Which MP3 player for travel?

Dec 29th, 2007, 06:15 AM
  #1  
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Which MP3 player for travel?

I've decided it's time I bought myself an MP3 player, but I'm not interested in playing music on it (I'm virtually tone deaf). I want it for podcasts (audio and video), the occasional book, and possibly for storing photos. I'll be using it for company while exercising, and for information and entertainment when I'm traveling.

I haven't found a site like dpreview.com for cameras to help me sort out which one to buy. I'm not wild about being locked into Apple's Itunes - can I load from other sites to an Ipod? Can I load from it to a non-Ipod?

Any advice and personal experiences welcome!
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 06:22 AM
  #2  
 
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Look on eBay for Sansa a/v players. You should be able to get a 4gb for $70 with little effort.

If you need more storage, there's the 30gb Microsoft Zune for about $120 - but be forewarned that anything with a hard drive in it will eat batteries at a prodigious rate.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 06:40 AM
  #3  
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Yes, batteries - my other concern is how I recharge on the road, as I don't travel with a laptop.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Most players come with a universal-voltage wall charger, so all you need to charge them abroad is an adapter for the electric plug.

Exceptions exist - the Sansa mentioned above charge from a USB port. But you can probably find a computer in your hotel you can jack into for a charge - for free.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 07:44 AM
  #5  
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"you can probably find a computer in your hotel" - I stay in B&Bs and guest houses and cheap hotels, so this isn't a given. Plus, I'm considering a week in a studio apartment for part of the next trip. I'm already carrying a battery charger for my camera, so I'd like whatever I use for the MP3 player to be light and small.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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ASSUMING YOU'RE STAYING IN A FACILITY THAT HAS A COMPUTER WITH A USB PORT (EVEN A NON-PUBLIC ONE AT THE FRONT DESK), YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO RECHARGE A MUSIC PLAYER WITH IT.

JUDAS PRIEST.
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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used my ipod in italy....ac charger is lightweight and plugged right into the adapter.
randola is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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I used the iPod with video all over Europe, and just got the adapter kit and plug it directly into the wall to recharge, no computer necessary.

I wasn't keen on iPod or iTunes either, until I got one as a gift. I can load non-iTunes music on, but haven't tried video. I hardly ever buy anything but video from iTunes anyway. Most of my 3000+ songs are either mp3 or directly off my CD collection. I took 2 seasons of The Office with me on the plane to/from Italy and those were the fastest flights ever...I won't travel without it again!
amyb is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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I know you don't necessarily want to deal with Apple but I feel I should share my experience.

I have been travelling with my iPhone for the past month. I have found it to be invaluable. Like you, I have downloaded my music mainly for exercise and light entertainment. I also have several books. My charger is smaller than the one used by iPod.

It became an invaluable tool for me when I had an accident and had to use the phone, internet services in a hospital and later while on recovery. I did not plan to use those services but I had signed up for the international package just in case.

Now that I am in Paris I only use it for the music, photos and free wifi. This has been my most imporstant travel investment so far,

Robin4 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 10:56 AM
  #10  
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Jeez - no need to shout, I was just explaining why I needed more than a computer connection.

Wow, Robin, sorry to hear about your hospital experience. I've been there too (Switzerland) and a cell phone would have been a help. I'm just not ready to pay the iPhone costs! Am glad to hear that I shouldn't automatically avoid Apple, though, as it does seem to have cornered the market. But I've read good things about Clix gen2 from iriver, too.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Anyone looking for a GSM/GPRS phone and internet terminal, music and video player, ebook reader, and pocket computer should look beyond Apple.

H-P hw6925 tinyurl.com/29gdvm

(p.s., it's a GPS, too - which iPhone ain't.)
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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hi thursdaysd,
For travel I prefer a mp3 player that takes a AAA battery. I use the Creative Muvo N200 (1 GB). Mine's about 3 years old and has survived everything from hiking/kayaking trips to city tours. One lithium AAA battery lasts me upwards of 12 hours (of actual listening time). It is also very small and compact.

Not as important for you, but the sound quality is better than the iPod shuffle (which I also own).
ssachida is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 02:57 PM
  #13  
MKE
 
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I use a Creative ZenVPlus for music and audio books, but I'm seriously considering upgrading to an Apple Touch for its wi-fi capability and its much bigger screen and video capability.

I purchased a wall charger from Radio Shack (iGo)which has interchangable tips for my cell phone as well as the Zen. Tips are available for a variety of devices, including the iPod. It works on both US and European voltaqes and beats having to carry separate chargers for each device.

There is a reason that iPods are so popular. You don't need to be conserned about being locked in to Apple for podcasts -- you can download them from various sites. Rick Steves has a couple of podcasts, including a tour of the Louvre.
MKE is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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You cannot load from iTunes to anything other than an iPod. Yes, you can load from places like eMusic to an iPod.

I have had my iPod for 3 years and love it! I use it for tours in Europe, music on the beach in the Caribbean and listen to audio books while in air flight. Haven't used it for videos, I take my laptop for that.
lydialikestotravel is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 04:36 PM
  #15  
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Thanks for all the replies. So, I can't download from iTunes to my computer, and then upload to a non-Apple MP3 player, even if it's a podcast and not music? Boo...
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 29th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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No, you can't load from iTunes to another type of player....however, you can load from another music service to an iPod. While they are very proprietary about their own downloads, they haven't made it impossible to get downloads, imports from CD's, etc. from elsewhere and use them on the iPod. You can also use a freeware program called "sharepod" to easily transfer music from other sources to your iPod--just google it.

We are definitely an Apple family in my household. While I'm currently using a PC, my husband recently bought a MacBook Pro and he won't even touch the PC's anymore. If we could afford to buy all Apple computers, we probably would, but that will be awhile, even with my educator discount.

We have had iPods for about 3 years now (first the children, and now me) and we love them. I use mine primarily for podcasts and some quiet classical music to help me sleep on the plane. I have a Video iPod (30G--wish it was the 80G version) and bought a program from a company called Cucosoft which will transfer DVD's to iPod format so you can take other movies along other than the ones you purchase from the iTunes store.

If you decide to go with iPod, check out the refurbished store online. I got mine that way--actually I got mine at the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, AL where some poor soul left theirs behind on a plane--but I sent it in for battery replacement and got back what appears to be a brand new one, although I'm sure it's a refurb. I bought my MIL a refurb for Christmas and it was pristine and works perfectly. I upgraded 2 of my 3 children (11 and 13) to Nanos (from shuffles) last spring/summer and bought them from the refurbished line-up and they are also perfect (in appearance and operation). You can save a lot of money buying the refurbished iPods and still get the warranty and terrific customer service that Apple is known for. I would also recommend buying the AppleCare for the iPod--it extends your warranty and customer service without charge to 3 years--well worth the little bit extra cost in my opinion.

Good luck making that decision. There are some good sales out there at the moment.
Kellye is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 04:02 PM
  #17  
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Well, I've pretty much decided on an iPod nano 8GB. So I reallyappreciate the refurb suggestion!
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Have fun shopping. You may find that you can get the last generation ipod video for about the same price in the refurbs. I'm not sure you can play video podcasts on the nano.
Kellye is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 05:39 AM
  #19  
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Wow, color me converted! I ponied up for a new 8gig nano from the local Apple store (plus a couple of cases and a charger) and borrowed a pocket guide to it from the library. I now have a bunch of old CDs on it, and I think having music actually playing IN my ears may be addictive. I'm also having fun in the podcast section of iTunes. Should be a big help in getting me to actually work out!
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 05:49 AM
  #20  
 
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I'm late to this discussion but I would have recommended the Nano. You made the right choice!

I have an iPod Touch, an 80gb iPod video and a new little Nano and that's the one that get's all of the use.
sshephard is offline  

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