View Full Version : Help please - MP3 players

8th Nov 2005, 05:07
My 16-year-old grandaughter's birhday approaches and she has indicated the desire for an MP3 player, whatever that is. Initial research shows that there is a bewlildering choice of such accoutrements, with prices ranging between 30 and 200. I suppose a lot has to do with the amount of memory they contain.

What does grandad go for? Do they come complete with all accessories and ready to plug in for instant operation? What pitfalls are to be avoided?

Thanks in advance.

8th Nov 2005, 05:59
let me start with - minimum storage size of device - 512 MB. This is the bare minimum and will make you look like a cheapskate. 1 GB is advisable.

The best option of the entire lot (I would think) would be Apple's iPod Nano. But since I don't own any MP3 player, I have no clue about its competitors and how it fares against them.

Over to the rest of you!

Farmer 1
8th Nov 2005, 06:55
I would guess a 16 year-old granddaughter might have fashion pretty high up on the list of qualifications. By fashion, I mean something like latest, most expensive, what so-and-so has, etc.

For that, you will probably need to ask a 16 year old. Or if all else fails, you could ask at the shop.

I agree with the memory - you cannot have too much of that.

8th Nov 2005, 07:16
iPod Nano is overkill for a 16 year old - it's too fragile.

The iPod Mini is perfect. Great capacity in the memory. A great choice of colours. And there's a ton of different accessories that she can buy to personalise it.

There are lots of other brands out there and I have bought a few. The majority have been appauling - losing data and one in particular by 'Creative' wrecked my computer!

iPods are the best. I've never had a day's trouble with mine. I have two in fact. A 20Gb for those long flights and an iPod shuffle for when I'm running.

The iPod Mini that I have recommended above though, would be ideal for a wee lass.

8th Nov 2005, 07:29
just the standard Ipod now is good enough, not only do you get 30 gig of Music, you also get photos and Movies on there.

My ipod now has 1300 songs on it, my most recent photos and 3 converted DVD's on it, and its only used 30% of its capacity.

the movies make it great for long flights if the movies suck.

not only that you get AV cables so you can plug it into a tv to watch the movies or look at ya pics.

8th Nov 2005, 08:48
Thank you all, thank you. Your erudite responses mean that I shall continue to be known as a cool grandad because I made the right choice and can explain all the features.

8th Nov 2005, 09:39
You could go with the iPod shuffle. Its less fragile, has no screen but weighs nothing and is very cool. Has no moving parts which makes it suitable/better for the gym/running.

I dont want to post a commercial website here but Apple do a very good online store just search for Apple Store UK. You can get the bigger Ipods laser engraved for free, and then she can never forget who gave it to her.

8th Nov 2005, 11:05
Have a look at the Sony MP3 players if its just for music.
My wife has the HD5 20G which will hold upto 13000 songs and a 40 hour battery life.
I have the Sony Bean 1G which will hold about 700 songs and has a 50 Hour battery life.
Sound quality and battery life is far superior than the I-Pods and the software is very easy to use.

Training Risky
8th Nov 2005, 12:24
I heartily reccomend the Creative Labs MUVO MP3 player.

Approx 100 on the Internet, 4GB... and so far I have squeezed approx 1300 tracks onto it!

TOP TIP: Use your PC to cut the standard bit rate of 128 kbps down to 80 kbps. You can almost double the capacity of your MP3 player with almost no notable difference in sound quality!

8th Nov 2005, 12:36
iPods are just a triumph of marketing over common sense. Who wants to be tied into Apple, iTunes and their restrictive digital rights management ?

Get an independent one - my personal favourite are the iRiver ones. Built like a brick sh*thouse, you can connect direct to your PC, you don't need any proprietary software and they do exactly what it says on the tin. 6Gb H10 (http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/shop/product_info.php?products_id=756) should do the job nicely.

Sadly, their website sucks (someone's been at the Flash): http://www.iriver.com/

but you can also check 'em out at http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk

J Urby
8th Nov 2005, 13:00
I agree with Granger, I have an I River that has been dropped and doesn't miss a beat. It has a 40Gb HD, I have over 400 albums on it and it is only half full at a high recording quality so for a 16 year old, that would be overkill! You can download photos from most Digital cameras directly into it, You don't tend to have the copyright issues that can occur with the I Pod, Creative and Sony kit, especially if you use a free programme such as freeRIP to record the music. You can also use Ogg Vorbis as opposed to MP3 to encode your music (this gives a higher quality output for a lower bit rate and is used by misicians). Did you know that the company with the rights to the MP3 codec are considering charging for it's use which could be interesing? They are however less popular so less trendy but also she is less likely to be targeted by I Pod thieves who home in on the white headphones.

8th Nov 2005, 13:42
Hi Grandad!,

Why not check with your granddaughters' friends. Even the most basic kit is suitable for music storage. Is she athletic? If so she'll need a good neoprene case for her player. Provides protection from the elements and most can be adapted to fit on the arm or waist.

I've got a couple of these things and the best advice I could offer is get a good set of earbugds (headphones). It'll make all the difference in her listening pleasure.

Hope this helps.


8th Nov 2005, 14:12
Archos mp3 players are relatively cheap, virtually indestructibe, and easy to use, requiring no software, which means you can plug them into any computer and copy music. They also function as an external hard drive; my entire pc is backed up on mine.

8th Nov 2005, 20:30
Does all this chat mean my Walkman is out of date already? I still have loads of cassettes left!

8th Nov 2005, 22:33
I'm sub-20 at the minute and in my opinion the iPod Nano from Apple would be your best bet. I admit that it has problems but should you be affected, Apple will sort you out with a repair or replacement free of charge. I presently have an iPod mini whose late brother which went pear-shaped. It was replaced within 10 days by apple after I sent the old one off to them at their expense and was UPS expressed a brand-new replacement. While the iPod mini is good, I won't look good giving her a piece of old kit. The Nano is brand spanking new and is the most fashionable thing you could get your hands on in this department. While the iRiver is probably better spec'd, I would still want to be given the iPod nano.

Best of luck. The engraving idea was a good one.

14th Nov 2005, 11:47
I am in a similar boat, and have been told that the iriver is the way to go.

Incidentally, I recently bought two albums from Tesco's download service. All well and good, but it did say that they would not be playable on an i-pod. I can't help but think that Apple have made a rod for their own back with this one....

14th Nov 2005, 15:26

Whilst I was in England the other week Tchibo are currently doing an MP3 player for sale in their stores for 45GBP which has a 1GB storage space, it's fairly user friendly and has the basics that any one would require to store, play & listen to music.
Personally I'd say that if your grandaughter is 16, I would advise getting her a gift voucher to go towards the cost and if she can get a saturday job or something then she can pay for the rest herself.
Maybe I'm a little out of touch but I always appreciated gifts a lot more if I helped work to contribute towards them