MP3 - Advice please

  EFC1878 22:57 31 Oct 05

Help please...

My daughter wants an MP3 and I must admit to not really knowing what I should be looking at when comparing MP3's with a view to purchase. Is storage size the key? Any manufactures to go by or avoid? Any other factors I need to consider?

Any tips and advice would be appreciated

  ade.h 23:01 31 Oct 05
  Jdoki 12:30 01 Nov 05

The amount of storage space, is definitely one of the main factors in buying an MP3 player.

Apple, who make the massively popular iPods, go by a rough rule of thumb of 1Gb = 250 tracks - but in reality this will differ depending on song length and a number of other factors. The physical size of the device can be important too, larger capacity devices (20Gb upwards) tend to be bigger and heavier than smaller capacity ones.

For ease of use and excellent integration between PC and MP3 player I have found Apple is the best. I've used models by Creative (the Zen Micro) and Rio but been disappointed by the interfaces and the software. At the moment I am extremely happy with the iPod Nano I have.

Another factor is what 'extra features' you want. With iPods you generally pay more, and get less, such as built in radio. But I'm sure your daughter would thank you for getting her something that is very much a part of popular culture! 'I have a Creative Zen Micro', just doesn't sound as cool as 'I've got an iPod'!

The final factor I would say is important, is how the device will be used... If it's only going to be used while travelling, then any type of mp3 player will do, but if it will be used during sports activities, then it's probably best to go for an MP3 player which uses Solid State Memory, rather than a Hard Drive.

  Arnie 14:53 01 Nov 05

has no mechanics to go wrong.

Another thing to consider is: Make sure no special in house software has to be installed, which may prevent you from tranferring files to somone else's computer. (Sony)

Use your browser to check for big issues with some iPod Nanos like cracked screens and lithium ion battery problems.

  Jdoki 09:30 02 Nov 05

The cracked screen issue on the Nanos was once again a case of the media blowing things out of all proportion. It affected a tiny amount of people who bought them and was quickly resolved by Apple. It's kind of amusing how the 'someone has even set up a website for people who have problems with their Nanos' story that everyone latched on to had about 4 entries on it! :)

Battery life on my Nano is quoted at 14 hours, but in reality I get about 10-11. This is similar to the Zen Micro I had, quoted 12 (I think) and I got about 9-10. Manufacturers always make higher claims as they test under very specific conditions.

The only advantage the Zen Micro has over the iPod is a replaceable battery, so you can extend the life of the unit which is a brilliant feature.

There has been a lot of talk about how easily the Nano scratches during normal use. I have no idea what other people consider 'normal use', but for me, a £180 piece of kit gets treated fairly carefully, although mine does get put in my sports bag...

  Arnie 10:32 02 Nov 05

and hope you never suffer from screen, or battery problems.
It can be a very expensive business to correct.

  pj123 21:28 02 Nov 05

Well I reckon I have the best MP3 player on the market. OK so it does not have a massive storage (256mb) but it accepts MMC cards. Its best feature is it looks and plays just like an audio cassette. It is the Mobiblu DAH 220 from click here

  pj123 21:30 02 Nov 05

Sorry, once on the site click on the More Info button on the Hot MP3 link.

  Totally-braindead 00:33 03 Nov 05

As a very cheap alternative try this click here though you do need to buy a card. I've got a small 512mb MP3 and it does me, admitedly I can't get hundreds of songs on it but theres more than enough music on it for me as I change it every week or so.

  EFC1878 23:23 07 Nov 05

Very grateful for all your help.

Having looked at the links and read the comments above I feel I have a better idea to gauge the choice of size and functionality.

I think I will aim for a 512mb or 1Gb [not sure if the extra storage is really that necessary.

Not sure whether equalizer mode is really a necessity but I do think that having a radio will be an added bonus.

Again I still feel fazed by the choice available and the different makes/models.

I did see this on E-Buyer and wondered if it was worth a shot? or whether going for a 'value' product is a false economy.

Any advice?

By the way I have seen references to mp3 that have internal memory and others that don't. I s this an issue that I should be bothered about?

  Dizzy Bob 10:51 08 Nov 05

PC World seem to have a lot of offers on MP3 at the moment. Quite a few are out of stock on the website, but may be available in store.

The Rio Carbon 2.5GB looks a really good deal.

click here


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