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MP3 Player suggestions wanted

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:35 am
by cdhgold
I'm looking to get a MP3 player that can hold 1Gb for under $100 and that can work with linux. one choice i'm considering is the apple shuffle .. anyone have an opinon on this device or any others? good or bad?

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:03 am
by Void Main
I have a couple of Sandisk players and an iRiver player. The SanDisks I got on great deals. The first one I got was a 1GB with an FM radio a couple years back for around $80 and the most recent one was a 512MB w/FM refurb off woot.com for $20. The iRiver was also a 1GB with no radio and went for around $120. The iRiver also had that "Plays for Sure" crap on it and I would never buy another device that has that, don't know what I was thinking. I would get the SanDisk all over again and am happy with them. I had written about the Sandisk before and why I don't want the plays-for-sure stuff:

http://voidmain.is-a-geek.net/forums/vi ... php?t=1870

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:44 am
by worker201
I've had pretty good luck with the iPods so far. I have a 20GB and a 60GB, and they both work fine under Linux. I had a chance to mess with a Shuffle yesterday, and they're pretty cool. I can't imagine why they wouldn't work well with Linux. gtkpod is the way to go.

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:21 pm
by Void Main
worker201 wrote:I've had pretty good luck with the iPods so far. I have a 20GB and a 60GB, and they both work fine under Linux. I had a chance to mess with a Shuffle yesterday, and they're pretty cool. I can't imagine why they wouldn't work well with Linux. gtkpod is the way to go.
Can you mount an iPod as a filesystem? I personally wouldn't have one that can't do that and requires some software to get files on to and off of it.

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:14 pm
by worker201
It's a weird setup. When you connect the iPod to the computer (Windows, OSX, Linux), it comes up as an external hard drive, and all your free space is available to do whatever you want with it. However, the music and photos are "hidden" somehow. You have to have iTunes or gtkpod or whatever to access the music files. I'm not certain how this works exactly. I'd mess around with it in Linux some more, but I don't currently have a Linux computer available. Maybe if I were to try accessing the iPod from the BSD subsystem terminal of OSX ... I'll try that tonight.

I actually ran into some unhappiness with an iPod the other day. My friend wanted to download the music from her iPod Nano onto her work computer (a Windows machine). That's not allowed in iTunes, and requires some sort of 4th party software. But I recall that I was able to get songs off my iPod in FC4.

iPods come in 2 variants - vfat and HFS+. My iPods are HFS+, just because I use it with my Mac*. As long as you have kernel support for vfat and/or HFS+ (either by module or built-in), it should mount it right away. It's the limitations beyond that which I'm unsure of.

* of course having an HFS+ iPod makes Windows very unhappy - which is okay with me

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:43 pm
by Ice9
When I connect an iPod to my box I'm able to use it as regular external storage.
Never tried to add music this way though because tracks are accessed through the iTunes database and you ahve actually to use gtkpod, amarok or another app that connects to the iTunes database to be able to load/delete files on the iPod and have it play them afterwards.
But you can mount/unmount it like any other usb storage device.

It's also true that with gtkpod and linux you can do tons of stuff winblows users can't do with iTunes and Winblows like what worker201 mentioned, and I'm frequently helping friends out who might just want to have the same songs on their home computer, laptop and iPod ....
Anyway, it's a neat mp3 player and it works flawlessly - as long as you stay clear of amarok like I mentioned in an earlier post :wink:

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:50 pm
by Void Main
Interesting. I guess it shouldn't be hard to figure out the filesystem layout since gtkpod is open GPL code. :)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:03 pm
by Master of Reality
When your using linux the ipod nano mounts as a filesystem.

The ipod nano stores the mp3's under /iPod_control/Music/F* but they are named differently. Not sure if its relevant really, but when i used amarok they were name kpod*.mp3, where * is seemingly random digits.

It seems the only reason you need to use an application for the nano is to manage the database.

The database that contains the info about the mp3s is created/managed by gtkpod/amarok/itunes, as opposed to the RCA Lyra where you drop mp3s on it and the mp3 player creates/manages the database.

If you put rockbox on the nano it acts like the Lyra and manages the database itself. I couldnt get rockbox to work on my 1G Nano, but im going to put iPodLinux back on it soon enough.

I havent tryed my roommates Lyra myself yet, but it seems pretty nifty.
I've seen that you just copy your mp3s to the mounted Lyra drive, and it does the rest itself.

I think one of those players that use an SD card would be cool, you need more space later and you just buy a bigger card.

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:08 pm
by Void Main
Master of Reality wrote:I've seen that you just copy your mp3s to the mounted Lyra drive, and it does the rest itself.
That's exactly how my Sandisk and iRiver MP3 players work. I just copy the MP3 files (ogg files on my iRiver) on the mounted vfat filesystem and turn the player on and listen to your tunes. They don't have to be in any special format, no need for any database, as simple as it gets. Well I did create a "/Music" directory to put them in and keep them separate from the firmware image and the voice recording directory but it's just files on a filesystem and no database or special naming or formats required.

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:22 pm
by insomnia
What I don't understand is why those Sandisk players don't come with an FM tuner/recorder in Europe... ?
No FM-tuner (and no FM-recording) is available in Europe
(price is the same)

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:44 pm
by Void Main
You guys have FM over there? :) Actually I know your AM channels are all slightly off from our AM channels. I bought all my stereo equipment in Germany and my digital AM tuner has a setting so it can scan the AM freqs for both. Maybe the FM channels are also spaced differently? Even so it shouldn't be hard to produce both tuner types. Can't you mail order a USA version?

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:09 pm
by insomnia
Void Main wrote:You guys have FM over there? :) Actually I know your AM channels are all slightly off from our AM channels. I bought all my stereo equipment in Germany and my digital AM tuner has a setting so it can scan the AM freqs for both. Maybe the FM channels are also spaced differently? Even so it shouldn't be hard to produce both tuner types. Can't you mail order a USA version?
Not from their site, they redirect you to local stores.
I could let a friend (who visits USA once in a month) buy it for me, but if the FM tuner doesn't work over here, it doesn't really matter.

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:50 am
by Calum
that's hopeless! no VHF dial? i did hear they were going to be decommisioning VHF and medium wave soon anyway in favour of DAB radio... apparently it's better somehow, other than the forced hardware upgrade i presume...

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:42 am
by Jenda
I once 'borrowed' the music from a friends Ipod, and had a script first move all the randomly named files to a single dir... and then another script rename them and sort them by ID3 tags. Yes, the iPod leaves ID3 tags.
A fella named dooglus on IRC made me those scripts, and he has them on his website... but I can't find it anymore :(
Very nice guy, BTW :)

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:09 pm
by Calum
yes i knew the ipod leaves the id3 tags, but i thought the ipod converts mp3s to m4as doesn't it? this function is actually something i have been meaning to put into my increasingly misnamed wma2mp3 conversion scripts but haven't yet got around to it.

i am unlikely to get around to it too soon, but when i do, i will post here...