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MP3 players!

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So what is everyone carrying around with them? I have a Creative Zen I bought not long ago. The SD card support was disappointing, and even after doing research first I didn’t realize that movies and tv shows purchased and downloaded through Amazon’s Unbox cannot be played from the card. :D Also, something I did know beforehand, music loaded on the card isn't integrated into the library and playlists. It's still fine for loading podcasts and pictures.

I was seriously considering an iPod, but without an FM radio Apple loses my business. Sorry Apple, I love you but after how many models you still haven’t included a simple radio feature? That’s a deal-breaker for me. The good news is, the Zen can play AAC files encoded with the iTunes software, which means although I can't load music downloaded from iTunes I can use it to rip my CDs and get the same quality. AAC, or Advanced Audio Coding, is the successor of the MP3 format and has improved sound quality.

Recently I upgraded my headphones also, getting Sony’s Noise Canceling Headphones MDR-NC40. Excellent sound, noise cancellation and portability and cheap considering what you’re getting. My only beef is the sound is hollow unless you have the noise cancellation on. Very comfortable with incredible sound, though.

Sorry, whenever I talk about my gadgets I sound like an advertiser. :D

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I mainly listen to audio books on my MP3 player as I walk for exercise or drive long distances. I used to have a little Creative MuVo

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and now I use a Sansa Express.

express130.jpg

Both units are about 1" X 3" and have built-in FM radios and voice recorders.

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I use the 80GB Video iPod. You're right, it has no FM, no voice recorder. But both of those are avaialble in a number of add-ons, the most popular, I think (from online reviews) being the Belkin ones, that click right into the sync port. I don't have the FM receiver, but I do have the stereo mic unit. It's interesting that the iPod recognizes it immediately and goes right into record mode. I think it's the same deal for the FM unit.

I'm more of a PC guy than a Mac kinda guy, but I really do appreciate the iPod one-control interface. Once you get used to it, it's pretty darned easy to use. The screen is small to the point of lameness, but I bought a 7" widescreen-format video screen into which the unit fits perfectly and the whole thing runs off a teeny remote. That was $39 (!) on sale at Buy.com. I know the book-sized extra unit contradicts the idea of a small player, but, on a plane, throwing that into my backpack means that I have no computer to carry on the plane (a hassle, these days), and everything I have loaded on the iPod is available as-is. 80GB is stupidly spacious for a pocket-sized unit, although, I bet, in 2 years, a terabyte will be the same price and size.

If money and available media were no object and I was just buying the coolest machine, I'd consider the Zune or the iPhone/iTouch. The latter unit is just gorgeous, but, at 8 or 16GB max right now, it's just not big enough for quality video. I think their intention is to get you streaming, which gets expensive pretty quickly. The Zune has a decent-sized screen and handles most formats, rather than forcing you to stick to 1.

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I mainly listen to audio books on my MP3 player as I walk for exercise or drive long distances... Both units are about 1" X 3" and have built-in FM radios and voice recorders.

In the car I use a laptop plugged into the car stereo. The laptop serves as a single portable device for all kinds of things in the car. It also displays a map and real time route fed into the laptop from a small gps. (That is much cheaper than car gps devices and provides for a larger and more easily controlable map display.) The laptop also has a small external antenna on the car window to boost the signal for wi-fi in order to pick up email, etc. at certain locations.

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Betsy, that Sansa Express is pretty sexy. I was thinking about getting something like that to upgrade from my old relic that finally broke on me, but decided I wanted the video option.

Alan, the portable screen sounds great. If I wanted to travel light, that would be perfect (I usually have my laptop with me). I get a little jittery in the air, and watching a movie helps make me more comfortable.

If money were no object, I would definitely get the iTouch. I would give up the radio for that. :D

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No offense taken. I've been an iPod person for years now. I actually have three: a shuffle for working out, a 16GB touch for business trips when I want to catch up on a TV episode or watch a movie without hauling out my laptop, and a 160GB classic to store everything. In fact, the iPod is making my move to Sydney far easier because I don't have all these CDs to transport.

While I can agree that the lack of FM radio may be a deal killer for some, I don't listen to radio much, anyway, aside from the occasional Podcast that I can put on my iPod.

I will also state that iTunes is far better and faster on a Mac than on a PC.

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I spent years looking for the right mp3 player.

Now I have an ipod Touch, and I love it. I use it for much more than MP3s. In addition to checking out THE FORUM, its great for pictures and you tube. I do not own much music, which kept m3 from buying an MP3 for a long time, but I have enjoyed a number of Podcasts... and its just cool. (My only complaint is that it came in a box with John Lennon on the cover.)

Good Luck.

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I have a 30gb Creative Labs Zen Vision W, and I really value it. Music, movies, TV shows, photos, home video clips, audio books. It is a piece of technology that has truly improved the quality of my life. Can't praise it enough.

I have been a Creative Labs fan for years, and have always been satisfied with their products.

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Here is my favorite.

Oakley Thump

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I was seriously considering an iPod, but without an FM radio Apple loses my business.

If you are interested in radio, I suggest

The Sirius Stilletto

I look forward to the day when I can find a pair of sunglasses similiar to what Oakley offers with its MP3 capability and also satellite radio.

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If you are interested in radio, I suggest

The Sirius Stilletto

I look forward to the day when I can find a pair of sunglasses similiar to what Oakley offers with its MP3 capability and also satellite radio.

That radio is pretty slick, thanks. Maybe I'll go with something like that next upgrade.

I'm confused about the Oakley THUMP. It seems great for the beachgoer, but what about when you don't need to wear sunglasses?

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If money were no object, I would definitely get the iTouch. I would give up the radio for that. :D
Hey, with the iTouch, you could get internet radio! (AccuRadio, a wide range of stations, etc.).

I'm just waiting on iTouch/iPhone for the prices to drop and, in the case of the iPhone, for them to plug open security holes and for Verizon(CDMA) compatibility. The iTouch/iPhone screen format is a thing of beauty.

On the other hand, maybe 'cause I'm a data architect and I like things normalized, I still prefer my phone and PDA/Entertainment unbundled. The compromise involves too much, well, compromise. It's ironic that the previous generation of cellphones is so much smaller and easier to pocket than the new multimedia ones. Keyboards and video screens are incompatible almost by definition with smallness (although a projected keyboard and screen could do it --all you'd need is a thermonuclear battery and you'd be set; or that thing IronMan used to power his suit). We're probably a couple generations away from the best entertainment and communications solutions (and then there'll be something even better on the horizon).

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Hey, with the iTouch, you could get internet radio! (AccuRadio, a wide range of stations, etc.).

Hmm well maybe that's what I'll get later on, then, when the prices drop. :D I have web access on my phone, to check email and such. If I got an iTouch I'd just cancel that feature and use it for my mobile browsing.

I agree with keeping the phone and entertainment separate. My phone can play mp3s, but I don't like the idea of those functions sharing a battery!

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What I'm waiting for is an mp3 player with *AM* radio. They don't exist to my knowledge, and I have trouble believing there is any technical reason that makes it impossible.

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What I'm waiting for is an mp3 player with *AM* radio. They don't exist to my knowledge, and I have trouble believing there is any technical reason that makes it impossible.

Well, technically, AM sucks.

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I'm confused about the Oakley THUMP. It seems great for the beachgoer, but what about when you don't need to wear sunglasses?

When you're cool, the sun always shines. :D

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If you are interested in radio, I suggest

The Sirius Stilletto

I look forward to the day when I can find a pair of sunglasses similiar to what Oakley offers with its MP3 capability and also satellite radio.

That radio is pretty slick, thanks. Maybe I'll go with something like that next upgrade.

I'm confused about the Oakley THUMP. It seems great for the beachgoer, but what about when you don't need to wear sunglasses?

I use the Oakley's when it is sunny and I am snowboarding or taking my daughter for a walk. Last summer, we went to San Diego for vacation and they were perfect for drowning out the crowd noise when we went to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Lego Land. If you are active and need your hands free and don't want to fuss with ear phones the Oakley's are perfect. If it isn't sunny than I have been using the DELL digital juke box. Unfortuneatley, Yahoo took over the soft-ware upgrades for the Juke box and for some reason I can no longer download files onto the juke box and I haven't been able to figure out why.

I'll probably upgrade sometime this summer when my New Truck is delivered. Once I know and understand the features of the SYNC communications and entertainment system, I think I will probably wait for the next generation of the iPhone.

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When you're cool, the sun always shines. :D

Ha! What’s that song?

I wear my sunglasses at night

So I can, so I can

Keep track of the visions in my eyes

While she’s deceiving me

It cuts my security—

Ok, not a great song.

I’m actually very particular about sunglasses. If I’m not satisfied with the way they fit my face, I won’t buy them. I’d rather squint. I need a new pair, actually…

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Ha! What’s that song?

I wear my sunglasses at night

So I can, so I can

Keep track of the visions in my eyes

While she’s deceiving me

It cuts my security—

Ok, not a great song.

Maybe this is better:

I study nuclear science, I love my classes

I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses

Things are going great, and they're only getting better

I'm doin' all right, getting good grades

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades

I got a job waiting for my graduation

50 thou' and year will buy a lot of beer

Things are going great, and they're only getting better

I'm doin' all right, getting good grades

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades

Well I'm heavenly blessed and worldly wise

I'm a peeping tom techie with x-ray eyes

Things are going great, and they're only getting better

I'm doin' all right, getting good grades

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades

I study nuclear science, I love my classes

I got a crazy teacher, he wears dark glasses

Things are going great, and they're only getting better

I'm doin' all right, getting good grades

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades

I gotta wear shades...

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