Find me a software-free MP3 player!
September 13, 2007 5:16 AM   Subscribe

GadgetFilter: Find me an MP3 player! Yes, another MP3 player question.

I have been happily using a 5Gb Rio Carbon but now I need more capacity, the logical successor would be the Rio Karma but I'm looking for 40Gb upwards and also its not available new anymore.

My major criteria:

I don't want have to use specific software to upload MP3s (Yes, I'm looking at you, iTunes!) - the Rio Carbon shows up as an external hard drive in Windows and all the files can be dragged, dropped and deleted using Explorer - this makes me happy.

I only need to play MP3 and WMA.

Battery life - 20 hours would be nice, like the Carbon.

USB 2 (or faster!).

I don't care about:

Photos, video, radios, elaborate GUIs, coloured cases, white headphones, touch screens or fancy ad campaigns.
posted by SpacemanRed to Technology (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Anything by Cowon. I give them two thumbs up.
posted by anaelith at 5:23 AM on September 13, 2007

Seconding Cowon's iAudio stuff, they are the sexxus.

I've had the X5 for a while now and only things that I can gripe about is the GUI and the 'joystick' bit are a bit clunky.
posted by iamcrispy at 6:19 AM on September 13, 2007

Best answer: [dogma]iPods are just the best players out there.[/dogma] But if you're on Windows, you don't have to use iTunes. Check out Red Chair Software's Anapod Explorer - it looks and functions just like Windows Explorer, but it's for your iPod. They also have versions for the Rios, Creatives and Rivers and a bunch of other mp3 player brands.
posted by pollystark at 6:30 AM on September 13, 2007

Best answer: Yeah, the Cowon X5 is sweet, and as close to the Rio Karma as you're gonna get, unfortunately (it's actually superior in most ways).

Ahh, Rio, how I wish you were still making sweet, sweet MP3 players! I still have my 20GB Karma, and used it daily up until last week when I finally went to the Dark Side (or is it the White Side?) and bought a 160GB iPod Classic. I couldn't resist -- the 20GB Karma was great but with my massive music library, I felt really, really restricted. So I didn't buy an iPod for any of the frilly features, like videos, photos, games, etc, but simply because it is the only player that big on the market. Nothing else even comes close. So it was a pretty easy choice -- Apple or not, that's the only player that suits my needs right now.

Actually, while I'm on the topic of iPods - I don't think you'd be disappointed in an iPod. My new 160GB is fantastic, and I'm thrilled with it so far. Yes, iTunes is teh suck, but keep in mind it's quite trivial to set the iPod to manual sync / disk mode, which means you can drag and drop from any number of programs, including Winamp, MediaMonkey, and countless iPod sync apps like SharePod, ephPod, YamiPod, etc. And Red Chair Software, who you should be familiar with (as they make the greatest Rio Carbon/Karma syncing software in the world), makes a fantastic app called Anapod Explorer, which supports Windows Explorer drag-and-drop functionality, and much, much more.

Just thought I'd point out that the iPod isn't actually a bad choice now, since there are so many options. Besides, it's the best bang for the buck around, speaking in terms of storage and flexibility (both of software and accessories).

But yeah, now I have a spare Karma, if you're interested in buying it ;-)
posted by sprocket87 at 6:31 AM on September 13, 2007

(ha! pollystark beat me to the Anapod recommendation)
posted by sprocket87 at 6:33 AM on September 13, 2007

Piggyback: with out-of-the-box firmware (i.e. not Rockbox), does any currently produced player besides the iPod do gapless mp3 playback?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:53 AM on September 13, 2007


Trekstor Vibez
Rio Karma
posted by sprocket87 at 7:04 AM on September 13, 2007

Creative's Zen line of mp3 players has not let me down. I have a Zen Vision:M 30gb and it works great, and looks better then the iPod. Also, I can just use winamp to upload songs and sync, and even just plain ol' windows explorer.
posted by Mach5 at 7:37 AM on September 13, 2007

My Cowon iAudio X5 is awesome as showing up and functioning like an external hard drive BUT one of your major criteria is WMA. My Cowon doesn't play WMA.

A Creative mp3 player, I think, will meet all your criteria.
posted by keith0718 at 12:39 PM on September 13, 2007

iamcrispy : 'I've had the X5 for a while now and only things that I can gripe about is the GUI and the "joystick" bit are a bit clunky.'

Not to derail but have you looked into running Rockbox on it? You might find it preferable if you're not a fan of the standard GUI.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 3:55 PM on September 13, 2007

x5 is freakin amazin.. havent loaded up rockbox... does it make it much better??
posted by radsqd at 11:38 PM on September 13, 2007

If you bought an iPod and have Mac, Floola is a great (and free) replacement for iTunes, and also the only one that doesn't FU the internal library. Under Windows, i've had a really good experience with the iPod plugin for Winamp. EphPod used to be even better, but unfortunately it stopped working with my 3G iPod when i upgraded iTunes to version 7.
posted by husky at 8:38 AM on September 14, 2007

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