Good, Cheap MP3 players...other than iPod?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Wie Gehts, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Wie Gehts macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    Howdy....its not that I wouldn't get an iPod. Although I love my macs, but like my strictly utilitarian aesthetic concerning automobiles, I'm not looking for cool, or brand name.....just something cheap and works.

    I have zero knowledge about MP3 players. Do they need to be compatible with my mac? Do they use some kind of OS? Do they connect to iTunes? Can they load mp3's from my computer onto itself? Can they bake a cake? I have no idea.

    So, is they're anything worthwhile in the sub-100 dollar category?

    Thanks for your advice :)
  2. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2008
    I think you should start out with a Shuffle. It'll only cost you $49 (in USA), you can choose your color, and it's among the line of easiest MP3 players on the market for existing Mac owners.

    If you don't already have iTunes installed on your computer, you can download it here. Once your Shuffle arrives, you simply plug it into a USB port on your computer (don't use a hub), and iTunes will recognize the device. At that point, you can drag and drop any music you've downloaded onto the device, and iTunes will indicate it's transfering. Once the transfer is complete, you simply press the EJECT button in iTunes, wait a few seconds, and you can disconnect the Shuffle, plug in your headphones, clip it to your shirt or whatever, and go.

    It's fully compatible with both Mac's or PC's (you can't go back and forth between the platforms without restoring the Shuffle). It comes with a dock and headphones, so you're set to go right away. You really can't go wrong in your price range with this option. I know of no other MP3 player on the market today that works as easily on Mac's in this price range. Good luck to you. :)
  3. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Let me tell you, iPods are the simplest to use..
    Secondly Apples Customer Service / Warranty for iPod is brilliant --- they are willing to help with any problem you may encounter. One day I tried to sync my iPod Photo to my computer and nothing was being displayed on the screen of iPod.. I tried resetting it - computer wouldnt recognize it. I went straight to Apple Store -- congratulated me for registering it - told me was a hardware failure and replaced immediately.
  4. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    Hey, thanks you guys for your help :)

    I see they have one that holds 500 and I have an Apple store near by so....

    I recently bought a car that has a jack for an mp3 player. What I have been doing is recording some internet radio programs and then burning cds to play in the car. (I'm not that crazy about XM programming) Then I thought, why not record them as mp3's and load them into a player.
    I can load a Shuffle up with any old mp3, yes? I'm not restricted to some kind of filing system via iTunes only, am I?

    Yes, I do have macbook is fairly new. ;)

    Thanks again!
  5. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You need to use iTunes to load music into your Shuffle, but yes, any MP3 file will work fine.

  6. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a


    Mar 26, 2008
    Wie, ipods just work. The shuffle is great but it has no interface. It sounds like it will work for you but you'll have to remember where on the unit you put each program or sample it.
  7. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    More thanks! :)

    A big reason I'm clueless about this stuff is that, for me, there is such a vast amount of things that a computer will do, there is only enough space in my brain and time to only focus on a little tiny niche of possible applications.

    Well, for now, I'm kinda simply satisfied with loading it with music and then just let it play. I'm not really needing to have to find any particular tune...sort of like a giant mix tape. I'm assuming I can use the headphone out to jack into the mp3 input in the car.
    However, it would be nice if it remembers where I last left off. Especially, I'd use it for audio books and it definitely would need to remember where I stopped and where to continue.
  8. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    Check the refurb store.

    While I wouldn't call $129 "cheap", the US store currently has a refurbed 4GB nano at that price, and shuffles for $39

    The shuffle is great for any situation where you just want to run through a single playlist (like working out) but it has visual no interface so it's a little limited for anything else.
  9. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    As long as you just pause the shuffle, it'll pick up where you left off. If you do anything that would restart it (plugging it into the computer, letting the battery die, etc), then it'll start from the beginning or a random song, depending on the mode. So yes, it'll do what you're looking for, it seems, and be a nice small, dependable player at the same time!

  10. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    I bought 2 shuffles a few weeks back with free engraving. Shipped in a couple of days, and cost under $100.00...not too bad if you ask me...mmmmkay
  11. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    OK, I'm sold. :D

    Thanks for all your help. I'll look into a refurb also. ;)
  12. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    iPods are cheap and work well with Mac gear but if you prefer not to deal with iTunes, I suggest a Sansa. Non iPod mp3 players are cheaper and while they aren't as easy to use, you can simply plug them in to your computer, whether it runs Linux, Windows or OS X, and drag and drop mp3 files. Of course they won't play purchased iTunes content but any mp3 files you have ripped yourself will play fine.

    You can set iTunes to rip cd's in mp3 format instead of the default iPod specific format. You can also find other cd ripper software. I use Max. My car has a usb port and I would rather not tie up my iPhone playing music so I put several hundred songs on a USB stick and played them that way. To get an idea just what a premium we pay for iPods, take a look at mp3 players at Walmart, ranked by price: here.

    You can get an mp3 player for as little as $15. Of course you have to rip your own music or get your music from Amazon instead of iTunes but that's cheap. I prefer to keep my music in mp3 format. I've bought quite a bit through iTunes but I've bought a lot more through I had an iPod Touch and now have an iPhone, but I can definitely understand why somebody might want to consider a cheaper alternative.

    I like the iTunes store but I have mixed feelings about iTunes software. It's huge and it's slow. Still, it's better than a lot of alternatives. For instance, when I was ripping a somewhat obscure collection of Jazz CD's, iTunes found the tag data right away but Max did not. I just don't like the way iTunes forces everything into the same folder it uses for music so I used Max as I could get it to rip files and put them on a firewire drive without having to deal with telling iTunes to move my entire music folder there.
  13. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    All iTunes music is now non-DRM. AAC is much better than MP#. It's smaller and preserves much of the original quality.
  14. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    You do know this thread is well over two years old, right?
  15. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    A shuffle is fine. If you are going to drive while listening you don't want to be fiddling with a screen. Forward and reverse are enough. 2 GB will hold ~32 hours of music or several audiobooks for those long drives. Go look at one.
  16. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    Does nobody check the dates on threads and posts before replying?

  17. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    BTW, I bought a Sansa Clip. Woiks like a charm. 40 bucks :D

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