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[personal profile] auturgist
So, this Dell Pocket DJ I have (I'll never forgive you for putting me onto this piece of shit, Hawk) is fucked and useless to me, and I really want a good portable MP3 player for when I open or close at work, and possibly to get my ass motivated to go running or something. These are the features I'm looking for, not necessarily in order of importance:

- sleek design that clips or fits into small pockets easily
- clean, intuitive interface that I can navigate with my fat thumbs
- quick and easy connectivity to my PC (ideally, I can just drag files/folders from my hard drive onto the player as with any USB portable memory device)

Thoughts, suggestions?

Date: 2009-11-26 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yawmin.livejournal.com
... and you didn't get an iPod, why?

Date: 2009-11-26 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auturgist.livejournal.com
This was years and years ago that I bought that garbage, when there were still horror stories about the life of iPod batteries and I was kinda looking for something alternative on principle. Hawk showed me his Dell Pocket DJ and from what little exposure I had to it then, it seemed like an excellent option. I want to smash the fucking thing with a hammer right now. The most recent drivers don't even work or recognize it, even though Windows knows what it is (but can't interface with it). It's literally infuriating me. In fact, I AM going to smash it with a hammer.

Anyway, I'm not above buying an iPod now, but I don't know what model would be best for me and they are kinda expensive. I'm so much poorer than I used to be a couple years ago. = (

Date: 2009-11-26 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rspeed.livejournal.com
You know those horror stories were mostly bullshit from people who don't understand LiPo batteries, right?

Date: 2009-11-26 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auturgist.livejournal.com
No, I didn't. This was years ago, like I said. I didn't ever really fully investigate the reasons why, I just knew that a lot of people had complained about the batteries dying and not being replaceable, and some of them were even friends. /shrug

Date: 2009-11-26 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yawmin.livejournal.com
I've never had a problem with my iPod battery. It lasts almost the ENTIRE drive to Savannah (so about 12 hours), and has been on the flight to Japan with me twice. And mines a 5th gen, and I know the new ones are much more battery efficient. I think the people who have problems don't do the following:

- Change the backlight timer to 2seconds instead of 30. Because that drains the battery.They also don't turn off the click noise-- which, while also really annoying, drains the battery senselessly.

- Turn the backlight down, because you *really* don't need it on the full brightness. I've got mine as low as it can go, and can still see the screen FINE in the dark.

- Drain the battery all of the way before charging it. THIS IS A BIG ONE. It's just like laptops. You leave it plugged in all the time, it's not going to hold a charge.

- Consider file size. You *really* should have everything at 128kbps (which is CD quality). Anything over that makes your mp3 files HUGE, and thus drains the battery when your iPod is reading them. And having them ripped higher, is just silly, because if they are ripped from a CD, they aren't going to magically sound better when ripped at a higher rate *rolls eyes*

All of these things are in the iPod manual as suggestions for making your battery life last longer, and it's worked for me.

As for which to get, unless you want to carry around your ENTIRE mp3 library with you (which I do, and at times really HATE that I have THAT much music, because it always takes forever to find what I want), then the Nanos would work for you just fine. An 8G is $149 now, and the 16G is $179. Or, if you want to go even smaller, the shuffles are nice too. I've got a shuffle as well, because I took it with me when walking around Savannah. The thing just clips on, and is great for working out. I've got the old shuffle-- the newer ones are even smaller and have like no buttons on them (it's crazy). The only problem with the shuffles is that you have NO display, and don't know what's coming up next. The new shuffles give you the ability to make multiple playlists, but my old one doesn't so I can't really give you a good review of that part.
Edited Date: 2009-11-26 06:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-11-26 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auturgist.livejournal.com
Can I throw stuff on an iPod that didn't come from my own CD or the iTunes store?

Date: 2009-11-26 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yawmin.livejournal.com
Oh yeah. You just have to use iTunes to do it. But, like I said, if they aren't 128kbps, you should convert them to it... which you can do in iTunes really easily.

Date: 2009-11-27 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yawmin.livejournal.com
Oh and today only, apparently Apple has the Nanos on sale. Damn, if I had the money, I'd buy another one right now T^T

Date: 2009-11-27 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schroteri.livejournal.com
I call horseshit on the 128kbps because there is an audible difference between 128 and 192 and I'm half deaf. The rest I'm not going to argue with.

Also you're wrong. You don't have to use iTunes to do anything with your iPod. I use WinAmp to synch my library because iTunes is a bloated piece of shit program.

Or you could just Rockbox the whole thing and fuck it.

Date: 2009-11-27 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yawmin.livejournal.com
Your hearing might be a different kind of special, because I have super sensitive hearing-- to the point when I can hear if a TV is on but it's not got anything on display (like it was left on aux channels or the cable is turned off) and I *cannot* hear the difference between 128kbps and 192kbps, except the latter is maybe a little louder than the other. But then again, I don't have fancy speakers, and just use my computer speakers, the ear buds it came with and some el cheapo $40 big honking headphones. So maybe there's a difference because your speakers are nicer than what I have .And even 192 is not so bad as 320. Those files are needlessly huge.

I actually had no idea you could use other programs, but WinAmp has always crashed on me ever since 3.0, which is why I did the switch to iTunes a year before I even bought my iPod and never turned back.

Date: 2009-11-28 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schroteri.livejournal.com
I can't stand iTunes... it's bloated and the interface is atrocious. I used WinAmp 2.7 for ages until I updated to something like 5.7 or whatever the current version is, and for at least the last few versions yeah, you can synch to any external media device, iPod included, no special firmware required. So mostly that's just me saying that it's not NECESSARY to use iTunes, though obviously an option. But if you want to Rockbox the whole thing you can just use it like an external AFAIK.

Size doesn't much matter to me, I have 70GB of music on an 80GB iPod so I've got space.

Date: 2009-11-28 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auturgist.livejournal.com
I use Winamp for all my music playing, but if this Rockbox thing you speak of allows me to use an iPod like an external memory stick or something, that might be the way to go. Hmmm...

Date: 2009-11-28 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schroteri.livejournal.com
http://www.rockbox.org/

From the FAQ :

No. Depending on what player you have, you can either access the device as a USB Mass Storage (UMS) device through the original firmware or through Rockbox. This setting causes the device to act as a standard drive when plugged into a USB port, allowing you to simply drag and drop files or use a syncing program of your choice.

Date: 2009-11-28 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schroteri.livejournal.com
FYI lots of people can hear televisions that are simply turned on. CRTs make a very audible noise if you know what you're listening for.

Date: 2009-11-28 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auturgist.livejournal.com
I can tell the difference between 128 and 192 on my desktop computer.

Date: 2009-11-26 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vartan.livejournal.com
iPod, unless you're one of those who deliberately avoids them (but reading the above comments it doesn't sound like that)

You'll have to use iTunes, yes, but I don't know why people resist that so much other than just the fact that they have no other choices makes them angry.

You can put whatever you want on there, MP3s downloaded off of the intarwebs 12 years ago, content you buy through the Apple Store, freshly ripped CDs, whatever. There's only a few things that you can't put in there without conversion.

Files converted for MiniDisc/Sony players (ATRAC). I dunno what you do about those, I just kinda gave up after a while on the stuff I converted back in 2003.
MP2. If you have stuff from the yesteryears of downloading, like I do, you might have a couple of these. You can convert them into MP3 or MP4/AAC using iTunes (IIRC they will actually open and play as MP2, they just won't sync to the iPod), but you might be better off finding a newer rip unless it's something crazy obscure because the quality difference is very noticeable.
WMA Mostly convertible, but same as above. Unless you ripped them within the last few years, the quality is probably not worth the effort.

Which you may have already known or assumed already. Really the only unobvious one is songs purchased from other sources that have their own DRM but may be in MP3/MP4 format. I don't know which have DRM and which don't, but if it was bought somewhere else as a download there's a good chance it won't play outside of (whoever)'s service/player.

I say get your feet wet with the shuffle if you want, it's cheap, it's light. If you want a screen and playlists though then go with a nano. or, if you're ambitious, go for whichever one. I've had like 3 generations of iPods and been happy with all of them, want to get a Touch or iPhone but just can't justify it currently.

Date: 2009-11-26 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sandisk Sansa meets your requirements. I got mine on Buy.com refurbished for twenty bucks.

Date: 2009-11-27 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jvowles.livejournal.com
Just get an ipod. And don't waste all your effort trying to customize things -- do the basic stuff they suggest to minimize battery drain, and use iTunes to suck in all your music. You'll wind up with a superior product that is quite literally a joy to use.

Date: 2009-11-27 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkschneider.livejournal.com
You know, in my defense, I didn't have a Pocket, but a 30GB Gen 2 DJ.

… also, my Ubuntu desktop has no problem with syncing songs on it in (so long as I loaded up the right drivers – libmtp). So there. =p

Hope you find a good player for your money. I'd check CNet for reviews if you aren't looking at an iPod.

Date: 2009-11-28 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auturgist.livejournal.com
Well, I haven't smashed the shit out of it yet, so maybe I could bring it to you and you could try to work some mojo on it? If you can somehow flash the firmware and get it working again, I'd love you for saving me a fuckton of cash I really shouldn't spend now...

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