Which MP3 player?
January 25, 2011 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Which MP3 player? (Narrowing down details inside)

My job is requiring me to listen to some lectures. They're MP3's, but run 4-5 hours long. Listening in 20 minutes chunks will be OK, but of course there are problems...

My car has an aux audio input, as well as a power outlet, so hooking it up is no problem. I have a little "stick" style player, which is fine for random music but shuttling 2 hours into a 4 hour cut by holding down a little button is a giant pain. The player resets to the start every time I plug the power into the car.

So I'd like a player that has a slider to advance the playback to where I left off. I don't need video, the smaller the better, 4gb storage is plenty. Cheaper is better as well.
posted by Marky to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a refurbished sansa fuze I got off woot (it was a steal--8gig for twenty dollars; it looks like you can find the 4 gig ones for around $40 normally) that I use for exactly this purpose--well, almost. I've been using it to listen to Doctor Who audio dramas in the car. It's supposedly video-capable, but I haven't used it for that. The build quality is surprisingly nice, and I've yet to lose my place.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:11 PM on January 25, 2011

I have a 4 GB Sansa Clip which I love. It's tiny, it gets the job done, and it has a MicroSD slot if at some point 4 GB isn't enough anymore.

It's very podcast/long audio friendly: You place your files in a special "podcast" directory, and then the player separates them out from your music in the interface. So, for example, playing all your music on shuffle will never switch to a podcast. The player remembers where you were between power-offs, and in fact it has a kind of a bookmark that it maintains for each podcast file. So if you switch to listening to music in the middle of a podcast, when you return to the podcast it will prompt if you want to resume where you left off.

Also, the seek rate is exponential, so if you do somehow lose your spot, it doesn't take forever to seek an hour or two into a file.
posted by jcreigh at 7:31 PM on January 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Actually, I believe that jcreigh is describing the Clip+ - the earlier Clip didn't have the MicroSD slot. Both are really good MP3 players (I have one of each). They will also play audible audio books.
posted by rfs at 7:53 PM on January 25, 2011

Actually, I believe that jcreigh is describing the Clip+

Oops, that's correct.
posted by jcreigh at 9:44 PM on January 25, 2011

The Sansa Clip+ is a thing of beauty. Get one.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:59 PM on January 25, 2011

Effusively nthing the Sansa Clip+, it's the best. It has great sound quality, it's lightweight and well-built, and the clippy part is solid. It has an FM radio included, as well as a simple audio recorder and great podcast/audiobook features, I could go on and on. You can even browse your audio files by folder if the tags are messed up for whatever reason. It plays practically every format, your ogg vorbis and flac and what have you.

Downsides: the clock is hard to access, and playlists are fiddly and difficult to use (I think it's possible, but I never put too much time into it since I just listen to albums anyway). Also, the volume on the FM radio part can't be turned down low enough to use when it's quiet.

Of all the electronic gadgets I've ever purchased, the Clip is probably my favorite. It's a really well thought-out mp3 player, and it does every single thing I want it to do (though if I could figure out an easy way to do playlists, I'd like it even better).
posted by dialetheia at 10:41 PM on January 25, 2011

It does seem like using bookmarks would be much easier compared to manually skipping up to the point you stopped at...... Here is an older article which is a good starting point. In fact, your current player may do this already but only if the book is in a specific folder (audiobooks, for example) or in some other way tagged as an audiobook.

If not, the Clip+ only does resume-to-that-spot on files which are in the Audiobooks folder--but that may be good enough for you, especially as the Clip+ is cheap and tiny. If you want better bookmarks, you're probably looking for a Cowon, Archos, Rio, or Creative Zen.

My other suggestion is if you already use a smartphone, or even a dumbphone with an SD slot, is to use that, as there is almost certainly a bookmarking MP3 player available for it.
posted by anaelith at 5:00 AM on January 26, 2011

Here is a thought. Many car audio system can play MP3 files. I can copy MP3 files to a cd, then pop the cd into my car's cd player and navigate thru the folders to play the file I want.
posted by tman99 at 6:21 AM on January 26, 2011

I like the Clip+ so much that whenever I see a good deal on it I buy yet another one in case mine breaks. So far I have 2 spares and I've gifted another 2.
posted by screamingnotlaughing at 10:21 PM on February 6, 2011

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