Non-iPod mp3 player for the Mac?
July 26, 2006 4:13 PM   Subscribe

I currently have a 3g iPod and a g4 PowerBook (1ghz TiBook) running OSX 10.4.[latest]. I'm looking to get a new, smaller mp3 player but I want neither a shuffle nor a nano (unless they're the only choices). What non-apple MP3 players work with a Mac, if any?

I know, the mere concept of this question is probably causing heads to explode, but I'm just not super excited about the nano nor the shuffle.

To me, the shuffle is shitastic. I have a huge library and my memory isn't that great, so I sometimes want to look at the name of what I'm listening to.

The nano is a beautiful design, but, feature limited. I'd like a radio too, without the bulk of an add-on.

Finally, this is just a question that's been bugging me for awhile now and I thought it was about time I asked it (because I haven't seen anyone else crazy/stupid enough to ask it) !
posted by C.Batt to Technology (12 answers total)
If you're looking for smaller form factor, have you seen the 5th generation 30 gig iPods? They're quite thin.
posted by rossination at 4:17 PM on July 26, 2006

What about offerings from iRiver or the Creative line (i.e. the Zen)? Both of these companies offer alternatives...

And if you REALLY want small, check out mobiblue...
posted by twiggy at 4:25 PM on July 26, 2006

I have a 30gb Creative Zen Nomad Xtra that I use with OSX thanks to XNJB. It's a free app, a little on the crashy side but gets the job done and talks to iTunes.

I think the newer Nomads might have radio.
posted by mullingitover at 4:34 PM on July 26, 2006

I have a 1GB Creative Zen Nano Plus and I LOVE it. My computer just treats in like a USB thumb drive, so It should work with a Mac. And it has a pretty decent FM radio, too.

They come in different colors, too. Mine's blue. And an arm strap for running with. The earbuds are pretty lame, but I have my own headphones. Agh, I love this player.
posted by muddgirl at 4:54 PM on July 26, 2006

Creative just released the Zen-V, a small player that is able to record from line-in, has OLED, radio playback, one-touch voice recording, and a bunch of other features.

Now, Creative products do NOT traditionally play well with Apple/iTunes stuff, but if mullingitover's done it, then I'm sure there are ways.
posted by disillusioned at 7:07 PM on July 26, 2006

any "windows" mp3 player that supports USB mass storage will work with mac (just shows up/mounts as a removable disk)
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 7:23 PM on July 26, 2006

You should distinguish if you mean "work with a Mac" or "work with iTunes and the music I've purchased from there." If you want simply to work with a Mac, most mp3 players show up as USB storage. If you've purchased music through iTunes, you must use an iPod, unless you want to invest a lot of work stripping away the DRM layer.
posted by jeversol at 7:26 PM on July 26, 2006

zen micro's really tiny, about the size of an older ipod mini, and it has a radio. (fm only)
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:44 PM on July 26, 2006

i use a 60GB ipod, 5G. I didn't think I'd have any need for the photos or video stuff, but now that I have it I use the crap out of it. and it doesn't require a crashy one-developer app to sync with itunes either...

so my recommendation would be...don't get a nano or shuffle, but get the full ipod.
posted by Señor Pantalones at 8:30 PM on July 26, 2006

Here's a vote against Creative + Mac: I had a 30 GB Zen Xtra, and it HATED my Mac, even with the assistance of XNJB. I could transfer songs/files on and off of the player, but I was never able to actually get the songs to play. Your mileage may vary, of course.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 10:23 PM on July 26, 2006

Are your files MP3, or AAC, or a mix?
posted by Good Brain at 11:00 PM on July 26, 2006

Response by poster: Sorry. Didn't have time last night answer some of the followon questions that my question raised.

That being said... I don't care about iTunes and crappy DRM'd music. As a rule, I don't buy crippleware. I do buy CDs (lots of them) and then rip them to >=192kbps MP3s.

Thanks muddgirl for that particular suggestion. That's essentially what I'm looking for, a DAP that mounts as a removable drive or one that has software (or has alternatives available) that works on OSX.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.
posted by C.Batt at 6:37 AM on July 27, 2006

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