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Microsoft's Tips for Buying an MP3 Player

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the what-a-coinkydink dept.

Microsoft 784

An Anonymous Reader writes "In another extension of Microsoft's 'Plays for Sure' campaign, the company has launched a web page with six tips to help consumers purchase the 'correct' MP3 Player for them. Among the insights of the article hard drive-based players suck and a stopwatch is a useful feature to have on your player. Unsurprisingly, the iPod meets none of Microsoft's criteria. A humorous commentary is available, of course." From the article: "6. Don't get locked into one online store. Have you ever been on the hunt for a particular song? Some obscure indie rock tune or rare jazz performance you heard on the radio? You might have to shop at more than one store before you find the song you're looking for."

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frosty piss (-1, Troll)

TrollingOnTheRiver (865867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053052)

hey gnaa

Well, in all fairness (4, Insightful)

skomes (868255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053057)

They didn't say microdrive players suck, but the page IS about flash players. About the display thing, I wholeheartedly agree, I think people assume any ipod is "teh coolness", but I'd rather buy a flash player with a display and fm tuner for the same price as an ipod shuffle, I think apple manages to confuse a decent amount of people, and the apple fanatics, well, they'll buy anything apple.

Re:Well, in all fairness (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053102)

Agreed - Apple have really done themselves a disservice by going after the lower flash memory end of the market. To be honest, it smacks of 'me too' corporate tactics which is not what I'd expect from them. While the iPod and iPod Mini are in their own rights awesome MP3 players, the Shuffle really does bring the line down. The iPod brand no longer means quality with it sat at the bottom end of the range.

Another - slightly off-topic - point that's worried me is where Apple could go with its iPod range. They're as minimal as can be a have all the features an MP3 player needs. Will we see more added complexity like the iPod Photo, or will the range just stagnate?

I say this because as an MP3 player, the 40GB iPod was the best out there, but this has been dropped. So if you want more than 20GB of iPod storage, you have to buy a Photo version. Lunacy!

Re:Well, in all fairness (1, Interesting)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053126)

Yeah, you're right. Man I hate myself for buying a used ipod. Damn, I wish I had you around before I bought it. I guess the experience I relied upon with both flash based and hard drive based mp3 players was all for nothing.

I guess what really moved me onto the ipod wasn't that it was sexy, or that it was an Apple, but it was the fact that I can scroll through the interface lightening quick. I haven't found anything even remotely close to its ease of use, and before lambasting me on being an Apple freak, I cross shop all the time, my 15gb ipod doesn't come close to holding my collection now, and if I could find something else that does the same things as easily I would buy it, assuming a price advantage.

I don't need the newest, fastest... I don't need it to play movies, show photos, reheat my cheese sandwich... I want to hear my music, and I want to be able to hear it when I want to, and I want to be able to find it intuitively and quickly. Until everyone else figures that out, Apple will get my money.

Re:Well, in all fairness (1)

skomes (868255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053144)

Um, I guess I wasn't clear, I was talking about ipod shuffles. I thought that was clear, maybe not though. I like the microdrive ipods, my sis has one, I wanted one before. The microdrive ipods have one thing above all other microdrive mp3 players, the interface, that's something I've said so many times, but anyways, I was talking about ipod shuffles, where you can't even see what you're scrolling through.

Re:Well, in all fairness (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053137)

The thing that Apple consistently gets right is the usability. I have an MP3 player with display, but it's a pain to use. There are just too many user interface inconsistencies. The thing won't even stop fading each track when you skip through a couple of tracks at a time. I realize that the display won't fix that. Given that I want to listen to music and not stare at it, I have to say that a usable player without display beats a player with a display and horrible interaction design any day. I'd prefer if the Shuffle had a display, but it doesn't need one to come out on top of the competition.

Re:Well, in all fairness (3, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053202)

They didn't say microdrive players suck
Yes they did. They said the HD-based players skip if you move them around while they're playing.
Anyone know if this is true?

Re:Well, in all fairness (5, Informative)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053224)

I have yet to hear my iPod skip at all, ever, and I ride my bike and run with it in my pocket. It gets shaken most of the time it's on.

Re:Well, in all fairness (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053242)

The ultimate test is using it while having sex... in a blender.

Martha Stewart (1, Funny)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053061)

I heard she's the new CEO for MS's new consumer guide division.

iPod (-1, Flamebait)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053062)

iPod is a FASHION STATEMENT. There are better players out there, like the open source Neuros. http://mboverload.no-ip.org/tech/neuros.html [no-ip.org]

Re:iPod (4, Insightful)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053084)

The Neuros is a brick when compared to the iPod, and that's the only reason it never sold that well. Had it had its current feature list and been the same size as an iPod it would have done much better, even with its limited marketing budget.

Sure, the iPod's looks carry it a ways, but it's the size of the thing, and its smootheness (which makes for better pocket-ability than any of its last gen competition) that have made it so popular. Most consumers care far more about how big a DAP is than about its format support or even battery life...

Re:iPod (1)

admactanium (670209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053100)

iPod is a FASHION STATEMENT. There are better players out there, like the open source Neuros. http://mboverload.no-ip.org/tech/neuros.html
that all depends on what you mean by "better". more features != better all the time. what you write off as purely style is still a component of a consumer product. a big one actually. functionality isn't always measured in Gb and geegaws.

i don't mean to saw that no other player can meet my needs as well as an ipod, but since the ipod does it perfectly "as-is", there's no reason to look elsewhere.

the ipod is a success partly, yet, because of the "fadishness" of it. but you should also open yourself to the possibility that people are buying the ipod in droves because they actually find them better for their needs compared to other players. the recent estimates on the halo effect wouldn't be nearly as positive if the ipod were merely a fad. it seems people are examining macintoshes closer because they appreciate the functionality and elegance of the ipod and they believe that the ipod's fit-and-finish is indicative of apple products as a whole (which is largely true).

Re:iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053156)

You must be one of those people that loathes popularity to the point of delusion. Sure, iPod are somewhat trendy. That doesn't negate it's worth as a purely function MP3 player and you're a moron for suggesting so.

Go ahead and stick to your "way-cooler" cassette tapes, indie-boy.

To most people, it isn't better. (2, Insightful)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053204)

Just because Neuros is open source dosn't automatically make it "better" than the iPod. Neuros officially supports open source software, and provides an official sync client for Linux, but there are so many 3rd party applications for syncing music for the iPod that offical support from Apple is a non-issue.

I have seen the Neuros and the iPod side-by-side. The player itself is of reasonable size, but it is a flash player, and only capable of holding 256mb of music. Attaching the "backpack" enables it to hold a lot more music on the hard disk, but it essentially makes it a brick.

I would have to argue that the better user interface definately goes to the iPod. The Neuros' interface is cluttered and confusing, at best. The 5 preset buttons on the side may be useful for some purposes, yet, I find that they just take up space.

The extra features on the Neuros include FM recieving and transmission, and a feature called "hi-si", which essentially records part of a radio stream for comparison to a DB when synced to a computer. Sure, these features have that "hey, that's kewl!" value, but it only lasts for a day, one week tops. Ask yourself: are you REALLY going to _use_ these features?

FM transmission is really just an ad-hoc solution for getting it to play through car speakers. In most circumstances, I find that a cheap tape adapter actually sounds better. FM reception is gradually turning into a gimmick in digital audio players. We are turning to digital audio for a reason: you will not find many radio stations that do not play absolute crap most of the time.

The iPod is an example of a device that does one thing and does it well: play digital audio through an easy to use interface in a stylish device. Devices like the Neuros do a lot of things, but it generally feels slapped together and half-assed.

Why? (2, Interesting)

O-SUSHi (820452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053063)

and just why is this under the apple section?

I went to the site, and it doesn't look as bad as the leetspeek one, so I skimmed through it.

It's nice to see there isn't any obvious bias in the information, and it's pretty straight forward - I can fathom why they'd want to make a page like this, but it wouldn't stop anyone from purchasing that ever-so hip iPod/mini/shuffle/gumstick. However, what irks the hell out of me is the amount of songs that fit on the player is given using music in their proprietary format, wma @ 64kbps. Given that, it is a good way to suck in the novices (are there any left in the world?) and make them look for players that support WMA and such.

Harbl my harbl? Harbl.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053203)

I can fathom why they'd want to make a page like this, but it wouldn't stop anyone from purchasing that ever-so hip iPod/mini/shuffle/gumstick.

Really? Not even point three, "You'll want a display"? How many people would choose an iPod Shuffle over one of these? [iriveramerica.com] Note the price difference and the presence of an FM tuner/recorder.

Such players... (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053068)

...are all the hype nowadays ; as Microsoft don't make their own, they have to be present another way ; by making their software more compatible with it, by having their own shop, by having some hardware vendor selling one tailored after their specifications...
Anyway, they could not stand 100% against theiPod as it already gained the public acceptance as "teh coolest".

The best player play OGG (1)

Georges Roux (717743) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053070)

The correct MP3 Player, can play Ogg Files.

Microsoft's Perfect MP3 Player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053073)

Make sure your MP3 player has a radio, phone, alarm clock, slide rule, enviroment guage, laser pointer, pepper spray, self-inflating raft, nail gun, and the ability to play WMA and only WMA.

Re:Microsoft's Perfect MP3 Player? (1)

rworne (538610) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053160)

Well, you get some of your wish. The iPod has a laser pointer [griffintechnology.com] and a flashlight available for it.

Re:Microsoft's Perfect MP3 Player? (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053211)

Make sure your MP3 player has a radio, phone, alarm clock, slide rule, enviroment guage, laser pointer, pepper spray, self-inflating raft, nail gun, and the ability to play WMA and only WMA.

MP3 player? You're talking about a Tricorder [wikipedia.org] , my friend.

why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (4, Interesting)

Stalyn (662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053076)

I know about Linux PDAs and such but is there a Linux-based mp3 player. It seems like a great idea since you wouldn't have to pay fees on the OS. Plus Linux is pretty customizable. Open the player up so people can write plugins and new features. Why hasn't anyone thought of this?

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (5, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053085)

The Neuros is open source. Hell, even the electrical diagrams are provided!

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (2, Insightful)

prichardson (603676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053106)

For the most part, linux is too bloated for the minimalistic speed required of an MP3 player. A lot of cutting would have to be done, and it's probably easier for people to write from the ground up. Linux is great in a lot of situations, but not all of them.

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (2, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053184)

Agreed. They say the processor in the iPod can't even play OGG. It'll run linux though.

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (2, Informative)

loupgarou21 (597877) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053140)

the "operating system" on an mp3 player is going to be very light weight and built for a specified task, linux, even on an absolute minimalist scale would be a bit bloated for most mp3 players and would actually produce pretty crappy playback quality. You have to remember that the processor in an mp3 player is pretty slow.

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053201)

Why hasn't anyone thought of this?
Because a full-fledged general-purpose is extreme overkill. Other questions like yours:
  1. Why hasn't anyone added computerized fuel-injection to a horse?
  2. My fly swatter uses a fission warhead to kill the fly, but I think that warhead should just be a trigger for a thermonuclear one. Why hasn't this been done?
  3. What makes you think you understand how to design a screwdriver, when you haven't even mastered unified field theory?
  4. Why don't we have a committee meeting, which includes a representative from every continent and social class, to moderate each individual post on slashdot?
  5. My umbrella blocks rain, but why can't they sell me one that also blocks meteorites?

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (4, Insightful)

haggar (72771) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053214)

why isn't there a Linux mp3 player?

Maybe because... an MP3 player doesn't NEED a freaking OS?

Seriously, with these mindless Linux plugs you guys just support the "Does your toaster run Linux?"-jokes, and heavens know we are fed up with them.

Re:why isn't there a Linux mp3 player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053229)

"Does your toaster run Linux?"-jokes

You mean like "With a pentium, you don't even need a heating coil."

one thing that always bothered me (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053077)

few with fm radio

how come mp3 players with fm radio are so hard to find?

doesn't it occur to manufacturers/ consumers how much functionality is added with so little effort by adding fm radio?

i have an iriver IFP-180T solely on the basis of it having an fm radio

how much does the fm radio circuitry add to the cost of an mp3 player? 50 cents?

will someone please enlighten me then how come fm radio is so hard to find in mp3 players?

Re:one thing that always bothered me (1)

derflammenhund (768851) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053099)

I suspect the reason most players seem to be free from FM is twofold: crappy reception concerns, although that seems highly unlikely, and, far more pressing, the fact that most people must not care. I have an iFP 380T and I *never* use the FM feature. I spend all my time transcoding music to 64kbps/mono to get it to sound decent and be able to hold enough that I'm not going to waste my time listening to what I didn't want on the thing in the first place. I'd bet there are a lot more like me, too.

thank you for the honesty (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053151)

but why?

what is it about fm radio that doesn't appeal to you?

to me it's a free jokebox, it has no downside

in all honesty, respectfully, i can't understand you not being impressed by fm radio

i run and listen to mp3s, then at some point i get bored with my choices, and yearn for something random and fresh: voila, radio, different channels, different tastes

why is it that, if you are correct, people are hellbent on listening to nothing but that from their own collection?

isn't that incredibly asocial and self-important and stuffy?: "i know all there is to know about my musical tastes and my tastes will never change on a moments notice and yearn to hear something new and fresh"

i don't think that my mp3 collection, as large as it is, adequately describes all of my musical interests or whims or desires to find something new and different

are people really that incredibly inward and unexperimentive about their music choices?

i honestly can't believe that

and if you are correct, well then that's sad to me

are people really that cloistered and stuffy?

Re:thank you for the honesty (4, Funny)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053178)

"what is it about fm radio that doesn't appeal to you?"

I think the reason we don't want or care about FM radio can be summed up in two words:

Clear. Channel.

Re:thank you for the honesty (2, Insightful)

derflammenhund (768851) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053183)

Given that I am but one man, I can't speak for everyone when I say that the reason I don't listen to the radio is that I hate talking. I hate hearing Mickey and Amelia gab on for four hours on a station called 98 rock when I expect the latest and greatest in crappy Linkin Park collaborations to make fun of with my friends later. There's one FM station that I'd listen to around here, and it's notorious for playing its non stop classic rock blocks and then a rousing round of non stop sell-a-thon that will last upwards of 10 minutes. I just don't want to hear it. I want music, that's why I bought a music player. Ironically enough, I would actually buy a portable AM device because the one radio station I ever do want to listen to is a straight news/traffic/weather broadcast. So I guess there is that. But music is for music.

Re:thank you for the honesty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053191)

Personally I find there's never anything on the radio on that I want to listen to before midnight. It's not for lack of opening up my musical horizons, but just the opposite: there are only about five kinds of radio stations (rock, urban, classical, jazz, talk) and 90% of the time none of them offer anything appealing to me.

The university stations are the most likely to have something interesting, but even then the programming is so irregular (Arabic music show followed by indie rock hour followed by women's lib phone-in show) and most of what is on I'm just not interested in.

Re:thank you for the honesty (2, Insightful)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053209)

There are several problems with FM radio. One of the most important being ads. When I want to relax listening to music I don't particularly care for some guy trying to sell used cars. Also with FM I can't guarantee I will always get a song I can tolerate as I can with MP3s. There is also the fact that most of the time I use my player in the subway, which as you may imagine could impete radio signal just a tad. Finally, it's just another piece of bloat that I don't particularly need on my player. Sure for some it could be a useful feature, you being one of those people. For the rest though it's fluff.

Also, if you get bored of listening to your MP3s I do wonder at the size of your library. These days, many people (Legally or not) have more music then then can listen to in a year. Your assumption that people not sharing your views on music variety are "cloistered and stuffy" is rather insulting too. I, as many others, know what I like and don't need to waste my time surfing around trying to fit into the latest fad.

Re:thank you for the honesty (4, Insightful)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053235)

i run and listen to mp3s, then at some point i get bored with my choices, and yearn for something random and fresh: voila, radio, different channels, different tastes

You obviously live in a place where the the FM stations are not unholy portals of heart-wrenchingly bad music. This is a fairly rare and precious thing. In my town the only stations worth listening to are low-power (including the pirate station I used to DJ for), and the reception in my neighborhood is too crapy for a portable player. I listen in the car, but then of course I don't need a portable player at all.

All but one of the other stations are owned by Clear Channel and suck in a utterly uniform manner.

isn't that incredibly asocial and self-important and stuffy?: "i know all there is to know about my musical tastes and my tastes will never change on a moments notice and yearn to hear something new and fresh"

This statement makes the assumption that people that don't listen to the radio don't have other means of hearing new music.

Radio is *not* the only way to hear no things, and is my experience, the *worst* way to hear anything new and fresh.

Re:one thing that always bothered me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053132)

I don't know for sure, but I guess an FM radio will require some analog components which makes the design more complex and perhaps more expensive. For example, it may mean that the analog circuits are either on a different chip to the main MP3 playing components, the chip design is much more difficult and some shielding maybe required in key places.

Re:one thing that always bothered me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053234)

Psst! Any music playback device will require "some analog circuits".

It doesn't bother me at all. (0)

Murmer (96505) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053148)

If your town is anything like mine, you're buying the MP3 player precisely so that you never, ever have to listen to the radio again.

Let me think - I could listen to grainy L.A.-style radio, commercial-saturated lite-rock and the two-laughing-assholes-in-the-morning "wacky" radio show, or alternatively I could never, ever do that again. I'd be willing to pay more for an MP3 player that doesn't allow that crap into my ears.

If you're the kind of person who'd install ad-block software, why would you listen to the radio?

no classical? no jazz? no student radio? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053172)

and yes, you are right, there are ads

but do you watch tv?

you don't understand the concept of changing the channel?

to me, i can't program my tastes, i need to go out on a whim and listen to something i never heard before

i can't understand someone who can preprogram their listening pleasure without an element of newness in it

to me, all of the downsides you mentioned are vastly outweighed by a spirit of "give me something new and different"

i guess some people are just inward and stuffy than me

that's sad to me

Re:one thing that always bothered me (4, Insightful)

OlivierB (709839) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053167)

The whole purpose of having an MP3 player is not to have to listen to the radio...

Re:one thing that always bothered me (2, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053239)

The definition of an MP3 player is a device that can play MP3 files.

Add other features as you wish.

Re:one thing that always bothered me (5, Funny)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053240)

The circuitry for

a good FM radio

is not quite that cheap.

Slashdot has changed its buffering system, by the way.

They've increased the sentence-per-paragraph allowance to 2.

Just FYI.

plays for sure (1)

y0saph (865086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053083)

so microsoft are about to enter the music industry...

that means there will be patents on things like the rock n'roll beat?

Re:plays for sure (3, Funny)

MatthewNewberg (519685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053143)

Don't you remeber in 1995 when they ran the song "Start Me Up" into the ground. They have 10 years experience with music, they might be able to do something right by now.

Re:plays for sure (2)

y0saph (865086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053199)

it seems they need more than that from what i have seen from their browser and operating system industry efforts

Correction. (4, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053096)

Unsurprisingly, the iPod meets none of Microsoft's criteria.

Is that so? Up until recently, I seem to recall every iPod sold having a display.

Not the iPod Shuffle. (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053103)

Not the iPod Shuffle.
It's the only player I can think of without a display.... and it's very popular.

Re:Not the iPod Shuffle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053109)

Hence "up until recently".

Article is about flash players (3, Insightful)

solowCX (796423) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053116)

Every player up to the Shuffle was a hard drive based player. Thus the only iPod that could not meet the criteria (and still be flash based) is the Shuffle.

Re:Correction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053147)

That is indeed true.

The article is about flash players, so comparisons in the Microsoft article are made against the threat coming from the iPod Shuffle.

The story wrongly assumes it's about iPods in general and is worded incorrectly. It doesn't mention in the article that "hard drive-based players suck", merely that they're better for people doing sports, which I think we'd all agree with as a general truth.

Rant: it really pisses me off when we go on about MS spinning everything that they put out, then somebody goes and does the same damn thing with a story posted to Slashdot. That's just not on. Report facts when submitting stories, don't assume. Editors please make sure that you have the necessary facts at your fingertips before approving a story, and please take the time to read linked articles, especially when stories are anonymously submitted!

Re:Correction. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053176)

You recall wrong. There is exactly 0 flash iPods with screen. Microsoft's page is about flash-based players, not about microsdrive based ones.

I want a stopwatch on my ms compatible mp3 player (4, Funny)

DMouse (7320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053097)

So i can figure out how long the fucker takes to crash. No wait. :-)

Re:I want a stopwatch on my ms compatible mp3 play (4, Funny)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053195)

As if any of Microsoft's time estimates have been correct.

Case in point: try copying a file to another place on any Windows PC.

Please mod fscking hilarious (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053098)

Approximate figures based on CD-quality WMA (64 Kbps)

that server has been slashdotted badly.... (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053104)

i'm not sure he'll pull through....

apple.slashdot.org? (0, Redundant)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053105)

Why do people think this is directly targetting the ipod?

Hard-disk based player != ipod

And do MS really believe WMA is CD quality at 64kbps?

According to that page:
* Approximate figures based on CD-quality WMA (64 Kbps)

Re:apple.slashdot.org? (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053115)

The only way you are going to get CD quality is 320 kbps MP3. I'm not sure what it takes for OGG.

Re:apple.slashdot.org? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053212)

No, the only way you're going to get CD quality is fully lossless compression. 320 kbps would certainly be enough for most songs for most people, especially if they're listening to their tracks on the subway or whatever, but there will still be artifacts sometimes present for people with good ears.

Yeah I'm being overly picky or whatever. Welcome to slashdot, right?

Re:apple.slashdot.org? (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053241)

And do MS really believe WMA is CD quality at 64kbps?

It is the to average person, who either doesn't care about quality sound or is ignorant of its very existance.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053112)

MS is on crack.

4. Let a professional make your next playlist. (1)

adlj (555560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053113)

so, what's exactly the use of an mp3 player, if I mainly use it as a portable radio? I can get one for under 2£... I understand that the more feature, the better, but they're just an add-oin, not something on which would heavily influence my choice...

Anyone want to volunteer "Tips for Buying An OS?" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053120)

TSI

CD Quality? (4, Interesting)

forgoil (104808) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053124)

From the article:

"*Approximate figures based on CD-quality WMA (64 Kbps)"

Am I the only one who don't think 64kbps WMA is "CD quality", or is it because the quality of todays recordings on CDs are quite a lot worse than they used to be, of could I just be insane?

Make me doubt one fact, and I'll start doubting all facts...

Re:CD Quality? (5, Funny)

x136 (513282) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053228)

"*Approximate figures based on CD-quality WMA (64 Kbps)"
Hey, cut them a break. They probably meant that 64KBps WMA approaches old, worn-out cassette tape quality. It's a common typo. I mean, the keys for "CD-quality" and "old cassette tape quality" are right next to each other.

hahahaha! (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053125)

When did ANYONE with a clue listen to Microsoft? "Linux costs you more money", "Linux has more security problems" and "IE doesn't have any security holes which we can't fix and do the second we know about them if you have a fucking time machine!" seems to be all they can say lately.

I'm sick of Bill and his lies, who gives a fuck if he says Longhorn will stop teenage pregnancy, cure world hunger and get every geek laid within a week of buying it. He talks so much crap now (and so do most people who have spin doctors sitting up their ass all day) that we may as well go listen to the talking clock for a bit and at least get some truth even if it's useless 10 seconds later.

Re:hahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053165)

I post this as an AC because I don't want to look stupid but the truth is, I'm gonna get myself a GF thanks to my pack of cigarettes! (long story...)

Re:hahahaha! (4, Informative)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053208)

When did ANYONE with a clue listen to Microsoft?

Perhaps people that think that Microsoft makes good products? Managers, business people, the common housewife. Yeah, they all don't have a clue because they don't know that Microsoft is "teh suck". There is a world beyond slashdot, and in that world Microsoft is a household name and a respected company. Those people, the ones that are not on slashdot, outnumber us. They are the market, we are not.

When I met my girlfriend I showed her my iBook (amongst other things, but we're talking technology here), and she likes it. What did she have? A spyware infested Fujitsu Siemens with Windows XP. She wasn't very happy with her machine, even though it had cost over 2000€. I asked her: "Why didn't you buy a Mac?". The reply was simple: "I didn't know that they existed. All adverts here are for Windows machines, so I thought it was the right thing to do". That's how it is: Microsoft is well known, Apple less well known. On the MP3-player market that is less true, but Microsoft just wants to use it's brand name in its own advantage...

Re:hahahaha! (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053232)

Yea I saw a TV program of old women bitching about their PCs earlier "crashing" and "reporting illegal errors". All I could do was cringe and go "Dear god use Linux and no such problem happens...

Is there really ANY reason not to use Linux in an office with the most default installs comming with more office programs on it you could get on a Windows PC in a £300-400 budget?

Just buy a radio player? (1)

nigham (792777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053127)

Point #4 says, "Let a professional make your next playlist. Having an FM radio lets you put your player on autopilot as you mountain bike, cycle, or rollerblade." Just buy a radio player, then! Avoids Windows, too.

My Response (0, Flamebait)

MatthewNewberg (519685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053130)

Simply put, flash memory players have no moving parts, meaning that you can take them jogging and your music won't skip.

Does anyone have a problem with there ipod skipping while they jog? I know the possiblity is there, but lets get real.

Some players have a built-in voice recorder, FM recorder, or stopwatch

I think Kmart is selling those FM headphones for 5 bucks, all those kids sure want that FM. That's what all the cool people have nowadays.

using a player with Windows Media Audio (WMA) support as well as MP3 support gives you the most music per megabyte

Too bad WMA sounds bad.. You will have cheap headphones on so it wont matter. The rest of the world that likes sound quality and compatility will go with higher bit rate mp3

If you need help from microsoft before you getting an Mp3 Player, I would suggest not getting an Mp3 player.

Thank you Slashdot for the luagh, now if you can only find a Microsoft guide on how to submit stories to Slashdot. I think it would be

1)Find the dumbest thing on the Microsoft Website
2)Submit to slashdot
3) Repeat

Re:My Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053197)

> Does anyone have a problem with there ipod skipping while
> they jog? I know the possiblity is there, but lets get real.

I've had six hard drive based players over the years, including an iPod and an iPod mini.

None of them, none, regardless of brand or price, have ever skipped on me.

Bullcrap! (1)

lazeruuus (870943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053131)

"6. Don't get locked into one online store. Have you ever been on the hunt for a particular song? Some obscure indie rock tune or rare jazz performance you heard on the radio? You might have to shop at more than one store before you find the song you're looking for." What an outrage. MS must think we are all morons. When was an online store (Apples they are obviously reffering to) a bad thing? $1 songs and free ones everyday. All sorted nice and neat and there for you to have without HAVEING to goto the store. In the case you do hear an obscure song you like, you have options. 1. Record song and convert it to MP3. 2. Rip song off CD bought at local music store and put on music device. I hope they see me giveing them the finger, becuase im doing it as hard as I can!

Re:Bullcrap! (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053159)

I used to buy from iTunes then I realized something. "Why am I paying for 128 kbps quality music?" Suffice to say, I never bought a track again. Now I just use iTunes to preview songs I'm going to download on P2P.

More helpful tips... (2, Funny)

VValdo (10446) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053133)

...from the good folks that brought you the hilarious

Parents Primer to Computer Slang [microsoft.com] .

Now you and your family can be l33t together.

W

Re:More helpful tips... (1, Offtopic)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053230)

"Go 2 ur room!"

"WTF? joo dont pwn me! ur not teh boss of me! FOAD!"

"STFU and go 2 ur room!"

stopwatch (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053135)

i think the stopwatch is a great feature to have

So which store would sell this anyway? (4, Insightful)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053139)

Some obscure indie rock tune or rare jazz performance you heard on the radio? You might have to shop at more than one store before you find the song you're looking for.

Rare jazz performance? Sure, I often want stuff like that, but why would I buy it off of an online digital music store? Nearly every store supplies its songs in a mediocre 128kbps-ish format, generally sub-par to the equivalent LAME encoded 128kbps VBR MP3. Why would I want jazz, with all its high-hats and dynamic range, in an uber-low quality format? Britney Spears' new single, sure.. but jazz??

And don't say AllOfMp3.com (who have changed CC processor to someone else)..

Crazy Apple Rumors Site said it best: (5, Funny)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053141)

I like the CARS take on it [crazyapplerumors.com] :

  • The company that manufactures your MP3 player should never be named after a fruit. That's just hippie bullshit.
  • Under no circumstances should your MP3 player be stylish. You don't want to be taken for a dandy. After all, you never know when you may find yourself incarcerated through an unfortunate series of events that are no fault of your own. And you know what they do to dandies in prison. Yikes.
  • When picking an operating system or office suite, it's a great idea to go with the one with the highest market share, because you're guaranteed a quality product that will be around for years to come. But not with flash-based MP3 players. It's a completely different situation. Completely.
  • etc.

CARS is good stuff!

More than one store. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053142)

More than one store... sheesh.
If they only knew.

I'm an experienced shopper already. Audiogalaxy, Kazaa, Limewire, Bittorrent, I didn't really like that Direct Connect stuff, e-donkey, bearshare, IRC was too much effort, google, KDX, Napster (before it sucked), iTunes... the list just goes on!

P.S. In case you hadn't noticed: I didn't RTFA

Apple? (1)

Thnikkaman (818752) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053149)

Wouldn't this be better suited in the Hardware section? I fail to see how this is Apple other than Microsoft saying not to buy an iPod.

Re:Apple? (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053221)

They can get a lot more page hits if they can start a flame war. They might be idiots, but they're not dummies.

Not bad, for Microsoft. (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053152)

There are a couple of things they missed, like the fact that flash-based players are often smaller than hard-disk based players.

I don't like their song stats (using 64kbps WMA only), but the truth is that most people have crappy headphones and won't notice a difference anyway.

What I do think is misleading is the bit about "not getting locked into an online store". They're suggesting that if you buy the wrong player, you'll be stuck with a single source of music, which is simply not true. It's the other way around. Stores that use DRM will lock you into buying players that support the same type of DRM. (You can always make a DRM-free copy the hard way, but this is beyond most people.) It's also worth noting that Microsoft's website [playsforsure.com] doesn't say whether or not any of the players they recommend support MP3. ;)

As an aside, has anyone seen an MP3 player (flash or not) that can be programmed to record radio programs at a specified time? I think that a time-shifting function would be a great feature for people who listen to NPR, talk radio, or the late-night lunatic fringe. Of course, it would also need an AM tuner. (And yes, I've seen the Radio Shark, but it's not portable!)

did you notice ... (1)

Mariani (700617) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053153)

FTA:
popular options:

Re:did you notice ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053194)

let me guess ... hit the submit button a little to early, lol

Here, look, here's the one sentence summary: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053161)

"Go with whatever locks you into Windows Media Audio".

obscure? (1)

OAB_X (818333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053162)

Some obscure indie rock tune or rare jazz performance you heard on the radio

as if that even gets on the radio.

They forgot the most important things (1)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053166)

1. My player should have good audio quality
2. My player should be easy to use. No, scratch that, it should be _a pleasure_ to use.
3. My player should not look like an ass, should not weigh a ton, should exude quality. After all, I'm paying mad coin for it.

Myself, I don't give a rat's ass about FM. There's nothing but commercials on there anyway. I don't give a rat's ass about online stores either, because that's not where I buy music. Three things specified above are pretty much all I care about. And yeah, I'm gonna buy me an iPod when Apple releases the new generation with imporved battery life (another important thing).

one of six (1)

jumbledInTheHead (837677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053170)

The ipod does have a supply so that is one of six, not zero of six. The carelessness of posters...

Quoth TFA (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053171)

* Approximate figures based on CD-quality WMA (64 Kbps) I call BS... 64 Kbps isn't even close to CD quality. Even with a top notch encoder such as LAME [sourceforge.net] , 128 is the bare minimum for something you can consider CD-quality.

Go kill yourself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053227)

You are too stupid to live.

Be sure to get that FM... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12053187)

Be sure to get that FM receiver option so you can listen to higher-quality music when you get tired of your 64 Kbps WMA collection.

Anti-iPod (0)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053188)

For the active person, a player that uses flash memory to store music has distinct advantages over a player that uses a hard disk. Simply put, flash memory players have no moving parts, meaning that you can take them jogging and your music won't skip.
But wait, apple makes a flash memery player too!
3. You'll want a display...

Plea to Sony (1)

ack_call (870944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053193)

I have a MZ-NH700 Sony Hi-MD player and believe that this format offers a wealth of features over all flash/drive based memory players. I just wish Sony would hurry up and offer first generation Hi-MD users a firmware upgrade so that these devices will support the MP3 format.

Seems normal for Microsoft guides. (3, Funny)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053200)

For another fine guide of theirs, check out the Parent's primer to l33t sp34k [microsoft.com] . Seems to be on par.

Better tips (1)

sane? (179855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053213)

A more realistic set of tips would be:
  1. Get a player with a hard disk, probably at least 20Gb. That way you can carry your entire music collection with you and you have enough choice to make sure you can find the right music for your mood.
  2. Make sure you can use MP3 or Ogg files, with no loss on the player. Anything that doesn't contain one of these is a nonstarter.
  3. Buy CD and rip them to MP3s for your player. Make sure this is easy with your chosen player. That way you maintain control of you property and have the flexibility to deal with new formats, backups, etc.
  4. Batteries have to last at least 5 hours, preferably 10 - otherwise they are a bind to use.
  5. Work out how long it would take to find a song amongst 3000 others. It should be less than 10 seconds - you want the music to dominate, not the user interface.
  6. Don't pay for stuff you don't need
Ipods aren't as good as many people make them out to be, they have a definite fashion element to them. However they are closer to where most people are with their needs (shuffle excepted) than the competitors. As far as the next generation?
  1. I want the base station back at home to connect to the PC and the hifi amp, maybe wirelessly for one or the other. If its storing my collection I want easy access.
  2. I want a CD player built into the base station. Pop the CD in here and the ripping and installing in the player is automatic (PC not involved).
  3. I want the ability to plug this player into my car (obvious one really).
  4. If I'm buying a song online I want cheaper, and I want recognition that once I've bought it, its mine and I'll do what I want with it. I don't care what YOU think the 'licence' is, its mine and that's not up for debate.
  5. Lose the wired headphones.

Direct psychic connection (1, Funny)

75th Trombone (581309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12053215)

Article:
3. You'll want a display.
Story:
Unsurprisingly, the iPod meets none of Microsoft's criteria.
Whoa, you mean all this time, that LCD with the cool info was a figment of my imagination? I only thought I knew how intuitive Apple's designs are!
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