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Author Topic: What's the best keychain usb drive/MP3 Player  (Read 933 times)


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Offline mgericsTopic starter

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What's the best keychain usb drive/MP3 Player
« on: August 30, 2005, 11:38:57 AM »
As the subject asks, what is the best?

Offline Cymric

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Re: What's the best keychain usb drive/MP3 Player
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2005, 02:26:19 PM »
iRiver: has tremendous sound quality, and in some models incredible battery longevity, but design and support are falling behind. Although they seem to have gone Back To The Roots again with the T10.

iAudio: has top-notch support and rivals iRiver in sound quality, but design is nothing more than a little oblong thingie.

I'm sure that Samsung, XEN, Creative, Philips and god-knows-who-else make good little players too. It all depends on how much money you are prepared to spend on a player, how much memory it should have and what sound quality you want. My iRivers were good enough to hear the difference between 128 and 192 kbps MP3s; I now use a rule of thumb that every minute of music consumes 1 MB.

A few caveats: don't be intimidated by 'USB 2.0 Speed!'---in practice, the flash RAM dictates transfer speed which is at best 2 to 2.5x USB 1.1. Any advertisement with '20x USB 1.1!' in it is lying. Second: if you want lots of memory, say 1 GB or more, don't go for a flash device, but find one with a tiny harddisk instead. Those do offer genuine USB 2.0 speeds, and it is very hard not to notice (nor appreciate) that. Third: ignore capabilities for Ogg, WMA or whatever else unless your music is in that format. Ogg Vorbis support is rare and usually fraught with problems; WMA wins out over MP3 at low bitrates in sound quality, but at high bitrates MP3 provides both smaller files and better audio quality. With sufficient memory the issue is moot: use MP3. Fourth: accessories are nice, but I would fork out the extra cash for a decent set of headphones.

Good luck!
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