Hello, all! I am a longtime SanDisk Sansa Fuze user (on my 3rd which is finally dying), but with the player's discontinuation I'm trying to find alternatives. I use the player exclusively for music and audiobooks. Here's what I'm looking for:
What I like about the Sansa Fuze and demand of alternatives:
---extremely easy user interface and direct connection to computer; hardly ever any errors, almost never complicated ones (in my experience)
---many EQ options, including custom 5-band
---manual controls (I dislike touch screens and detest touch wheels)
---small size/portability (preferably no larger than 4"X3")
---extreme hardiness (all 3 I've dropped many times from absurd heights onto hard surfaces and only the most recent one suffered functional damage)
---expandable storage (SD card)
---less than $200 ($300 might be acceptable for a very good alternative)
What I don't like about the Sansa Fuze and would like to see removed/improved in alternatives:
---there is a tiny gap between tracks, so the continuity of albums is interrupted (NOT OK!)
---not enough storage for FLAC
---battery life could be longer
---base audio quality could be better
Features I don't care about either way:
---internet capabilities, bluetooth, all that fancy stuff
---external speakers or recording capabilities
---apps of any kind (radio, calculator, metronome, etc.)
---video or size/shape/quality of screen
In other words, I'm looking for the opposite of an iPod! I've looked into Cowon because of their high quality audio and long battery life, but the reviews consistently criticize them for lousy UIs, frequent errors, unreliable touchscreens, and other stuff that would destroy a technologically inept person like me. I don't know where to look.
There's got to be a usable, non-bell-and-whistle Mp3 player for audiophiles!!! Any suggestions??? Thanks!
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