Alternative to an ipod

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by scarlets knees, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. scarlets knees macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    I'm in a reverse halo effect, I've recently moved to a pb and love it, never been bothered about getting an mp3 player but now i'm crumbling, i like the idea of listening to podcasts and the BBC here in the Uk is making loads of radio shows available and... and ....and etc. I like the look of the ipod mini over the standard ipod but then i saw the new sony with an alledged 40 hours of battery with a removable battery and wondered.....

    Is there an viable alternaitve to the ipod for a mac user?

    I realise by posting here i'm probably asking the converted but hey you guys are so helpful i thought i'd ask.
  2. macorama macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    Are you using iTunes as your MP3 player/organiser? Or something else?
  3. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    To put it nicely, no.
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    The gateway question for you is: "Will I ever want to buy music from the iTunes Music Store and listen to it on a player?"

    If the answer is yes, then the iPod should be your choice. The only alternative to play rights-managed AAC files is to burn them to CD and re-encode them as MP3's.

    Conversely, if you are dedicated to a different music purchasing service, investigate both the Mac compatibility and the MP3player compatibility of that service.
  5. scarlets knees thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    Using itunes at the moment but only cos it's there and does the job, I have no problem changing to other software

    and as for buying form itms, they don't have most of the stuff i want so at the moment it's a no but never say never i suppose
  6. stevep macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2004
    Reasons to buy an iPod:
    1. The 'cool' factor
    2. Good 2nd hand value
    3. Apple support
    4. Obviously works with iTunes
    5. Good design and engineering

    Reasons not to:
    1. ermmmm...........(oh well, maybe the file format restriction, but its not that much of a restriction is it?).
  7. hhlee macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    Yes, there are viable options to the iPod. In fact, you can get whatever you want. But since you've made the switch to mac... you might find that getting an iPod, despite its $$$ and comparatively poor ACTUAL battery life, is just a slicker experience. iTunes + iPod works great, don't have to worry about compatibility, adapters to charge over usb or firewire. Even if iTMS doesn't have your song, you can still buy the CD and manage that via iTunes.

    For me, iTunes trumps all alternatives. You can share music over a network, its easy to transfer over music, great search/playlist, you're guaranteed that it just works.

    Now if someone came up with a different software that worked perfectly on Mac OS X with a player the size of an iPod or smaller with better battery life, then I'd switch.
  8. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    Well, the new Sony ones look pretty good, you have to admit. Although not Mac compatible.

    This Archos one is pretty small, but has a poor interface (I've used it- its like using Windows 3.11 on a Casio calculator). It is Mac compatible though.

    The Creative Zen Touch looks and feels like a poor mans iPod. Its like expecting a pair of Adidas Japans for Christmas, and getting a pair of 'Dididas' trainers with 4 stripes on instead. I'm not exaggerating either- use one and you'll see.

    The iRivers are supposed to be Mac compatible.

    The one iPod alternative I would consider is the Olympus m:robe. Look superb in a Knight Rider kinda way. But its not Mac compatible.

    One thought though, why dont any mp3 players other then the ipod support AAC? Its daft- if anyone want to replace their ipod, then surely any competitor wants to make it easy for them to switch. As AAC is iTunes default encoder, no-ones going to re-encode their whole collection are they?
  9. davey-nb macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003
    NORTH America
    Sony Ads

    London bus stops are plastered with large posters promoting the Sony mp3 players screaming "50 hours battery use in one charge!"
    I love my mini but Apple really need to improve their batteries.
    8 hrs in the 20 GB is pretty lame.
  10. Pistol Pete macrumors 6502a

    Pistol Pete

    Jan 6, 2005
    So Cal
    i didnt know they made any other mp3 players..... ;)
  11. stridey macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2005
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    I haven't timed it recently, but I'm getting *way* more than 8 hours with my 20 GB iPod. You can really maximize the battery life just by using the hold switch.
  12. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    i've heard good things about iRivers, and my friend has a RCA lyra (sp?) flash-based player which is nice cause of sd expansion and gets *hella* battery life on one AA batt, but dont know about compatibillity with macs. ipods rule!!!
  13. applemacdude macrumors 68040


    Mar 26, 2001
    Over The Rainbow
    Store up to 13,000 songs when using the ATRAC3plus audio fomat at 48kbps."

    i would get 40 hours too with such a crappy compression
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I think I read on or IGN that the M:Robe was a far cry from an iPod in many senses. Stating the GUI was atrocious, and the battery life was not good. It does look pretty, and if I was serious about getting one I'd probably go with a PSP instead. Now those things look rad, but I barely play my videogames at home, much rather on the road.
  15. davey-nb macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003
    NORTH America
    'Splain please

    How's that?
  16. dubbz macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    I have a iRiver IHP120 myself, which does its job nicely. Don't know if they sell them anymore, though.

    I've also heard good things about the iAUDIO players. They even have a "Mac OS" logo on their site.
  17. stridey macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2005
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    Like this. :cool:
  18. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    Agreed on those positive iPod battery comments. My 3G 20GB gets about 10 hours of battery life and that's plenty for a day around campus and studying. I checked out other mp3 players before I went to the iPod and the interfaces of others were simply not up to par, in my opinion. I also use the iTMS too frequently to try and work around it by converting formats; it'd be a waste of time.

  19. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
  20. J-Low macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2005
    This is an interesting topic for me as I'm about to buy a mac. After moving apartment.

    I intend to get all my (purchased btw) music onto it, probably with external storage in a lossless format.
    I have no need for a high storage portable player if the computer can hold the music and play it over the apartment stereo.
    I should just get a 1GB or less portable player for me and the GF for our (short) commutes.
    But the iaudio X5 is damn tempting as an iPod alternative (google it).
    It would give you more freedom with your music, but it doesn't use an id3 tags system.

    I won't pay for downloaded music until the quality is at least as good as CD and then only if significantly cheaper than CD and without DRM.

    I know what I'm talking about. I've been through the home taping crisis of the late 80's/early 90's that crippled the music industry and bankrupted Bono and David Bowie and countless others.

    I hope that helps (iaudio X5)-now I have a question:

    I like the organisational database-like functionality itunes has but I wonder if you can share the library with another music organiser to avoid duplication?
  21. AlBDamned macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    This is a very good point actually. Why hasn't a company made a straight-forward iPod alternative for Mac? Given the choice of a regular (ie non-photo) iPod or the Sony 20G Mp3 player, the Sony one is tiny and a little bit more techy. If there was a direct competitor, surely it would sell well?
  22. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    Owing to the strength of the iPod brand it would have to be not just a direct competitor, but a vastly superior product. Right now there just isn't that around.

    The true alternative to using something other than an iPod is Hell and Eternal Damnation and, worst than that, social humiliation. ;)
  23. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    the one and most important thing to me is the UI of a player and the ipod cant be beat, fiddling about with annoying controls when you want to listen to a song is a freaking pain.

    the battery life is not that big of a deal, you can replace the battery with a little work ( sells them) after a while and 18 hours is enough for 2-3 days without power adapter i dont think you'd see a huge benefit from a longer battery life, also remember the mini is estimated while playing 128KBps files while most other players with 64KBps so more song can fit on the cache and the battery lasts longer.
  24. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    The current range of iPod batteries are much better than they used to be. My current 4G got me from home to airport (1.5 hours), hanging round airport (2 hours) and from London to San Francisco (11 hours) without running out (and it was on for most of the time). I did have 'shuffle' turned off and was playing from a playlist but I was pretty impressed.

    The little Sonys do look good but I can't see myself changing from an iPod until it comes with something better than iTunes for organising it. It's just so easy to update, create playlists (particularly smart ones based on playback) and interact with. I like being able to listen to new tracks, rate them on the iPod and get them synched back to iTunes.
  25. scarlets knees thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
    mmm itunes rules, ipod ui rules, battery can suck or not depending on the planets but basically it's ipod all the way.

    I know I'm going to go with an ipod. Next issue will be whether to go mini or standard but why do I have this nagging feeling of being forced into a corner (though I'm sure it's a great corner) which was one of the reasons I moved to mac from wintel. I suppose in this instance at least the product is a good one

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