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View Full Version : Anyone familiar with portable CD/MP3 players?



El Chuxter
09-23-2006, 01:28 PM
I've been meaning to replace my old, half-dead portable CD player for a while, and I'm trying to do some research here. I've weighed the pros and cons of straight MP3 players, and, well, I'm leaning against it for two reasons: 1) the price (especially since I couldn't give a rat's about video capability), and 2) the large number of regular CDs I have.

I discovered not that long ago that I can fit over 500-600 MP3's at "less than best" sound quality on a CD without any major compromises in sound. (And, hey, I can always redo them at a higher sampling rate if the sound does suck.) So, for me, a hybrid-type player seems to make a lot more sense.

I'm having trouble finding unbiased reviews concerning a wide range of manufacturers, though. Sure, there are the usual idiots on amazon.com and circuitcity.com (1-star reviews for a product because amazon sent it the day after they said they would? Gimme a damn break), but that's about it.

Of the brands I'd consider buying, meaning no WM store brand, I keep coming back to a model from Philips that retails between $37 and $40 at most stores and online dealers. The few reviews I can find list some drawbacks, but they mainly seem like flornbesque complaints to me ("I doo not liek the hed phones the coard is to long"--Buy a new set of freaking headphones for $1.99, then, idiot!). There's a similar model that's about $10-$15 more, but the only extra features are a remote control (Why, on a portable model? Is there something I should know here?) and FM tuner, and I'm leaning toward those not being worth the extra cash.

Speaking of cash, I'd like to get my 50 or so Johnny Cash CDs on one MP3 CD so I can listen to them anywhere sometime fairly soon, so any hep here'd be hot (to quote everyone's favorite SW character).

Jargo
09-23-2006, 02:36 PM
I use a RIO Carbon MP3 player. 5 gigs of memory. think I can cram about 800 top range quality tracks on it or 80-120 hours of listening. It's heavier than most players but very sturdy. The battery has a long play time before it needs recharging. and it has a mic built in so it's handy for recording conversations surreptitiously. *cough* There's no confounding array of controls either, on/off, usual play jog pause stop roundlet, menu button. you can build playlists within the player though. artist or album etc. Nice ergonomic shape too. comes with software that allows you to mix your stuff, organise playlists synch your player with you PC music library.

I'm currently using 4.6 gigs of memory with 747 tracks in the playlist.

Ghost of Jonna also has or had one. He's hip too. Only the best people have Rio's.

wouldn't know about cost though it was bought for me. roughly in the £100 price range I would imagine. Damn good investment. Damn good.

CD's are dead dude. stick with MP3. pay the extra and get something decent.

Dar' Argol
09-23-2006, 02:51 PM
Dude, seriously don't rule out what WM carries. I got a Creative Zen Nano MP3 player from WM for about $60. Its a 512MB player . . . and for about 20 or so more you can get the 1GB with a FM tuner. Its a little taller then a AAA battery and maybe as wide as 3 AAA's. It uses 1 AAA battery and depending on how loud you have it the battery last well longer then 18 hours. Even on the 512MB version I have well over 125 songs on it and still have a bit of room left. It comes with some software and it does automatically convert the files to a smaller bitrate if you want it to so you can fit more on it. I have had no problems with this player . . . I have a few friends who have it as well and they love it . . they are the ones who turned me onto it.

Here's a link to creative's site Zen Nano (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=213&subcategory=214&product=12720)

If I am not mistaken the pic there is actual size.

Just my 2 cents.

Darth Jax
09-23-2006, 05:19 PM
i have a first generation iPod and have used it for years now. iTunes makes it easy to purchase music if i'm so inclined and transferring tunes between player and cd was a breeze. although since i have my entire music collection on a separate hard drive it's much easier for me to change up the selection in my Pod. since i've had it my portable cd player has been stuck in a closet.

Kidhuman
09-23-2006, 05:38 PM
I am basically using the 2 gig ipod nano. It sells for 200(I won mine, wouldnt pay for it). I get about 8 hours on the battery it has, it recharges with a USB cord attached to your comp. I dl music and it updates itself.

People at my job use other brands to listen to theres and they are cheaper. Some sell for 50 bucks.

As for a portable CD player, go to WM and they have one for 10 bucks that my kid got for herself. It works fine and dandy.&

LTBasker
09-23-2006, 06:09 PM
I've got an RCA discman with mp3 support and it's a few years old but still takes abuse and works fine, I'd suggest something by them if you want a cd/mp3 player.

LusiferSam
09-23-2006, 06:31 PM
Ghost of Jonna also has or had one. He's hip too. Only the best people have Rio's.
Just keep telling yourself that. After all only cool people need to be reminded they're cool.


CD's are dead dude. stick with MP3. pay the extra and get something decent.
On the serious side, Mr. DP is right. CD's are mostly dead. I listen to CD's at home sometimes. I get them only when there's a big price difference between iTunes and local retail, unavailable on iTunes or when my behind the times family buys them as gift. First thing I do with CD's is rip them for my iPod.

I balked at idea of an MP3 when the first ones hit the market. Same thing with the iPod. I thought it was a joke when I first saw them. But as they maturated and the tread moved more and more to MP3s (legal and illegal) I changed my mind. That and the fact that you can carry all your music with you on a MP3 player rather then only some of it. Like you I'm not too into the idea of videos on my player. But I might change my mind on that too. So keep an open mind (but closed wallet).

As for what type of MP3 that's not an easy question. I think nearly all the hard drive based players are good. For me being a Mac user, clearly the best chooses was the iPod. If you do go with a MP3 something to get in mind is the software. How easy is it to use?

2-1B
09-23-2006, 06:38 PM
I've got all of my CDs loaded into iTunes, sold off the CDs that weren't "collectible" as in being from my very favorite bands, and now I just do mixes of whatever I want and burn them on to a 3 cent CD and play them in my cheap portable CD player when I go out walkin'...I know I'm not with the times in terms of iPods and Mp3 players but I don't care. lol lol lol

Dar' Argol
09-23-2006, 10:12 PM
Personally I just cannot see the point of getting a "trendy" iPod . . . 8 hour battery life??? Yeah, it can hold 1000's of MP3s but you know what, I don't have that many. The 512MB that I have is just great. I can listen to that thing all day at work and never hear the same song twice. Plus I spent something ike $100 less for mine. I can't see spending that kind of money on something that's more for a name ans status symbol. The $60 I spent on my Zen is just perfect. And its smaller and less . . . fragile then the iPod. I can tuck it in my back pocket and not worry about something happening to it.

Jargo
09-23-2006, 10:31 PM
you can use the Rio carbon as a weapon and hurl it across a room like a ninja throwing star but more blunt and unable to embed itself in flesh but it's a tough little thing. all metal case.
And having a player with hundreds of tracks means not having to reload it if you want a change. I ripped my CD collection to the PC and have but a fraction on the player I'd like a bigger drive.
It's not about status as much as convenience. I go away for a weekend break and the battery on mine lasts the whole time and I have choice. for moods, for drowning out noisome people, for driftng off to sleep with. and a Rio is hardly a big name item. Doubt most people have heard of one.

Personally i wouldn't touch a iPOD. think they look nasty and cheap. all that swappable casing stuff makes me think about airheads and people who match all of their clothes to their underwear and stuff. vapid clubbers and valley girls and boys. lol

Kidhuman
09-23-2006, 11:16 PM
Hey, it was free. I wouldnt pay 200 for it. I would have bought a 512mb and been happy. &

Rocketboy
09-23-2006, 11:44 PM
Dude, seriously don't rule out what WM carries. I got a Creative Zen Nano MP3 player from WM for about $60. Its a 512MB play ter . . . and for about 20 or so more you can get the 1GB with a FM tuner. Its a little taller then a AAA battery and maybe as wide as 3 AAA's. It uses 1 AAA battery and depending on how loud you have it the battery last well longer then 18 hours. Even onhe 512MB version I have well over 125 songs on it and still have a bit of room left. It comes with some software and it does automatically convert the files to a smaller bitrate if you want it to so you can fit more on it. I have had no problems with this player . . . I have a few friends who have it as well and they love it . . they are the ones who turned me onto it.

Here's a link to creative's site Zen Nano (http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=213&subcategory=214&product=12720)

If I am not mistaken the pic there is actual size.

Just my 2 cents.I have the 1GB Creative Zen Nano with the FM tuner and I love that mofo.
Granted, I don't really know squat about mp3 players, but I am really happy with mine. The battery does seem to last quite a long time. Not sure if I've ever had it last 18 hours, maybe 12-14.

El Chuxter
10-19-2006, 04:24 PM
Well, I decided to say, "scoo you gazz, Ah'm goin' home." :p

Okay, not entirely true, but I ended up picking the old technology over the new, despite the recommendations.

After taking everything into consideration, I ordered a fairly cheap CD/MP3-CD/AM/FM player online, and should have it Tuesday. My collection of CDs is so freaking huge that it would probably take weeks to convert everything to MP3, if I were not to sleep or do anything else, and, frankly, I'd rather do anything else. This way I can still carry around about 500-600 megs of MP3s, but still have the CD capability to fall back on, plus I won't ever have to wipe the memory of the player to put a different 500 megs on my playlist.

CDs may be obsolete for all intents and purposes, but they still work just fine for what I need, and they're a lot cheaper. (Blanks, I mean. Commercial pre-recorded CDs are still a tad overpriced given that you can get the same stuff online for way cheaper.)

Then again, I drove my 1992 car until 2001, when the air conditioner broke and would cost twice the value of the car to replace, and I'm currently driving a 1996 truck, so what do I know?

Mr. JabbaJohnL
10-19-2006, 05:14 PM
Even though you don't need any more help, here's my two cents. Er, uh, 300 bucks, as it were.

I got a 30 GB iPod video last Christmas and it rules. As of now, I have 2019 songs and 27 videos, which equals roughly 8.5 gigs. The only problem with it is that when you play songs that don't have pauses between them (a la most Pink Floyd stuff), it adds slight pauses. This can be remedied by joining the tracks together, though.

Also, I had to download a newer version of iTunes last night and it's working fine except when I plug my iPod in, it doesn't do anything other than just charge (as in, it's not loading the songs or changing anything). iTunes doesn't even recognize that the iPod is in, so I can't choose the "sync iPod" thing. It'll probably get better soon, I hope . . .

pbarnard
10-19-2006, 05:16 PM
I use my phone. It requires a micro-jack headphones minimally, but optimally something that allows hands free. It also requires a MicroTransFlash card. I don't like
carrying 3 or 4 devices/things. I only carry this w/headphones and a lap top.

While it doesn't do everything well, it does do everythign adequately. The MP3 Player keeps me entertained between classes where I can't find a WiFi on campus or riding the bus home (or when the woman's shopping). The calendar (with alarm/reminder) keeps me on track for appointments and assignments. The phone works decent enough. Camera/Video suck. I don't do internet through the phone.

Kidhuman
10-19-2006, 08:35 PM
Glad ya got somehting Chux. Hope it all works out for you.

figrin bran
10-19-2006, 10:57 PM
Well, I decided to say, "scoo you gazz, Ah'm goin' home." :p

Okay, not entirely true, but I ended up picking the old technology over the new, despite the recommendations.

After taking everything into consideration, I ordered a fairly cheap CD/MP3-CD/AM/FM player online, and should have it Tuesday. My collection of CDs is so freaking huge that it would probably take weeks to convert everything to MP3, if I were not to sleep or do anything else, and, frankly, I'd rather do anything else. This way I can still carry around about 500-600 megs of MP3s, but still have the CD capability to fall back on, plus I won't ever have to wipe the memory of the player to put a different 500 megs on my playlist.

CDs may be obsolete for all intents and purposes, but they still work just fine for what I need, and they're a lot cheaper. (Blanks, I mean. Commercial pre-recorded CDs are still a tad overpriced given that you can get the same stuff online for way cheaper.)

Then again, I drove my 1992 car until 2001, when the air conditioner broke and would cost twice the value of the car to replace, and I'm currently driving a 1996 truck, so what do I know?


Chux, i'm actually the same way as you with regards to CD's. i've found that the MP3's that i've burnt onto cd's just don't sound as good as the original cd's. there's a bit of compression that takes place in the process and so naturally it will not sound the same. plus i like looking at album cover art and things of that nature.

Darth Jax
10-19-2006, 11:49 PM
Mr. JJL look and see if there is a newer version of the iPod system that you need to update. if it'll charge when you plug it in, it means your computer is recognizing something is the USB port, but iTunes isn't recognizing it.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
10-20-2006, 08:40 PM
Mr. JJL look and see if there is a newer version of the iPod system that you need to update. if it'll charge when you plug it in, it means your computer is recognizing something is the USB port, but iTunes isn't recognizing it.
Everything is sorted out now. Thanks!

Also, iTunes 7.0.1 now has gapless playback, so the pauses I mentioned are now gone on most songs, but seem to have gotten worse on Abbey Road (and, I'm sure, other albums). Maybe it's because they're not in the iTunes store? I have no idea.

plasticfetish
10-20-2006, 09:13 PM
We've a couple of iPod minis floating around here. (iPod + Scion = good!) :)

Dar' Argol
10-21-2006, 10:43 AM
I have the 1GB Creative Zen Nano with the FM tuner and I love that mofo.
Granted, I don't really know squat about mp3 players, but I am really happy with mine. The battery does seem to last quite a long time. Not sure if I've ever had it last 18 hours, maybe 12-14.

I was looking at getting that one . . . problem now is that WM no longer carries that one.


Well, I decided to say, "scoo you gazz, Ah'm goin' home." :p

Okay, not entirely true, but I ended up picking the old technology over the new, despite the recommendations.

After taking everything into consideration, I ordered a fairly cheap CD/MP3-CD/AM/FM player online, and should have it Tuesday. My collection of CDs is so freaking huge that it would probably take weeks to convert everything to MP3, if I were not to sleep or do anything else, and, frankly, I'd rather do anything else. This way I can still carry around about 500-600 megs of MP3s, but still have the CD capability to fall back on, plus I won't ever have to wipe the memory of the player to put a different 500 megs on my playlist.

CDs may be obsolete for all intents and purposes, but they still work just fine for what I need, and they're a lot cheaper. (Blanks, I mean. Commercial pre-recorded CDs are still a tad overpriced given that you can get the same stuff online for way cheaper.)

Then again, I drove my 1992 car until 2001, when the air conditioner broke and would cost twice the value of the car to replace, and I'm currently driving a 1996 truck, so what do I know?

A CD player that can play MP3's is definitly good. I want to get one for the house so I can play my many 100+ song CD's. I can play them in my car, but no where else . . aside from the computer . . . Good buy Chux!