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Best Digital Media Player for jogging/sports - comparison, RFC.



 
 
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Old December 9th 04, 10:41 AM
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Default Best Digital Media Player for jogging/sports - comparison, RFC.

Hi, I am going to post this on my website, when I put up the website.
I was wondering if I could have your comments on this text,
especially people who have bought the models I looked at and have gone
jogging or exercising with them...

Picking the Best Digital Media/MP3 player for jogging and
exercising/working out.

I was looking on the web and frankly I couldn't find a decent review of
the features and prices of portable mp3 players. So, I wrote one up.
Maybe it will help you make your decision. I am not an expert on MP3
Players and just wrote this out of the research notes that I made while
trying to decide, at least once in my life to buy a product based on an
educated decision rather than pure impulse. I am starting with my
review of players for people that jog and/or exercise.

I will later write reviews of the other categories - the dayplayer
(4-5gb, from daybag, clever huh?), the jukebox (20-40gb) and the total
digital media system (audio/video). Time permitting of course

If you do choose to buy one of these mp3 players, the amazon links
provided include my associate id, meaning that amazon will pay me a
small percent off every sale. I will use these proceeds to buy myself
the mp3 player I chose as the best of the bunch for this category - The
MuVo Micro 512MB -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20 .

You should check if Amazon has the cheapest price, though usually they
are very competitive.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your purchase!

Review Categories:

1)Features
Different features for different needs. If you want to go jogging with
your player its more important that its small, attaches securely and is
easy to use on the run. If you want to store all your music its more
important for it to have a large storage capacity and a user interface
that will allow you to find your music quickly and easily.

2)Design
This is tough. All the modern mp3 players are designed to be cool,
since that what usually sells, rather than features or price - see
ipod. However, it is important that the player's interface is well
designed and doesn't **** the living crap out of you by doing things
you don't want it to.

3)Price
The easiest category... I use amazon prices. Amazon usually has links
on the right side of the screen to compare its prices with its
competitors. I don't know how thorough that is, but Amazon definitely
has very competitive prices. It could also be trusted to deliver your
product on time and in one piece.

The jogging/workout player:

This is preferrably a flash memory mp3 player with a limited storage
capacity, but easy to use while in motion and easy to attach to your
arm or around your neck.

You don't really need that much storage space, unless you are
constantly jogging/workout. A storage capacity of between 256 megabytes
to 1 gigabyte should be enough, though the 256MB players are getting a
bit outdated and you would not want to be caught with an outdated
player, would you? (even if it does do everything you need).

In terms of songs 256 megabytes is roughly 50 songs, while 1 gigabyte
is about 200 songs. You need a flash memory based mp3 player because it
is essentially guaranteed not to skip, and spends less batteries than
the hard drive based players. Batteries are often standard AAs, easily
replaced, rather than the batteries included in the bigger players
which require extra costs to replace.

The player should be small enough to easily attach to your arm and the
user interface should be both easy to use while jogging and also
shouldn't have buttons that are pressed accidentally that would
interrupt the flow of those sweet tunes. You should also look for
players which are USB 2.0 compatible so that you could download music
fast. You don't want to be sitting waiting for your music to download
when you are ready to go work out or jog.

The competitors in this category a
1) iRiver with their selection of multiple flash memory MP3 players
that come in the following models:
The iRiver iFP-190T Digital Audio Player - 256MB - $116.04 -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20
The iRiver iFP-790T Portable MP3 Player - 512MB -$ 139.99 -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20
The iRiver iFP 799T Flash MP3 Player - 1GB - $220.54 -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20 .

Pros:
- long battery life - 40 hours or so on each AA battery
- built in FM tuner - great for runners
- great sound quality.
- the price is extremely competitive.
- The 1GB and newer 512MBs have a line-in which allows you to record
direct from cd player, radio or other devices.
- voicerecording

Cons:
- the software is not user-friendly. (the manual comes in handy)
- can't plug and play it, you must install the software
- the armband doesn't seem to hold up the player (there is a neck
strap which is more useful)
- the player does not allow you to move files back from the player to
the computer
- relatively bulky and heavy.. (compared to the others.)

The 1GB and the 512MB models are very competitive to any competition.
The smaller models - 128MB, 256MB are lacking in ease of use and don't
come with USB 2.0. In any case if the choice is between the The iRiver
iFP-190T 256MB for $116 and the The iRiver iFP-790T 512MB for an extra
$25, the 512MB Player is definitely the worthier of your purchase.

2)Creative Labs is out in the market with its Nomad Muvo FM product
line which comes in the following models
The Creative Labs Nomad MuVo TX FM - 256MB - $99.88 -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20
The Creative Labs MuVo Micro N200 512 - 512MB - $119.99 -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20
The Creative Labs MuVo Micro 1Gb - 1GB - $190.99 -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20

Pros:
- ultra light players, - 1.1 oz, using AAA instead of AA batteries
- built in FM tuner
- useful armband
- no software required - drag and drop
- all players reviewed had the USB 2.0 high-speed transfer.

Cons:
- buttons are small and the interface is not so easy to use (symptom of
the small size of the player)
- earphones suck
- small problems with navigating between different mp3 files.
- Shorter battery life than the iRivers

Overall, the Creative Labs players seem better for joggers than the
iRiver line due to the fact that they have USB 2.0 compatibility in all
players and have a useful armband which actually holds the player. They
are also tiny and require no software.

3)Rio has its line of Forge Sports players. The players in this line
a
Rio Forge Sports MP3 Player - 512MB - $157.99, -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20
Rio Forge Sports MP3 Player - 256MB - $115.44, -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20

Pros:
- easy to use interface on the player
- you could install an extra 1gb memory card to increase capacity.
- rubbery, cushioning from falls.
- USB 2.0

Cons:
- sound quality worse than iriver.
- complaints about the software included with the player

Conclusion:

So here is a breakdown of the best qualities of the players listed. The
iRivers have a very long battery life and good sound quality. The
Creative Labs players are extremely light and require no software to
use - can be used as jumpdrives (something I still dont have). The Rios
have the really cool option of being able to insert an additional
memory card for more storage capacity, thus allowing you to upgrade
a256mb player to 1.256gb by buying a memory card.

I hope that this helped you make your decision and good luck with your
purchase!

My personal conclusion is that when I buy a digital media player for
working out, I will buy the The MuVo Micro 512MB -
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...ssanovabraz-20
along with a nice pair of earphones. I don't like dealing with
firmware, and I need a jumpdrive anyways.

 




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