which is the best mp3 player
Answers to which is the best mp3 player
Best MP3 player overall
Although not everyone is a fan of the short and wide shape, the Apple iPod nano is the choice among critics as the best MP3 player, especially now that it can play video. Most say that the player is extremely easy to use (though it requires the latest version of iTunes, which might not be compatible with some older computers). Audio quality is first rate, and video playback looks great despite the small 2-inch screen size. The 8 GB nano (which can store about 2,000 songs or equivalent video) comes in a rainbow of colors. One complaint is that the nano -- and all new iPod MP3 players -- have been made incompatible with some third party video accessories that worked with earlier-generation players. A 4 GB version of the nano (*est. $150) is also available.
While most critics say the iPod nano is the best MP3 player overall, some reviewers say the Creative Zen V Plus is a better choice for the money -- or a good pick for those who don't want to be tied to the iTunes music store. Sound quality and battery life are great, according to reports. The 1.5-inch OLED screen falls short compared to the display on the nano, but it's sufficient for viewing short video clips and photos. Unlike the nano, the Zen V Plus offers an FM radio. It uses a small navigation wheel for zipping through tracks, which a few reviews indicate may be too small for some users. A 2 GB version (*est. $70) is also available. All of Creative's current MP3 players are compatible with Windows Media Player 11, so they should have no trouble running on Vista.
Like the Creative Zen V Plus, the iRiver Clix comes very close to the iPod nano in reviews, plus it has more features. The 2.5-ounce iRiver Clix is heavier than the 1.74-ounce nano, but it has a slightly larger, video-capable 2.2-inch color LCD touchscreen that doubles for navigation. Sound and video are given uniformly high marks, and there's a long list of extras: FM tuner, voice recorder, equalizer, Macromedia Flash Player, Flash games and an alarm clock. Reviews say the Windows-only Clix has a slick user interface and long battery life (20 hours). The Clix is also available in a 4 GB (*est. $165) version.
Best large-capacity MP3 player
Experts agree that the iPod system by far offers the most fully integrated music experience, a seamless marriage between the iPod hardware and the iTunes software and song library. The latest iPod classic MP3 players feature much larger hard drives, rivaling those on some laptop computers, and can hold up to 20,000 songs or equivalent video. Since Apple MP3 players use a proprietary music format called AAC, you are limited mainly to the iTunes music store for music downloads. A 160 GB version (*est. $330), which can hold 40,000 songs, is also available.
Budget MP3 player
Reviews say there are a number of good sub-$100 MP3 players available, but this Samsung model gets a very slight edge because of its easy-to-use interface and better overall physical design. Sound quality is excellent, as is the built-in FM radio, though the lack of FM recording capabilities is a disappointment. A unique pop-out design protects the built-in USB connector and eliminates both the need for a cable and an easy-to-lose cap. One knock in some reports is that tested battery life is shorter than advertised.
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