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White Roses

My preference, such as it is, would be to go with the iPod.  Yes, you are locking yourself into a DRM-based music purchasing system.  But you don't have to get your music that way.  iTunes is still a very capable, powerful and user-friendly MP3 organization system, even if you buy nothing from the iTunes store.  I was using iTunes long before I had an iPod.  On the other hand, I've also been using Macs at home since about 1996, so I have an additional Apple bias there.  The iPod plays both MP3 and Apple's AAC formats.  I don't have a preference here, I have songs in both formats, but I will say that since I got an iPod, I've been ripping to AAC more often than MP3.  Other formats are Protected AAC (songs from the iTunes store), Apple Lossless (don't have any), AIFF (one or two old things), Audible (for books-on-"tape"), and WAV (might find some things here).  The major format which it does not support is Windows Media.  But, since I run a Mac, it's a moot point for me.

I have no issues with the Zen.  It's an excellent product.  It just doesn't fit my needs as well as the iPod.  As they say, your mileage may vary.

To the issue of being out of date, my wife is currently using my sister's old iPod mini.  It still works great and the 4GB capacity is more than enough to hold all the songs my wife listens to, plus all the songs the kids like to listen to.  True, she can't hold the entire back catalog of The Cure (like my 8GB nano does), but she doesn't want that anyway.

Another suggestion, and this is also a personal preference, is to go with the solid state player, rather than the hard drive based.  Hard drives fail.  A really small hard drive with a really high capacity means lots of little fiddly parts which means an increase in the chance of failure if you drop it.  The solid state ones hold up to drops better.  Also to banging around in a purse or pocket.  Which is why I got a nano.  Zen makes solid state (for flash based, whatever you like to call them) players as well.  The capacity isn't as large, and in the case of the nano, you lose video playback and games, but I'm listening to music and podcasts (BBC Radio NewsPod, for one) pretty much exclusively.


Thanks - a very good deconstruction of my questions & issues. A friend has leant me his for a couple of days so shall probably go iPod... then get the fun of which one? Video or not etc and how much memory.


[this is good] I have a zen, and it beats the ipod hands down for one major reason: digital voice recorder built in. I love that feature, and no other mp3 player that I looked at had it.

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