I apologize as I know this topic comes up repeatedly (recommendations for a highly individualized feature set), but I'm trying to pick up a portable player that will give me a minimum of hassle and not have to pay the Apple price premium. My fiancee has an 80GB iPod that does very well for what she wants, but two in the house is severe overkill, plus they now only want to sell you 120GB models.
But enough about those guys...
Here's what I'm looking for, in roughly descending order of importance:
- Large capacity. I have 22GB of music on my PC and want to fit most of it at a single go, so that I don't constantly have to shuffle media in and out all the time. Flash vs. SD vs. internal GD isn't important to me. I can live with 8 or 16GB in a pinch, but SD that can be swapped out later if need be would be excellent.
- MSC or otherwise drag-and-drop interfacing is a must. I run Linux only on my PC so Windows-only software interfaces are a non-starter. I've heard good things about COWON so far, but their storage seems small overall. iRiver's website is patently unusable from all I can tell, so I actually don't know much about what players they're offering now.
- As mentioned in the title, .OGG and to a lesser degree .FLAC are important. 90% or more of my collection is non-MP3, hence another reason iPod isn't going to work.
- I'm willing to replace somebody's standard software with Rockbox, but would prefer to use the native software if possible, to avoid voiding warranties and the like.
- I'd like to keep the price down under $150, but for the right features I might go higher.
- Playlists that can easily edited (like m3u, or something native that can be hand-edited) are really useful. Some days you don't want to hear Celtic Pop right after Death Metal, yaknowwutimean?
- Video capability and large display screens are NOT important at all. I might use FM radio capability, but it's not crucial (part of the reason for a portable player is to get away from the deplorable state of local radio). Podcasts are not something I follow right now.
- Battery life/replaceability is not a big deal. I don't think anything that fits my other criteria is going to have a short-lifespan proprietary disposable battery, but you never can tell. I'm unlikely to use it for more than 6-10 hours on any given day without recharging.
Hopefully that's a fairly clear wishlist. I may edit a bit later if something else occurs to me...