okay, so i'm 29 and i STILL haven't ever owned an mp3 player...and i need to. so i am a little partial to anything NOT an i-pod, only because everyone has one. i know that's stupid, but it does play a little into my purchase. i will by an i-pod if i can't find anything equal or better, but here's hoping i can.
so i really just want something with lots of storage and music playing. i really don't have much interest in the touch, i don't need anything that can make phone calls, play games, access the internet...i just want to stop carrying my cd's around in the car etc. as for size, i might want one of the smaller versions so i can take it running, but i'd just as much enjoy being able to watch videos, so i'm persuadable as far as that goes too.
i know, i know, laugh and then give me some advice if you'd be so kind.
It's tempting to just go for an iPod but Sony and Samsung ranges are also widely available at retail stores and offer better value -- and don't require control-freak iTunes software on your computer.
For budget look at Sandisk -- for more esoteric try Cowon.
Personally I would always go for solid state as hard drive models can be fragile.
Things to look for -- I can't be bothered with tagging so Folder Support is important to me. A decent sized screen. Good battery life. Preferably, standard mini-USB connector (replacing a custom cable is expensive). Expandable memory.
User replaceable battery (rare on premium players).
alright, i'm reading about the cowon s9, which is available at the greatest electronics store on the planet, newegg.com, and i'm wondering what i'm giving up as it doesn't have wifi and the i-pod touch does.
can't tell anything about a battery being removeable or not, but i'm thinking it's not. does seem to have solid state memory (right?) which could be good for taking on walks or using on the treadmill etc.
supports FLAC (i think that's what it's called) files that are supposed to sound better, but does this cost me any more or limit my song selection if i plan to use this better format?
also, having never owned an mp3 player, i sort of get how i-tunes works, but not really as i've never used it. how do you go about finding and getting songs onto your s9 when it doesn't use i-tunes, especially if i use this flac format?
included headphones apparently aren't amazing, but are included headphones ever?
Solid state=flash. Wifi would be nice but the Touch only really has it because it's a disabled iPhone. I am forced to use iTunes occasionally because my neighbour has an iPod and just ended up crying when she tried to load music to her player. I always end up shouting at it.
Ipod battery can only be changed at a ridiculous price by Apple. There are tips on the internet on how to do it yourself but don't. I've been messing with electronics for 30 years and I've broken every iPod I've tried to fix -- they are disposable products.
Another joy of not going Apple is you can usually choose how to transfer music to the player. Most players offer the option of using Windows Media Player to manage your tunes or (as I prefer) simple Windows drag and drop where the player appears as an extra disk drive.
I use MP3 files because friends do -- FLAC is probably better.
Cowon seems to be the favourite of enthusiasts -- have a look at the site www.anythingbutipod.com for further enthusiasts' choices.
I recommend the Cowon S9 which I have. Unfortunately it only has a max capacity of 32GB and there is no expansion port. Man, how long do I have to wait for 512GB of internal Flash memory...?
Anywaste, it produces really, really good sound. Rated as one of the best, if not the best. Provided you discard the headphones it comes with an you purchase a halfway decent pair for starting at around $30 - $40. Really excellent earbuds are in the $100's.
It supports FLAC and if you are a video buff then you can play back XviD filles on the OLED screen. Looks really nice.
Other than the limited capacity, the only other gripe I have is the mini-USB port is rather unique (at least outside of Korea; 20 pins??). So if you loose the USB cable or want another one for recharging at work, you cannot just use any USB cable you have laying around. You must purchase the USB cable from Cowon or any other place that sells "Korean" USB cables.