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Music Media Hardware

Portable CD-R/RW/MP3 Player? 94

Eldie asks: "My ancient (1995) portable CD player has finally rolled over and died. I'd like to replace it, and I'm not looking for something as grand (read: expensive) as an iPod. I'd like to have something a bit more useful than the baseline -- it should at least play CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs and MP3s. It would be great if there was some sort of useful hierarchical MP3 interface so that I didn't simply end up having to skip back and forth through 100 tracks, 1 track at a time. Is there anything out there that fits the bill?" This was touched on almost 3 years ago, where quite a few of you had useful recommendations. Three years is a long time, however, and it would be interesting to note if there are any better (or cheaper!) options out there. If you were to look for such a player, today, what would you buy?
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Portable CD-R/RW/MP3 Player?

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  • by moro_666 ( 414422 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `rotaanimluk'> on Friday February 13, 2004 @06:57AM (#8268042) Homepage
    are mostly on thinkgeek
    check the link


    seems like an handy device for me :)
    if i wasn't like 12000 miles away from america
    i would get this one for myself.
  • I Just got a rio volt mp3 player for my friend, it was like 40 bucks and exactly what you described. I'd post links, but you really should be able to find a product online on yer own now, the interet isn't a new thing. try amazon.
    • I second this. I bought a rio volt near the time they came out (4 years ago?) for $160. You can get one for $40 now, but my volt has been worth five times what I paid. It's been with me on three overseas mission trips, multiple road trips, played in my car for a while, etc... I've probably logged over 1000 hours on it.

      MP3 CD players are the way to go. I can carry my entire music collection in a small CD wallet.

      I even bit the bullet to buy the Sony car stereo that plays MP3 CDs. This was back when I was ma
  • by FePe ( 720693 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @07:09AM (#8268074)

    They are all Amazon "So you'd like to..." guides, but they are worth looking at, anyway.

  • Go with Memorex (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gothic_Walrus ( 692125 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @07:14AM (#8268082) Journal
    Everyone in my family owns their own Memorex CD player, and they all work perfectly. Hell, I dropped mine on my floor a few weeks back and the top half of the player fell off. It was put back together, and it works just like it did before it broke.

    Beyond the fact that they're durable, they're relatively cheap. Most of the Target stores in my area have portable Memorex players for around $40-$50, with the slightly more expensive ones including a backlit screen and a digital radio tuner. I'm not sure how much they run in other stores or online; you'll have to do a bit of research to check.

    And lest I forget...they work. Very well. They have no problems with reading CDRs or playing MP3s, though I'm not sure how they handle CDR/Ws.

    Hope I've helped.

    • Re:Go with Memorex (Score:2, Informative)

      by teebo ( 43281 )
      Right when MP3 cd players came out, I got the cheapest one I could find, a $100 Memorex. It had a serious skipping problem, and when it decoded the music it would play high-pitched artifacts constantly.

      This of course is only anecdotal observation - I gave the horrid thing away eventually. Perhaps they have improved.
      • All the original MP3 CD players were crap.

        Someone gave me the $100 "Classic" brand player, and it was awful. It would apparently run out of buffer in the middle of a song, causing skips and crashes. You couldn't have more that 67(!) files in any given folder, including root.

        Luckily, somebody dropped it and reimbersed me for it. I got a Rio Volt for $160 ($40 now) and have loved it ever since.
    • The same thing happened to my memorex CD player. It's been dropped from a pocket onto a road - still worked fine, fallen from my locker at school (about a 6' drop) the lid came off and I just reattached the ribbon cable and it worked, although I didn't have the LCD display anymore. It died when I accidentally threw it across the room when it was in my backpack and it got crushed by a few textbooks.
  • by real_smiff ( 611054 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @07:23AM (#8268106)
    I bought (was given actually :) a Philips expanium 303 at the end of 2002. It cost 50GBP (that's like um amost 100 dollars at the current exchange) and has been used for hours every day with hardly a skip or song that won't play. high bitrate vbr? no problem. running (as in jogging)? no problem? price? no problem, i think. So it's out of warranty now and i'm hoping it keeps on going. The signal-noise ratio is outstanding btw, this matters to me.

    The problem? Philips seem to have replaced all Expania (at least in the UK) with the Exp521. This (or the one i received) is so bad i sent it back - the disc hit the inside of the player when you shake it, the skip protection (advertised as being much longer) doesn't work if you move, half the time the buttons don't respond... i could go on. yuck. So if you can find an older model 2xx or 3xx series Expanium they're great (avoid the earliest 1xx square ones for battery life and not being able to seek in tracks.. like the 521!). It also came with all kinds of accessories, depending which pack your buy. Only the headphones needed upgrading, as per most models.

    btw the Philips way of doing things is to have an extra pair of buttons to skip back and forward through folders. So you put one album per folder. It works great. I'm not sure what other makes do yet.

    I've now got my eye on the new iRiver IMP-700 (75GBP) which has.. wooh just come into stock on Amazon uk! (and probably just gone out again now ;) Because i do fancy that track display that i was going for with the Exp521.

    Anyway that's just my 2p.

  • Sony Walkman (Score:5, Informative)

    by mlafranc ( 315895 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @07:32AM (#8268128) Homepage
    I have a Sony CD Walkman D-NE510 here in my hand, it works well, plop your mp3s on a cd in a folder all to themselves, stick it in, and close the lid.

    Some notes: It will play on a pair of NiCD AA batteries seemingly forever, the advertised battery life is 18hrs playing MP3s, so I guess thats good enough.

    1. I've noticed skipping when playing VBR mp3s on batteries... I think the player is VBR agnostic, so it runs out of frames to play and haves to spin up the disc out of powersave to get more the track, if this bothers you, don't do VBR or something I guess.

    2. Like I said, battery life is awesome, but not in -30 something degrees weather, like we had here a few weeks back, I had to do the public transportation thing, and it dropped out a few times, I had to press stop, play, stop, open the lid, close the lid, whatever to get it to work, and this meant taking off my gloves, which sucks because it's freaking cold!

    Also, I must be spoilded, because I want a backlight! How can I see what track I've selected when I live in eternal darkness heh.

    Good stuff:

    The battery life, like I said, and those batteries are two AA's, not something wierd like a lithium ion sealed inside the case or 3 AAA's burining a hole in my wallet, because I only have AA rechargables, and throw away batteries cost less to buy, but more to use.

    Damn near impossible to make it skip, you can shake it, drop it, whatever, of course I've been gentle to it, but it's nice.

    Quick tip:

    Name your files like this:

    AlbumFolder/01Title of Song.mp3

    It'l show up as 01Title or 02ABCDE, you get 7 characters in folder display, so if they all look like "08 U2 -" then that would kind of suck. It shows scroling tag info, Title, Album, Artist, Track #, Bitrate, Time played, press the display button to rotate through them.

    Good lick picking your player, I really do like this player, two flaws ain't half bad.

    The ATRAC support may also be a flaw, since I don't give a damn about SONY's propritary crap, but it isn't a flaw, because you don't have to use it, MP3s work just fine.

    I recharge the batteries about once every two or three weeks, not bad.

    When I'm not lazy, I plug it in to an ac adapter, it didn't come with one, but It's 4.5 Volts, and you can get the correct head to stick on one of those multi voltage A/C adapters from rat shack.
    • P.S. (Score:2, Informative)

      by mlafranc ( 315895 )
      Did I mention it does multi-session like a charm, that way all my scuffed up old 4x cdrw dics can stay on the shelf, I can burn a CDR up to 200 MB and go back to it later to fill the rest up.

      Best feature, The Jog-Dial, I love that nobby thing, I dont know if other players have it, I'd figure they would, but it makes selecting an album or track so simple any idiot could ask me to do it for them.
    • "The ATRAC support may also be a flaw, since I don't give a damn about SONY's propritary crap, but it isn't a flaw, because you don't have to use it, MP3s work just fine."

      Unless something has drastically changed, you _can't just ignore ATRAC_.
      The MP3 support you refer to, doesn't store the MP3's directly on the minidisk. But rather, you use the OpenJukebox software provided by Sony, to convert the MP3 files to ATRAC format, before transfering them to the minidisk player, which in turn writes them to
      • Re:Sony Walkman (Score:3, Informative)

        by mlafranc ( 315895 )
        No, it's a CD player, not a mididisc set up, I tossed out their burining software, nero on windows or cdrecord on {*BSD,*IX} will do the trick.

        It does MP3, but they try to trick you into ripping to ATRAC so they can lock you in, typical behavior for a record company.

        If I was new to computers, (Think: MY DAD), I'd use ATRAC and their stupid burning software, which I can ignore, but I don't like that they do it, I'd rather get a CDDA/MP3 Player that does just that, but everyone thinks WMA would be nice or o
        • In a perfect world, you would get a player that does CDDA, FLAC, APE, MusePack, MP3, Ogg and nothing else.

          No, in a perfect world we would have a player that you could throw any CD, even an AOL CD, or a handful of gravel off the ground into, and it would play any music requested.
        • It does MP3, but they try to trick you into ripping to ATRAC so they can lock you in, typical behavior for a record company.

          Yeah, but that said.. burning 64kbps ATRAC3Plus (which is bearable, if not great) means you can get 23 hours of stuff on a single CDR. I've produced a couple of these full of generic kinda stuff, then have higher quality MP3 discs for the niches/favorite stuff. It's great to have 23 hours of stuff on you in the times you can only take one CD out with you.

          Also, ATRAC3 at 132kbps soun
    • so if they all look like "08 U2 -" then that would kind of suck.

      Wow, it certainly would. There, a snarky reply to a lucid and earnest response, and the week's work is at an end.

      • <AOL> ROLF </AOL>
        Yes, I get the dig, I wanted to use an example that would show how if you named your files like most people do, "Artist - Album - Track - Name.mp3" it would get bungled up.

        To date my player's display has never been so defaced.

        Two or three songs that I'm partial to, ONE and only ONE that I actually really really like. Not bad for two decades millions of dollars later.
        • Yeah, I'm sorry. Cheap shot. But too juicy a shot to pass on. Lord knows I wouldn't want to store my music files any way other than the way you describe - nested in folders and boiling down to just the song title as the filename. Fortunately for lazy me, I can just let iTunes and CDDB sort things out. It'll backfire one day.
    • Well I went with the NE510's big brother the D-NE1

      Same features as above with the following addidtions

      Rechargable Batteries built in - 150 hours life - and they are replaceable (tho I shudder at the cost) - it comes with a really cool charging stand too.

      External removable AA battery pack - Seems to last forever (as above)

      Backlight inline remote.

      I replaced their above standard generic headphones with MDR-EX1 in ear ones - these have to be the best phones I ever used (without looking like Princess Leia)
    • I think the player is VBR agnostic

      The only difference between a cbr mp3 and a vbr mp3 is that the frames all happen to compress down to the same size in a CBR one. Unless you write deliberately stupid code, playing VBR and CBR mp3s is exactly the same process.

      I agree with your assessment, though it seems foolish of Sony not to use their skip buffer for preloading mp3 data just like they do for redbook audio cds.
    • I'm with you--the Sony CD/MP3 players are really cool. I've read that part of the great battery life can be attributed to the player converting the inertia of the spinning down disc into energy. Just like an electric car using braking to regain power.

      I got the D-NE518CK for $70 over at Amazon. It's very similar to the D-NE510 except it has a car kit and it's black.

      Doesn't the two line LCD display make odd folder naming not required? I still haven't had a chance to play with mine because it got shipped to
  • i have a havin exonion, a quite cool and inexpencive device.

    also not bad is a dioneer.
  • once i discovered that i could get a portable cd player that plays mp4 files, for less than $50, i sold my 5 gig ipod right away, while it still had some value. this is the one time you probably want to get the insurance from best buy or circuit city. cd players crap out all the time... i think my friend bought 3 years of insurance for either 15 or 30, and he used it twice. i don't know if any of them have decent browsing capabilities though (sort by artist, album, et cetera)... anyone know of any? now wh
  • by deja206 ( 711205 ) * on Friday February 13, 2004 @08:16AM (#8268235) Homepage
    I think the last one looks pretty geeky!
    • by KDan ( 90353 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:20AM (#8268475) Homepage
      Ditto on the iRiver. I have one. It rocks. I has a quality interface, very fine display on the remote, good battery life, a battery expansion pack that attaches through a cable (so it doesn't turn your mp3 cd player into some sort of huge contraption), and the one I got is the slimline one (I think it was 400 rather than 550).

      I had 2 other mp3 cd players before, the thomson lyra and the napa davsomethingorother, and both of those were pretty crap. iRiver is excellent.

      • The problem is just that there are way too many companies producing this kind of CD-RW/MP3 players.

        As long as you stick with trusted brands like Sony, Panasonic, iRiver, etc., you'll be fine... =)

        However, I'd go for a HDD-based MP3 player (a 40GB iPod or an iRiver iHP-120) if most of my music archive consisted of MP3s.
        • I second the Sony/Panasonic recommendation. Most of them seem pretty durable and well-made. I work at a RadioShack, and we're sticking pretty much exclusively to these two brands -- we're pretty disenchanted with no-names like Koss. (Yes, they're now a no-name brand in my opinion, just like the once-elite Jensen.)

          The Sony players cost a bit more; from what I can see, you're only paying extra for the ATRAC3 compatibility and the little SONY logo. ATRAC3 is Sony's proprietary compression, and from what I've

    • by GeckoX ( 259575 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @10:05AM (#8268743)
      Looks like you picked 3 models from audiocubes based on look and advertised specs alone.

      Do you own all three of these? Have you tried all three of these? What were your experiences with all three of these?

      Sorry, but unless you can back up your suggestions in some way, I'm having trouble finding how this post is informative.
      • The only unit that I chose because it looks cool is the 3rd one (Panasonic), and while I own none of those three units, I've had the chance to play with both iRiver iMP-550 and Sony D-NE10.

        Besides, I've been working for Audiocubes for nearly a year now, and I've read many reviews on these units, including ones on iRiver's iHP series HDD-based players.
    • iRiver iMP-550 (Score:2, Informative)

      by Z-MaxX ( 712880 )
      The iRiver SlimX iMP-550 is a fantastic player. I just got one a few months ago because my little 256MB flash-based player just didn't hold enough music for a long day of studying, working out a the gym, etc. The SlimX has a great interface, it really is extremely slim (surprise), and has upgradable firmware which means that it will support Ogg Vorbis Real Soon Now(tm) []. It also looks sexy in its slim, cold metal body. (No plastic here!!)
    • I also have an iRiver (iMP-400) and it works very nicely. The iRiver is also flash upgradable. iRiver has non-cd players that play oggs, but they haven't made them available on there cd based players yet. Being impatient and not wanting to wait for someone else .....

      I would like ot see something that plays more file types and can play from DVDs. I am looking into kluging somthing with a nano-itx board, DVD drive (from a laptop?) and laptop battery and small LCD display. With something like that I coul
    • Yup, my housemate has the iMP-550, and I can vouch for it. In addition to looking great and having an excellent UI, they just recently released a beta Ogg Vorbis firmware [] for it. If it played DVD-R, I'd buy it in a second.
    • Another vote for iRiver. I've owned the iMP-350 for a while now. It simply is fantastic. I use it every day while on the train to and from work. Battery life is amazing (I use the provided additional external AA battery pack and rechargable NiMHs).
  • I own RioVolt for 2 years and a half now and I had no problems at all since I bought it. It reads CD-RS as well as RWs, plays mp3,wma and cd audio. Has 2 line lcd screen with a backlight. You can browse the folders in the CD and choose any tune you like. Sound quality is great. I'm realy happy with my player. Check for new models they should have even more nice features.
  • I bought this one in my local store(in Europe), but I don't know if it's available where you live. Anyway, SAFA SMCD-100R [] is very slim and light, anti-shock works well and I had no problems with MP3, but some WMA files didn't play correctly. It should play Cd's in Packet-Write, ISO9660, Joliet, Multi-Session. It cost about $100 almost a year ago.
  • I'm looking for a toilet tissue that's both soft and absorbant, but I don't want to pay a premium price.
    I've looked at the bargain brands, but I didn't think they would get my question posted on Slashdot.

    Can you geeks tell me what your experiences are? I've recently come into some money and want to
    make the right choice, but being a poor college student, I still have to stay within a reasonable budget.
    • In the spirit of burning karma.

      Why don't you steal TP from your college? Duh! It's probably not soft or absorbant, but don't pee on yourself, and you don't need it to be absorbant.
    • by TwistedGreen ( 80055 ) <twistedgreen&gmail,com> on Friday February 13, 2004 @08:48AM (#8268337)
      I'd definitely go with the Turbo Ass-Reamer 5000-XT line of papers from AssCo. The XT stands for eXtra Thickness. It costs a bit more than your usual paper, but man is it nice. That 16-ply softness just can't be beat. Plus, it even comes with a free musical toilet paper holder that plays well-known game themes from the C64! You just can't go wrong with AssCo.

      But yeah, CD players? That's kind of old tech, and completely uninteresting. Does nobody have any good questions? Slashdot these days...
    • Speaking as a Slackware user, I prefer leaves. Watch out for poison ivy though.
    • by evilad ( 87480 )
      I know this isn't exactly what you had in mind, but you should consider a nice, flexible AssAuger.

      Rather than helping you clean up afterwards, it simple helps you avoid the need for taking a messy old-style dump in the first place.
    • Linux, of course. A printout of any distro's kernel source will provide you with an open source solution for all your excretory needs. In light of current events, however, might I suggest something by SCO?
    • Forget toilet tissue. Toilet tissue is so 20th century.

      I recommend getting the Toto washlet []. That is a truly high-tech solution for the unclean-butt problem.

      The initial purchase price will set you back a bit, but it will earn itself back because it greatly reduces the need for toilet paper. Instead of needing large amounts of paper for the cleaning action, you will only need a tiny bit of paper to dry the area, because the washlet will have automagically cleaned the area with a comfortably warm wash. No m
  • Epinions Anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by osewa77 ( 603622 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `smsajian'> on Friday February 13, 2004 @08:52AM (#8268352) Homepage
    That's where people discuss concumer hardware!
  • iRiver (Score:3, Informative)

    by Danious ( 202113 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @08:52AM (#8268354) Homepage
    Simply the best out there, I love mine:

    iRiver []

    CD-R/RW/MP3/Ogg/WMA/FM tuner/Flash upgrades/etc....
  • Do not buy a MP3/CD-R/CDRW player by Emerson. I bought one about five months ago, and it was one of the worst purchases I ever made. First and foremost, it didn't always (actually, seldomly) would play my home-brewn CDs. Also, it claimed support for ID3 tag reading (for mp3s, that is) but it would only display the tag if you had skipped from the previous song to that song.(although, even when it did, it scrolled very slowly) Another really annoying thing was that it claimed CD-RW compatibility, but it would only play CD-RWs on every other burn, (which is a real pain when you're burning at 4x speed) Seriously, they do not manufacture a good portable CD player.
    • Yeah, in the same vein, I *want* to like the TDK MOJO that I bought a while back, but I just can't recommend it.

      The navigation and panel display are really nice and easy to work with, but the sound quality stinks. I guess I assumed that if an MP3 sounded bad on playback then it was a problem with the .mp3 quality/bitrate/whatever. This player has taught me otherwise. I'm not particularly finicky, but there's some internal EQ'ing that just went really bad on this model. So I guess if you can find a way
  • Portable DVD-R (Score:4, Interesting)

    by or_smth ( 473159 ) <> on Friday February 13, 2004 @08:58AM (#8268369)
    Sorry to latch on to your question, but I've been wondering...

    Personally, I need more music than a CD-R player can offer. Currently, I have an iPod and find it great, other than the fact that it was overpriced and a little bit fragile (AA batteries would be nice, though I can live without them). DVD burners are gaining marketshare quickly. Why don't we have some portable DVD-R mp3/ogg/FLAC/yatta players? I think most of the geeks here could use a player that had removable 4.7gig storage, and it would eliminate the worry of a head crash (which is why I'm paranoid of snowboarding with my iPod).

    Anyone heard of anything?
    • I'm hopeful that we'll see portable DVD-R players as well, especially in a mini-DVD format (1Gb on an 8cm disc is handy).

      As a wild guess, I'd say we might see one in 2005 - but it probably won't sell enough to take off, if it's not killed off on purpose. (Media companies want you listening to the new DVD-audio discs, not DVD-R discs full of MP3s)

      There are now some camcorders that record onto mini DVD-Rs, so the technology for the heads/motors is now there. (Probably somewhat designed to be battery fr
    • I'm in the same/exact position as you. Got that iPod which is just dying day after day, the buttons are starting to jammed, the menu button doesn't work all the time, have to press it hard to work, sometimes I can't change the volume, even though I turn the wheel it doesn't do anything plus sometimes it just crash and I have to reboot it then I lost the time on it. Don't forget that the battery is dying too with the hard disk (average lifetime of an hard disk is about 5 years). I really think a DVD mp3 p
    • That's what I want. A portable DVD player with NO screen, just video and audio OUT jacks, that will work like a regular CD Audio/MP3 CD Player.
    • They first is wildly out of my price range ($999) but the second is only $345 and looks very tempting.

      Sony DVM1 []:

      The Sony DVM1 is a 'Walkman' style portable DVD player. It has a 3.5 inch LCD screen and comes with a stand, carry pouch, stereo headphones, remote control, lithium ion rechargeable battery and an ac adapter. It can play DVD-video discs, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW and standard audio CD's. It is truly portable, weighing just over a pound and providing up to 4 hours of playing time per charge.


    • Personally, I'm waiting to see if the new Sony Hi-MD 1 Gig minidiscs (out in April) deliver on their promise. They certainly sound good on paper. 50-60 hrs battery life on one AA battery, removable, replacable magnetic media, compact, stylish. Just hope Sony have found a way to expedite their ATRAC encoding so that the software is as close to drag and drop as possible (current MD users will soon tell you this is not really the case).
  • Epinions DOT Com (Score:1, Redundant)

    by osewa77 ( 603622 )
    Yeah, I'm just trying to be a smartass, but isn't Epinions [] the place for this sort of topic? :-P Lots of reviews for consumer goods and no, a portable CD-R Player works the same for fashion models as it does for geeks.
  • Yepp (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ripp ( 17047 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @09:06AM (#8268404) Journal
    Back in September I got a Samsung Yepp, and I have to say that I like it. It plays just about any bitrate (incl. vcr) mp3 I've thrown at it. The interface is pretty sparse, but if you organize your files on the CD right it's not bad. It treats directories as albums, basically, so you can just go to the 'album' you want simply enough. Battery life is better than I expected and it hasn't just up-and-died on me yet...
    • by Ripp ( 17047 )
      and, uh, that should be VBR instead of VCR... that's what I get for posting before my caffeine kicks in! :p

  • I shopped for a CD-player/FM-tuner for my (now ex-) girlfriend a few years ago at x-mas time and found several CD/CDR/CDRW/MP3 players for $28 at BrandSmart. They also had what I was looking for for the same price, but if you want MP3 (et al) _and_ the FM-tuner, it's like twice the price of buying 'em both individually.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      She's your ex because you spent $28 on her. I know that's the case, because I know Melanie.
  • The The Panasonic model [] will let you skip by directories or tracks when you are listening to an MP3 CD-R. I got it at Sears, and so far it has worked well. You can also change the display to show the track title, filename, or directory name while the song is playing. Mine is the SL-MP35 but the MP70 is the newer version of it.
  • Lame (Score:2, Redundant)

    by HeghmoH ( 13204 )
    You know, I had this exact same question six months ago.

    So how did I answer it? I went to the local department store, hit the electronics section, and looked for MP3 CD players. I looked until I found one that said it read CD-R and CD-RW and recognized directories, then I looked for the cheapest one with this feature set. Total cost, $40, and it works great. Is that really so hard?
    • this really isn't such a good idea. you have a better than even chance of ending up with a turkey. i would say read reviews, but searching the net for reviews is a nightmare (rubbish sites swamp google. i am good at searching the 'net and could find very little useful information before i got my exp521, for example). so i guess ask slashdot is not such a bad idea. some of us are very critical of our purchases (if only more people were, we might have better quality products on the market). maybe you're a per
    • Re:Lame (Score:2, Informative)

      by pqdave ( 470411 )
      Do you buy software based solely on what the box claims? I've bought a bunch of CD/MP3 players for myself and family. Several Phillips players have worked well, lasted a long time and done what they claimed. Koss and RCA were inexpensive, made the same claims on the box as the Phillips players. I strongly recommend the Phillips over the others I've tried. Also bought a Sony Net MD player. Technically it does what the box claims (if you read carefully), and it's decent once you get the music recorded
  • Portable Mp3 CDs are the best way yo go right now, imo. Unless you're a jogger or something. You can take it to the car or on the road, and you can listen to the CDs in computers and dvd players also. At the 'standard' 128k/s you can fit over 10 hours of music on a single CD - at leas 6 hours worth of 192k/s songs. Great for random play and having every CD of oyur favorite artist on one or two discs.
  • What about VCD, SVCD or DVD? There are portables [] Or maybe a jukebox []?
    • My portable DVD player can do MP3s. I haven't tried VCDs or SVCDs yet. You don't have to have it open and powering the screen to hear the music via headphones, but it helps when searching for MP3 tracks stored on DVD-R, which you'll need to find tracks other than by skipping one by one.

      However, they are larger than portable CD players to accommodate the LCD 16:9 screen.
      • Well, I can say:

        Thank goodness the price on portable LCD DVD players has dropped. For the longest time the price was up there to the point where buying a laptop with a DVD drive in it actually made a lot more sense.
  • AVC Soul player! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fist_187 ( 556448 ) on Friday February 13, 2004 @01:53PM (#8271281) Homepage
    check out the AVC Soul Player []! the one i own just died after 4 years of abuse -- i always had it plugged into my car stereo (i bought it for $120 when low-end in-dash mp3 players were $450) and i guess it just couldnt take another winter with -30F nights.

    anyway- if you can get one of these, definitely do it!
    • they play CD-Rs and CD-RWs no problem.
    • they support mp3 and wma (up to pretty high bitrates and VBR)
    • 120 second skip buffer, which saves a lot of batteries
    • you can skip ahead by song, by 10 songs, or BY DIRECTORY
    • THIS THING UNDERSTANDS DIRECTORY STRUCTURE! you can naviate alphabetically sorted folders AND SUBFOLDERS and see their names while a song is playing. this is infinitely awesome!
    • you can change the fastforward/rewind speed, up to 6x
    • automatically resumes where it left off on the cd, not just on the current cd but on any of the last 10 cds it played. you can turn that option off if you want.
    • supports ID3 tags, but there is the option to turn them off too
    • has a wired remote and a line out, which makes it great for your car (i clip the remote to an easy-to-reach part of the dashboard)

    this player is great for long road trips, because not only does it save a lot of shuffling cds in and out of the player, your friends can browse what else is on the cd while a song is playing. its also better than USB/flash media players when you're on the road, because its so much easier and cheaper to bring a stack of mp3 cds instead of a laptop and/or memory sticks.

    its the little things about this player that make it great... and there are SO DAMN MANY of them.
  • I bought one a year or two ago and I've been very happy with it. It will play VBR MP3s, display the ID3 tags, allow some form of directory navigation, playlists, has a wired remote, FM radio reception, etc. I've tried to see if I could make it skip by shaking it as hard as I could, but it would never happen. As far as batteries go, I think it came with some rechargeable AAs. I've never had to replace them.

    I don't know if they are still being made, but you might be able to find one cheap on ebay from so

  • iRiver (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alienw ( 585907 ) <alienw DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 13, 2004 @02:46PM (#8271966)
    The iRiver SlimX line of MP3 players is probably the best one of the MP3/CD. They are small, come with a remote, come with high-capacity flatpack rechargeable batteries (which are replaceable). New ones have Ogg support, I believe. They also have a built-in FM tuner and a VERY nice GUI that supports directories and hierarchy.
  • I got a Durabrand "MP3 & CD Player" from Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago for a mere $30. It performs rather well considering the price. The thing I thought was the coolest (even though it makes sense) is that the cd stops spinning and the music plays from the internal buffer.
  • Here are two more specific questions for a MP3 device that I've been looking for (since the poster could just as well asked "what's the best editor", or "what religion should I believe in"):

    I'm looking for a CD media player that supports playlists, shuffle and resume on start. I.e., I have a couple CD format MP3 players that shuffle the whole disk, but don't do playlists, etc. I want something that I can choose a burned playlist (for various moods), and will shuffle play that playlist, and when I turn it

  • Do NOT, under any circumstances, buy any portable crap from jWIN ( I bought a CD player last year. Made in 2002. And it didn't have goddamn antiskip. Also, the hinge that holds the top to the bottom has broken ,several of the buttons are sticking, the extra bass slider is gone, etc. And this is after lite usage.

    Get an iPod. :D
  • by hotkoolaid ( 454688 ) on Saturday February 14, 2004 @12:07AM (#8277203) Homepage
    Amazon has the Archos 20GB Recorder for $130 after a 50 rebate. They have both version 1 and 2 as well as many other Archos players. Get it at []
    Archos products have been known to be somewhat less reliable than the high-end stuff like iPod, but for this price you can't go wrong.
    To make this player/recorder even better, simply drag-n-drop files, umount/eject and play. There is no rearranging of your music... it's there just as you placed it on the drive. Not sure about this unit, but batteries are easily changed in version 1 (which I own).

    Go get one today... then load the Rockbox [] firmware and keep on rockin. In version 2 you can even flash-upgrade the flashrom for a 4sec bootup.

    btw... I posted a review on Amazon just this week and bought the rebated unit for my neighbor to use on his bike.

    Yea, this sounds like an ad... but it's not. I just want to make sure people know what kind of bs they are getting from the major 'players' out there. Make sure you check the music management issues when you do your research. Any player I will buy must be Linux compatible.

    Cheers! nomasteryoda
    Yeah! my first posting!

    aka ...

  • I got one of the low cost Panasonic models (SL-SV550), not many features but that's no problem. The issue is it can't drive the headphones to reasonable listening levels. I don't want to blast my eardrums or anything, but the highest level (digital volume control goes to 25) is what I'd call "medium" volume, not even slightly "loud". The $2.50 FM earbud stereo that I got drives the Panasonic headphones quite a bit louder. I have no idea whether the fancier Panasonic models are any better, but I suspect
  • I have a Samsung CD-Yepp, which plays MP3s/WMA and CD-R/CD-RW. Also with 160s skip protection. It was a very good buy: _product_detail.jsp?%20eUser=&prod_id=MCDHM200H/XA A []

    Just burn MP3s to a CD and go. It also works with folders, so you can put each album in a folder for easy browsing.
  • I got iRiver ChromeX 150: It's their cheapest player - it sells for about $80. I have several gripes about it: 1. It's not that small. 2. It uses regular AA batteries and the battery life is subpar. 3. When I'm jogging, it tends to skip while playing MP3's even when the buffer it maximum. It doesn't skip when playing regular CDs. So my advice: go with their SlimX players (or get a HD-based player)
  • Check out Best Buy, they have them in their CD Player Isle. I got a good Sony one there. I love it.
  • I currently have a Nike mp3 player. The cord for the remote broke already (2 weeks). It also doesn't have very good directory controls (no browsing but it does use them kinda like separate CD's) It's going back to bestbuy this weekend when i get a chance. The last one I bought was a IRiver 350 it's directory browsing was excelent. Only had three problems with it: 1) Audio CD's (like w/ most mp3 players) drain batteries real fast 2) any scratches drain batteries even faster 3) two sets (2 matchstick and 2 A

You know you've been spending too much time on the computer when your friend misdates a check, and you suggest adding a "++" to fix it.