Well, I've just started going to the gym, and I didn't want to take my huge iPod video with me and have to carry it around in my track bottom pocket or in my shorts. So i figured I would go and get an iPod shuffle. Well first of all the new iPod shuffle has bad reviews left right and centre, plus you cant change the headphones, so then I thought I'd get one of the older ones. Well they are simply too small and I cant get enough of a range of music on the damn thing.
I hunted round on Amazon and found this little player, had some good and bad reviews. Well, for the money I figured I'd give it a try as the good reviews said it had good sound quality and it is also expandable in memory size. Well the 8GB version has enough space to put a small selection of my library on specifically for the gym, but also enough for variety (OK you have to bear in mind that my MP3 collection is in excess of 280GB!!). Anyway, if you dont get stupid and try and put the worlds smallest format/quality files in wierd formats so you can squeeze as much music on this thing as possible then you've got yourself a great player. I prefer quality of sound to quantity of music. The quantity lives on my PC, not on my portable!! I use 192kbps usually for ripping CD's, and purchased downloads at 320kbps. I never convert down, I like quality as I said!!
Right enough waffle, heres the important stuff...
Space........... - 8GB much more space than a shuffle, and expandable via a microSD card.
Sound quality... - Very good indeed. There are EQ adjustments, enough to suit me, and make the quality of sound great.
Head/ear phones. - Not so great, I replaced the standard ones with Genius HP-02 Live Headphones. Available on Amazon!
Screen.......... - Excellent for it's size, easily readable, unless you have bad eyes, nice clear text and backlit.
Controls........ - Couldn't be easier. Very straight forward to use.
Size............ - Well... it's about the size of a small matchbox, and thats just brilliant!
Clip............ - It has a handy clip (hense the name) which works well, and doesn't seem flimsy.
Usage........... - Quite easy, but I cant write files directly to the Removable disc in Windows.. Works well with Media Player though.
Standard music player selections, i.e. Artist, Albums, Genre etc
Built in FM radio, great reception and easy to use. (No RDS though! So you need to know your channels)
Shuffle feature, works well.
Great little graphic display when music is playing (bars style graphic)
Simple to use control pad.
Downloadable manual (from SanDisk site)
Easy to transfer music via Media Player, couldn't get Windows XP to write to the removable disc though using the "drive". Not sure why!
For the price of this player I would say you could do worse by buying an iPod shuffle, old or new. This player to me seems far better quality and value for money than an iPod shuffle. Don't get me wrong it would never replace my "proper" iPod, but for the type of thing I need it for, i.e. the gym, it is absolutely perfect. I've used it while running, on the cross trainer and while doing weights and not had any grief with it.
I would say if you are planning on getting an iPod, take a look at this first. For me I was sold, even after reading the bad reviews!
There are some drawbacks. Once the rechargeable battery stops holding a charge theres not much you can do other than use it as an external USB disc, but for the money if the thing lasts 3 years it has been well worth it. And also as I understand it, SanDisk support isn't the best in the world.