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Old 02-18-06, 04:04 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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Okay, I have let the digital world slip by me.

I used to keep up, and, in fact, was one of the first kids on the block when I bought my first Morrow computer in 1980.

Somewhere, things got away from me, and I find I am a total neophyte around these things.

I do a google, and come up with about 50 million different types of MP3 player. I want one I can sit on the trainer at home or the gym and listen to stuff on.

Is there an EASY (non technical) resource?

Some of my questions:

1. How (and from where) would one download music that might be played in an MP3 player? Is there a wide variety of music that might appeal to someone in their 60's?

2. Are these downloads legally free, or do you pay?

3. How would you get that download into an MP3 player? Are there different ways, or are they all the same?

4. What are the differences in MP3 players. I see them from $19.00 to several hundred dollars. Why would I pay a lot of money for one?

5. I hear about the Apple IPod, and that is isn't compatible with other stuff, and vice versa.

6. What about storage and knowing what song you are playing? I don't see a need for 10,000 songs. Ten or twenty would be fine. How do you organize the songs and select?

I use Windows XP and Windows Media Player.

Can anyone educate me in terms I might understand.

"Still making utensils from rocks!"

Thanks
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Old 02-18-06, 04:16 PM   #2
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1. You can use windows media player or many others to "rip" a music CD you have. THis means convert from the original CD data, to a lossy format such as mp3. Some use peer to peer programs like KAzaa to download, though i wont state an opinion about this.
There are many places where you can download songs for a small fee. Do a google for Itunes.

2. Some lega, some not.

3.mp3 players use USB to connect to the computer. Small flash memory places typically use your regular USB, while hard drive players tend to utilize USB 2.0 because it is much faster. ALl motherboards these days have multiple USB's. Windows recognizes the mp3 player as a removable storage device, and you simply drag the files into this.

4. 19 dollar players will not make you happy, dont bother. The best thing in my opinion for mp3 players is to avoid the typical brands like Sony and Iriver, look at some of the smaller Korean companies. mp3mall.net has a great selection. I had a player from a small company called "Woodi".It was top quality in every regard. Expect to spend 125-175 for a good quality player with enough memory. THe big factor in cost is memory.

5. I try to avoid the ipods. You buy your 400 dollar media player, and then spend another 500 on "must have". Also, you utilize about 1/20 of the actual memory.

6. Most every handheld device now is like a computer. mp3 players are no different. Do you know how to search for a file in a computer? Folders which are divided into other folders, until you find your song. Its all "tree theory"

I suggest you look for flash memory mp3 players. Hard drive players like Ipods are just that, hard drives. Flash memory mp3 players have no moving part, and you can get them up to 1GB, although 512MB will suffice for your needs. Plus since they have no moving parts, they cannot skip and get fantastic battery life. Also they are super light, my WOodi weighed just 30 grams plus the weight of one AAA battery
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Old 02-18-06, 04:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
1. You can use windows media player or many others to "rip" a music CD you have. THis means convert from the original CD data, to a lossy format such as mp3. Some use peer to peer programs like KAzaa to download, though i wont state an opinion about this.
There are many places where you can download songs for a small fee. Do a google for Itunes.
Thanks.
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Old 02-18-06, 04:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Some of my questions:

1. How (and from where) would one download music that might be played in an MP3 player? Is there a wide variety of music that might appeal to someone in their 60's?

2. Are these downloads legally free, or do you pay?

3. How would you get that download into an MP3 player? Are there different ways, or are they all the same?

4. What are the differences in MP3 players. I see them from $19.00 to several hundred dollars. Why would I pay a lot of money for one?

5. I hear about the Apple IPod, and that is isn't compatible with other stuff, and vice versa.

6. What about storage and knowing what song you are playing? I don't see a need for 10,000 songs. Ten or twenty would be fine. How do you organize the songs and select?

I use Windows XP and Windows Media Player.

Can anyone educate me in terms I might understand.

"Still making utensils from rocks!"

Thanks
1) I rip my own personal CDs....that gave me around 1200 songs right there.

2) many of my friends are aspiring musicians, so I get plenty of sample tracks from them...but if you want, check out iTunes...it's paym but not very pricey.

3) this part sucks...some music services don't do mp3, but wma and other DRM tracks. Find out if your player will work before buying tracks.

4)Creative Nomad Zen and the iRiver HDD players are the current cream of the crop for value and sound quality. iPod is king of accessories, and has the biggest fanbase.

5)true, accessories won't mate up the same as well as what's explained in #3.

6) varies by player, but on my Nomad Zen, I can sort by artist, genre, album, or playlist. It's all displayed on that large LCD dislpay.
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Old 02-18-06, 04:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by catatonic
but wma and other DRM tracks.
Thanks.

However you lost me on "wma" and "DRM" ??
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Old 02-18-06, 05:02 PM   #6
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things like wma, mp3, ogg, are all various filetypes. They are all music, just a different format. wma is popular because it is more efficient in the sense that it takes less memory for the same track.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:14 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, don't install Kazaa in particular. My little sister did that to her system. I salvaged the Windows installation after about 6 hours of advanced malware removal, although my personal preference would've been to Drop The Bomb On It™ with a fresh installation of Windows. It was an interesting experience, in a "watch the maggots squirm in the rotting meat as you prod them" kind of way.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mechBgon
Whatever you do, don't install Kazaa in particular. My little sister did that to her system. I salvaged the Windows installation after about 6 hours of advanced malware removal, although my personal preference would've been to Drop The Bomb On It™ with a fresh installation of Windows. It was an interesting experience, in a "watch the maggots squirm in the rotting meat as you prod them" kind of way.
+1 Kazza will pwn your computer. dont even get near it.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
things like wma, mp3, ogg, are all various filetypes. They are all music, just a different format. wma is popular because it is more efficient in the sense that it takes less memory for the same track.
Also note that some players require the use of software that will convert from one file type to a specific file type because the player only supports that particular file format. While this works fine, sometimes you'll find that converting from one lossy-format such as mp3 to another will increase the amount of loss and degrade the quality of the music even further. It's sort of like making a photocopy of a fax.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
Also note that some players require the use of software that will convert from one file type to a specific file type because the player only supports that particular file format. While this works fine, sometimes you'll find that converting from one lossy-format such as mp3 to another will increase the amount of loss and degrade the quality of the music even further. It's sort of like making a photocopy of a fax.
That is correct, i believe Sony does that.
Only large brands like SOny do this though. If you get a product from a smaller company like the Korean ones from mp3mall.net, its all simply drag and drop. You could use it as a USB drive if you so desired.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:28 PM   #11
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Iriver IFP series ranges from $79 to $179 anywhere from around 60 to 250 songs depending on how much you pay.


Iriver T-10. over all a better mp3 player. color screen, 1 gig (34 hours of music) If you are willing to pay $199 this is a sweet

ohh and iriver would be a very user friendly windows based player. unlike overpriced ugly ipods.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChAnMaN
+1 Kazza will pwn your computer. dont even get near it.
Indeed it will. However if you are fortunate enough to have Kazaa lite K++....
It was forced to shutdown in 2003 due to a lawsuit, but you can still find it around. Also, when it is installed, a copy of the installation file is stored in my shared documents, so you can find copies of K++ right from the KAzaa search
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Old 02-18-06, 06:34 PM   #13
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DRM is digital rights management, basically a form of copy-protection.

MP3 was designed to be merely an audio format, and lacks any form of DRM at all. This is why I prefer it. OGG is nice as well, but my player won't do it.

By the way, MP3 is best at 192kbps bitrate...best blend of low disk space consumption, and audio quality. at 128kbps, I noticed all kinds of nastiness in the upper frequencies...cymbals in particulr sounds like crap.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:37 PM   #14
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dnv - they are actually very simple once you get past all the acronyms. we got an iaudio mp3 player. my GF installed it herself (not much of a computer user), copied her CD's and music files onto the player (the software is really simple) thru the ISB port and that was it. it's so small and light and easy to use. really amazing actually.
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Old 02-18-06, 06:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catatonic
DRM is digital rights management, basically a form of copy-protection.

MP3 was designed to be merely an audio format, and lacks any form of DRM at all. This is why I prefer it. OGG is nice as well, but my player won't do it.

By the way, MP3 is best at 192kbps bitrate...best blend of low disk space consumption, and audio quality. at 128kbps, I noticed all kinds of nastiness in the upper frequencies...cymbals in particulr sounds like crap.

but you dont really need to know any of this becuase your media player will already be defualted to the best setting....i think
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Old 02-18-06, 06:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChAnMaN
but you dont really need to know any of this becuase your media player will already be defualted to the best setting....i think
WEll its not quite that simple. You still have to encode the lossy format, which is when you select youur 128, or 192.
For the record, I've found 128 to be really good for Ogg format. It just sucks that most players dont have the capability to play it. But there are still those that do, and even more that at least have firmware upgrades that allow it
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Old 02-18-06, 06:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
That is correct, i believe Sony does that.
Only large brands like SOny do this though. If you get a product from a smaller company like the Korean ones from mp3mall.net, its all simply drag and drop. You could use it as a USB drive if you so desired.
Yep. That's why I prefer the players from Archos. Those devices attach simply as USB hard drives and music files are stored like any other files. You can use their music management software if you like but you're not bound to it. They're also cross-platform and will work equally well on Macs, Windows and linux/unix platforms.

I like the Archos Gmini XS200. More storage capacity than the overhyped iPods, more features, cross-platform compatibility, built-in management so you don't have to rely on a computer to create and manage playlists (even has a built-in virtual keyboard) and it's just as small and compact.

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Old 02-18-06, 06:59 PM   #18
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Archos are nice, but certainly not cheap! But then again, they are pretty much a palm PC as well as music player
http://www.mp3mall.net/mp3/Archos/
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Old 02-18-06, 07:11 PM   #19
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P2P networks in general are a favorite alternate channel for virus/Trojan makers to spread stuff, if that wasn't common knowledge already. If you decide to use one, make sure you've got a reputable current-version antivirus software, and max out all the real-time detection options like heuristics and compressed-file/archive scanning.

Typical example from this week's crop: Bagle.DU


Quote:
Propagation via Peer-to-Peer Networks:

W32/Bagle.du@MM copies itself to folders that have the phrase "shar" in the name (such as common peer-to-peer applications: KaZaa, Bearshare, Limewire, etc)
To entice users into downloading and executing these file, the worm uses names of popular applications and porn for its dropped copy.

anna benson sex video.exe
kate beckinsale nude pictures.exe
Windows Sourcecode update.doc.exe
Ahead Nero 10.exe
Windown Vista Beta Leak.exe
IE beta 7.exe
Serials 2005 database.exe
Adobe Photoshop 9 full.exe
(some of the filenames have been removed due to their extra-yucky names)
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Old 02-18-06, 07:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomcow2
Archos are nice, but certainly not cheap! But then again, they are pretty much a palm PC as well as music player
http://www.mp3mall.net/mp3/Archos/
I might have to disagree there... I think they're competitively priced.

Archos XS100 (4GB flash) - $140
Apple iPod Nano (4GB flash) - $240

Archos XS200 (20GB micro-HDD) - $220
Apple iPod-4 (30GB, HDD) - $300
Apple iPod Mini (4GB, discontinued) - $200
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Old 02-18-06, 07:56 PM   #21
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Here's a vote for the Ipod.

I have a 2GB Nano model, and have been very happy with it for the 3 months I've had it. The user interface is very well thought out and works perfectly, and though I'm not thrilled about having to install iTunes to put music on it, I must admit it's a pretty good piece of software...

All of the current iPod's (shuffle not included, it's just a tampon with a 'next' button and a headphone jack.. lol) let you view pictures, and the HD-based ones let you watch videos.
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Old 02-18-06, 08:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChAnMaN
but you dont really need to know any of this becuase your media player will already be defualted to the best setting....i think

Not really, most players ripping software defaults for MP3 at 128kbps, since that is what most people think is "CD quality". It's so far from CD quality that it angers me to hear people spout that off. Even though I dislike Creed, listen to many of their songs at 128 and 192 kbps...you will hear a difference in the sound...namely it sounds less distorted, and overall more pleasing. Reason is 128kbps makes too many compromises in the way it compresses the music, and critical frequencies are mangled. 192 is the lowest you can hit before the signal gets compromised too much.

Also some players won't allow ripping at 192kbps. This has to do with licensing issues of the MP3 codec....the lite version only allows certain bitrates.

...but that's all technical junk...let your ears guide you, but 192kbps is not much of an increase in filesize, and the quality gain is noticable, and IMO worth it.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:19 PM   #23
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I have the I-River 512mb T-30. I love it. Its the size of my thumb and the sound quality is really good. Best of all, i got off an Ebay retailer for like 80bucks. My only gripe is that it only works with Windoz XP systems. All my CD's are ripped onto my work computer. I spend 10-12 hrs a day there so it makes sense. It runs on Windoz 2000 Pro. D'oh! I now have to rip everything to my home computers. It might be more cost effective to just buy a Windoz 2000 compatible device.

Other than that one thing, The I-River T30s get my vote. They have a 1 gig one too.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
6. What about storage and knowing what song you are playing? I don't see a need for 10,000 songs. Ten or twenty would be fine. How do you organize the songs and select?
I think you might find only having 10-20 songs(unless you really like them) gets old pretty fast...just my music-overloaded opinion, tho. Players that would work well for that amount of music don't tend to have much in the way of display data and play options(shuffle, search, etc.)from what I've seen. The management software would be fairly important in your case to ensure that you could organize your files the way you'd like. If you'll just be sitting while exercising and listening to a limited amount of music the flash players might be best for you. Also, flash-based players are more resistant to agitation than hard disk drive players, but the HDD models might be able to hold the same number of higher quality MP3's(or other computer files) thanks to their larger storage space. Again, this depends on how much music you'd like to have access to or what kinds of files.

I have 2 20GB players(both old Creative Nomad Jukebox 3) and that's still not enough room for all my music. My music is mainly ripped from my CD's(yes, I have a lot) with maybe a couple dozen songs downloaded(using the prog pc2 mentioned). The music management software is great for setting up playlists, artist info and adding/deleting tracks(esp. when you have ~5000 songs on a player), while the player itself allows for searching and keeping track of what's playing and other basic functions.

I'd steer clear of the iPod brand, but that's due to cost and compatibility issues. My best friend has found some decent deals on eBay, but he's very much into the "cutting-edge" when it comes to electronic toys. My 3-4 year old(or older, I can't remember) players get the job done for me, tho. Good luck!

Oh, and everyone please feel free to correct me if I'm off-base about anything above.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:58 PM   #25
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I love my shuffle. Small, indestructible, simple. Apple support rules by the way

And the 512 model is only $49.99 (refurbished) at Apple.com

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