20 GB iPod or Cowen iAudio M3

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Over Achiever, May 19, 2004.

  1. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #1
    I'm in a dilemma where I'm looking to buy a 20 GB MP3 player. I don't have many AAC files (I only have 2 in fact), so AAC support isn't essential for me. *ducks thrown objects*.

    My choices have been narrowed down to the 20 GB iPod (naturally) and the new Cowen iAudio M3. The iAudio M3 doesn't have a display on the unit itself, which makes the unit 10% thinner than the iPod. The inline remote contains a 6 line display. As mentioned before, iAudio does not support AAC, but it does support WMA and OOG, which is a plus for some of my classical recordings. Also the iAudio has a cleaner output, at -95 dB as opposed to the iPods standard -90dB. And the battery lasts longer at 14 hours as opposed to 7-8. Also I have a FM tuner and recording, which can also record FM as well as with the internal or external mic.

    Things I'll miss from the iPod are the iCal and address book support, the games. Firewire support will also be missed, as well is the tight iTunes/iPod interoperability.

    The both have a dock, inline remote, and carrying case. And they are similar in price, as the iAudio is $369, and while the iPod is officially $399, it can be found for around $370. Currently, I don't need the extra features the iPod offers, as I simply need a music player. And I like using inline remotes, I can keep the player in my pocket or on my belt, and move through my music. However, I would like your opinions on the subject. CNet just posted a review and comparision, so please look through and tell me what you think. I'm a long distance runner, and I have just a little over 20 GB of music, so it'd be a perfect fit, being smaller and lighter is a plus.

    CNet Review (Cowen iAudio M3)
    CNet Comparison
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #2
    My only advice would be to try them both before purchasing. The one thing that, I think, keeps the iPod on top is the interface. Of all the players I have played with, it makes finding your music the easiest. When you have 20 GB of music, the ease of finding the song you want should not be left out of the equation. So try them both and see which one makes it easier to get your songs playing.
     
  3. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2000
    Location:
    54140
    #3
    i agree with the above poster in that interface is key. though not impossible, i'm sure it's much more difficult to navigate the iAudio.

    but realistically, in the end, it all comes down to what you are going to use it for. as for me, i would want the ipods style, navigation, synchronization, etc. but if you dont need the bells and whistles, and instead, will use an FM tuner, and WMA/OOG support, then go for the iAudio.
     
  4. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #4
    i'm not sure if it's appropriate to consider the unit to be actually thinner and lighter when it has no display. with 20 GB of music, you surely need some visual feedback to navigate. therefore, the remote is a must. you absolutely have to have it. so while the physical unit carrying the music may be thinner and lighter, now you must carry two things: the unit and the remote.

    you should think about that. i'd personally consider it a major hassle, almost negating the smaller/lighter profile.

    if prices aren't very different, i think iPod is the way to go. depends on your need for OGG support too, though. is the other product even available?
     
  5. Over Achiever thread starter macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #5
    The product is available. Navigation (fast forward, etc) is on the remote so I don't have to dig out the main unit all the time ... which is why I saw that to be a plus to the unit. I can leave the main unit on my belt or in my pocket, and pick and see songs with the remote, something you really can't do with the iPod, or many other HD players.

    I have checked out the manual on navigation ... boy that seems like a pain. I almost forgot about the folder method of organizing music ... thank goodness iTunes sorts the music by artist and album. Navigation is strictly limited to up and down and select, there is accelerated scrolling which should help a little. But this would be one area I would definately miss the scroll wheel.

    The remote is smaller than a zippo lighter ... but I don't have a good idea of how big a zippo lighter is. :eek:

    It can charge through USB ... but I'm suddenly curious. Are there USB 2.0 -> Firewire cables out there? That'd be sweet.
     
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    #6
    no, there is no such cable.

    zippo lighter is fairly small. 5 cm high, 3 cm wide and 1 cm thick or so?
     
  7. mpopkin macrumors 6502

    mpopkin

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #7
    I agree with everyone, Interface is a big factor. I have owned many mp3 players ranging from the Iomega Hipzip to the first Sony Net Walkman(as well as the rio600, Creative Nomad 2 and the Muvo 128 as well as an 2nd gen Apple Ipod 10gb) but nothing compares to my Apple iPod Mini(Blue) it is amazing, small, maybe less storage space, but the Mini and their big brothers are excellent, Apple has definetely fixed the battery loss over time problem. I believe that while the IAudio M3 may support WMA and be 10% it is only 10% thinner and it has no display on it and an external display which is big and hefty for an inline remote, 2) Apple Itunes now supports conversion from WMA to AAC and that is great news for you. 3) the iPod interface is easier to use by far, 2) it comes from a notable company and brings quality advantages to the table 3) while they are similiarly priced, the Ipod has its advantages in interface and ease of use/uploading/downloading music/files and the 4) Most important factor, the iPod has the best Sound Quality on the Market, so if that doesnt sway you, try it out and see for yourself the difference, because in the end the iPod has the advantage






     

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