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What MP3 players are available?

Beardo the Bearded (321478) writes | more than 2 years ago

Sony 5

Beardo the Bearded (321478) writes "Dear Slashdot:

I have to get a new MP3 player. For years I've been using a Sony Walkman after winning one at work. I used it every day to block out the cubicle sounds, especially the humming of the fans. (I have noise-blocking earbuds.) It saw frequent use it at the gym. I also used it when biking, so an external speaker is critical. Last week it got wet and despite my best efforts (I'm an Electrical Engineer) it did not survive.

I don't want to get an iPod because of their attitude towards slave labour. iTunes is also something I want to avoid because it's a closed format that doesn't work under Ubuntu.

Sony's... well, we all know what Sony's been up to lately. You also had to use Windows Media Player to make playlists — Rythmbox, Banshee, and other Ubuntu players couldn't create the propietary format. I could drag-and-drop music but that was it.

It seems like all the brick-and-mortar retailers carry are iPods and some junky low-end disposable models that barely passed quality control. I had to return a Polaroid player because it was unusable.

I've had bad luck with Archos products as well, with a battery on my Archos 7 dying after about 6 months. It doesn't have to be an all-singing, all-dancing pony. I want music. I don't have a cell phone, nor do I plan on spending several thousand dollars over the next three years to get an MP3-capable cell. In fact, because of the rules at work, it shouldn't have a camera in it. Nor will I be able to use any streaming audio features at work.

I've looked at the Anything but iPod website, but none of the players they recommend are available anymore. There are a few from Amazon retailers but few, if any, will ship outside of the US.

What players would you recommend? It's got to be something that's rugged enough to take a fall, has an external speaker for biking, and work under Ubuntu. Cost is a secondary concern, my main goal is to have a nice machine that does its job well."

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YOUR WISH IS YOUR COMMAND (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38904985)

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So what's the problem? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#38905101)

You're an EE - roll your own! [digikey.com] .

Re:So what's the problem? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38908225)

Nah, by the time I:
draw up the specs,
order all the parts,
print up the boards,
assemble the thing, and
write the firmware,

I'll be spending thousands of dollars on parts and labour.

Re:So what's the problem? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#38913673)

I was partly serious, partly joking. Sometimes making something is worth more than just buying it.

As a compromise, how about buying a cheap used iPod and flashing it with RockBox [rockbox.org] open source firmware? No apple lock in, righteous hardware. Sounds like a win-win to me.

I've had good luck with iRiver products (1)

Aku Head (663933) | more than 2 years ago | (#38910743)

Good sound quality. No extra software required, etc.
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