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acs236

MP3 player -- help me out

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I'm really out of touch with these. My Nomad 3 is about to die. I'm looking for something with a line out, good audio quality, and decent battery life (but it doesn't have to be great). I don't care about video content at all. A nice navigation system would be a plus.

What are my options?

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i really dig my ipod nano.

the battery life isn't the best, but it's decent. Really handy gadget.

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Do the new ipods have a line out?

Also, I'd ideally like a player that supports a lossless format, but this isn't required.

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The iPod has a proprietary (but unsecured, and therefore readily transcodeable) lossless format. If you stick Rockbox on it it will play FLAC. I'm not a huge fan of Rockbox to date, mainly because the iRiver/iAudio like nature of the Rockbox UI really doesn't work all that well with the iPod's hardware interface... but plenty seem to love it. All iPods bar the Shuffle have provision for (optional) Line Out capability.

On the other hand if you want something which will play FLAC out of the box, iAudio is the way to go. The X5 is getting on and undoubtedly will be replaced soon, but it's not a bad machine... apart from the line out unfortunately.

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Pretty sure alac isn't proprietary, merely not open source.

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Pretty sure alac isn't proprietary, merely not open source.

I'm not absolutely sure the ALAC extension to AAC is actually covered under AAC. It's unlike Apple to do things without nominally adhering to standards these days so who knows yes it may be written into AAC specs. I've just never seen AAC lossless elsewhere.

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It's supported by rockbox, at the very least.

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I've got several ipods including the new ipod video and the Creative ZVM and can honestly say that I don't think you can make a mistake with either. Sonically, I find very little difference. Overall, I prefer the GUI of the ZVM to the ipod but the scrolling is better with the wheel on the ipod vs the strip. I can do both equally well but the ipod is a bit easier IMO. For video, the ZVM's picture is better but as has been reported elsewhere, when the angle of viewing is changed, the ipod starts to take the lead. I don't tend to view at an angle so it's a moot point for me. The ZVM is a bit more boxey than the ultra sleek ipod. Tons more accessories for the ipod, too. Guess the fact that everyone seems to have an ipod keeps the development going.

In conclusion, I find a lot of good in all my portables. Kids take the ipods and I keep the ZVM. If I had to choose? Well, I don't so it's not an issue is it? My advice is to go to DAPreview and do some reading. Look at the features you find valuable/desireable and make the choice based on that. I will say that when the ZVM finally dies, I'll probably go with a flash player and forget all the video, picture stuff. I just don't use it that much so getting a tough, durable flash player that I can romp with would be my choice next time around. Good luck.

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