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Portable MP3 Player w/ Unix Support?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the music-on-the-run dept.

Music 459

oobeleck asks: "With my birthday just around the corner and my 8 mile runs needing music, I am thinking of asking for a portable mp3 player. What is the Slashdot community's experience with MP3 portables. What has the most support, what should I stay away from. I have been eye-balling the Diamond Rio 600/800 model. Any opinions on the Rio? I want something that works good with Linux/OpenBSD. Thanks for your help." Ask Slashdot last ran such an article back in April of 2000, I'm sure bigger and better MP3 players have been made since then. Which of today's players would you all recommend?

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459 comments

A Data Point (4, Informative)

Cliff (4114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4071819)

I've been using an Archos Jukebox Studio 20 [archos.com] for about a year, now and aside from a few annoying issues (the major one being that it unexpectedly cuts off when I'm walking, and it takes some 4 seconds of holding down the power switch to turn it back on again) it's held up pretty well. And you can't sneeze at 20G of tunes on your belt, either.

Looks like Archos has actually revamped this product, because mine doesn't look like the one displayed at the above link. Has anyone used one of these particular models before and can tell me if they've improved on the problem bits that I've mentioned?

If they have, I'd surely recommend this model to anyone who is in the market for an MP3 player.

Re:A Data Point (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072815)

rofl mao lol thats funny rOFL

Re:A Data Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072824)

You want to strap a hard drive to this guys hip while he goes for a jog? I think he'll need something that uses some form of memory mudule.

Re:A Data Point (2)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072828)

I purchased one about a month ago (it just showed up on my credit card bill) and I haven't had any problems with it yet. It hasn't cut out on me, but it does require holding down the "on" button to get it to power up.

I haven't explicitly used it with Unix/Linux yet. But since it can function as a USB hard drive I wouldn't imagine that it would be any different than using it under Windows/Mac once you get it running.

zerg (4, Informative)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072849)

Would like to heartily second this recommendation. I only have the 6-gig model, but having a portable FAT32 hd is incredibly convenient. If you can mount a Windows drive, you can mount this in your silly Linux thingee.

Durable: I drop this thing at least once a day, it's over a year old and still going. It recharges in ~6 hours for ~6 hours of playback. If you strap the case to your back (as opposed to keeping it on your hip), you won't have as much problem w/ skip, but you will look like a complete dork.

The problem Cliff is experiencing appears to be unintentional jostling of the stop (off) button, so careful how you position it when you run.

I WOULD LIKE TO TROLL NOW. HAS IT BEEN 24 HRS. YET (-1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072913)

Re:zerg (1)

benploni (125649) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072978)

> The problem Cliff is experiencing appears to be unintentional jostling of the stop (off)
> button, so careful how you position it when you run.

I don't think so. Mine powers off too, and I think it's a crash.

Re:zerg (2)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072988)

The problem Cliff is experiencing appears to be unintentional jostling of the stop (off) button, so careful how you position it when you run.

The Rio has a hold switch that's relatively hard to switch that will turn off all the buttons. That way you can stick it in your pocket and bump it around all you want and there's no issues.

Portable MP3 player? (1)

ksheka (189669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072864)

What, dodn't you mean portable OGG Player?

(I thought I was reading /., not cnet.com. :-)

Re:Portable MP3 player? (2)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072995)

Does such a beast exist? I switched over to OGG a few weeks ago and I'm glad I did...it's just a shame that I have to invest the extra time converting to MP3s in order to reload my Rio One.

Re:A Data Point (4, Informative)

benploni (125649) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072873)

I, too, have the Archos Jukebox Studio 20. I use it exclusively with Linux. The usb-storage driver + hotplug + usb.agent + scsi automatically mount it as a VFAT scsi device when it gets jacked into a USB port.

Some issues:
1) Playlists suck.
2) The screen is kinda small
3) It crashes on VBR MP3s sometime. Not too often but enough to notice
4) Turning it on is irritatingly long. You'd think it's just a few seconds, but...
5) It's not a small or light as an iPod.

Overall, having 253 CDs in my pocket has completely changed my music habits.

Oh, BTW, the reason that picture doesnt match it because that's the *recorder*, not the studio.

Portable Pr0n w/ Dildo Support? (-1, Troll)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072874)

Cliff, your ideas intrigue me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. I've been using an Wavy G Dildo [libida.com] for about a year now, and occaisionally I prefer to give the 'ol Crystal Wand [libida.com] a whirl.

What are your thoughts are these devices? I'd surely recommend either model to anyone who is in the market for dildonic devices.

Re:A Data Point (2)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072938)

Except it has a hard drive, and he's.... jogging.

Re:A Data Point (2)

schulzdogg (165637) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072939)

I'll chime in:
I have an Archos 20 as well, I got it about 2 months ago and I love it. I take it riding with me (fairly rough terrain) and I've never had it skip. I've dropped it a few times and it's fine. I use the line out to my stereo sometimes and it works well.

The only problem I have with it is playlists. It's a pain in the ass getting playlists set up. And even if you play the list on shuffle mode it always plays the first song, then shuffles. So make sure your first song is one you like.

If I had to do it again, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. It's great.

Re:A Data Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072954)

I think that all of you are missing the point this guy wants an mp3 player that he can take on a jog not out to a picnic. HD based mp3 players on a jog are not really practical. Quit pluging your favorite mp3 player and read the post.

Get a clue...

Re:A Data Point (3, Informative)

Fiver-rah (564801) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072984)

Second the Archos. Or as it is at this point, third or fourth. :) I have the 10 GB Jukebox Recorder. The recorder doesn't have the jostle-off problem that the original poster mentioned. I bike into work with it every day and it never complains, not even the time I slammed on my brakes to avoid getting hit by a car, fell off, and landed on the side carrying it. It works like a charm under Linux. In fact, it's really just a USB hard drive, and I used it to carry files to and from work before I got a laptop. Plus, they're working on an open source firmware version for it: Rockbox [rockbox.haxx.se] . Maybe (hope, hope) they'll figure out enough to get them to play Ogg too.

Finally, you may not believe it but the recording features on the recorder are *really* useful. I can plug my recorder into an LP player and get MP3s ... instantly, no work on my part.

Re:A Data Point (2)

Spackler (223562) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072989)

I got the Archos Studio 10 (10 GB model). I have been VERY impressed with it. It also has the delay in turning on, and is a speck quirky, but I have been VERY happy with it. I loaded 7.5 GB of CDs on it within the first week. I really bought it for a trip to Toronto for the Red Sox games (the Jays stomped us), thinking I could just return it if I didn't like it. It's been about a month and a half, and it totally changed my listening habits as well. I can't imagine going back to fumbling for CDs in the car. Portable harddisk, decent sound, decent batt life, you bet!

iPod (-1, Redundant)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072809)

If you consider OS X a type of Unix (I do), then you might consider the iPod. There is also Windows software available for it that may run under Wine. Anyone have some more info? It's generally a good choice for runners, because it's so rugged.

Re:iPod (1)

Assimil8or (587491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072972)

Afair there is iPod software for Linux!

ERROR: NONEXISTANT (-1)

This_Is_ASDF (587337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072810)

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Things to consider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072811)

I know you didn't ask this question, but one thing I've found out is that I like the ones that read off of compact flash a lot better than the one or two that can read off of a CD.

I know they don't hold as much, but when I'm running hard or boxing, it won't ever skip.

(You're probably wondering what a computer nerd is doing running hard and boxing. If you knew where I lived, you'd understand...)

Re:Things to consider... (2)

Negadecimal (78403) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072922)

I know they don't hold as much, but when I'm running hard or boxing, it won't ever skip.

They can if you use a 1GB compact flash microdrive [ibm.com] ...

ipod? (1)

axjms (167179) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072813)

I havn't tested one but an ipod seems to be an obvious candidate

Re:ipod? (2)

rneches (160120) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072924)

Well, it'll be a great candidate once they figure out the itunesdb and other issues. There's been some progress, though. So, the answer is no for now. Uneless you consider OS X to belong to the set {Linux, OpenBSD}, which most people do not.

Fuck babies. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072816)

Slashdot sucks donkey dicks.

I would buy one of these if it supported ogg! (2, Interesting)

Tim_F (12524) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072819)

Everyone should know at this point that Ogg Vorbis encoded tracks not only sound better, but the take up less disk space as well. I would hope that any "MP3" player that supports Unix also supports Ogg Vorbis.

Re:I would buy one of these if it supported ogg! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072862)

Trolling... Remember a couple of weeks ago, it was determined that each format has advantages DEPENDING UPON THE MUSIC.


Damn Ogg zealots!

I'm not convinced. (2)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072879)

I know I'm going against the flow here, but it goes anyway...

I've read this and that about Ogg being better and I want to believe it, but on the few experements I've done. Ogg ends up taking more disk space and significantly longer to encode (using CD-DA XTractor under win2ksp3).

Quality, I can't tell much difference if you force it at the same bit rate. Granted I haven't done a ton of testing, but an mp3 encoded at 160 vs an ogg file encoded at VBR160 just doesn't seem to produce much quality difference. (Maybe my altec lansing speakers aren't good enough?)

I'm sure Ogg will only improve in the future as it's still kind of a baby compared to mp3 but for right now, I'd say Ogg would be at the bottom of most people's feature list. Maybe I'm wrong.

Re:I'm not convinced. (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 11 years ago | (#4073002)

By VBR160 I assume you mean using ABR with an average of 160 kb/s. ABR in ogg does not sound very good and it's the developers who say so. Use the quality option to control file size to hear how good OGG is.

As a side note, even CBR MP3's have an ability to vary the amount of data used for each frame via the what is known as the "Bit Reservoir". If a frame can be encoded with less data the redundant space can be filled with data for the next frame to use. Using this feature a frame can use additional data from upto two frames before it. So CBR MP3 is n't constant at all..

Re:I would buy one of these if it supported ogg! (1)

lpret (570480) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072921)

Your claim that Ogg Vorbis "sounds better" is a matter of debate. In this Washington Post article [washingtonpost.com] and in another article here on slashdot about a comparison between Ogg Vorbis, mp3, and wma, both have shown the difference in Ogg's dominance. I recall that Ogg was terrible for electronica music, even worse for rock, and good for jazz. Something like that, anyways it comes down to support for me, and so I use .mp3 at 192k. -------- Url? Who's Url?

i've used the pjb-100 (2, Redundant)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072826)


and various in-dash car units, and after comparing the two, i would recommend a handheld cd-mp3 player.

why? they new models are fast, light, and last upwards of 15 hours on batteries (my rio even spins down the CD while playing to save juice).

CDrs are cheap, and on the average outing 650-700MB of music will last you, even if its encoded at --alt-preset extreme!

Re:i've used the pjb-100 (2)

captredballs (71364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4073001)


Do they skip easily? He does want to take it running, so that may be a contraint.

Diamond Rio (1)

ironstorm (600824) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072831)

I dont personally own a portable mp3 player, but am concidering getting one. I have however, had the experience of using a couple of the Diamond Rio players, and really liked them a lot. I was concidering buying the Diamond Rio 600 not too long ago, but didnt have the money at the time. Just my two cents..

Before you buy a rio. (2)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072833)

You might want to read this story...

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/08/09/1235 22 7&mode=thread&tid=98

(I would have posted this 18 seconds ago... but slashdot wouldn't let me.)

rio 300 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072835)

i use the 32MB rio 300(have 2 16MB flash
cards for it). i like it since it's solid
state. record my songs in 96kbps and it works
great. i don't need a large selection, and
there has been rio 300 software for years
on linux. i like it so much i bought 2 more
refurb models from buy.com recently for $60
a pop. my first one has lasted about 3 years
and works almost perfectly still.(a piece of
plastic which holds a screw on the button is
cracked which makes the batteryf all out
pretty easy which is why i got the refurb
models. most reliable player i've ever
had. before that i had a $600 discman which
suffered $400 in damages durin the 2 year
life it had, luckily i had the extended
warranty ..

seems some like the large selection available
on CD-based and hard disk based units,
i like the rio 300 because its light(the
battery is heavier then the unit), its
durable(Solid state), has supported linux
for years, is cheap, and the batteries
last a long time.

Go cheap (0)

panxerox (575545) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072840)

Dont bother with those expensive built in harddrive models just get a cheap Koss mp3 cd players. 650 megs is more than enough and theres plenty of antiskip. I run with one and have no trouble.

Nomad/iPod experience (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072841)

Really enjoyed my Nomad 20 gig, until I tried then sold it for an iPod. There are situations where some may be better (say images, video, etc.), but for music I say the iPod wins hands down. Price is still high though

Just a suggestion (-1, Offtopic)

tartanboy (262669) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072842)

Maybe you should be looking for something that works good in your english class...

Re:Just a suggestion (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072898)

tartanboy wrote:
Maybe you should be looking for something that works good in your english class...

Don't you mean "works well"?

LOL! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072907)

Good call!

Adult yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072845)

Um ok so your about to get married?
And now you are still asking for presents from your parents?

Must be nice.

Re:Adult yet? (1)

DaveyJ (104135) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072875)

Maybe if you could read he said it was his birthday...

Rio Volt SP250 (2, Informative)

ender1598 (266355) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072846)

This player is one of the best CD-ROM based mp3 players out there. Third generation and it doesn't plug into your computer at all. Just burn mp3s to the CD and then play them. No way you can go wrong with that! It even has 400 second skip protection and the batteries last forever. Here's a link for a review. http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/2001/voltsp250. html [mp3newswire.net]

Re:Rio Volt SP250 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072852)

I wouldn't jog with one of those...

Re:Rio Volt SP250 (2)

gblues (90260) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072914)

Or you can get the SP-90 and flash it with the SP-250's firmware. All the advanced features, except you don't get a backlight. Oh, and it's like $30 cheaper. :)

Nathan

Re:Rio Volt SP250 (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 11 years ago | (#4073004)

Or you can get the SP-90 and flash it with the SP-250's firmware.

How do you go about doing that? I have an SP90, and I don't think it was intended to be upgradable. Do you burn an upgrade CD-R and stick that in (like you do with some DVD players), or do you have to open it up and reprogram the EPROM/Flash/whatever-they-use the hard way?

(As the previous poster said, if you're concerned about compatibility with Linux or whatever, a CD-based MP3 player is the way to go. As long as you can burn CDs, you can get your music into your player. 700 megs for 30 cents or less is also much cheaper storage than anything else on the market (by comparison, the 128MB CompactFlash card my digital camera uses cost about $60 not too long ago).)

Re:Rio Volt SP250 (4, Informative)

jamcpherson (211476) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072923)

Second on that one... I own the SP250 and like it very much. Besides doing an admirable job of playing standard CDs, MP3 and WMA files (it's played everything I've tossed at it), it's got an FM tuner.

Another important feature: upgradable firmware. Few players have this. If you get the SP250, be sure to upgrade the firmware to 2.05 (available from Rio's SP250 page under the "Support" section), which adds a lot of neat stuff and fixes common complaints about the OS. I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for some enterprising soul to hack the firmware and get Ogg support.

Also: It comes with rechargable batteries, and the player doubles as a charger.

The only thing I don't like about the SP250 is the fact that it takes a little too long from the time you power up to the time you actually start hearing music. The SP250 "remembers" the information for the last 5 MP3/WMA CDs that you put into it -- so it doesn't need to do the time-consuming scan on them -- but it still takes several seconds of eternity from disc insert to disc play.

me too (4, Funny)

spazoid12 (525450) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072848)

I have a similar question...but I'm looking for a player that works on a 7 mile run. While everyone is busy researching 8 mile MP3 players for that dude, keep an eye-ball open for one for me, too, eh?? Thanks, because I'm too stinking lazy to do it myself.

Archos Jukebox (1)

Rydor (129335) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072853)

Any Archos Jukebox can be used as a USB hard drive. just make sure you have vfat, scsi and the propper usb storage driver (forgot which it is) in your kernel, connect the device and "mount
-t vfat /dev/sda1 [mountpoint]" and voila.

iPod kicks ass (5, Interesting)

MidKnight (19766) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072854)

Yes, it's expensive. No there isn't Linux support. But if you've got the cash, you won't find a better player out there. The interface is seamless, the battery life is good, and if you have 20GB of music, it'll accommodate that just fine. Oh yeah, you can also store your contacts & calendar on it just for kicks.

I've had the 5GB version for about 6 months, and am constantly impressed with just how usable it is. I just wish Apple would hurry up & put out a PDA in the same vein....

--Mid

Re:iPod kicks ass (2)

scorpioX (96322) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072892)

And it works with BSD Unix. :) Sorry couldn't resist.

Re:iPod kicks ass (5, Informative)

damiam (409504) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072899)

But there is iPod for Linux [tex9.com] .

Sharp Zaurus (2, Informative)

Luckster7 (234417) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072949)

I use a Zaurus, which has been tested with up to 1GB CF cards. Since I'm ordering a 6 megapixel camera, I'm going to be needing some large (512MB) cards anyway. Nothing like dual purpose. Now if an Ipod could dock up to a digital camera for storage I would really be impressed.

You can store your contacts & calendar on it too.

My empeg has supported linux for a while... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072855)

Helps that it runs it internally too...

I don't know why sonic blue stopped making them. I think it was ahead of it's time, like the rest of their stuff.

Still if you can pick one up, you'll be glad you did!

Here's an Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072857)

Stop being rebellious and use a normal MP3 player, shithead.

Get a jukebox. (2)

halftrack (454203) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072860)

The Creative Nomad/D.A.P. jukebox is really good. I've used a 10GB version and it's easy. The new ones has got 40GB which will store any relatively large CD-collection. There is (unfortunatly) no Linux support. (One of the few times my Windows boot is used.) I really don't see the point in the small ones which use flash or even CD's. With a bigger (bit clumpy, but just hide it in a bag when walking) jukebox you have your CD collection with you everywhere, no need to chose which CD's to take along in the limited CD-compartment. And the Nomad supports surround and EAX effects.

Under $50 solution (2)

dorzak (142233) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072863)

I personally use a Panasonic portable CD player that will playback cd's with MP3's on them. With 700 megs per CD, and about 6 hours on two double AA's, it has proved portable and economical. If I want to listen to a new song a friend has on CD, I can do so without having to encode it.

I have been using mkisofs/cdrecord to burn cd's at home while at work for a while now. Just need to call my wife and ask her to put in a new CD. My kids have even got to the point they know when the CD pops out, time to put in another blank.

Re:Under $50 solution (2)

(startx) (37027) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072887)

I was about to recomend my MPTrip, which is also a cd mp3 player, before I re-read the question. He wants something he can jog with, and trust me, you can't jog with a cd player, no matter how many seconds of anti-skip it claims to have.

Re:Under $50 solution (2)

duren686 (463275) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072997)

Likewise, I would have recommended an AVC Soul II (DMP-201) [soulplayer.com] player. However, this thing skips a bit more than I'd like it to, in exactly the circumstances where I'd like it not to skip.

I have tried doing some tests of the anti-skip system, among those turning it on and playing it while jumping on a trampoline, and beating on it while it was playing. It did not skip during either of those tests, and this pleased me. However, when I walk with it, I sometimes notice it skipping after ~15 min of fast walking, so I wouldn't recommend it for jogging, as it would probably skip more, and faster. It's really great for short sprints though.

MPIO-DMG (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072868)

This thing's supposedly pretty big in Japan.

http://www.mpio.com/violet_html/e_main_jp.asp

The site aint the greatest.

I have a Rio 600... (1)

Ruis (21357) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072869)

..and I don't like it. I got it back when the default memory it came with was 32 megs. I think it comes with 64 now. 32 is not nearly enough for me to even mow my lawn without hearing a repeat. I could probably buy more memory backpacks for it, but dang, they're expensive!

I also don't like how it drains my battery when it's turned off. I put a fresh battery in, use it for 15 minutes, then next week when I go to mow my lawn again, I have to replace the battery. I've started taking the battery out when I'm not using it.

The headphones that came with it are designed to save battery life, and they aren't designed for quality sound. I might as well be singing to myself.

Oh well, it was a gift. I'm glad I didn't pay money for it... But now that I think about it, my wife was the one who gave it to me, and she used my money to pay for it.. Son of a...

Re:I have a Rio 600... (1)

Slacker (3964) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072963)

I've got the same version of the Rio600. I picked it up for about $35.00
Mostly for use while mowing the lawn.
I decided to spring for the 32 mb "backpack", due to space and battery issues.

As far as I can tell there's no Linux software for it either. It has a number of drawbacks, but at least it can be picked up cheaply.

iPod, baby! (3, Insightful)

AtariKee (455870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072878)

I suggest the iPod. With MacOS, *nix (if you can get XTunes to compile; holy crap what a nightmare), and (soon) Windows support, you can't go wrong. The price is a bit higher than other mp3 players, but you get the added bonus of having a portable hard drive for moving files around, if you need it.

On that note, are there portable players with Vorbis support?

YES,GET A $400 IPOD FOR YOUR 20 BRITNEY SPEARS CDS (-1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072936)

Re:iPod, baby! (2)

RestiffBard (110729) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072969)

windows support is there now. I mean you can actually buy it. CompUSA has the software sitting right next to the iPod at my local.

CompactFlash players are nice (1)

StormForge (596170) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072882)

I have a CompactFlash based player which I really like. The player itself connects via USB and looks just like a flash-drive or microdrive so it should play well with almost any OS. Also handy for transfering files, etc... plus you can pop the card in your digital camera or, with an adapter, in your laptop, palmtop, etc... Plus, CF keeps getting bigger and cheaper so your player is easy to upgrade. Mine is a MoveMan SP-100 but there are a bunch out there that use CF cards.

Re:CompactFlash players are nice (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072962)

http://www.mydivaplayer.com/

Cheap, long battery life, and doubles as a compact flash reader!

My experiences (5, Interesting)

yamla (136560) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072885)

I picked up a Diamond Rio 500 when it first became available. I really liked it at first, though the Rio Manager software (for Windows) was so gawd-awful that I bought a replacement (musicmatch). There are fairly mature drivers and software for Linux though I must admit I haven't ever played around with them. I suspect they work with the later models as well.

That said, I am now not so happy with my purchase. The RIO contains only 64 megs of memory which, in your case, would probably be fine. I wanted more. More importantly, though, I have been unimpressed with the 'customer service' for this product. At times (last month), Windows drivers were not available for download. Finding a contact email address was difficult (though this may be resolved now). But more importantly, these devices just aren't very sturdy. Mine is now unusable except when left flat on a table and NOT MOVED. If I pick it up, the thing powers down. My brother and sister both bought one as well and at least one of the two no longer works for them, either.

So what did I get? A Creative Nomad Jukebox 3. 20 gigs of storage and it works very well. I doubt this would be suitable for you, though... no good Linux support yet and it is very much overkill for 3 mile runs. :) In fact, as it is hard-drive based, I wouldn't want to run with it at all. On the other hand, it is great for a one week trip to Mexico (yay!) and for extended bus trips and the like. Heck, I have ALL my CDs ripped to MP3 and stored on the device and I still have over 1/3 of the storage available to me. Firewire and USB, oh my.

Waiting for OGG (1)

megazone27 (455608) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072888)

I have been hanging on to my Rio 500 under Windows. I will be retiring it and switching to Linux when there is a player that is capable of playing Ogg Vorbis music files.

I looked last month and to the best of my knowledge there are no players that play files other than MP3/WMA/G2 files.

Mini Disk! (5, Informative)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072890)

Out of all the things I have purchased and never used, my minidisk player is NOT one of them. I love that thing.

They are pretty cheap now, I paid 80 bucks for my Sony MD walkman (bit of an older model now). The tapes are cheap too.

One of my favorite things to do is record video game music off the stereo. I'm able to pop in GTA 3 select Head radio (better variety of weird noises between songs :-) ) and record and listen. I've later converted it to mp3 on my computer and have shared them with my freinds. I've done the same with SSX tricky. SSX tricky has a juke box feature where all the songs are played. The sound quality is fantastic!

I recently purchased a really nice microphone for my MD player. Now I can sample sounds all over the place and use them on my computer to make music. Great if your into that sort of thing.

Oh plus the tape adapters for the car work great! I'll never understand why they haven't caught on more with consumers. My friends say the same thing now after they have seen all the uses I've gotten out of it.

Stay away from... (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072895)

... mp3 players that rely on moving parts. If you'll be using this for jogging, you won't get 5 minutes of music out of it (even with skip protection) before the music cuts out.

I have a RioVolt MP3/CD player that i really like, but when i take it mountain biking, i can't hit any really rough stuff for any length of time without it skipping, and it has 2 minutes of anti-skip goodness. Since jogging is alot more jarring than cycling, you'd be SOL if you went for one like that.

Personally, I'm looking at getting one of the tiny players that have a velcro strap. That way i'll get the use of flash memory, which means no skipping when i ride, and since it's so small, it'll be easy to conveniently attach to any appendage for use in the gym. I believe Nike, and a few other companies, sell mp3 players like this.

I wonder, though - is skipping a problem with HD-based players? I might consider an iPod if they're skip-proof.

Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072896)

..works well...

irock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072903)

Just took a run with my irock mp3 player. It is small, simple to use, smart media expansion slot, and it is cheap. I don't care what OS it needs to upload mp3s to the player. I don't see why that really should be an issue. It is more important to me that when I run it stays out of the way and works. Infact I think the software that came with the irock player sux and was most likely written by a 13 year old kid with no UI design experience. I just use wmp, have not tried to used it with linux mabey I am just assuming it is as easy as wmp in linux.

http://www.myirock.com/players/default.asp

For running try the MPIO DMK (1)

haloric (23757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072908)

.. if you can find a linux download driver.

It has 128mb and is very light and sounds great.
It comes on a neat neck chain with the headphones built in, nice design.

I've yet to try mine with linux and hunt for download tools,
maybe someone knows where I might find one.

http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/2001/mpio_dmk .h tml

Re:For running try the MPIO DMK (1)

haloric (23757) | more than 11 years ago | (#4073014)

I found a driver module at sourceforge, which
worked first time, and can read the file table,
and version number of the MPIO DMK.

Now all I have to find is a download tool that
can use it..

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?gro up _id=45546

Rio 600 (2)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072917)

I have a Rio 600 that I use when working out. It's nice, but with a few quirks. First, I've had it lock up with some songs. It's done it with some MP3 and some WMA. I usually down-sample them before putting them on the player. MusicMatch may be doing something odd to them that causes this. The other thing is the battery. I like the built-in battery since it makes the unit small, but make sure and charge it every day. It'll drain even when off, it seems.

What I really want is a 128MB backpack with an FM tuner. Then it would about the perfect device.

Frontier Lab's Nex II (5, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072926)

I have a Nex II from Frontier Labs and absolutely love it.

It uses a Compact Flash slot. I've used several brands and they've all worked. It currently has a 128MB card in it, but it could take the IBM Microdrive, 1GB!!

It acts like a removable drive, attached via USB (I actually have some non-MP3 files on it and the player doesn't care). You can drag and drop (or cp) right to the NexII. You can take the NexII to another machine and drag and drop from the Nex to the machine. Lovely.

It's incredibly small and light, just a few ounces plus battery weight. Mine came with a sweet neoprene case to carry it in that has an attached belt clip. Perfect to run or bike with.

You can find it for dirt cheap brand new on eBay, about $80. This company [ebay.com] sells them, it's where I got mine and I'll vouch for them. (I'm not associate, just a happy customer.) 128MB compact flash card go for about $40 new on ebay.

You can get "Nexkins" to change the look of the device. Pretty trivial (the machine already looks cool) but there are some neat ones you can find on ebay.

The Nex is really easy to use, and it's just so userfriendly I love it. Moving between tracks, changing the volume, adjusting the built in equalizer (it really works!), using the backlight are all very easy.

I haven't had any problems with mine and I've had it for over a year. Love it, love it, love it. It really is everything you want: light, inexpensive, n*x compatible as removable USB storage, usable, and reliable.

I really don't think you could go wrong with this.

A great thing with compact flash! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072971)

You forgot the best thing with compact flash! You *don't* need to connect the player to your computer! No special support, no nothing. These cards are essentially IDE disks in disguise. Just find yourself an adapter (costs $10) and mount it as an IDE drive! Or a PCMCIA adapter for perhaps $20. Or a dedicated Firewire (or USB2) drive for perhaps $50. I just love the technology ..!

Re:Frontier Lab's Nex II (3, Insightful)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072976)

I just wanted to add that I've used several other MP3 players and like the Nex II best.

Players I've tried:
Rio 300
Rio 600
Archos Jukebox (early one, don't remember the model)
Creative Jukebox
Yepp
iPod

The Rio 300, Archos, and Creative took for-freaking-ever to fill up. The Rio 300 because it attaches via parallel port and the Archos and Creative because GBs take along time to travel over USB. And if you only fill a few 100MB what's the point of having a jukebox right?

The Rio 600 has crappy DRM issues. You need special (Win or Mac) software to put files on it, and you can't take files off it on another machine.

The yepp was basically a piece of shit.

The iPod was excellent. But it doesn't work with n*x that I'm aware of and it's quite a bit more expensive than the Nex. I'd actually say the Nex is as easy to use as the iPod, and I just don't need GB's of space so the Nex gets my nod.

Also, all of these are really too heavy to run or bike with except the Yepp, which was crap. The Nex is just perfect at a few ounces.

Diamond Rio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072929)

Personally I would stay away from the Diamond Rios. The Rios came with bloated software to transfer music to the player. Better versions of the transfer software have been made thankfully. There is a support area for owners of rios as SonicBlue won't give support for them at http://www.rioworld.org. Currently I have a Rio 500 with 64mb of ram and am thinking about upgrading to the RCA Lyra Jukebox with 20Gb of space. I hope it comes out soon.

Zaurus (3, Informative)

gabbarsingh (207183) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072930)

I have a zaurus SL5500 [sbc.co.jp] . I haven't gone jogging with it and it doesn't have any ergonomic controls like a thumb wheel to control volume. That aside, it still is unix friendly. I transfer data by two methods, put the CF card in the CompactFlash adapter and then mount that as drive on my Linux laptop - rip, copy, eject!

At home I have a 802.11b network, plug in the [amazon.com]
CF 802.11b card and the Qtopia desktop application will work with the IP address - upload, manage, roam!

Besides that, it has a healthy developer community, Sharp supports open source efforts and it's a PDA! I'm sure that a 256MB storage card is enough for your 8-mile run! Short of a solid state device I'll only invest in an iPod.

Rio 600...my thoughts (2)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072932)

I got a Rio 600 a couple years ago, for free thanks to PepsiStuff. In the end, I decided it was worth maybe a little more than what I paid for it [epinions.com] , but not a lot. Avoid it if you're paying real money.

iPod of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072933)

I don't know if it works with Linux, but technically speaking it works with a Unix, the best-looking one in fact: OSX.
The ipod is probably the most desirable mp3 player on the marlet, but it is not the cheapest. Have a look at www.apple.com/ipod

It's just another device! (1)

cdc179 (561916) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072935)

You can think of the player as a device. If it's usb, just load the usb-storage module. Next find out what type of file system it has and then mount the player just like you would mount anything else: mount -type vfat /dev/sdaX /mnt/music Now just copy music files to /mnt/music, unmount and use player. I have done this from el cheepos to good players and works every time.

Personally.... (2, Informative)

Xzisted (559004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072942)

I would definitley stay away from the Lyra series from RCA. They are great players but require you to use a MusicMatch or RealPlayer plugin to encode the mp3 into another format which is not playable by computers. This formatting also makes it near impossible (unless there is a hack out there I havent found yet) to pull the files off onto the hard drive an play them. They sound all garbled.

I think if I were to get a player today I would make sure it would store the mp3s AS mp3's and that it used compact flash for the storage media. With USB 2.0 support out now for compact flash these things HAUL when copying to them and are much better than their serial (im so slow I wave to the snails as they pass me) counterparts.

Samsung mini Yepp (1)

fantastic (398233) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072943)

I have the 64mb version, easily an hour of music, the thing is tiny, weighs next to nothing and has an armband. I use my own ear pieces the supplied 'buds' fall out to easily. I love it.

Downsides
Software is very primitive but just about does what you need. Not upgradeable, need 1 nihm/nicd rechargeable battery, rechargeable alks don't cut it.

Construction before software! (4, Informative)

stevarooski (121971) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072946)

Since you're planning on using your player for running/strenous activity, be very sure that whatever you buy is well made and water-resistant!! Sounds obvious, but believe it or not this actually disqualifies at least half of the players out there.

Using myself as an example of why you might want to listen to my advice, I bought an mp3 player with more or less the same goals you did, with the addition of wanting it cheap. So, I ended up buying a jaMp3 from KBGear [jamonline.com] . One trip to the weight room was all it took. I'm a big guy and I work out hard; the sucker died the first time out from (I believe) getting sweaty.

Anyways, I'm currently looking at the Samsung YEPP-30sh [yahoo.com] . . .its VERY small and light, has 128 megs, relatively inexpensive, and I've heard good things about its durability. That might be one for you to consider.

Get a Nomad IIc instead of a Rio (1)

Hirsto (601188) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072951)

I've had a Nomad II for several years and recently upgraged to the IIc with 192Megs of flash on board. Luv it! Over 11 hours of continuous play on a single AA battery.

I just have (2, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072952)

a live band following me around. the great thing is, they know exactly what kind of music to play, depending on my situation!

waaa waaa waaaaaaa

8 miles? (3, Funny)

Diesel Dave (95048) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072965)

With my birthday just around the corner and my 8 mile runs needing music, I am thinking of asking for a portable mp3 player.

Fool, ask for a bicycle instead!

iPaq + CF + Card reader (2)

larien (5608) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072968)

Personally, I have an iPaq, and I use the Compact Flash card sleeve to get a 256MB CF card of MP3s to play. To load them, I just use a USB card reader to copy the files from the PC to the card and then transfer the card to the iPaq.

Obviously, this is an expensive solution to the problem, but it works if you already have an iPaq or another PDA which can use some kind of flash media. Alternatively, just get an MP3 player that supports one of these cards.

I own a pjb100 (3, Informative)

captredballs (71364) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072970)

I use my PJB100 about 4 hours a day. It has a linux kernel module available (but possibly not maintained) and a very nice open source command line tool (thanks folks!). I've never used my pjb with anything other than linux and haven't had any problems.

Pro's:

upgradable hard drive - I'm putting a 40 gig in this weekend, up from 20
rechargable lithium ion battery (internal)
battery lasts ~7-8 hours if you don't modify the playlist too often
sounds better than most other mp3 products I've listened too.
linux, mac, and windows clients
the firmware is very very stable

Con's
The company that makes it is almost invisible
The firmware is stable, but also never gets upgrade
(and worse) the firmware is closed source
Its not as pretty as the ipod
It does not have a regular filesystem, which limits its potential use as a usb harddrive
USB isn't as fast as firewire (ipod)
It's expensive
It could be smaller. Jogging? You would need to hold it or have a fanny pack. it's too heavy for a belt.
It comes with a car cigarette adaptor
The table of contents is constrained by a max size, which makes multiple playlists impossible when you've got 20 gigs worth of songs.

All in all, I love my pjb100. I use it almost every single day on the bus and at work and it boosts the quality of life much more than any other gadget I can think of. Still, I wish the firmware was OS so that somebody smarter than me could add features ;-) Not that the original Compaq guys didn't do a good job, the thing NEVER crashes.

You can purchase it at http://www.mp3factorydirect.com

rio500 but (1)

bunaminenu (547940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072979)

i have a rio 500 (usb, 64MB+64MB) which runs fine under linux (not under xp). the rioo500 doesn't seem to be produced any longer, so you should be able to get a cheap used device on ebay :) but i would go for one of the small HD based systems, perhaps that mac one, cause there is really a large difference between MB and GB storage size.

flac on anything ? (1)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072983)

Does anyone know if there is any mp3 player, either a cd player that plays cdrs or a dedicated model with hard-drive or flash that plays, or can be firmware-flashed to play .flacs ?

It's not really that I am an "lossless is best" fascist, but I have the majority of my music in flac, and converting it to mp3 every time to fill up the player would be a big waste of time...

graspee

iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4072986)

Go with the iPod! It'll cost you a small sum more but it's worth it. Very very neat design. Those controls are way better than anything else right now. You mount it over firewire so the access time is very fast too (after all, that's why you want an MP3 player instead of an MD in the first place, isn't it)... Yes, and it works good with Linux.

I advise against getting a NAPA (0)

kleenex box (559437) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072994)

about 8 months ago i bought a NAPA mp3cd player (model dav311).

my friend reccomended it as a great deal for the money ($120CDN). it SEEMED good for the first little while, but overall, i am upset with the little bugs, such as:
- the player randomly decides to skip to the next track. this didn't seem to be a big deal until i started listening to more hour-long dj sets. if you're right in the middle of a good set and it skips, it's VERY ANNOYING! the fast-forward takes about 10 seconds to skip 1 minute, so this isn't much fun at all.
- the player DOES read multisession discs, but only sometimes. it is not uncommon for me to have to rescan the disc up to 5 times to recognize the other sessions.
- it skips like mad unless the mp3 cd was burned at 1x. how the heck do i burn at 1x with my 24x, all the software offers the lowest setting of 8x. i am using my old 2x burner without BURN-proof.
- it is supposed to play VCDs, and indeed, it does, but i cannot get a non-fuzzy picture out of it, and no sound at all. i would have returned it under warranty for this reason alone if i had realized before the warranty period ended.

all in all, i have gone through a lot of frustration in using this player during my commute every day. i am looking to buy a RAM based one because of the smaller size, lower weight, and unskipability.

CD/MP3 Player (1)

Mindcry (596198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4072998)

They were only 30$ at best buy last week, I've had one for a couple years, 10 hours of music per CD, and no need to worry about about OS support, just burn the MP3s right onto CD, done.

ipod definitely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4073009)

refurbed ipods seem to run about $250 and look to run in linux via
xpod [tex9.com]
and windows via ephpod with macopener [ephpod.com]
i guess this is until there is some kernel driver for HFS+ or someone finds a way to convert a mac ipod to a windows ipod with the fat32 format...

That's easy (1, Offtopic)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 11 years ago | (#4073011)

With my birthday just around the corner and my 8 mile runs needing music, I am thinking of asking for a portable mp3 player.


Stop running!What kind of geek runs? If you run at 8 mph, you're loosing a full hour of computer-time for every run! Just think of all the things you could do with an extra hour a day. Like ... sex ...

Try Minidiscs! (1)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | more than 11 years ago | (#4073012)

Try a Minidisc for this kind of stuff - it is slower to transfer music to the minidisc itself rather than with MP3 players, but more durable than hard disks on the run. The discs themselves are quite cheap so are probably a better bet than solid state MP3 players. The new NetMD thing (faster recording ability) might be a problem on *nixes, but an analogue hookup (or digital via the SP/DIF cables) are pretty good for recording music, but only in real time. The recorders also have the additional benefit of being dictaphones if you really need one (or for recording concerts etc.). If you use pdas a lot you might consider a SD card/memory stick bases solution just for being able to move stuff between your pda/digital camera/portable player etc.

Here's a link to Sony's Walkman page [sonystyle.com] .
Hit the link at the top right of the page (its a pop-up mind) which says S2 Sports - they have their own dedicated line of sports products including NetMD minidisc recorder/player.
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