what I used to stream is now available as podcasts, so I’ve been doing that instead.

  10. 31 May, 2006 1:43 am

    “And iPods are good for BBC downloads?”If you currently have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer, there’s an entire directory devoted to podcasts. It is easy-peasy to subscribe to the podcast of your choice in iTunes (including BBC stuff), and then drag and drop the downloads into your connected iPod.

  11. 31 May, 2006 6:49 am

    But that costs actual money, right? I was thinking about the free stuff available on their website (not that I’m cheap, or anything …)

  12. 31 May, 2006 1:28 pm

    No, podcasts are free. iTunes connects you to the iTunes store to subscribe to them, but no money changes hands.

  13. 31 May, 2006 5:02 pm

    Hmmm … I may have to do some price comparisons, then!

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