With dial up you would find downloading quite frustrating. And most legal sources online are poor value, in my view.
Assuming your computer has a CD drive you can rip your existing CD collection to MP3s. I think you can do it using later versions of Windows Media Player, though I'm sure there are better purpose-built programs available as shareware or freeware.
MP3 players usually connect via the USB port, and most (iPod excepted) allow you to transfer files by drag and drop. Most have bult-in rechargeable batteries which (particularly in the case of the iPod) can be expensive to replace when they finally fail.
If you prefer replaceable batteries I'd recommend you start with one of the really cheap stick-type players of at least 1gig size -- they're pretty horrid to look at and to use but are robust and usually support albums as folders -- which saves you tagging each MP3 file.
I know nothing about I-pods or MP-3 players, and need help. I have read the responses on a recent thread on this subject, but still have questions.
I run and am getting tired of carrying around my sony disc-man. I want to buy an MP-3 or and I-pod for this use. I need a unit that plays music and has an fm radio tuner, no video or photo capability desired.
As I understand it, I would go to a music site and download songs into my computer. Can I do this if I have a dial-up connection?
After the music is in my computer, does the MP-3 then plug into my USB port and the songs are transferred to the player? I would like to make various running and biking song mixes, is this possible and how would I do that?
Also, how are these players powered? Rechargable batteries? If so, approximately how long is the battery life and is it replaceable?
Finally, does anyone have a recommendation for a particular brand?
Since I am only using this player for running and biking, it doesn't have to be a cool brand, or available in cool colors. I just need to play stored music or listen to the radio!
Thanks so much for answering any or all of these questions.