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iPod, YouPod, MePod, What Pod? Answered

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Being poor, I am pretty much a noob when it comes to the latest and greatest gadgets. So I need to ask a few questions: What is the best (for the price, i.e. the best value) in iPods? If they are pretty much similar in quality, then are there any features I should look for? If they are pretty much similar, is there anything I MUST avoid?

PS: The new MAKE arrived (yay !).

PPS: If this is in the wrong category, please move it for me, thank you !

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LoneWolf (author)2010-09-09
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Goodhart (author)LoneWolf2010-09-09

Well, I got a bargain priced Emerson (good name in stereos but I am not sure about this "pod"). But it plays decently enough....now, if I can just figure out how to erase mistakes....

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LoneWolf (author)Goodhart2010-09-10

Cool, never heard of Emerson MP3 players but if their good with stereos the sound quality will probably be good and the earphones will probably be better than most.

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Goodhart (author)LoneWolf2010-09-10

Well, It sounds ok....I don't know what the "good ones" sound like though....

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LoneWolf (author)Goodhart2010-09-13

I don't know what the "expensive" headphones sound like either, the earphones that came with my iPod I think sound great but I keep reading that people don't like the sound quality on them.

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Goodhart (author)LoneWolf2010-09-13

Well, my biggest problem is wanting them IN my ears.....they HURT !

I don't know, I have tried every position I can think of, and they still HURT. Give me a pair of small headphones any day, comfort over sound if that is what I need :-)

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LoneWolf (author)Goodhart2010-09-14

lol... Same here. My cousin visited a couple weeks ago and he listened to the music he had on his iPhone with headphones. He let me try them and for some reason I just couldn't get used to it. Maybe I would if I had some myself, but I would never willingly buy some :)

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Goodhart (author)LoneWolf2010-09-14

What I mean is those little earbuds....hurt my ears....I may not be putting them in correctly or something, but I tried everything.....I am looking for a pair of headphones with a small enough jack or an adaptor to use with the headphones I have. . .

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LoneWolf (author)Goodhart2010-09-15

Oh ok, if your MP3 uses a 3.5 mm jack it shouldn't be hard to find headphones that work with it.

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Goodhart (author)LoneWolf2010-09-15

It is really small...I haven't any headphones though that fit it.

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LoneWolf (author)Goodhart2010-09-16

Weird, their almost always 3.5...

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Goodhart (author)LoneWolf2010-09-16

I guess my headphones are "big"? Or they wanted you to use "their" products on their player *shrug*

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Da_Fudge (author)2009-06-01

Just thought I'd throw my 2 bobs worth in.

I was 100% anti-apple for as long as I could remember. I have had a lot of MP3's, with a lot of pros and cons. First ever was a Creative Zen Micro, very old, 2Gb I think, worked great. Best FM tuner I have ever seen in any MP3. Also, only device I know of that can either play music while on charge or sync/copy to and from while playing music. iPods and the like don't let you do any of that.

I had a lot of cheapo's after that broke, while saving up for something better.

Then, I got an iRiver E10. OK, wasn't the best idea ever, crap software, took about 5 minutes to copy a 2 minute song across (!!!), same play and charge problem. Only good thing was battery life - I got 9 1/2 hours straight on volume 24 / 40. Sound chipset blew up in that after 9 1/2 months.

Then, had a Sandisk mp3. It was O.K. wouldn't buy another though.

Finally, at Christmas time, I went and bought an 8GB iPod Nano, 3rd Gen. Best thing I ever did. Great interface, ~7 hours battery life with screen rightness just below full. Clear LOUD sound. Easy to use. Touchwheel is no-where near as jumpy as some of the classics I have used. Also, I was against iTunes for a bit, but I am coming around to it. I don't use the sync feature, just manually manage. But, I carry around both an .exe and a .dmg of Floola. Windows and mac, does everything iTunes does and more. I can drag a video or a song in ANY format and it will convert to an MP3/AAC or MP4. It shrinks it, etc. Also, adds straight off YouTube.

So, I am coming around to Apple. All in all, iPods are O.K. Probably the only thing I would ever buy again.

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Lithium Rain (author)2009-02-27

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NONONONONONONONONONONONONO!

NO!!

Don't do it! Do not buy an iPod! It's a real beating.

You have to use their terrible itunes to sync it (there are hacks out there to use other programs, but they're homebrew, buyer beware). They're more expensive compared to other players, both feature wise and memory wise. The battery life is on some models half of what is advertised (for example, the 5th gen 30 gb has 8 hours real-world tested battery life vs 14 hours advertised), and you can't replace it yourself when it wears down, which it is prone to do. You have to pay $59 in an apple store. The hard drives fail way more often than they should. The 5 G ones are currently having sound issues due to bad connections on the circuit board. And on and on.

(Also don't buy a Zune, you can't sync it without their special software, and they have DRM issues of their own. :( )

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Lithium Rain (author)Flumpkins2009-03-01

Well, I have one, and I don't like certain things about them. Like the stupid proprietory software you have to use to sync, the lack of FM recorder, stuff like that. Overall it's okay, but I'd definitely pick another one next time.

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Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2009-02-27

Ok, well I WAS thinking about buying something eventually (I have a gift card to help me out), but had no idea what to look for, and salesmen working on a commission want you to buy the one priced just a bit less than a compact car for their commissions, are of NO help whatsoever ;-)

Thanks for the advice and if I ever do buy one....new...I will think about this.

My wife's friend, however; just got one for the holidays and she doesn't want it and may wish to pass it on for a reasonable price. So I may not get a say in what I start with. . . ;-)

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Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2009-02-27

Haha. Well, I wish you the best in your quest for a music player!

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Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2009-02-28

at the moment, my quest is just to find relief from this sinus infection *sigh*

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whatsisface (author)2009-02-28

The new make arrived?!?!? Am I in it? Article called the "Powerfake"?

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Goodhart (author)whatsisface2009-02-28

I was paging through it and had a post open to submit (above) when you posted ;-)

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whatsisface (author)Goodhart2009-02-28

Cool, now i just have to wait a while for my copy to come :-)

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Goodhart (author)whatsisface2009-03-01

You COULD log in ahead of time.... ;-)

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Goodhart (author)whatsisface2009-02-28

Ok, I had leafed through it and hadn't seen it but let me look more carefully now that I have a little more sit time (stupid sinus infection): I see Michael Kelsey's Crib Notes on pg. 37;

Aaaah yes, the PowerFake appears on page 165 of my issue :-) Nice

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KentsOkay (author)2009-02-28

The standard capacity Nano is exceedingly popular, and holds a thousand songs easy. I would really recommend it or a 3rd generation Nano

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Goodhart (author)KentsOkay2009-02-28

Thank you for your input. I am enable to make a decision at the moment as I may have someone willing to sell me a pod at a decent price. If not, all the things here will help me make a decision I am sure.

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11010010110 (author)Goodhart2009-03-01

estimate for the space you need

standard mp3 (128 kbps) 1 min = 1 MB
standard mp3 (192 kbps) 1 min = 1.5 MB
high quality mp3 (256 kbps) 1 min = 2 MB
very high quality mp3 (320 kbps) 1 min = 2.5 MB

my mp3 folder is mostly 128 and 192 kbps. way fewer are 256 nand 320 kbps. in average i think its all like 192

so on 4 GB player you can store at most about 44 hours of music (as much as in 33 cds). if you want to keep it 1/2 free for other uses too (its a portable computer drive after all) its 1/2 that

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KentsOkay (author)Goodhart2009-03-01

I'm very fond of my 3rd gen, it has served me well.

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Flumpkins (author)2009-03-01

Well, dispite what Lithium said, (I don't even know LOL)

I have had my zune for one year, and I am still in love with it.

Pros

Zune is the most basic and easy music player period. The button on the left is to go back. The button on the left is to play/pause. On the ring button, press up for up, down for down, left for left, and right for right. The center button is to accept, continue, like left clicking on a computor.

The software is... good. I guess. I don't know how to explain it.

Cons

If you just ate buffalo wings, then sneezed on the screen,(Never happened to me) Don't use your hands. The grease or dirt that gets on their is practicly perminent.

For the software, if you put a song on their from LimeWire, or whatever, there is an error saying that you can not play that song on the software on your computor. You will still be able to play it when listening to the Zune itself.


The marketplace is cool. You buy points, and can buy songs, music videos, and more. They even let you hear a 30 second clip from it. If you wanna hear the sample again, just hit back and it will replay. Unlike iTunes which I think you have like 30 samples every month or something like that. I forget.

Go Zune!

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gmoon (author)2009-03-01

More options...the wife and I each have Sandisk players, with FM radio and flash drive capabilities (iPods didn't offer either at that time...) I also took a stand against iPods due to the DRM issue. I respect Apple technology, but their choice to "lockdown" audio files wasn't acceptable to me (I have other mp3 playing devices.) Apple is at least moving away from DRM now, so it's less of an issue currently...

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Goodhart (author)gmoon2009-03-01

Thank you for your reply. It really is appreciated.

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Labot2001 (author)2009-02-28

If you're an audiophile (like me), I recommend the Meizu Miniplayer. You'll have to order from an online vendor, and the 8GB version cost about $100, but it's well worth it.

It has a built-in FM tuner and voice recorder. It supports pretty much every audio and video format there is, as well as various subtitle formats.

If you're not into ordering never-heard-of-em mp3 players from China, I second Kiteman's recommendation of the Creative Zen. It's definitely the best choice in the average consumer's Best Buy/Walmart markets.

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Goodhart (author)Labot20012009-03-01

Thank you Labot for replying. I love to listen to good music, but I am a bit on the tone deaf side, so higher end equipment doesn't do much for me (except at high volume, where distortion can wreak havoc on speaker(s) :-).

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Kiteman (author)2009-02-27

Without actively choosing to, we seem to have gone with Creative players here.

#1 son has a Creative Zen player - it's less than half the price of the equivalent iPod Nano, and doesn't need specialist software to deal with the music or videos, so he can plug it into anybody's computer to "acquire" more tracks.

Kitewife has a Creative Stone, which was also half the price of the equivalent iPod Shuffle.

Each time, the item was chosen because it did what was wanted, was well-supported, and was the best value.

About the only thing iPod has going for it these days is the brand, not the product.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2009-02-27

Thanks, your analysis is appreciated.

I found so many varied references to Creative Zen players, may I ask if if this is the one you mean?

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Kiteman (author)Goodhart2009-02-27

That's the one.

It seems to be cheaper on Amazon though.

He has a silicon rubber skin on it as well, with a belt-clip.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2009-02-27

Wow, even at $69.99, it will probably have to wait a bit. I will see if my wife's friend is selling hers.....she didn't want it in the first place, and so hasn't even taken it out of the box yet.

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Kiteman (author)Goodhart2009-02-27

If video isn't a priority (the screen is tiny, after all), then go for the Stone.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2009-02-27

Ok, thanks, that is a bit closer to my price range. :-)

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Kiteman (author)Goodhart2009-02-27

It's also worth watching "real world" stores - Kitewife bought hers from our local Morrison's supermarket, where it was unexpectedly stocked for only a few days at around $10-15 below list price.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2009-02-27

I don't see them anywhere. Unless I am looking in the wrong places. What type of store carries them? General merchandise? I think Boscov's carries iPods...

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Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2009-02-27

Walmart. Staples. Officemax. Circuit city. Best buy. Electronic express. Etc.

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Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2009-02-28

Ah yes, I have to get back to Circuit City soon, to see what they have left.....last time I was there, shortly after their bankruptcy announcement, they had raised prices to suggested retail and then offered 10-20% discounts on those prices (so that the prices were STILL higher then before the announcement).
While I wondered around the store, I found it crowded, but very little was being bought, and almost nothing major (computers, plasma tvs, surround sound systems, etc. ).
Electronics Express? The one I found, looking it up online, said there was only one non-online state location....TN (about 14 stores in TN, actually).

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Goodhart (author)Goodhart2009-02-28

Arrgh, sorry about that......while I wondered about the store, should read, while I wandered about the store...

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11010010110 (author)2009-02-27

get a normal player that plugs into usb and works / charges on any computer without installing any special software (like itunes) one that you plug in and it shows up as usb drive and you can drag mp3 files to it from the desktop ipod is not like that most other players (teac sandisk and nearly all untitled chinese players) are like that get one that comes with enough warranty incuding battery time. some of the cheap chinese players are quite bad in battery. some mp3 players use aaa battery. they are good as you can have spare charged batteries get one with the features you want. there are features like mp3 playback specific video format playback (usually some variation of avi / mp4) wide choice of video playback (common mp4 / common wmv / etc) digital camera video camera voice record fm radio (usually not high quality) text reader micro sd card slot integrated usb plug (does not need usb cable)

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Goodhart (author)110100101102009-02-27

Thank you for taking the time to outline all of that. This will be useful if I go out again looking for a player (I haven't gotten one yet, but I haven't looked for a few days either ;-)

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Chicken2209 (author)2009-02-27

best investment, touch its waaaay better than any other ipod

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jessyratfink (author)2009-02-27

Honestly, I would just go for the nano. I owned a first generation mini, and then when the battery finally died a few years later, I upgrade to a first generation nano. I've always been happy with the smaller IPods. I'll probably keep using mine until it dies! And besides, who really needs 120GB of music at any given time? :P (Well, I guess they could use some of that space for movies. That would be neat.)

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Goodhart (author)jessyratfink2009-02-27

Thanks Jessy. As I replied to Lithium, I may not have the choice, but it is nice to know what to look for and consider if I do end up buying one new.

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