MP3 player, iPod question

Old 12-03-05, 08:44 AM
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MP3 player, iPod question

My daughter has asked for an MP3 player or an iPOD for Christmas. I am
illiterate in this area. Someone please tell me the difference in the two.
I've priced them and I know an MP3 player must not be as good or as
technical as the iPOD since they are generally alot less expensive. (she's
15) Also, if we get her one, will we have to pay for each song that she downloads onto it off of our computer?? Thanks for any advice.
Old 12-03-05, 10:24 AM
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Ipods are more expensive because they are built by Apple Computer. They are built well and hold up well.

MP3 players are built by numerous manufacturers. Some are built well, others are built no-so-well.

Both devices serve the same purpose. They allow for songs to be downloaded to them and played back anywhere you go, through headphones or earbuds, or even through stereos or portable speakers with the right adapters.

The song format that Apple uses on their Ipods is not MP3 format.

To put songs onto your Ipod or MP3 player you connect it to your computer and run software. You can download songs from CDs that you own, or you can buy music. Apple runs the Itunes website and there are other sites out there. You can buy individual songs or entire albums from the web sites. You probably don't want to try downloading too much unless you have a broadband Internet connection.

Basic devices play songs (audio) only. Newer devices are capable of displaying pictures, and the newest even display video. Apple and ABC have teamed up allow you to purchase download some television programs the day after they air on TV. Personally, I can't see watching a TV show on a two inch screen, but some people can.

Look before you buy. Most Ipods do not accept memory cards, so you are stuck with the amount of memory they come with. Some are as small as 512 mbytes, other as large as 60 gbytes. The more memory, the more whatever you can store on them. Apple quotes 250 songs per gbyte for their Ipods. You can of course erase and download new songs when you fill it up.

Some MP3 players allow you to insert memory cards, while others have fixed memory like Ipods. Memory cards are more flexible, but you have to keep track of them.

You also want to pay attention to battery life. Some devices have built in batteries, which are not designed to be removed or replaced. These devices need to be plugged in and charged. The more battery power, the longer you can go between charges. Other devices require you to buy and insert batteries. This means buying lots of batteries, or better yet, buying and using rechargeables. Some will accept an external power adapter, others won;t.

Then there are accessories. Ipods have more accessories, including those made by third party manufacturers. You can buy all sorts of accessories, including docking stations, cases of all types and styles, covers, and on and on.

Good luck. And start your project now. Certain Ipod models (if you go that route) are becoming hard to find.
Old 12-03-05, 11:33 AM
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First off, iPods do play MP3. It is that they also have their own proprietary format, which no other players can play

Other than buying the Apple or some other name, you will likely want to choose a player based on what online services tracks will be purchased from, so you get a player compatible with that service.

iTunes sells their tracks only for iPods, and other services usually work only with WMA capable players.

The other choice is Flash or an HDD based player.
HDD is actually more flexible, as nearly all your music is there at your fingertips, but a flash player will be better on batteries (some or most of them use standard AAA cells).
Old 12-03-05, 02:23 PM
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I just did the mp3 shopping thing for MY daughter, only she doesn't know I was looking. She's been using a cd player (that she's wears out several times a year). After much research (I started knowing only slightly more than you) I ended up buying an IRiver IFP-790 from Staples on-line, on sale for Christmas.

Here's CNet's review:

Other makes/models I looked hard at were the Dell DJ 5gb [about $200] and the Rio Karma 20GB [also about $200].

One thing I realized REAL fast in doing the research and comparing the various reviews. None, and I mean NONE, of the players seems to have EVERYTHING designed and operating with 100% satisfactory engineering. Every single one seemed to have at least ONE annoyance of one kind or another.

Here's a good place to start reading. Be sure to browse through ALL of the "User's Reviews", especially ones that give a low rating [so you can see what their major complaints were].

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