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I'm thinking of getting my wife an MP3 player for Christmas.
Any suggestions for a good one that's less than $100?
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If you are looking non apple, I've had a basic cheapy sansa for about 5 years and it's still working fine. Which one would be easier depends probably on if she uses itunes all the time or not.
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Sansa Clip! Sansa Clip! Sansa Clip!

DH and I are giving MP3 players to each other for Christmas. I want his current 4gig Creative Zen because it has an analog input on it and I want to rip more of my vinyl to digital, and besides, he has maxed it out so I am giving him an 8gig Sansa Clip+. I just need a 4gig because I use it mainly for audiobooks and delete them once I have listened to them. After four years of constant use and dropping on the ground, my current one has decided it doesn't want to talk to computers any more and I can't load any new books or music.

I looked to get him another Zen, but they are all tricked out now to do videos and lots of crap he doesn't do and they cost over $50!!

Why I LOVE the Clip: 1) it has a clip! so I can just clip it onto my clothing. I sent one loaded with all kinds of good music from the 70s to my nephew when he was in Afghanistan. He loved it because he could leave his iPod somewhere safe and use the clip on the Clip.
2) it is easy to use
3) it costs under $50, even for an 8gig.
4) I use the voice recorder a lot to record readings for Librivox.org
5) it endures a lot of dropping before it gives up.
6) did I mention, it costs under $50?
7) the Clip+ will tell you the time, which uses the battery up faster - that's the only difference I can find between it and the regular Clip.

Barbara
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking for one that I can upload all her CDs to, basically.
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Why get an MP3 player, use your smartphone, mine works great!
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Why get an MP3 player, use your smartphone, mine works great!

Strangely enough, everyone doesn't have a smartphone. Even among those who do, many may have more music than it can hold.
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We don't have smart phones.
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It depends on how much music she has but my kids like their ipod shuffles(get a bright color so it's easy to find). It's $49 but there may be deals places where you get something with it like a store gift card.

I have an big Ipod classic that I use as a jukebox - plug into various things, including the car with an aux cord.
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I really, really like the Sansaclip, too. I use it to listen to books.
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You can find sansa clips for $25-$30 on sale from time to time. Honestly, don't use one much anymore, with smartphones being so multi-functional these days.
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Ray,

Unless you already have some version of an iPod, preserve your format independence by ripping the CD's to MP3 files. If you use iTunes to rip CD's, your get Apple's proprietary format.

I speak from the experience of using a Sony Walkman music player. It only supported Sony's music format, which was incompatible with the rest of the music player world. When we inherited my #1 son's iPod Classic, I faced the daunting task of re-ripping hundreds of CD's.

Luck was with me, that time. Sony decided to close down their music selling operation about then and actually offered a conversion program. I converted them all to MP3 format, which Apple supports, and imported them into the iTunes data base.

I used Cakewalk Pyro to rip the few remaining CD's that hadn't been added to the Sony Walkman library. I think Audacity will also do the trick, and it's free.

PM
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I have a program called FreeRip. Seems to work fine.
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I have a program called FreeRip. Seems to work fine.

Sounds good to me!
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If you use iTunes to rip CD's, your get Apple's proprietary format.


iTunes can encode to MP3, but it doesn't by default. Goto Edit>>Preferences>>General Tab. Towards the bottom is 'When you insert a CD:' and an 'Import Settings...' button. Click the button and you can chose from several encoders, including MP3.
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I also love the Sansa Clip. I have two, in case one breaks!
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Another vote for the Sansa Clip. Small. Lightweight. Easy to work. Have several for the kids, DH, and myself. Great for running/walking/working out with. Use it for audiobooks, music, whatever.

GSF
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I was going to say refurbished iPod nano from the Apple store but it looks like they're sold out right now. I have bought several refurbished items from Apple with no problems.
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If you use iTunes to rip CD's, your get Apple's proprietary format.

That's isn't true. It's never been true.

iTunes has a default format called AAC, though the formal name is MP4 (AAC). It's essentially the next version of MP3.

As you'd expect, it's considered a better format. Files can be more tightly compressed than MP3. For example, an MP4 file compressed at a bit-rate of 192Kbps sounds as good as an MP3 file compressed at 256 Kbps.

(The same format is used for the audio portion of all DVDs.)

Furthermore, lots of other companies (including Sansa) make portable music players that can play AAC files. Even the Microsoft Zune plays AAC files.

Songs ripped from a CD in iTunes can be played on any player that supports the AAC format. Songs purchased from the iTunes store can be played on any player that supports the AAC format. Songs purchased from other vendors (like Amazon) can be played on iPods.

In other words, there is no lock-in when you buy songs from Apple, or use an Apple-branded music player.

(Disclaimer: Most songs sold from the iTunes store before January of 2009 are copy-protected.)
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