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educate me on mp3 players

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Jun 20, 2002
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so, yea,  even thought i have a sirius radio in the truck, i'm thinking that i'd like to have my entire cd collection with me, so i can listen to anything from there whenever i want to.  this has led me to thinking about buying an ipod or similar mp3 player, but i don't really know anything about them.

i suppose i can live with a minimal loss of sound quality when compared to the original cd's, but any loss much more than that will make me throw it out the window!  i think this puts me into the 15-30 gb range.

i would be using a cassette deck adaptor to play it throught the stereo in the semi.

which ones do you guys like?  what ones should i avoid?  what formats should i be looking for?  what else should i know about buying one?  anyone?

let's set a $300.00 price limit.

killing time in georgia,
tech...
 

Est

War. War never changes.
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]i suppose i can live with a minimal loss of sound quality when compared to the original cd's, but any loss much more than that will make me throw it out the window!

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]i would be using a cassette deck adaptor to play it throught the stereo in the semi.

The only real potential problem is right there. It depends on whether you want to use a wireless one adapter or an adapter that physically will plug from your MP3 player in to the tape deck. Wireless ones are neet and convenient, but are your biggest potential for loss of quality. I'd advise against wireless because you're going to be driving through a large number of areas, some will have reception on certain stations, others wont, and you don't want to have to change the radio station that the trasmitter transmits to very many times while driving. So if you can find one that'll physically plug the cassette player to the MP3 player, I think you should be better off.

The quality of sound that comes out of the MP3 player shouldn't vary from player as they're on playing the same files. I don't know of any players that put files under additional compression or anything. So if you want your MP3s to sound good- use good quality MP3s. In my experience you can keep good quality without sacrificing too much space.

As for an actual player.... Well, I can't say an awful lot. I'm still using my 32mb one. >_> I can comment on at least one Dell player I've seen: The buttons can majory mess up and make things like changing volume be a big pain the rear. HOWEVER, IME they'll send you a new one with very little complaint on your part. And you don't seem to hear a peep from them when you don't ever send in your broken one after getting the one that works.
 

glider14

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well $300 buget....get an iPod! plus they hold a bunch of songs! thers the iPod(~25,000 songs), iPod mini(~10,000 songs i think), iPod nano(500(2gb) and 1000(4gb) songs), and the iPod shuffle (120 songs(512 mb) and 240(1gb) songs. iPod costs the most, then mini, then nano, then shuffle. iPod video is another one but i dont know much about it. the regualr iPod that has 30gb of space is usually aroud $300 while the 60gb is around $500.
anything else? just PM me
Alex

PS. i have an ipod nano and it is awesome!
 

seedjar

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The iPod mini has been discontinued for a while now - that's the model that the nano replaced. And there is no 'video iPod;' the standard model plays videos. It's not like you have to throw down for something extra. Once they get the power consumption down, I wouldn't be surprised if they came out with a video-playing nano.
I'd get an iPod if I were you, but I'm kind of an Apple-phile so my opinion is not impartial. All I know is that I've had an iPod since the first ones were released, and I've yet to come across another player with features I wanted that my iPod didn't have (besides replaceable batteries.)
As for connecting it in your truck, cabled is the way to go, but see if you can't get a kit to wire an input into your stereo. You can get cables with a headphone (1/8") jack to stereo leads, allowing you to plug your iPod into a spare audio input - usually used for an in-trunk CD changer or the like. Those cassette adapters are serviceable, but I've found that the wires tend to come loose or break over time and there can be some loss of audio quality, depending on how well you keep your cassette deck cleaned. So far as loss goes, that's the only place you're going to get it; digital audio players themselves reproduce music flawlessly. I don't know what kind of bit rates that other players support, but I know that my iPod can play music at quality better than the average CD (although I doubt one would hear a significant difference.)
~Joe
 
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I agree with the above - Ipods are great. There are players out there that match them for capacity and price, and probably beat them. But if Apple has figured anything out over the decades, it's how to build quality hardware. I'm not happy with how DRMed they are, though.
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But that's par for the course these days.

Capslock
 
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Personally I have an Iriver and it works great for me. It can do music, video, recording, and it has a radio. The only drawback on mine is that it is only 2 gigs. I'm not sure if they come in bigger sizes or not but it holds my cd collection just fine with lots of room to spare.
 
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If you're playing thru your cassette player you could just get a portable CD player that plays MP3's. That will give you a solid 6 to 8 hours of music on a cd. They cost considerably less than an iPod and sound good at 192 kbps compression.
 

Clint

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get one that plays mp3 or WMA files, i believe WMA are like half the size of mp3.

i love Ipod but i dont think it plays wma's. you can also watch movies on it.

i use my psp, it's got internet, music, movies, pics, and games all in one machine
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i think a 1 gb mem. card is 100 bucks.
 

Cynic81

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I have an iPod mini I got at christmas off amazon, where they can be obtained fro cheap. It's great, though if you plan to use it in the car you may want a car kit for it, as the click wheel makes song selection while driving difficult. Otherwise it's awesome.
 
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thanks for the replies everyone!  keep them coming though, as i'm just starting my research into these things...

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]you could just get a portable CD player that plays MP3's.
 thought about this route, but i like the possibility of having 200 cd's worth on music in one single unit.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]the click wheel makes song selection while driving difficult.
 i was hoping that i could just say "shuffle" and it would play stuff.  am i wrong to think this?

the creative zen units were one of the 3 i was looking at, with i pod being one also.  i forget the name of the third one right now.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I'm not happy with how DRMed they are,
 i'm not familier with the term "drm".  please explain...

also, i'll be converting my cd collection to the required format, not downloading, so the quality of the "mp3" (or whatever format i need) will be up to me...

keep it comming!

tech...
 
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tech,
Yes, you can just hit shuffle and it will do it's thing. But you have to hit it on the ipod itself, not your radio, that's what he meant.

DRM is "Digital Rights Management" stuff which basically only matters if you're buying songs from iTunes. They load up their files with all manner of copy-protection junk that makes it a pain to transfer songs and such. However, there are always workarounds to the issues.

Capslock
 
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IPOD and Nanos. Stay away from the shuffles. As for the zens and the others, Yes they are capable but for ease of use Nada. I have beta tested a few and found that they are okay but still are far behind the Ipods and nanos. Caps as for copy rights yes there are work arounds. Copy rights do protect the companys as they have a right to protect the rights .
Stealing is stealing.

I believe in Pay for your songs and videos. IF grossly over priced, well that is for another debate!

Just my thoughts
Jim
 

seedjar

Let's positive thinking!
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Choosing music isn't much of a problem, not any more than selecting a CD out of a case. Either way, it's something that you shouldn't really be doing while driving. If you're listening to CDs, then you get one of those visor-mounting cases so you can set a few discs aside and pick them without looking at them. Likewise, if you have an iPod, you pick a playlist or album or whatever and let it go. There are always the forward and back buttons on the iPod; you don't have to look at the screen to skip ahead. I know plenty of people who listen to their iPods while driving, and they don't seem to have any problem fiddling with what's playing. In any case, I don't think there's a very dramatic difference between reaching for an iPod in a cupholder than the stereo on the dash.
Capslock is right about the DRMs on music from the Apple store, but the Apple Music Store sucks anyways. You're paying record-store prices for just data - you don't even have freedom to reproduce it the way you can with hard copies. And what happens if your hard drive goes kaput? You're better off to stick with real albums.
~Joe
 

Clint

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oh yeah, the lithium battery dies every so often, maybe every 1 or 2 years? so you gotta send it to apple and get a new one installed.
 
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When researching mp3 players the various techies I spoke to said that apple's soundcard wasn't as good as creative (for years they have been supplying them for your PC), JNC and iRiver. I went for the creative and a year later another for the wife, its now nearly a year for hers. Both have given excellent service(none of the battery problems of early ipods) and if I decide to upgrade it will be Creative Labs again. Sound is the specialty of this company so it stands to reason. I think they were also one of the earliest creators of mp3 players(correct me if I'm wrong). Just remember iPods are popular because of massive marketing.
 

seedjar

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I've never known Apple to use substandard audio equipment. Audio professionals have been using Macs since the Macintosh Classic; I doubt that they would drop the quality of the sound processor on an audio device too far. And the fourth generation iPods used the same audio chipset as the iRiver H10; the PP5020. New iPods use an updated revision of that hardware.
Welcome to the forums, BTW.
~Joe
 
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Ipods are the 1 mp3 player because they were easy to use and the software is easy to use. only up till now the others are just starting to come up to par. As for the chips used in the ipods, Seedjar your right! Apple is not going to use subpar quality nope nada. As for quality I beat tested and all of these and at 128 bit quality realy no diffrence. Iriver became tinty when tring to tweak for best sound in the eq. You could say that it is personal taste as well.. It is all in the ear.
I will say again as for mass marketing lets take a look at windows and mac. If it were not for the ipod microsoft would have an mp3 player and mass produced and it would be them. Nice to have a change in the market after being forced to have another microsoft product in my house.

Jim
 
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Point taken. I didn't say they were sub-standard just that at the time the creative was better. As I said I was told this some 2 years ago and obviously most reputable brands should have improved.
 
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