In today’s world, owning a cell phone and/or a portable media player has practically become a necessity. The thing is I don’t own either. No, I do not live in a cave, I just took a conscious decision not to own one.
Recently though, I’ve decided to invest in an mp3 player. I knew about the standard players available but after doing some more research, I’m more confused than ever. So I decided to ask the tech-savvy readers at Ghacks to help me make my decision.
Now I’m looking at hard-drive based players with a minimum capacity of 60 GB. Here are some of my thoughts on the different players so far:
Apple iPod Classic: Good battery life (30 hours for audio) and file storage capacity (120 GB). I’m not too keen on it though because it’s very restrictive as far as supported file formats are concerned. I don’t want to spend hours just converting my videos. Also, I’ve read that new versions of iTunes place a lot of restrictions on the machine.
Zune 80/120: This one is last on my list. Battery life is decent but that’s about it. Video format support is really poor.
Archos: Not bad but not great either. Battery life and file format support is just about okay. Storage capacity is good. The player itself is a little on the bulky side as well.
Creative Zen Vision W: The sort-of runner up. Creative had decent battery life (13.5 for audio and 5 for video) and supports a good-sized number of file formats. However, the player doesn’t seem to support videos encoded with the H.264 codec or those in the Mpeg-4 format. Also, at 60 GB, it’s the lowest in terms of storage capacity.
Cowon A3: If I had to choose a player based on features alone, this one would be it. The A3 has 80 GB of storage and plays virtually every audio and video file format you throw at it. In fact, the only format that it doesn’t play is AAC file with DRM and Quicktime movies, both of which I don’t use anyway. Besides this Cowon’s A3 can be connected directly to both standard and hi-definition TVs and can even record from the TV. It’s perfect. The only drawback is the battery life. The official site says that the A3 can play 7 hours of video and 10 hours of audio. In practice, I have no idea how long it lasts.
So now I’m stuck between the Creative Zen Vision W and the Cowon A3. They cost almost the same. Should I be concerned about the lesser battery life on the Cowan? I assume I can also hook it up to an adaptor and play it when I’m at home. If I do take my player out, it’s probably not going to be used for more than 5-6 hours.
Please help me out with this. What portable media player do you use? Are you happy with the storage capacity, file formats supported, and battery life/ Any advice for me? Let me know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.