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What is the next best mp3 player beside ipods

by jjfresh / September 1, 2008 4:57 PM PDT

that is easy to use and songs are downloading without too much trouble?

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by JonTitor / September 2, 2008 9:52 AM PDT

not everyone thinks iPods are the best MP3 Players

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Easy to use is the key.
by fbbbb / September 2, 2008 10:39 AM PDT

As a software/hardware integrated solution the iPod is a very tough act to beat. Many others get close, but most for example don't offer the level of playcount sync that the iPod does. And that's before we get to the third-party support. It's really not surprising it's hugely more popular than anything else.

But it's not really the player that's 'the best'. It's the ecosystem around it that's nigh-on invincible.

However, if you can put up with some loss of flexibility and ease of use to trade off for either a cooler (subjectively speaking), better sounding or just an offbeat machine, I'd say Sony and Creative should be your go-to's if you want a music player with a bit of movies thrown in. For a more PMP aspect, you should be looking at Archos.

There are other makers like Cowon who make very good hardware for both DAP and PMP uses, but many of these Korean makers do treat their users like beta testers and it's not uncommon to have a year-old player which is still missing some of the originally mentioned functions, or for some things just not to work.

I'd also suggest investing in the pay-for version of MediaMonkey or j.River Media Center. These will offer you uber-iTunes control over your music library as well as effortless syncing with either of the above machines (and more).

However all that said, you might as well wait for the iPod announcement next week to see if the new machines are worth getting over the competition.

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