Ipod or ?

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I'm thinking about joining the twenty-first century and getting one of them new-fangled portable music players. I've heard good things about the Sandisk players, and apparently Apple has a product that's pretty popular (sarcasm). I already run itunes on a G5 Imac at home, so am I making more work for myself by going with a non-Apple player?

Oh, BTW, I don't want a combo machine that has a phone/microwave/camera/etc. Just tunes and perhaps data files.

Best mp3 player for about $200? Let the debate begin.

My perspective: I owned a small-capacity 1st generation iRiver mp3 player many years back (held approx 3 albums if ripped at medium quality), and then traded up to a (provided by work) iPod shuffle holding approx 120 songs a couple of years ago. I also purchased a 2 gig iPod Nano for my daughter.

iPod's are pretty seamless with iTunes. Especially since you already have/use iTunes, adding an iPod would make it a pretty seamless and painless process.

My Shuffle works just fine for my needs, and I'd get it again if I wanted a really cheap solution. The smaller Nano should be in your price range, and I know my daughter is very happy with it. I've had to help her with getting it to recover from an internal lock-up/glitch twice now, but I found the solution within about 15-30 seconds in a Google search, and she was going and on her way 60 seconds later.

Which is part of why I'd suggest that iPod technology wouldn't be a bad decision... it's a long-time established product with a very wide user base, so support and solutions would be virtually seconds away.

Having said all that... I'd have no idea whether non-Apple players would be more work, or would have less user-base support. I'm only saying that with iPods, I suggest that it would be fairly painless.

Believe it or not, the iPod isn't all hype. Sure it's a lot of hype, and it's got less features than

some players, but most would tell you that it truly is the best out there. Remember

sometimes more doesn't always equal better. And apple has been recognized by just about

evey design firm in the world for their human interface.

My advice is to remember that it's personal preference, and nobody will really be able to say

which is the best for you.*

I suggest you go to Best Buy, purchase an iPod and try it out for 30 days. If you're not

absolutely thrilled, take advantage of their 30-day no-questions-asked return policy and try a

competing product.

Note however that the iPods *just* got updated. There are new Nanos which come in colours

and look a lot like the old Minis, these are larger capacity and cheaper than the current nanos

(2gb: 169, 4gb: 229, and 8gb: 299). They also updated the big ipods to have longer battery

life and brighter screen. So if you are going to buy, wait a week or two until BestBuy has the

new stock.

* Of further note, is that iPod has quite a large 'universe' surrounding it. There are many,

many accessories and 3rd party products for iPod that just don't exist for the other players.

So, chances are that if a bicycle powered charger for an mp3 player exists, it's for the

iPod. :)

"nobody will really be able to say which is the best for you"

Er, maybe you should just disregard that statement.

"So, chances are that if a bicycle powered charger for an mp3 player exists, it's for the iPod. :)"

A 10 second google found dozens of DIY how-tos which describe exactly that. Just get the

iPod. :)


Thanks dudes.

We bikers are an inventive bunch Temple. Not sure I'd pedal and 'pod' at the same time,

although I see plenty of people doing it.

Yeah, I cringe when I see it. Perhaps if the volume was low enough you could still hear your


Still, you're going to need to charge that sucker, why not do it off the grid on the way to-fro


Yeah, charging while I ride would be brilliant, but no chance I'd be listening at the same time. Riding on our city's streets can be dangerous enough as it is, getting distracted or deafened to the outside world just seems to be asking for it.

I've borrowed a 4Gb nano and found it to be simple to use and easy to upload songs via iTunes. I'd like to hear some input from fans of other players, though, as I've been looking into getting an mp3 player myself.

How do you transfer files to the player? Is it a simple drag-and-drop from Windows Explorer? Many of my mp3s are ripped from CDs via iTunes, which gives the file a less-than-descriptive name, but has an ID3 tag imbedded. Will other players recognise this tag, or will the display simply read "1 - Song Title.mp3"?

Just like in the OP, I'm not looking for all of the fancy crap that most seem to come with these days, and if it wasn't for the price differential and the "I don't want to be like everyone else," I'd have likely jumped on the iPod bandwagon already. I just want something simple, so if someone has recommendations, I'm all ears.

I'm absolutely a prosolitizer of the iPod. I went through 3 others before I got one, and none of them held a candle to the iPod. That's not to say that there aren't ones out there that might do just as well, or even better, for you. My needs were pretty simple, I wanted something that played music well and easily, had a rechargeable battery (whatever you do, don't get an mp3 player that takes AA or AAA) and was reliable.

And now that I've started using iTunes I've come to appreciate the simplicity of the UI much more. Since you already use iTunes your experience would be seemless to plug in the iPod.

For the record, my wife got my old mini when I upgraded to the video iPod (I wanted the extra space) and while she used to make fun of me for my obvious preference, she quickly turned as well.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find an mp3 player that didn't recognize the ID3 tags.

Also, you point out that you're using a Mac already. You'll probably want to double check that any software that is available for your chosen player is available on the Mac. I know my old Rio didn't have the nice interface at the time (although there was some klunked up hack to get songs on)

Another note: if you do get the iPod, I'd recommend a 'skin' to protect it. It's a shame to buy something and worry about it all the time and try so hard to protect it that it interferes with your enjoyment. Like people who won't put their iPod down on a table for fear of scratching. A skin, which is basically a removable sticker, solves this quite nicely. You can also get a screen protector to cover the screen. I'd suggest this would be a minimum accessory, and it's a shame that they don't ship standard with the screen protector.

A good site for skins is www.decalgirl.com, I'm absolutely not affiliated with them in any way, and haven't tried any others, but I'm happy with the price and product that I bought.

FYI: London Drugs is unloading all of their old iPod stock in preparation for the new ones coming in. A lot of their stuff is already gone, but I saw a 60GB iPod video on for the same price as the 8GB iPod nano will be ($300).

From the apple web site they have refurbished 30Gb Ipod video for 209 and 60gb for 259. 1 year warranty and free shipping.

You could wait for the microsoft mp3 player. The zuma? Zima?

the microsoft zume looks like a hunk of shit.

The VUL forum: where enlightened opinions sprout like dandelions in the Sahara. :)

They have dandelions in the Sahara?

mO By mO

i've had a lot of mp3 players to date, but my two favorites would have to be the Creative Zen and my Ipod Mini. Depending how much song storage you want, mp3's can be anywhere between 25 bucks to 400. My Ipod is easy to use, basically click and drag. The one thing I have to say about it is that sometimes when I plug it into my computer, the songs on my playlists get replaced by another song (I have yet to figure out why). That's about it. You can go to the nightmarket and get a 100 song mp3 player for about 25 bucks, and they are about the size of a standard eraser.

oh, one more thing about the Ipod. I have a mac and a pc, and i can switch back and forth using my ipod cuz its so easy to use. in fact, i taught my not-technically-savey-in-anyway-boyfriend how to use it in a matter of minutes. you should also get a skin protector for it. i once ran after a bus and dropped it in middle of traffic and lost 2 chunks outta it....since getting my ipod skin protector thing, i haven't damaged it anymore! *grins*

btw, please dont ride and listen to your mp3. *puppy eyes* i get really scared when i see people doing that........as well as people who drive and listen to their cd players/mp3s. i know it's kinda the same as having a radio, but i think that its a lot more dangerous.

cheers :)

Any recommendations for skins? I recently joined the iPod Squad (TM en route) thanks to London Drugs unloading their old stock, and have yet to get any kind of protection for my far-too-hefty investment.

There is no skin more durable than the invisibleSHIELD. It has no impact protection, but is

completly impervious to scratches/abrasions/everything else. It is durable, self-healing, and

almost completely

unnoticeable. After 9 months the shield is as mark-proof and invisible as the day I applied it to

the gf's video iPod. Lots of demo videos here:


emd By emd

Any local distributors of this InvisibleShield? I would like to see how much it adds to the iPod.


I think I might have to look into this InvisibleShield thing. The woman just bought me an Ipod Nano and I'm a bit clumsy with delicate electronic equipment. :s

Try decalgirl, they also have the screen shields. Well worth it:


There are plastic stickers and then there is the invisibleSHIELD. It doesn't get scratched

instead of your iPod like other protectors. It simply doesn't get scratched up at all.

If you're looking to get a scratch protector, there is simply nothing that comes even remotely


Google around or watch a couple demo vids:


Not a shill, just a happy customer.

PS: It's like $25 at Simply/Mac Station/Online, but it's also got lifetime replacement

warantee (no questions asked).

I have something called an agent 18 for my mini ipod. Its a hardcase with a solid plastic covering over the screen. Works great and protects nicely!

i just got an Ipod 30gb. awesome. love the interface, and i thought i would hate itunes... but it's great for knowing exactly how the stuff is going to end up on your ipod *before* it gets there.

Invisibleshields can be scratched but they are quite resiliant. I wouldn't recommend putting your Ipod and keys in the same pocket. That being said, if the protector gets scratched your Ipod probably won't be. I have one on my phone and it works well.

i just traded up my ipod from 30gb to 80gb (was already running out of space).

tried both macstation & simply for the invisibleshield (80GB), and neither one had the full body model. so, i ordered it online...

Just an update. I ended up picking up a used Palm Pilot Zire for cheap ($50) and slapped a 1gig SD card in it for music storage.

Using realplayer which isn't fantastic, but enough for now until I find out if I'm really going to catch the portable music bug.

And yes, I've been listening to it while I ride my bike (at a reasonable volume). Is it dangerous? I don't think so. Is it fun? Hell, yes.

mO By mO

Stump, if I hit you with my car by accident while you ride your bike and listen to your Zire, it's

totally your fault :P

Glad it worked out for you, I bought my mom a Nano and she loves it to death, though I think

the Zune might have been a better choice maybe...glad your Zire's working out! Be careful


Can't hit what you can't catch cager! ;-)

Doc By Doc

Is it true that MP3 players/Ipods only last about a year or is this just from the sales people trying to get you to buy the replacement warranty??

If not, what player do you have and how long have you owned it?

emd By emd

Two conflicting data points for you:

I have had my iPod (4th gen) for about 3 years and have had to send it to Apple twice, so the AppleCare was definitely worth it for me.

My wife has had her iPod (iPod mini) for over 3 years and it works flawlessly...even when my daughter smashes on the ground repeatedly.