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MP3 players... down to three

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Groovecenter, Dec 23, 2005.


  1. I've narrowed my choices regarding MP3 players down to the following: (all info I obtained through www.cnet.com)

    1. Cowon iAudio X5 $245.00-260.00

    (30 GB version, possibly the xl if I can find it cheap enough). Supposidly has great sound quality, excellent user reviews on www.cnet.com, and shows up as a hard drive when plugged in via USB. Cons were that it isn't as initially easy to use as an IPOD (not an issue for me) and that it doesn't use Id3 tags, so files will have to be ordered and in folders before dragged onto the player.

    2. Creative Labs Zen Sleek Photo $229.00- 300.00

    (40 GB) Nice sound quality coupled with a pretty package and decent user interface.

    3. Apple IPOD fifth Gen. $300.00

    (30 GB) Easy to use, everyone has one, everyone that has one has ITunes, easy easy easy easy. Supposid weaker sound quality and durability than others on the market, expensive for the features (ie. lack of FM, weak video, low battery time when using video)

    So pretty much I'm just looking for oppinions on these players, as well as suggestions as to other notable MP3 players in their league.


    Price limit: I'd like to keep the price under 300.

    As of right now I'm leaning heavily towards the Cowon iAudio X5 30 GB, as its sound quality and its price makes it a near irrestible buy; also, it had excellent user reviews, without even the seemingly random 2 or 3 that almost every other player has.

    Thanks for any help that can be offered, especially by those who own any of the above.

    Steven Q.
     
  2. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    iPod. It has it's bashers but nobody picks fruitless trees.
     
  3. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I've heard good things about the Cowon as well.

    If I bought a 30 gig right now though it probably would be the Apple.

    brad cook
     
  4. FireBug

    FireBug

    Sep 18, 2005
    Houston
    You failed to mention the Network Walkman from Sony. I'm talking about the 20 gig model with shock protection with 30+ hours of battery life. Have you heard of that one?
     
  5. haven't heard anything about it, I'll check it out right now on cnet, see what it says. Do you have any experience with it?
     
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    iPod. No Brainer.
     
  7. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    I have a 20 gig Dell I like pretty well.
     
  8. Out of those 3, the iPod, but what about iRiver? much better quality than iPods, altho they have recently discontinued thier 20 and 40 Gb models (H300 series), new HDDs on the way
     
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    iPods are the most expensive yet the worst quality and price/features ratio of the pack. Go with the masses if you want to, follow the hordes down the cliff, or listen to your brain and buy something better.

    The sound quality difference between iAudio and Creative is really small; getting some good earphones/IEMs would improve it much more
     
  10. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Saying that the iPod is a no brainer is not using your brain.

    brad cook
     
  11. Ive never heard of iAudio, and there are a few nasty bugs in the Zen that have claimed 2 out of 3 from a few of my friends

    I agree tho, the iPod is a great example of what marketing can do, its audio quality is poor, even if you use decent headphones
     
  12. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I think you guys are crazy about the ipod's audio quality, it sounds good to me! I also have no complaints about the video, if rendered properly it actually looks quite good IMO.

    There's a reason they are #1, and everything else is struggling to keep up. The rest are the equavalent to buying a beta VCR IMO :)
     
  13. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :rolleyes:
    The joy and simplicity of the ignorants :smug:

    The reason they are #1 is the amount of marketing and the hype they created.
    Creative was the first with the Nomad Jukebox, a HDD-MP3 player about the size of a discman, years before apple.
    Then apple took the idea, put in a smaller size disk drive, gave it a design makeover, and launched it with a big marketing campaing.
    They are now catching on - or at least improving - SQ, but they were far behind with the first couple of generations.

    However, your example was good. Even though I think you didn't mean that. Beta was superior, yet VHS caught on...
     
  14. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Beta was superior in video quality but NOT in recording length. I think that's the main reason the public embraced VHS. You could record a lot more on one tape and this was before the current obsession with awesome picture quality (with the coming of HD and whatnot).

    brad cook
     
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    iAudio is good stuff, just quite expensive on this side of the pond.
    Bug? The un-updated firmware or the scratchy jack?
    I've heard a couple of apple-stories, too
     
  16. We all know about apple stuff, and no, the firmware was more or less up to date on both of them, one of them was fully up to date, it wasnt a scratchy jack, one of them just refused to turn on again, tried everything to no avail, he took it back to the shop, they didnt have Zen's anymore, so he got an iPod, now he complains about it all the time :rolleyes:

    The other one will randomly freeze all controls and only stop playing when the battery dies
     
  17. Oh, another thing thats great about the iRiver whilst i remember, you dont need any software installed if your running XP or such, it detects it as a harddrive and you can just copy files over, it also has more codecs supported than iPods
     
  18. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Nitpicking over audio quality with compressed music files on a portable player is kinda of silly. You're fooling yourself if you think it's that important. :meh:
     
  19. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Creative did what they could with the technology they had at the time. Apple did what they could with the technology they had at the time too. You can't really say apple 'took the idea' from creative, since HDD players were a logical evolution from flash players. (also, compaq was the first company to make a HDD music player)


    Also, the reason the iPod is #1 has less to do with marketing and more to do with being a good player. You forget that apple barely marketed the iPod for the first few years of its existence(quite the contrary, everyone thought the iPod was a bad idea and that it would flop). It wasn't until last year or so that they started turning the marketing brunt to 11. The iPod became popular because it's easy to use and it's pretty. People don't care if a player can make waffles for you while you record a conversation between a cat and a radio, if it's at all complicated or clunky in your pocket. They don't want it.

    The other reason why the iPod is popular. Show me a windows player that has as seamless a connection with its software as the iPod? iTunes is a very good program, and the iPod works with it perfectly.
     
  20. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    ID3 tags are really usefull, that would eliminate the cowon for me.


    Make sure the Creative has no headphone jack issues, if you read even the slightest thing about this new model, run, otherwise that would be the pick.

    The ipod would probably be my choice out of the three, but I have to agree with most others, I'd go for something with features and better sound quality at a reasonable price.