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Author Topic: Portable MP3 player recommendations  (Read 3828 times)

CWuestefeld

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Portable MP3 player recommendations
« on: January 01, 2009, 07:32:47 PM »
My Zune 30 just bricked, and I need a new player . I know that portable MP3 players have been discussed before (e.g., here), but I figure that this market changes enough that an update might be appropriate.

My default choice is a pretty direct replacement for the Zune with a Zune 80, available at Circuit City for $163. Here's my wish list:

  • I'd like to keep the storage capacity to at least the same level as I have now, 30GB.
  • The price should be under $200.
  • Battery life should be at least 10 hours of audio playback.
  • The UI should be easy to operate -- I listen in the car, and would prefer not to drive into a tree.
  • I would prefer that it be accessible as simple USB mass storage (the Zune's closed interface is a pain)
  • Being able to maintain a bookmark in a long track is absolutely critical, a non-negotiable feature. (Zune allows this if you lie to the thing, saying that your audiobook is a podcast)

I'm opposed to iPod because it's so darned expensive for its capabilities. I looked at Cowon and Creative Zen -- both of these are more expensive (particularly the Cowon), and I can't tell about the bookmarking capability.

Anyone care to help me with suggestions?

cthorpe

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 08:00:41 PM »
You're not alone.  Everyone's Zune 30gb froze on the 31st.  http://www.theregist...08/12/31/zune_death/

Your Zune should be ok today.  Just let the battery die, then plug it in and it should start working again.  Mine came back to life.

Here's the official statement: http://www.zune.net/...s/support/zune30.htm

C

« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 08:03:11 PM by cthorpe »

4wd

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 09:45:56 PM »
Here's the official statement: http://www.zune.net/...s/support/zune30.htm

From the above page:
Quote
"Early this morning we were alerted by our customers that there was a widespread issue affecting our 2006 model Zune 30GB devices (a large number of which are still actively being used)," reads a new statement from the company.

Kind of implies surprise that they expect anyone still to be using that old a model.

Obviously their planned obsolescence has back-fired  :P

Target

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 10:31:56 PM »
Kind of implies surprise that they expect anyone still to be using that old a model.

Obviously their planned obsolescence has back-fired  :P

not that uncommon - I bought my wife a creative zen mid last year.  Now I have no idea how old this model is (I assume from the price that it was runout stock), but you can't charge the thing without their proprietry drivers, and there are no drivers for Vista (which my wife uses...)

Lucky I still use XP, but still, they haven't even relied on the player failing - it's been rendered obsolete by Vista

TheQwerty

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 10:36:53 PM »
I'm satisfied with my first-gen Zune, but I've yet to find a DAP that would make me happy, in having some of the same features you're looking for and a few of my own.

I dream of a day that the Slim Devices division of Logitech releases a portable DAP that maintains the quality and open spirit of the existing Squeezebox family.


/offtopic
Spoiler
Kind of implies surprise that they expect anyone still to be using that old a model.
I don't know why you'd take that away from the statement.  Unlike some companies Microsoft has done very well in continuing to support the first generation of Zunes thus far.

Yesterday's problem turned out to be a small flaw in the clock's date calculation routine, which caused it to get stuck in a while loop.  Pretty interesting thread on it over here:
http://www.zuneboard...roblem-isolated.html


CWuestefeld

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 05:30:45 AM »
Kind of implies surprise that they expect anyone still to be using that old a model.

Obviously their planned obsolescence has back-fired  :P
Setting aside my dismay at the severity of this bug that fell through the cracks, they've been remarkably good about keeping this old device up-to-date. They've been continuing to rev the firmware even since the release of the newer models. AFAIK, the only differences in features between my the and the newer 80s and 120s are that they can do H.264 video, which MS says my processor isn't fast enough for. Other than that, MS continues to carry the obsolete models forward.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 10:38:43 AM »
Thanks, cthorpe, my Zune is now back among the living.

But out of curiosity, what is the state of portable MP3 players these days? If my Zune hadn't resurrected, where should I be looking? And is the rockbox project still active? I looked at it, and as far as I can see they're not running on any current devices.

40hz

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Re: Portable MP3 player recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »
FWIW: I have had uniformly bad luck with Creative's Zen products. These problems included hardware issues, software issues, overall stability and lock-up problems - and virtually non-existent tech support.

Much as it galls me to say this - I've had the best luck with an Apple iPod nano somebody gave to me as a gift. <Edit: I do, however, use Floola ( www.floola.com ) rather than iTunes to run it! :P>

« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 01:16:40 PM by 40hz »