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Thread: MP3 Neophyte needs direction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI

    MP3 Neophyte needs direction

    I am a TOTAL ignoramus when it comes to new music technology. However, since I'm going to be sequestered to a small corner of a big warehouse purging 40 year old files for the next 4 to 6 weeks, and I don't like the radio station that the group has decided on (mixed rock with the majority of the mix leaning towards AC/DC and the like - I think I'm getting old), I thought it might be time for me to take the plunge into MP3 Land.

    The choices and features are confusing at best. I'm looking at this one only because it is not too expensive (I'm cheap) and it seems to have good reviews. However, I'm probably a poor judge of what constitutes a good review if I can't understand what they're talking about.

    I know some of you are techno-geniuses, so help me out. I want to move a lot of my CD's over, maybe someday try downloading, and listen to something that will not compromise the quality of the music. I listen to classical (like back, Mozart, Beethoven) and 60's rock, folk rock, etc.

    Any suggestions?

    PS - Oh, and video is not important to me, but it would be nice if it also received radio - FM at least, but AM FM would be better.
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 01-17-2009 at 12:41 AM. Reason: Brain problem
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    I know about as much as you do about the players available, but I think you can get something comparable to the Sony unit you linked to for less money elsewhere. is my go-to place for that type of shopping.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Ipods are a pain (Sorry Chuck's girls) but an MP3 player can be had pretty cheap if you don't need to store tons of stuff. To give you an idea, I put about 140 MP3's that I sample at 192k (you'll get used to that lingo as you go) on a 700MB CD to play in the garage. So, a 1GB player will hold a bit more than that, a 2GB player over twice as many songs, etc.).

    The prices can go from $35 or so all the way up to $tupid. Don't be confused by two players with the same amount of storage that have a wide price gap. The extra money is for features or to a lesser degree, brand name. All that being said, if a player will play MP3's and do random and repeat functions; I'm sold.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Rennie, I have wrestled with this subject for years. I have two sons and we go through mp3 players like disposable paper. I started with the philosphy of cheapest does it. But over time I have come to realise a few things and I am now leaning to Chucks girls side of things. Not for teenagers who loose them and drop them etc but for a guy like a woodworker who knows how to care for things as he would an antique plane etc.

    It is not just a matter of size, the issue is when you have x tunes of yours on there and would like to find a particular one the interface is the issue. Some have what I would call touch scroll feature on the dial. This is the technology you want as a feature for the interface, and in this area Apple is king. Then next you want battery power that lasts and IMO a charger that charges it not from the USB port of your computer but from the mains socket. We have been through several itterations of this technology over the last 4 years. These are the features that emerge as neccessary.

    Now having seen the latest touch Ipod and then the Iphone, I am leaning towards the next purchase i make in this area of being the Iphone with both the phone and the Ipod element included and then you are done.
    No carrying loads of devices. But I have not looked at the storage on an Iphone yet. So thats where I am.
    Another thing to think about, spurred on by you and Brent and the magazine scanning, I ripped (converted to mp3 ) my entire cd collection a few weeks back. Then put some of this music on my phone and made up a cable with a couple of dollars worth of connectors from Radio Shack,
    to be able to connect the output of the phone to the back of my hi fi and the shop hi fi. The issue to think of here is that its not just for the warehouse job you will be wanting this. And if you are in the area of $100 already think more long term like we do buying tools. Once you have the songs digital and transportable you want to be able to take them with you to all sort of locations and given your age, I presume you like me will not be wanting to have earbuds in your ears all day long. So again back to the Ipod due to its popularity the accessory market for these things is wild and you can get docking stations that become your new Hi Fi base with speakers etc. Then when you go to the shop you pick up the Ipod and plug it into either the ex shop radio or a new docking station.

    I have not seen any docking stations for the other makes that are non Ipod.

    Next if you would like to carry with you some family photos and perhaps the odd video, storage is going to be the issue so the Ipod guys thought of that when they made the 40gig plus units.

    There you have it in my opinion. You can either start out with a "piece of junk" that is likely to frustrate you after a while or get a decent device like the Ipod.

    I have to say I never in my life thought I would ever type that I approve of these devices. But that is what kids do they keep your pockets empty and alter the mind. I thought they were supposed to keep you young but I keep getting more gray.

    Best of luck in this choice. Spend more now and buy once or buy now and buy later. I will put money on that one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    One man's opinion, as influenced by the inaugural margaritas I had tonight!

    Ipods really are a stroke of genius for apple. Take the base technology that everybody has, slap on some marketing to make people think its cool, and you can get twice the price for exactly the same thing!

    Well, that's not actually true. Wait till the batteries in the ipods give out.

    Anyway, here's something:

    then there's this:

    this one's kinda cool:

    The big thing? They all do the same thing, but the interface can be frustrating. That touch screen number looks easy to navigate!

    The other big thing: you will not get good quality sound from the ear buds. If you're listening to brittany spears, they're fine, but for classical music? I use these:

    Tough, good sound, and hearing protection. What could be better?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    This post is going to start looking like one that belongs to Allen except it will be all techie stuff and the $bill pile will be growing. Rennie when you get hooked its going to be all the way and dont say we did not warn you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Rennie I haven't owned that Sony, but my last phone (Sony) used the same player. As much as I like my BlackBerry, I miss my sony. The fact that it plays MP3's and WMA (Windows Media Audio?) is a plus. The WMA files are about half the size of MP3s, so will give you more room to load more songs on the device. They also have a good sound, from the device itself.

    On the flip side I don't have anything against ipods. I got one for my wife and she can load the thing herself (which says something) and loves it. I just personally don't like the iTunes software, but it works for her.

    I recently completed ripping all our cd's to mp3 format and cataloging them on our home pc. Several weeks, hundred CD's, and over 3000 songs later, it makes loading them on our players much easier.

    Edit: Have also owned Creative brand mp3 players, both were easy to use and software was easy to use, still use it for ripping my MP3s.
    Last edited by Darren Wright; 01-17-2009 at 06:02 AM.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rhode Island
    I have a Dell mp3 that has a 20 gig hard drive it holds 5,000 songs I have only 2,500 on it. It did last me almost 4 years before it crapped out, although I did use it at least 9 hours a day 6 days a week.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    SOFTWARE Check out this software to Rip your CD's to MP3's. It has a minor learning curve and you will need to find a program called LAME out the WWW to go with it. But it makes great sounding MP3's.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Ipods are a pain (Sorry Chuck's girls)
    Yup, I agree.

    When my sweetheart wanted an MP3 player a couple of years ago we went to our university student son for advice. He's the technology literate person in our house. She ended up with an Ipod. It works, but it took a long time to learn to use and it uses special "Ipod" software for labeling and organising the files. There was one case where she wanted more than one artists version of a Christmas song on her player and because the titles were the same the Ipod software wouldn't let her load more than one version. On the other hand, my parents have a pair of cheapy units (Sony I think) and they were easy to learn, easy to load, and used AAA batteries so there was no high $$ replacement cost. They were also an eighth of the cost of the Ipod.

    That's my experience with MP3 players.



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