Sometimes, a travel-friendly MP3 player just won't satisfy all of your portable entertainment needs. For those who watch tons of video on-the-go, a dedicated PVP with a capacious screen is a necessary investment. Find some of the longest-lasting options below. Also this week: get those iTunes purchases playing on both a Mac and a Windows machine.
Q: I am big fan of CNET--I think you guys give the best reviews for a wide range of products. Coming to the topic: I already own a 4GB Creative Zen and I really like the player--I bought it on your advice mainly. I really love the sound quality and the stunning screen, but I don't find it comfortably large enough for watching full-length movies. Can you suggest a good player that has a bigger screen, sufficient for video? It should also have good sound quality and of course a decent battery life, because I am constantly on the move. --Nikhil, via e-mail
A: I definitely agree with you about the screen size of the Zen not being large enough for comfortably enjoying feature-length movies. My suggestion is to pick up a more dedicated portable video player, since you already have a good day-to-day device for music. My top choice for you is the Creative Zen Vision:W, because it keeps everything in the family and allows you to manage content in the same way. Plus, it offers solid sound quality and an above-average battery life of 7.6 hours for video--and the battery is user-replaceable, so you can buy extras to bring with you. After that, check out the Apple iPod Touch (6 hour battery life for video), the Archos 605 (4.7 hour battery life), or the Archos 405 (4 hour battery life).
Q: I've had a lot of trouble getting this question answered: I have a Mac and a PC. I have successfully transferred the music library to the Mac and it works. However, if i want to buy a song, movie, etc from iTunes on the PC, how can I get it on the Mac, or vice versa? Is there a way to have it appear on both when I purchase a song off of one of the computers? Please help!!--Vicki, via e-mail
A: Unfortunately, there's no way to have the content automatically downloaded to all of your authorized systems when you buy it, but the workaround is very easy. Transfer the purchased content from the initial computer to an iPod or a UMS device. Then, connect this device to the system you want to transfer the content to and fire up iTunes. If you're using an iPod, iTunes should prompt you to back up the purchased content (click Yes). Alternatively, you can go to the File menu and select Transfer Purchases. For a UMS device, use Explorer or Finder to view the files, then drag-and-drop them to the relevant iTunes folder on your hard drive. For more detailed, step-by-step instructions on transferring iTunes content between systems, check out our tip on moving your iTunes library from PC to Mac
MP3 Mailbox Monday is a recurring feature where I answer a selection of questions about MP3 players and accessories, such as headphones, speakers, and music services and software. Check back often to see if the advice presented here might be of some use to you, or send your questions directly to me. (Note: We never include last names, but if you prefer to remain completely anonymous, please state as much in your e-mail.)