Portable mp3 player

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Bob Zambenini

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I am getting ready for several long airplane and train rides  during  a trip late this summer to Europe.

I am still in the stone age for portable players with an old  Walkman Cassette Tape Player.

So if I rip a lot of my audio CDs  and books on tape and CD, to  mp3s to go along with several hours of old Napster mp3 oldies what are my options for playing.

I don't plan to lug a laptop on this trip.

Also, I remember a discussion on bookmarking here sometime back. That was  a problem where I have copied some books on tape to CDs for motorhome trips and I couldn't pause and resume at a given point. I would want to be able to pause and resume.

Bob



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Ned

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An iPod would work, but you would need to install iTunes and rip the CDs in it.  There are other MP3 players that work with other software like RealPlayer and MusicMatch as well.  Any of these devices would serve your purpose.  I don't have any specific recommendations but PC Mag has done some reviews I believe.
 

John From Detroit

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There are several options for MP3 players.

I-Pods are very popular but expensive

I have a $30.00 (US) MP3 player "Evo-lution" that takes the same memory card as my camera

I also have a PDA (Palm One ZIRE) that takes a differnt card that works well

I also have a colleciton of Sony Mini-Disc recorders and players including one NET-MD  These are way more expensive and I did not biuy them to play MP3's (They do not actually play MP3's but if you are rippign CD's the HI-MD's do that well, only it's ATRAC not MP3,  ATRAC is, generally, better than MP3 though with MP3 you can re-set the compression and make it better than ATRAC)  Memory for the MD's is about $3.00/gig (US)  A GIG is 1.5 hours of CD quality, or up to 35 hours compressed.

(I usually use the 8 hour option or PCM (CD) but then I'm recording live, not ripping CD's)

You can also use a good CD-Player, using your computer "RIP" the cd's and burn an MP3 CD, Many portable (Walkman style) CD Players will work just fine with MP3 disks, however READ THE MANUAL to be sure, or at least the label,  This is the most flexable option and memory (Blank CD's) range from free to 2.00/gig (US)  You can also use CD-RW disks with many of these, which means you pay more up front but like the Mini-Disc you can erase and re-use over and over and over again

In your case, I think this is likely the way I'd go,,, Though the EVO fits in my pocket and holds 4 hours of high quality music with the card I have in it (2 native and 2 on card)
 

rhmahoney

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The iPod/iTunes combo offers the most hassle free method of accessing your music. I favor ripping to MP3 at the 192 ?units/sec rate. Apple favors AAC @128, but some non-apple players may not play this codec. Only the iTunes music store purchaces are DRMed AAC and can only be transferred to iPods and still play without first being stripped of thier DRM (burn to CD as an AIFF and then reimport as MP3). Your own music ripped to AAC does not have DRM applied.

I have 33,000 tracks/200GIG of music in my iTunes collection. Creation of playlists is very easy and synching to iPod effortless/automatic.
 

Ned

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I can't speak to the other music program and players, but iTunes is pretty easy to use and, of course, it's well integrated with the iPod models.? Lots of flexibility in creating playlists and in filtering your titles to desired subsets.

See Russ, I'm not anti-Apple, but we do run the Windows version of iTunes ;)
 

Smoky

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I use Creative Labs Jukebox 3.  20 megs of space and can interface with Music Match.  All my old napster stuff is on it and all my cds have been ripped to it.

However my next purchase will be the iPod.  That is a few years away, though, as the Jukebox is going strong.
 

Patrickh60

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Bob,

PMFJI, but this is a subject dear to me.?

I have two MP3 players:? The Dell DJ15 and an iPod Shuffle.?

The Dell DJ holds almost all of my cds.? I say almost because I haven't ripped all of them onto the computer.? Yet.<G>? Good battery life.? I can select by albums or performers and I recetly discovered it has a random feature.? This is one of those units that is an actual hard drive.

This year I picked up the iPod Shuffle.? Avoiding the Apple vs. Microsoft debate, I like the looks of it and it's affordable.? There is no display on the unit.? It's a USB device you plug into your computer.? The computer recognizes it immediately and itunes recognizes it.? You press a button, iTunes scans your music library, selects tracks, calculates size and refreshes the music on your Shuffle.? You can set the Shuffle to random play and I get a great mix of my music while I'm biking for exercise.

Just my two cents.

Pat
 

Tom

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How many songs does the IPod Shuffle hold Pat? I currently have another brand of MP3 player, but I've been very impressed with Apple iPods I've seen with other folks. If/when I need to replace what I have now, I'll probably buy an iPod.
 

Ned

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According to Apple, the 512MB Shuffle will hold up to 120 songs, the 1GB up to 240.? This is based on? 4 minutes per song and 128Kbps AAC encoding.

See http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/ for all the gory details.
 

Tom

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OK thanks Ned. Seems like it's really a mini-iPod.
 

Ned

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In a way, yes.  It has very simple controls, no display, but then it's easy to operate.  Just turn it on :)  Lorna loves hers.
 

Tom

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Ned said:
It has very simple controls,.... it's easy to operate. Just turn it on

Sounds like Chris' kinda machine. If it has more than one button, forget it.
 

Ned

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Oh, and there is an iPod mini too - http://www.apple.com/ipodmini/  The Shuffle is very easy to operate.  I'm sure Chris could handle it with her eyes closed :)
 

Bob Zambenini

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Thanks for all these  ideas and options.

As this is basically a one time operation for the trip and would have limited, or infrequent, use after. I use XM satellite radio here at home and on RV trips so I have become pretty addicted to XM.

So I went with the Sony ATRAC3.

For this trip,  I also wanted FM and ability to play regular books on CD.

This gives me 400 plus songs per disc crunched into their ATRAC3 format. So will see about the  quality but is not a big  issue with my poor hearing.

Bob
 

Patrickh60

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Tom said:
How many songs does the IPod Shuffle hold Pat? I currently have another brand of MP3 player, but I've been very impressed with Apple iPods I've seen with other folks. If/when I need to replace what I have now, I'll probably buy an iPod.

Tom, I'm looking at the playlist for my shuffle, on my laptop, and it has 186 tracks from my library.? These tracks consist of music, comedy and audio book chapters.? When I'm putting in miles on my bike, it's really cool to be hearing MY music and then be surprised by a favorite comedy bit.? If something I don't care to listen to comes up I just click to the next track.

A friend of mine recently bought a mini iPod.? They have the click wheel on the front that makes navigation easy along with the display.? Nice unit but I don't have the cash.

Now, in August, we're going to Honduras, of all places, to show the son to my wife's family.? I'll be taking my Dell DJ15 along since it will hold pretty much all of my music collection.? This will be my lifeline to sanity while I'm down there.? All of my wife's family will be saying, "Who's the gringo with the wires in his ears and his head in his hands?" <G>
 

Tom

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Pat, a notebook/laptop/luggable jelped keep my sanity for many years as I travelled extensively to far away lands.
 

John From Detroit

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Bob Zambenini said:
So I went with the Sony ATRAC3.

Just exactly whcih model did you get Bob?  (I use Sony ATRAC hardware all the time)

I use Mini-Discs, Assorted ATRAC levels, starting with Atrac 2 back about 10 years ago. 

Using the Mini-Disc recorders, and of course additional discs, I have bacsically unlimited storage
 

Bob Zambenini

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John In Detroit said:
Just exactly whcih model did you get Bob?  (I use Sony ATRAC hardware all the time)

John, I got a XP-ZR810. It seems great for what I have seen (heard) so far!

I have some computer issues I am trying to resolve on my main computer so have not had a chance to cut any ATRAC stuff yet with with Sonic Stage software. I did load the new Sonic Stage 3 on my laptop but don't have disc space. Seems to require a lot in the writing process. I have made MP3s and they play great for my limited ears.

To crunch stuff into ATRAC is there an alternative to this Sonic Stage software? Lot of people are bad mouthing it from what I read in Google searching. I probably can take most of what I need in MP3 format.

One feature I like is having the TV audio. With my limited hearing I can listen to TV through this and not have to blast everyone out of the room, like my wife!

Bob
 

John From Detroit

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Sadly last I knew there was no option other than Sonic Stage.

Sonic Stage does a crappy job of converting MP3's better to convert them first to WAV using a program such as audacity then convert the wav to ATRAC

Or, if you are ripping CD's to the ATRAC box just use the cd itself as the sorce file, that works too, in fact best

Since I'm using MD (MZ-NHF800) I have a program called MD-SIMPLE BURNER. I can put a CD in the tray, pop a blank (or at least not full) disc in the MD, press RECORD (on the MD or on the computer program) and it copies the CD, converts it and "Burns" it to the disc.

Alas, There are differences between the MD recorders and the hard drive recorder however.

One diifference is hard drive recorders have limited media to record on... MD's unlimited, since you can pop in a new GIG any time you need it.
 

Patrickh60

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Tom said:
Pat, a notebook/laptop/luggable jelped keep my sanity for many years as I travelled extensively to far away lands.

Tom,? I think a laptop or other computer device would attract too much attention.? Attention is exactly what I don't want in Central America.? You can't tell from my photo, but I'm practically an albino.? I'm considering getting a bucket of tanning lotion before I go.<G>

Different Topic:  Id the RV Forum still associated with CompuServe at all?  Can I drop my CompuServe membership without affecting my RV Forum membershiip?

Thanks,
Pat
 
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