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  #1  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:28 AM
Jamiestogden Jamiestogden is offline
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Default Reasonably priced MP3 advice

Hi all

Sorry for yet another buying advice guide but there are so many options I'm a little stuck where to start. There also seem to be good and bad reviews for each of them so thought who better to ask than other users...


I'm looking for a new MP3 player, only to play music (but must do playlists), around 8GB, no more than 70 or so. Now I've seen a few that look like bargains and I'm wondering if I could get some opinions. Only essential is that I don't need software other than Windows Media Player or Explorer to manage content. I'm buying to rid myself of Apple and iTunes so don't want to replace one piece of software with another. I'm also wanting to keep well clear of touchscreen interface too


I've seen the following available...


Creative Mozaic EZ100 for 30
Philips GoGear Vibe for 30
SanDisk clip Zip for 30
Sony NWZE474 for 60 (yeh, a bit more but looks nice)


Any recommendations or even further ideas? I really appreciate any thoughts.


Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 AM
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FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
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From your little list, the only ones that I would look at are the Clip Zip and the E474. Both good players, although I have never used a Walkman, and love the Clip family of players. Creative doesn't seem to have a good rep these days. Some people like the Phillips players, but others don't, and they are not that popular on here.

Playlists, welllll now. It seems to me that a lot of folks have playlist problems. Funny enough, I do not have playlist problems (except with early firmware releases on the Zip).

I manage my players with drag&drop in Explorer. I do not "sync" anything. I make my playlists with Winamp. Note I do NOT use the media library feature of Winamp. I just use it as the mp3 player on my PC (as I have been doing for a LONG time). I load songs into Winamp from the connected player, and save the playlist to the player.

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  #3  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:23 AM
Jamiestogden Jamiestogden is offline
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Thanks FreeZ5 I'll take a closer look at the Sansa Clip Zip. I think I just need to get my head around the function over form thing as it's not the prettiest

Pity about the Creative, I would have thought with their pedigree they could put together a decent player.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:05 AM
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I'd go either clipzip or Sony E Series myself,...
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2013, 07:41 AM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Well if you want playlists then definitely the sansa. I have both a walkman e-series and a sansa fuze and creating playlists is much easier for the fuze imo. At least if you use an os besides windows
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:54 AM
Roboturner913 Roboturner913 is offline
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If you're not concerned with gapless playback or a memory card slot, then go with the Walkman. If the Sony people had any sense at all they would add those two features and they'd have the market cornered easily.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:05 AM
Jamiestogden Jamiestogden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamia88 View Post
Well if you want playlists then definitely the sansa. I have both a walkman e-series and a sansa fuze and creating playlists is much easier for the fuze imo. At least if you use an os besides windows
And if I only use Windows? Specifically Windows 7 and WMP. I'm definitely leaning towards the Sansa at the moment even though the Sony is prettier
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:27 AM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamiestogden View Post
And if I only use Windows? Specifically Windows 7 and WMP. I'm definitely leaning towards the Sansa at the moment even though the Sony is prettier
Sony has a better stock os imo but sansa with rockbox is also very good. If you don't mind not having the micro sd slot i'd probably get the sony. But then again you said you like playlists then rockbox is practically built for you
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:58 AM
JK98 JK98 is offline
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The problem is that the Sony lacks a card slot and the E474 has only 8GB. The Clip Zip or Clip+ has a card slot, but only around 12 hours of battery life. Many want the battery life of the Sony(listed as 36 hours, but less in real use) plus with a card slot(and also with a standard connector which the Sony lacks, as well as under $100, which eliminated the Cowon C2) If you want the longer battery life, imo you should consider the 16GB Sony E475(or splurge on the Cowon C2) as with just 8GB is much too easy to run out of space, while with 16GB I can fit the majority of my favorite music.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:03 AM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Actually, it's easier to create a playlist that works perfectly on the Sony & not the Sansa. It's a bitch to get a playlist to work off the micro SD card on the Sansa. I create & sync playlists all the time, with ease, on my Sony Walkman every time.

mamamia88, why do you always claim the opposite of what is fact?!?!?! Do you just like to give misinformation,...???
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:09 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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To be fair TDS, although the general impression was given that Sonys have problems with playlists he did say his playlist issues are OS dependent. Fortunately if you're on Windows that shouldn't be the case.

My experience with my Sonys and playlists is just like The Darkside says. Any MTP aware software I've used, that includes WMP, has synced playlists on to them with minimal effort and zero errors I can remember. I've only used WMP a few times but Mediamonkey, Media Go, JRiver Media Jukebox, MusicBee, Winamp and good old "drag and drop-then right click" have all worked to let me create playlists easily under Windows.

If you're considering the Clip Zip and migrating from iTunes you may want to check codec compatibility. If any of your files are AAC (.m4a) and longer than ~10 minutes it's doubtful they'll play on the CZ without Rockbox. The sandisk AAC decoder works decently on files that are shorter than that but won't even attempt to play those that are past a certain length.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:36 AM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
Actually, it's easier to create a playlist that works perfectly on the Sony & not the Sansa. It's a bitch to get a playlist to work off the micro SD card on the Sansa. I create & sync playlists all the time, with ease, on my Sony Walkman every time.

mamamia88, why do you always claim the opposite of what is fact?!?!?! Do you just like to give misinformation,...???
cause every playlist i've ever created for my rockbox fuze has worked perfectly the first time while i've never managed to get one to work on my sony? but i'm on linux and don't use wmp or any microsoft os on my pc. so using open standards is a good idea for me. sorry if i have a different experience or opinion from you dude but do you have to troll me all the damn time?
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:41 AM
Jamiestogden Jamiestogden is offline
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Thanks so much for all the replies.

One last question if I may... What's the deal with Rockbox? Looks like an alternative OS for a player. I'd prefer not to have to mess around with third party software/firmware etc... I'd quite like to play music straight out the box.

On, and even though I've had a 30Gb iPod for 6 years now, I've never gone over 6Gb which is why I'm quite taken with the cheaper sony
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2013, 10:48 AM
mamamia88 mamamia88 is offline
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Rockbox is an alternative firmware but it enhances the experience of the player imo. For example many sound enhancement options,more theming options, and just a lot more customization in general. The player will play music out of the box but the OF has some minor annoyances like database refresh after transferring music onto the device which rockbox removes. It can get very annoying if you have a large music collection. Also on the fly dynamic playlist creation which is why i would recommend it for you. For example i have it setup on my fuze so that i can just scroll through my music list and tap a button and it adds a song to a playlist. Also there is an installer that makes it super easy to install
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:02 PM
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FreeZ5 FreeZ5 is offline
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Jamiestogden:

Rockbox is definitely an option for the Clip Zip. Many of the folks that frequent ABi prefer Rockbox. I have not graduated to Rockbox, but that's not to say that it wouldn't be right for you. Some of the reasons include...

1) database refresh can be delayed to occur while listening when using Rockbox. If you're only talking about 8GB then this isn't a huge deal. On the original firmware (OF), be prepared to watch the atabase refresh if you have plugged the player into a computer (probably less than a minute but feels much longer). I usually charge on a wall plug, so not an issue unless I've actually upgraded the player.

2) I understand that on-the-go playlists (which you did not mention) are better with Rockbox. I don't use them.

3) Battery times are better with Rockbox especially if using better quality files (eg 320 kbps mp3s or flac). This would probably help me, but I'm not charging daily as it is.

4) Ability to balance sound out of each ear, if one of your ears has a degree of hearing loss. This is the one that will eventually get me to try Rockbox.

If you get a Clip Zip (or Clip+), then straight out of the box go to the USB setting and change it to MSC (or MTP). The default is Autodetect (aka Autodefect). I prefer MSC, and maybe you can learn my simple (to me anyway) method of playlists.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:26 PM
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BruceBanner BruceBanner is offline
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Out of all the sansa products I prefered the fuzev2 of all (not to be mistaken with the fuze+) . The payoff of having a larger nicer screen and better battery life was worth the extra size. I love the clips and are great for an exerciser, but i think they are too small and compromise on battery life consequently, I was getting only 6-7hrs of battery life after a full charge brand new (on all 3 clips). I don't understand these 12hr claims, that's not real usage to me.

Playlist wise, i never managed to get rb to save an 'on the fly' playlist, but using winamp on pc to create playlists was a breeze.

FWIW i'd look for a 4-8gb C2, put custom firmware on that and enjoy the DSP
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:38 PM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamia88 View Post
cause every playlist i've ever created for my rockbox fuze has worked perfectly the first time while i've never managed to get one to work on my sony? but i'm on linux and don't use wmp or any microsoft os on my pc. so using open standards is a good idea for me. sorry if i have a different experience or opinion from you dude but do you have to troll me all the damn time?
I'll check out songbird on my Linux machine later this evening.

As for trolling, I'm calling what I see. Yes, you may have a point with a different OS, but you tend to differ from the norm. The OP stated that they PREFER to use WMP or Explorer solely. That means WINDOWS is the OS of choice. No Linux, no MAC OS, etc. you need to learn to pay attention to what people want, not only what you (in a limited scope) know. There are other choices besides your own.

Also, not everyone wants/likes to use Rockbox. It's as simple as that. And the OP is looking for simplicity & playlists on Windows. The Sony Walkman players are one of two choices. They fit the bill perfectly.

TBH I'd opt for the 16GB model myself. I'm a bit of a file hoarder,...

Oh, I almost forgot. A Cowon MP3 player works quite easily with playlists synced from a computer when used with WMP when in MTP mode. Just don't expect to use the music you may decide to put on the micro sd in a playlist without some finagling. And on the go playlists are limited to 1,...
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:48 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceBanner View Post
I love the clips and are great for an exerciser, but i think they are too small and compromise on battery life consequently, I was getting only 6-7hrs of battery life after a full charge brand new (on all 3 clips). I don't understand these 12hr claims, that's not real usage to me.
It's mainly due to your having the brightness cranked up, I think.

I will say anybody that claims 12 hours without Rockbox is either smoking some funny stuff, or using 128kbps files...lol
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
I will say anybody that claims 12 hours without Rockbox is either smoking some funny stuff, or using 128kbps files...lol
I used to get close to that playing FLAC files, but that was when the player was admittedly much newer. Maybe I'm just a lucky dawg.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
... And on the go playlists are limited to 1,...
Not true, you can build playlist of up to 256 files using [Folders] to build rather than id3 tags, that process also allows you to add entire folders and sub-folders in one go rather than single file at a time. I do this regularly on my c2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
It's mainly due to your having the brightness cranked up, I think.

I will say anybody that claims 12 hours without Rockbox is either smoking some funny stuff, or using 128kbps files...lol
I had all three clips rb, brightness never max, and screen always set to go off after 10sec or so, the screen was mainly off (being shuffled the entire time) with only the odd skip a track here or there...
I concluded that perhaps my battery life suffered the worse as I listened at loud volumes.
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