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  1. #1
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Zune or Ipod Classic?

    I'm thinking of getting my first MP3 player. I've done a fair amount of research and have narrowed it down to two challengers, Zune 120 gig and Ipod Classic for the following reasons.

    1. Size of interface - I've big sausages.
    2. Size of screen - My decrpitated vision.
    3. Size of storage - I've a lot of good music to tap.

    I'm asking here cause I know and trust a lot of the folks here. I know you wont' steer me wrong.

    Thanks in advance.

    Da Worfster

  2. #2
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Glad you posted this, Sir Slope! I have been mulling over the same thing, lately, and will be interested to hear what response your post generates. BTW, I liked your comments on the Oppo upconverting DVD player. There's one fer sale here in town for $175.00, and I'm seriously considering it. Without ruining yer thread, can you extol upon it a little further on a PM?
    "The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."--T. Huxley

  3. #3
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    I own 3 zunes. I do live in MS country so ........
    I don't have anything that starts with "I"
    The zune interface is ok to me a glorified WMP. Ripp your music at the bit rate you wish and put it on the zune. My brother likes his zune 120.
    Hope this helps?
    Jimmy B

  4. #4
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Thanks

    I'll let this stew a bit then let you folks know what I decide to do. In the "another county heard from" department, my son... Los Knuckleheados, weighed in that HE would like a Zune, a 120 gig one no less. I chuckled loudly that I'd like one too.

    Da Worfster

  5. #5
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    consider carefully how you'll use it..

    The temptation for many buying their first players is to buy a large capacity, jukebox player (ie. > ~32gb's). There are reasons for buying a large capacity player but I've found the larger capacity players aren't really that portable. They're fine for use in the car, carrying your collection of music to a friends house or other less than truly portable situations. So if this is what you want, the hard drive based Zune, iPod Classic and players from iRiver, Cowon and others are great. I'd also consider if you want a video-centric or audio-centric player. In the last couple of years, most of the manufacturers include the ability to play back video. This is fine if you have a player with a screen large enough to comfortably view video but in a player like the Cowon iAudio7 for example, it's a little silly. I have an iPhone which is on the large side of the typical 'mp3' player but watching video on it isn't a great experience. Once you've made your choice concerning jukebox vs solid state, video-centric vs audio-centric, the choices are almost endless but I have a few favorites. In the audio-centric and truly portable world, my current favorite is the Insignia Pilot. The name and origin will win you no respect and sadly, it was recently discontinued. If features and sound quality are your priorities, the Pilot has no equal. It is still available refurbed and used from the usual sources. Relative audiophile performance, Audible compatible, an sd slot for added storage, a useable 2.4 inch screen, on the fly play lists, stereo bluetooth connectivity for the car, and many more features. A true diamond in the rough. I also have a 16gb iAudio7 if I need almost futuristic battery life (40-50 hours). These are true portables. Very light, more than enough storage and excellent sound quality. Others to check out in this category are the Trekstor Vibez (a German designed player), Creative Mozaic and Creative Zen X-Fi. For juke box players, I'm a big fan of iRiver and Cowon. The Zune and iPod Classic are similarly great but generally, the less proprietary, the better as far as I'm concerned, For this reason, I shy away from iPods. Lastly, check out DAP Review: http://www.dapreview.net/news.php (I have no affiliation with this website).

  6. #6
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Well, for what it's worth...

    The lovely Mrs. W gifted me with an 80 gig zune for Christmas and, after some initial concerns (mostly due to sparse documentation), I do like it.

    I don't have an Ipod but previously I used some Sandisk Sansa M200 series (shaped like a slightly oversize thumb) and can finally make some fair comparisons.

    I like the Zune :

    Some good things.

    User interface is good. Once you get used to it, it's quite instinctive. This should take about a minute orso, once you get through the (non-existant) instructions.

    Buttons are large enough that my fingers are a bit sausage like also.

    Visuals are great. Large enough to read and the album covers are great to look at.

    It had built in FM, which Ipods lack. To me, this is important. (So did the Sansas)

    Some bad things:

    You've got to get instructions from zune.com and even then it's not in a coherent fashion. You have to spend a goodly amount of time exploring the website to get any real information.

    First off, know this! You can't change headphones "on the fly"! This will mute them until you power down/power up again. This was the cause of my problem with the FM in it. I changed headphones while changing modes. There is NO mention of this anywhere and it drove me fargin' bonkers! I think I invented a few Klingon curse words here.

    It's got a rechargable battery. But, then again, so do Ipods. It requires either aUSBport or a (sold separately) power supply. I guess I'm spoiled here since the Sansas used AAA batteries and I could replace them anywhere. ...and did.

    You MUST download the Zune software and "marry" your unit to your computer's Zune software. I ran into a situation when I had to rebuild my OS and all applications recently. I think the Ipods have the same relationship to Itunes, but I'm not sure.

    I guess I'm spoiled here since the Sansas simply required WMP and you could load from any 'puter.

    On the whole, I'd say it's an improvement over my old stuff and actually sounds better, is easire to read, and the ergonomics are vastly improved, but those Sansa's aren't too hard to improve on in that area.. My Grado SR-80's love this beastie.

  7. #7
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Wow....

    Thanks Bubba and Mark... great information. Particularly liked B's take on other competing models. Thanks.

    Da Worfster

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I'm not 100% familiar with the Zune, but can I ask a question that I think Worf may appreciate...Regarding file compatibility - can the Zune or Ipod play Flac? Or are you limited to the proprietary Windows Media formats? I assume both the Ipods and Zunes play mp3 at least? Are they both capable of the Windows/Apple lossless formats?

    What about video format compatibility? Is there any potential issues there?

    I've always found the off-brand units by Sansa to be the better values, but I admit it's been almost 3 years since I last bought one and a lot has changed so I don't know if that is still a fair assessment. I'm probably in the market for one too...my Sansa has suffered perspiration damage - they don't build these things for long runs in July!

  9. #9
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Has anybody checked out the Archos system? I see a few pretty neat lookin' thing on Craigslist, now and then, and wonder about them.

  10. #10
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Baby Steps...

    Instead of going "whole hog" for either myself or my erstwhile "spend every effin' dime Dad has" son I decided to go halfway. I bought a NOS Pilot Insignia off of ebay. It's only 8 Gig. I like it's versatility in that you can run her without any proprietary software in the mix. I'm going to give this to Snoodly and if he manages NOT to destroy it in a month or 2 I'll get one or something more sophisticated for myself. Thanks folks I'll keep you apprised.

    Da Worfster

  11. #11
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Just a wrinkle...I use a minidisc player and recorder. Plenty o' second-hand jobbies that're drop-off-the-cliff cheap, and plenty of space on a disc....

  12. #12
    Forum Regular Kevio's Avatar
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    I'm not an Apple fanboy but I own and have owned various iPods over the years. I don't think you can go wrong with an iPod. I can't comment on Zune because I've not used it.

    Part of your choice may be based on what software you use to organize your music library. You download and can give iTunes, Windows Media Player and others a spin and see which works best for you. I've tried a bunch and I'd be surprised if you did not pick iTunes.

    You sound like you want a device that can hold all your music. When the big one's came out a few years back and I could do that, it eliminated a bunch of maintenance and frustration for me.

    If you want a more portable player, you might consider choosing one of the many cell phones that will play music off mini-SD cards. Cell phones aren't as tiny as some of the smallest media players but you're already carrying it and charging it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevio
    I'm not an Apple fanboy but I own and have owned various iPods over the years. I don't think you can go wrong with an iPod. I can't comment on Zune because I've not used it.

    Part of your choice may be based on what software you use to organize your music library. You download and can give iTunes, Windows Media Player and others a spin and see which works best for you. I've tried a bunch and I'd be surprised if you did not pick iTunes.

    You sound like you want a device that can hold all your music. When the big one's came out a few years back and I could do that, it eliminated a bunch of maintenance and frustration for me.

    If you want a more portable player, you might consider choosing one of the many cell phones that will play music off mini-SD cards. Cell phones aren't as tiny as some of the smallest media players but you're already carrying it and charging it.
    This is what I did. When my contract with AT&T ended, I went to Verizon and got the Motorola W755 phone that you can install a (up to) 4 gig microSD card into. Granted it's not a whole lot of memory compared to an iPod, but it suits me just fine. All I ever wanted in my cell phone was one that made/answered calls and played MP3's. Fits just fine in my pocket so I didn't need any accy's other than headphones. It's a Bluetooth phone as well, so if I feel like spending the cash on a set of wireless cans... no more wires either.

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