How to buy an MP3 player

help, I have no grandchild available to advise me on this electronics question, so I will ask you. I have been looking at them on-line and and totally bewildered. What am I looking at? what features do I need? I just want to load about 10 CDs worth of songs, a couple of Taize, a couple of instrumental hymns, a couple of chant, rosary and DMC, and some easy listening Christian contemporary for drive time. I don’t want pictures, videos or other special features. I want to download playlists I already have on my computer, and select a playlist without having to scroll through 100 songs. I want to be able to see the display, and to either plug into the car socket, or have a battery that lasts about 10 hours, one day of driving.

I see price ranges from 20 (Radio shack) to 250 (best buys)

I need it tonight or tomorrow so I can load the songs before Monday.

can one of you smart teens list the features I should look for? Not being a man I have a hard time spending big bucks on electronic gadgets, I am looking for under $50. (now a pair of shoes, I could get cooking spening money there).

I would use it mostly in the car, since DH will be listening to Rush and the Yankees on satellite radio and I am trying to keep my sanity on this trip. If I have it I will probably use it while walking or using treadmill or exercise bike as well, so I need earphones that stay put.

Some things you might want to consider: how many songs do you want to have in the MP3 player? If around 10 CDs, I would think that should be about 1gb in size. Do you mind charging your MP3 player? Is it okay for you to buy batteries? Those are just some things to consider, and should hopefully help in buying one.

I am guessing it takes a standard size battery, and comes with an adapter for either an electric plug or the socket in the car, and also a charger like my cell phone, If it only gets 10 hrs on a AA battery it would be better to have a charger. 1G should be plenty I should think.

For long trips, I think the one that can be charged is better. I am not sure if there’s a car charger adapter for those.

well you could charge it in the hotel room just like your phone. do they come with a charger or is that an extra?

I don’t understand how I will select what songs to play?

2GB Apple iPod Nano. You will have lots of space to add on, but it is also easy to navigate through your list of songs. If they do not have 2GB anymore than 4GB is just fine.

Using my credentials as a 19-year old Electrical Engineering school at a solely engineering school… heh heh…

I’d recommend one of these (Depending on your price ceiling, they’re a bit over $50, but allows for more room and reliability):

I’m going to go against NewUlm, and say don’t go iPod, because I consider iPods to be the bane of all mp3 players (they use their own software to play music, and you can ONLY use their file type on the players… too much of a hassle). These two players let you play music in most file types.

If you need more help, feel free to message. But, I’d recommend one of those two, both quality in data storage (esp. SanDisk).

My husband has a SanDisk player. He likes the player itself, but every time he goes to load music on it I hear him swearing at the software. Apparently it’s terrible. He did purchase it a couple of years ago so I would hope the software issues have been addressed, but you might want to keep that in mind and maybe seek out reviews of the newer models.

I have an Apple 1 GB iPod shuffle that is terrific, IMO. Unfortunately it does not have a display screen, which is why it was $77 rather than $150+ like the other iPods.

I have an ipod nano which I LOVE, but it is on the pricer side. I think it is worth it, but if you are just trying things out, you may not. I do think they have a VERY easy to use interface for adding music through itunes. You pretty much organize your stuff in itunes how ever you want it and just just plug it and it will automatically load everything on your ipod.

This SanDisk Might be a really good one for you. It is $40 for a 1GB so comes in under your price range. It also has good reviews here at CNET (and independent technology news/rating site).

I don’t own one personally, but family members have owned a few different models. Read reviews for specific models at Amazon, and Google for other reviews. Look for reports on reliability, ease of use, and any problems people may have had with them.

I, too, have heard good things about SanDisk players. My father has one that he is satisfied with (after working with a ****** Creative Zen). But, READ THE REVIEWS!

Good luck. :thumbsup:

I thought that only worked with apple computers. I am certainly not going to buy a new computer just to download a few songs.

rule no. 1 I have already discovered, just because the item is advertised in this morning’s paper at a good price, and just because the website says they have it in stock, does not mean you are going to walk out of the store with it. I have a strong feeling I will not be getting one today unless I pay the high prices for features I don’t want or need (why on earth would I want to take pictures with it? I can take lousy pictures with an ordinary kodak, why take even worse pictures with an ipod - or cell phone for that matter?)

I am not understanding how the songs get from the computer to the player. Of course, I only figured out how to get songs of the CD onto Windows Media Player last week, so I am a slow learner. Do I just plug this thing in the computer someplace and download playlists from Windows Media Player? or is there some additional software I need (and will have to pay for?)

The player will come with a cord that plugs into both your MP3 player and the USB port of your computer. All of your music will be downloaded from your computer to the player through that cord. According to DH, Media Player saves your music files, probably in the “My Music” folder, so that’s where to look when you want to import the files into the software. Depending on what brand of player you purchase, the software will either come with the player on a CD or you will be directed to a site where you can download the software for free.

I know that iPods work just fine with computers that are not Apple-based. My friend has one and she has no problem using it with her Dell laptop.

thank you a simple explanation suited to my comprehension level. I suppose it will say on the box if I need to buy an extra cable.

Glad I could help. If you go to a store like Best Buy, don’t hesitate to ask the employees for help or suggestions. I have found that store’s employees to be generally quite helpful and knowledgeable.

DH called again, he is still at Best Buy, still trying to get someone to answer his questions, about to give it up and come home.

That stinks. If your area is anything like ours, you have a few Best Buys within driving distance. You might have better luck stopping by a different one on a weeknight, when it’s less crowded. I hate shopping on Sundays because the stores are so packed, it’s nearly impossible to get personal service.

there is only one on our end of the Valley, and we are leaving early tomorrow, so this is my last chance.

well I answered my own question. the way to buy an MP3 is to have somebody else do it. DH ended up someplace, I think the new Wal-mart, and I now have an RCIA TH11. it is a great deal more than I would have spent, but note how cleverly I got him to buy it for me. (just act dumb, it never fails).

It only took 3 tries to load the music. works great, but now how do I keep those little dingies in my ears?

thanks guys, proof once again CAFers know everything (but you knew that).

we are off for a month to see 4 kids in 4 cities, 3 states, plus a graduation and misc. relatives scattered about the Midwest. looks like we will have rain most of the way to NC.

if my grandkids let me use their computers I will check in with you.

If anyone else is thinking of buying one soon, there is a great little mp3 player from Phillips with 1GB of memory on sale this week at Office Depot for $34.95! I got each of my retired parents one and they were able to work it in just a few minutes. Too bad I didn’t catch Annie before it was too late.

I have the 8gig red ipod nano. It holds about 5000 songs. I really like it. It’s small, it has good sound quality, it’s easy to load songs onto. The only problem is that you can really only use itunes for it.
I’ve heard that the Creative Lab Zen players are really good. They make smaller players that don’t have all the added features and don’t cost and arm and a leg.

Creative’s Zen Nano Plus is real good. It uses 2 AAA batteries, and mine is 512 mb–good enough for around 110 or so songs in wma format. I’m happy with it. Sound quality is surprisingly good. It’s going 2 years now this September, and I would say it’s still one of the best out there.

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