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Washington Post: MP3 Players to Rival Pricier iPod

Washingtonpost.com’s Technews reviews four new iPod competitors.  Looks like iPod still gets the best marks, but the Dell product seems almost comparable.

“Apple’s iPod has stolen the hearts of many digital-music fans with its stylish, svelte contours and delightfully simple controls. But it’s an expensive date, from $299 for a 10-gigabyte model to $499 for a 40-gig unit, and the latest design’s arrangement of buttons lacks some of the first iPod’s intuitive clarity.

Meanwhile, competing manufacturers have shipped a series of MP3 players with iPod-esque capacities and sizes but lower prices: Creative’s Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra, Dell’s Digital Jukebox, Rio’s Karma and Samsung’s YP-910GS Napster.”

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Comments

1

the battery is becoming a huge skleton in apples closet… Many of the competing selling points of other mp3 players is that there batteries are easily replacable….

Apple should start thinking about the 4th Gen design…

Posted by bababooey on December 7, 2003 at 1:16 PM (CST)

2

I saw the Dell at a Dell Mall kiost.

No comparision. The iPod is clearly superior.

Posted by Buzz Bruggeman on December 7, 2003 at 4:46 PM (CST)

3

“I saw the Dell at a Dell Mall kiost.

No comparision. The iPod is clearly superior.”

You “saw” it and made this blanket judgment?

Did you actually use it? Did you heft it, play with the interface, run with it, or try syncing it?

Frankly I have little faith in your visual assessment.

Posted by Assumptions on December 7, 2003 at 7:16 PM (CST)

4

Saw, felt, handled, listened to, observed fit and finish., etc.

Interface is similar, almost seems like a copy. No easy way to run with it or sync it, but I didn’t like the controls, the color, the feel.

No offenese to Dell, and I am not a Macintosh loyalist, but I thought it was an inferior product.

Why don’t you do this, go find one, check it out, and report back. I have a 2G iPod and frankly like it better than the 3G ones but for the weight.

Posted by Buzz Bruggeman on December 7, 2003 at 7:42 PM (CST)

5

The iPod battery is replacable. I am an original iPod owner (10GB), and I use it literally every day. I still get at least 5 hours of straight playing time out of my battery no problem.

For $99 Apple will replace the battery. That includes the new battery, shipping, labor, and guarantee. Considering the higher quality battery used by apple - and, of course, the significantly higher quality product overall - this is a bargain.

Posted by Atomic Bomb on December 7, 2003 at 9:41 PM (CST)

6

The quaility between the two products is debatable however I hardly see the ipod and its battery replacement a bargain..
ROTFLMAO….

$500 ipod and a $100 battery replacement a year or so down the road…. NAHHHH

Buzz: All I had to see was “SEE” the Ipod to know I wanted one.. to the point that I had dreams about that darn thing… I havn’t felt that itch with other mp3 players..

 

Posted by bababooey on December 8, 2003 at 4:16 AM (CST)

7

I have a 30gb Ipod and a 20gb Zen NX. Yes, if I had to choose, I would choose Ipod. It is definitely easier to use, smaller and Apple’s quality rep is up there. However, the Zen has better sound (yes, it does) and is a better value in terms of storage capacity. The replaceable battery option is very nice, not because it is necessarily that much cheaper than the DIY Ipod solutions, but it’s easier and more convenient. You buy the battery ($50) and you simply change it. Takes about 10 seconds. The Zen is not as easy to use as the Ipod and they could have designed the scroll wheel to function a little easier. However, like many things, once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy. I’d have to say they are both excellent products which may seem like heresy around here, but there you have it.

Posted by Mark on December 8, 2003 at 7:12 AM (CST)

8

“The quaility between the two products is debatable…”

bababooey - Have you actually used the Dell product? In my opinion it’s a hunk of junk. But perhaps my standards are a bit high.

Posted by Atomic Bomb on December 8, 2003 at 10:15 AM (CST)

9

“my standards are a bit high”

I am curious about those standards? How do you judge an audio handheld? On compactness? On sound quality? On ergonomics? On features? On format support? On UI? On battery life? On g-shock resistance? On cost?

For some of these categories the iPod scores quite highly, but for others it’s near the bottom of the pack.

Don’t be so quick to think that your value judgments necessarily reflect another person’s.

Posted by AtomicBomber on December 8, 2003 at 11:45 AM (CST)

10

I have used Dell products if you count my dell Desktop and its a wonderful machine (I am actually a former Mac user when 9.1 was the current OS)

If you read my last post I admitted being much more of an Ipod fan but for clarification superficial reasons. I simply like the style of the Ipod…
Objectively speaking that doesn’t mean that the Ipod is the almighty superior be all end all product…. 

so atomic bomb it is my opinion that it isn;t that your standards that are high but rather that you are blinded by your lust over the ipod./. who can blame you? it is a nice product but there could be one day better.

Posted by bababooey on December 8, 2003 at 3:15 PM (CST)

11

Nobody is mentioning the HUGE benefit and ease of using iTunes.  This is one of the major selling points to friends I show…they love how easy iTunes is.

Posted by OldSkool on December 8, 2003 at 5:26 PM (CST)

12

true true.. Lots of love for itunes.. :)

Posted by bababooey on December 8, 2003 at 6:28 PM (CST)

13

“Nobody is mentioning the HUGE benefit and ease of using iTunes”

I don’t think it’s as cut and dried as that. I use Media Center on Windows to manage my iPod, while my girlfriend uses iTunes on the Mac to manage her Archos.

You can get iTunes plugins to manage all the major mp3 players so it’s not like you *have* to use an iPod with iTunes.

And you can get plugins for most jukebox software to use an iPod, so it’s not like you *have* to use iTunes with your iPod.

Posted by NewSkool on December 8, 2003 at 6:30 PM (CST)

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