Originally Posted by kevmatic
I second the Sansa Clip recommendation. There's isn't a whole lot out there with higher quality output stages than Sansa, and Rockbox will play just about anything. They also have very good battery life. I have a Sansa Fuze, which has a TFT LCD screen if you want that.
Its not like you're going from audiophile grade, either. Older iPods such as yours are designed to look pretty, not play music. Their sound performance is generally considered to be... Not so good.
Newer iPods are a LOT better, but I don't know if yours is new enough. My sister has a second gen Nano, and its sound quality is absolutely awful in every respect. We pull it out every now and again just to laugh at it.
I actually got the sansa clip zip and put rockbox on it. Yes it does sound amazing. My fourth gen nano actually sounded fine though I think it uses a wolfson dac
Thanks for the advice guys glad I was able to find something I like for $35 + a 23$ 32gb micro sd card.
Seems like the worst part about it is the transfer speeds via usb / card reader to the micro sd kind of suck like 5 MB/s through usb with the sansa and 15 MB with a card reader