Alternatives to the Ipod?

*Legion* wrote:

One thing I have to have, which disqualifies a lot of music players, is solid native podcast support. I listen to podcasts during my commute almost every workday. A player that doesn't have native podcast handling (which means organizing them separately, listing their names and stuff by what's in the RSS feed and not their usually-malformed ID3 tags, and cleaning out listened-to podcasts after I've played them) is simply not an option.

If you do look at an iPod Touch, one thing to consider is that since it does all the podcast stuff via the iTunes on the device, you can find new podcasts, search for podcasts and download them to your iPod on the go. I do the same thing you do. I listen to about 9 different podcasts at any given time. I download them with the iPhone itself or at home, work, a hotspot, via WiFi. I'm never without the latest podcast I wish to listen to.

interstate78 wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I've got a 4gig SanDisk I've had for over a year that I've been using for just music and a few podcasts and I've yet to fill it up. Now I do grant you that my use isn't all that heavy, but still.

My collection of The Cure cds is probably over 4 gigs.

There are two types of people, those who listen to hits and others who listen to albums.

I have 80 gigs of music on my iPod and I like the convenience of being able to listen to any album I want whenever I want. It's all in there.

This is exactly what I'm like. And the fact that it basically boils down to a choice between giving my money to Satan (MS) or Hitler (Apple) displeases me greatly.

I think I am probably going to try and get ahold of a Creative Zen.

So instead you are going to give money to Pinochet (Creative)?

SommerMatt wrote:
interstate78 wrote:

My collection of The Cure cds is probably over 4 gigs.

There are also those who put all their songs in some kind of lossless codec, and others who don't care all that much. 4 gigs of The Cure? I'm guessing you're one of those lossless types, aren't you?

I looked and my The Cure folder is 3.02 gbs. They've been releasing an album album every second year since 1978, have many Live, remixes and special editions, compilations, best ofs, singles, etc.

Runners up
My Underworld folder is 2.34 gb
My Chemical Brothers folder is 1.68 gb,

Edwin wrote:

So instead you are going to give money to Pinochet (Creative)?

What's wrong with Creative? (Serious question)

Second question - is there any DRM/required programs to use their players or is it pretty much drag and copy?

Lard wrote:
Edwin wrote:

So instead you are going to give money to Pinochet (Creative)?

What's wrong with Creative? (Serious question)

Second question - is there any DRM/required programs to use their players or is it pretty much drag and copy?

Suing for software patents, crappy drivers, denying customers drivers that restore features in Vista because someone modded them, bad customer support, and many other examples.

Refusing full software downloads for the cards is another -- if you lose your original disk, you have to cut Creative a check or lose most of the features of your card. The drivers available on the Web don't enable more than very basic functionality.

In my world, they're worse than either of the other two. With Apple, most (though not all, anymore) of their stuff is aimed at improving customer's lives. With Microsoft, the stuff that benefits Microsoft goes in first, and stuff that benefits customers goes in if there's time. (see: Vista). With Creative, they actively go out of their way to hold their customers hostage and extract ransom from them. Customer benefit hasn't crossed their collective mind in a decade -- it's all about bullet points, features, making the sale, and then the extended palm.

Just posted to Digg a few minutes ago:

http://reviews.digitaltrends.com/gui...

Serendipity, I suppose.

Just a heads up, but I don't think the Sansa Clip has the microSD slot. I've been talking about the Sansa e200 series, which is now called the Sansa View.

I'll shut up now about the Sansa.

So I picked up the iPod Classic. Ironically, despite my desire for Linux support, I've started using the iPod with my MacBook Pro, since that's the computer that goes everywhere with me.

One thing I was happy to find after my last iPod experience is that playlist folders are now supported on the iPod itself, and not just the iTunes software. A nice, neat folder hierarchy beats a loooong single level list of playlists.

I'm also experimenting with some 3rd party stuff to deal with that one dumb, moronic missing feature of iTunes: watch folders. I still can't spew enough flaming venom over Apple's insistence on keeping this feature out. But if I can get this functionality through an external piece of software, well, that's OK. If not, then it'll be back to my Linux PC after all.

*Legion* wrote:

I'm also experimenting with some 3rd party stuff to deal with that one dumb, moronic missing feature of iTunes: watch folders. I still can't spew enough flaming venom over Apple's insistence on keeping this feature out. But if I can get this functionality through an external piece of software, well, that's OK. If not, then it'll be back to my Linux PC after all. :)

Maybe we've talked about this before, but doesn't iTunes "watch" the iTunes folder in My Documents (or whatever the Mac equivalent is)? I control my music and podcasts manually, so I never use that feature... but I thought that was how it worked.

I've got a Meizu M6 SL, which I've been pretty happy with. Manual's in Chinese, so I had to hunt around online for instructions, and it looks like it only goes up to 8GB, which I have. Not as slick as the iPod, but it does what I need. It was $179 18 months ago, should be much cheaper now, and they have an iPod Touch clone as well. Not sure on the storage limits of that one, though.

Thought the screen died on it the other day, and I have enough Amazon GCs for a Touch, but the screen came back with a hard reset after I'd transferred everything to my work PC.

SommerMatt wrote:

Maybe we've talked about this before, but doesn't iTunes "watch" the iTunes folder in My Documents (or whatever the Mac equivalent is)? I control my music and podcasts manually, so I never use that feature... but I thought that was how it worked.

No, it does not watch for new files.

That's why tools like iTunes Library Updater exist. I have that set up on my wife's Windows PC for triggering imports from her download folder to iTunes (iTunes then makes and manages a copy in the iTunes folder - but if we simply downloaded directly to the iTunes folder, it would not "see" the new track without manually importing).

iTunes is a pretty good piece of software, but this is just the one head-exploding omission that I can never get over. And the only reason it is this way is to try and drive people to getting all of their music through the iTunes Store. Well that's nice, but I have a massive collection of ripped MP3s sitting on my network storage that I'd like to be able to use with as little hassle as possible.

OK, not that I don't believe you, but I thought this was the entire point of the iTunes music management system? It adds the stuff you add, and then deletes it from the iPod if you remove it through iTunes (which is why it wants to delete your iPod if you hook it up to a PC with no music).

Huh...

SommerMatt wrote:

OK, not that I don't believe you, but I thought this was the entire point of the iTunes music management system? It adds the stuff you add, and then deletes it from the iPod if you remove it through iTunes (which is why it wants to delete your iPod if you hook it up to a PC with no music).

You're talking about what iTunes does once the file is in the library. The issue with watch folders and stuff is how the file gets into the library database in the first place.

With watch folders, iTunes would automatically see new MP3s you've added to a particular folder and import them into the iTunes library. As it is now, you've got to File -> Import Music to manually add new stuff you've downloaded from outside of iTunes, regardless of if you have iTunes copy it to the iTunes Music folder or not.

When you buy a song through iTMS, of course, it is automatically added to your iTunes library. Some things, like Amazon's downloader, have the functionality to trigger the import process once a new file is downloaded. But if you've got preexisting MP3s in a folder somewhere, or if you download from Soulseek or something, there's only one way to get those files into your iTunes library: File -> Import, and it's a manual process. There's no way to automate this, not even if you download those files into the iTunes Music folder.

That's one thing I like about the Zune software: you tell it where you have folders of music, and it automatically puts the contents of those folders into the Zune music database - including any new songs that make their way into those folders later. And all the Linux-based music management apps allow you to do the same. Only iTunes doesn't, and it's just a bummer. With luck, this external app will take care of that and I won't have to worry about it.

*Legion* wrote:

Only iTunes doesn't, and it's just a bummer. With luck, this external app will take care of that and I won't have to worry about it.

I give it a week before you ditch iTunes completely Hopefully the iPod works for you well enough otherwise, though -- I'm not sure how much faffing about is needed to get them working under Linux with the database checksumming stuff that's on the nano/classic, but it's doable at least, which is better than the iPhone/iTouch.

pneuman wrote:

I give it a week before you ditch iTunes completely Hopefully the iPod works for you well enough otherwise, though -- I'm not sure how much faffing about is needed to get them working under Linux with the database checksumming stuff that's on the nano/classic, but it's doable at least, which is better than the iPhone/iTouch.

According to what I read, the checksums keeping libgpod out didn't last long.

libgpod even supports the gapless metadata, though it's unclear which managers that use libgpod outside of gtkpod make use of this. Between gtkpod and gpodder, I can definitely do what I need. Or I can put RockBox on there and start writing some scripts for whatever behavior I want. One way or another, I'll get what I want out of it.

*Legion* wrote:
pneuman wrote:

I give it a week before you ditch iTunes completely Hopefully the iPod works for you well enough otherwise, though -- I'm not sure how much faffing about is needed to get them working under Linux with the database checksumming stuff that's on the nano/classic, but it's doable at least, which is better than the iPhone/iTouch.

According to what I read, the checksums keeping libgpod out didn't last long.

libgpod even supports the gapless metadata, though it's unclear which managers that use libgpod outside of gtkpod make use of this. Between gtkpod and gpodder, I can definitely do what I need. Or I can put RockBox on there and start writing some scripts for whatever behavior I want. One way or another, I'll get what I want out of it.

Yeah, it didn't take them too long to crack the database checksum the first time around, though the fact that Apple tried to block access at all was enough for me; that move made it clear that it didn't want my business any more, and I've been happy to oblige them since No-one's yet been able to crack the checksum used on the iPhone/iTouch 2.0 firmware, though the cease-and-desist notices issued by Apple to projects working on it hasn't exactly helped.

I'm not sure if Rockbox will ever happen on the classic, either, due to the hardware changes and firmware encryption introduced on both the classic and nano; I can't blame Apple for wanting to keep third-party firmwares off their devices though. It would be nice if someone made a device today that Rockbox did run on, though -- the supported list still seems to be populated entirely by old and outdated models.

Didn't notice that RockBox support is still a no-go on the Classic. That's kind of a bummer, though the last time I used RockBox seriously was on an Archos Jukebox Recorder 20 about, geez, 8 years ago?

It was great, though!

We talked about this before, but you can fairly easily set up Automator to watch a folder and automatically import into iTunes.

Anyone with a Sansa 200 series can take advantage of Woot's one-day sale on accessories:

http://www.woot.com/special.aspx?k=S...

$0.99 each.

SommerMatt wrote:

Anyone with a Sansa 200 series can take advantage of Woot's one-day sale on accessories:

http://www.woot.com/special.aspx?k=S...

$0.99 each + $5 shipping.

Thanks, snagged one (oh, and fixed just so people know how much).

garion333 wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Anyone with a Sansa 200 series can take advantage of Woot's one-day sale on accessories:

http://www.woot.com/special.aspx?k=S...

$0.99 each + $5 shipping.

Thanks, snagged one (oh, and fixed just so people know how much).

True... although you can add up to three items per order with the same shipping cost.

Creative debuts Android-powered Zii EGG for developers and OEMs

Something to look forward to in the future if you're interested: an Android-powered Creative MP3 player.

The hardware itself is rather impressive, with front and rear facing cameras, HD playback, 1080p video output, OpenGL ES support, X-Fi audio processing, 32GB of built-in memory and a full SD slot. Other more "run of the mill" features include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and a 3-axis accelerometer.
stauf7 wrote:

Creative debuts Android-powered Zii EGG for developers and OEMs

Something to look forward to in the future if you're interested: an Android-powered Creative MP3 player.

The hardware itself is rather impressive, with front and rear facing cameras, HD playback, 1080p video output, OpenGL ES support, X-Fi audio processing, 32GB of built-in memory and a full SD slot. Other more "run of the mill" features include WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and a 3-axis accelerometer.

Looks pretty sweet, but you gotta love Creative's sort of pathetic naming here... "well, people love the Wii! Let's call our MP3 player the Zii!"

The best thing I can say about the company: if I were given the choice between buying a Creative product and being set on fire, I'd probably opt for buying Creative.

Probably.

SommerMatt wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

What players besides the iPod and Zune have this sort of podcast capability? Players like the Zen sound interesting, but posts like this make me think twice.

That Zen linked above isn't the most current model from Creative, AFAIK.

I bought the first generation 16GB flash Zen 1 1/2 years ago and they maybe updated the firmware 2 -3 times. None of the upgrades improved the functionality, bug fixes only for the first 6 months then nothing. It was OK for podcasts and audiobooks but I had to do allot of things manually (including to save my bookmark before the unit auto-slept). If you go Creative don't expect them to support it.

I recently bought a Sansa Clip which blows my Zen out of the water in terms of Podcast and audio book support. It auto-bookmarks them and allows you to delete them from the unit. More importantly it doesn't shuffle the "Audiobook" & "Podcast" genres into your general music.

I gotta say, that Android-powered player looks very interesting.

*Legion* wrote:

I gotta say, that Android-powered player looks very interesting.

Android:*Legion*

as

finger:butt

It's not untrue. Although the more generalized version of this analogy is:

Linux:*Legion*

as

finger:butt

(Actually, you could probably generalize that further as "UNIX-like OSs", but that's not quite as snappy sounding)