MP3 and MPG/AVI and whatnot
So there’s a small frenzy as people are getting excited or disdainful over the arrival of Microsoft’s Zune player.
I spent a few minutes skimming Internet and this is what I’ve figured (for my own future reference..):
There are 5 choices out there:
- Apple’s iPod
- Archos 604 or 604 WiFi
- Cowon (iAudio) A2
- Creative Zen Vision or Vision W
- Microsoft Zune
Comparison chart of media players:
|iPod||604||604 WiFi||A2||Vision||Vision W||Zune|
|20 hrs.audio||16 hr||16 hr||18 hr||13hr||13hr||14hr|
|5 hrs.video||15 hr||10 hr||4.5 hr||4.5hr||4hr|
|none||FM radio||FM recording||FM||FM||FM|
|future?||WiFi 802.11g||Zune to Zune wifi only|
Sorry.. got a bit lazy with posting the specs..
And I didn’t link to the Zune because the seemingly official MS Zune website is… useless. Or I just didn’t have the patience to figure it out.
So anyway here’s the stuff that mattered for myself:
Vision versus the Vision W: Vision W handles more picture formats, but it’s a bit larger and heavier overall.. and that wasn’t one of its strong points with the plain Vision to begin with. But the W comes in the larger 60gb size.
I’m looking at the full-screen, high-storage capacity machines. Personally, 30gb won’t cut it. I’m looking at 60gb or up.
iPod comes in 80 GB, but has a small screen, I don’t like iTunes on Windows, and the price and popularity is ridiculous for its lack of really simple features like FM radio.
The 604 WiFi has touch screen LCD. That’s just cool. I don’t know much about Archos though.
I have experience with Cowon/iAudio. Solid products. But the screen res of the A2 doesn’t touch that of the Visions. Cowon music players play ogg. That’s not a huge deal for me, but it is a nice simple plus.
Zune sounds like it would be really nice to hold, but most of the specs are really only average and the proprietary wifi is dumb.
iPod /iTunes proprietary software is dumb (for me. I know it’s awesome for you Apple folks and people who like iTunes).
Most of them have clock/alarm/scheduling abilities. That’s cool.
I like having FM radio and voice recording on my player.
I like huge storage capacity, solid battery life, straightforward charging without needing a lot of peripherals (e.g. if I bring my player out of town, do I have to bring a docking cardle plus the AC adapter plus the USB cable to transfer music? Or can I just bring one USB cable that will charge AND transfer files, or can I bring just one AC adapter that will recharge at any electrical outlet?)
The idea of wifi and having opera on my mp3 player is excellent…but I’m not sure what it involves. It’s not straight-up internet access, neh? So….?
*edit: MUST be plug-and-play.. should function simultaneously as a media player AND an external harddrive without additional software/drivers or partitioning. Software/drivers should only be for extra features/auto-synching/music software,etc.
Only the iPod comes in 80gb, only the Vision W comes in 60gb.
Fact is, none of them cut it for me.
Current iPod’s screen is woeful for watching videos, compared to the rest — Yes, I know.. they’re supposed to be coming out with a beastly-awesome new generation, with wifi and widescreen and all this stuff… The STILL probably won’t have simple simple things like FM radio and the other companies should be improving their products and releasing new generations too. Anyway, they’d better do that, because right now there is absolutely no clear winner.
If I had to choose right now, I’d probably go with the 60gb Zen Vision W. But the specs really don’t cut it. Too heavy and large; needs better resolution.