MP3 Players

October 26, 2004
music tech

So I’ve been drooling over new MP3 players recently. There’s been all sorts of activity in iPod-land. You’ve got the 4th gen iPods that bump battery life up to ~12 hours per charge. You’ve got the U2 Special Edition iPod that comes in a snazzy black color scheme with a sharply contrasting red click-wheel, band member autographs engraved on the back, and a $50 iTunes coupon good toward the purchase of “The Complete U2” (I’m guessing that only partially covers the price of admission, and isn’t all that great a deal since they’ve bumped up the price of the unit by $50). And they’ve just announced the iPod Photo that includes a color display and the ability to view jpegs for an extra $100. Oh, and the HP-branded iPods can be had at Staples for a substantial discount (I’ve seen discounts close to $100 off retail). But they still haven’t dealt with the battery issue to my satisfaction (ie not intended to be replaced by the user).

But what I’m really curious about is the Archos Gmini400. In the same size/price range as an iPod Photo, but it’ll play MPEG-4 video and even includes a Compact Flash slot for off-loading pictures from your digital camera. You can do that on an iPod with a Belkin Media Reader, but it’s kinda cool that it’s integrated.

Eh, my need for a portable player is not as pressing now that I’m driving to work instead of busing it, and I can actually play mp3s on my computer at work after my recent Linux upgrade… it’s still fun to drool though.