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Looking for a new MP3 player.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Alright, for whatever reason my trusty and well-loved Creative Zen Nano Plus has decided to rebel on me. For whatever reason, an awful lot of the music that I like listening to does not want to sync, either through Media Player or through Winamp. But, the reason I think this is happening is also the reason why I want to upgrade: in order to fit my tunes onto the tiny 1 GB capacity, I have to transcode my music from its high-bitrate (I rip at 90% quality VBR WMA) glory to a pitiful (but small) 96K. So, I need more capacity. Also, I'm getting tired of having to keep hoards of AAA batteries with me, and I also dislike that I have to run off of battery with volume on max when I plug it into my stereo.

So, I'm looking for a new player, and here are the features I want:

1. Capacity of at least 8 GB (more is always better).
2. Long battery life from built-in battery (20 hours or so would be good, but once again more is better)
3. Intuitive interface (must be able to find music easily, so the complete opposite of my Zen)
4. High quality sound (I use the reference-quality Etymotic ER-6 buds and Bose TriPort headphones, so I notice pretty much everything in a file)
5. (Perhaps the most important) It must not be an iPod! I've used iPods probably hundreds of times, and I've never liked them. Sure, there's a plethora of accessories out there and they're dockable, but I absolutely hate iTunes, and all my music is ripped in WMA. Plus I think that the price they charge for a relatively average set of features is ridiculous.
6. Preferably should cost no more than about $220 (if it's sold at Best Buy, I can probably get it for cheaper as my dad has the employee discount there)

Things that I would like, but aren't necessary:
1. Support for DRM (I don't like DRM because I prefer having the physical CD and it also kills battery life, but every now and then I buy a song or two online)
2. Dockable, with line-level audio output (I don't want to remember to turn my volume to max when listening through my stereo and then back down when I've got my headphones)
3. FM Radio, for when I get bored of what's on my player
4. EQ. If the player has stellar sound quality without it (as is the case supposedly with the new Zunes), then I'll live without it, but it's nice to be able to compensate somewhat for the lack of bass in Ety buds.
5. Able to sync with Media Player, Winamp, or just explorer. If it has to use proprietary software, it must be easy to use and modest in terms of the resources it takes up.

So, the players I've found so far have been the following:

Zune (either 8 GB or 80 GB, as the 4 will be too small and the 30 doesn't have great battery life)
Creative Zen (probably would get the 16 GB version, but it doesn't have a dock option)
one of the many Sandisk Sansas (dockable?)
post #2 of 14
I insert a recommendation for the Zune. No, it does not have line-out, but it does everything else your after and has a darned good headphone out for a portable player. (I also am a proud Ety owner, they pair very nicely with my Zune 30). The interface is awesome.
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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipp View Post
I insert a recommendation for the Zune. No, it does not have line-out, but it does everything else your after and has a darned good headphone out for a portable player. (I also am a proud Ety owner, they pair very nicely with my Zune 30). The interface is awesome.
I love the Zune, I vote it over the rest. but the no gapless playback makes me weep :[
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by phospholipid View Post
I love the Zune, I vote it over the rest. but the no gapless playback makes me weep :[
Yeah - That does kinda peeve me, too.
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post #5 of 14
cowon 2D has 2 4 8 gig models with the sd card expansion (16gig sd)

and 52hour batterylife and 10hour video life while being touchscreen!!!

http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/cowon/d2/

oh yeah the player is small too but has a good sized screen. (2.5inches to be exact)
also works with apple and linux pc's

oh yeah they're cheap too

it also SUPPORTS FLAC.
    
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Chipp, have you updated your 30 to the new OS? I heard that when 2nd gen came out they made that an option for owners of the first gen. Also, how's your battery life? Cnet said they only got about 17 hours, which is a little on the short side, but if you say differently, I might be tempted to get the 30 instead of the 8 or 80 (although the 3.2 inch glass screen of the 80 is supposedly divine when it comes to watching video).
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by laboitenoire View Post
Chipp, have you updated your 30 to the new OS? I heard that when 2nd gen came out they made that an option for owners of the first gen. Also, how's your battery life? Cnet said they only got about 17 hours, which is a little on the short side, but if you say differently, I might be tempted to get the 30 instead of the 8 or 80 (although the 3.2 inch glass screen of the 80 is supposedly divine when it comes to watching video).
Honestly, I've never tested battery life. Yes, I do run the "new" firmware. Coincidentally it was released the day before I received my Zune from Woot, so I never tried the old firmware and can't comment on differences.
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post #8 of 14
Check my FS Thread i have an 8GB Sansa for sale
    
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post #9 of 14
Grab one of Sony's new players... dey is da schnitz
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hmm... For the capacity I want the sony models are expensive...

So, I'll have my dad figure out what price he can get the Zune and the dock for. If the Zune is a little pricey still, I can get an 8 or a 30 open box for about $150.
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