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MP3 player and best way to buy music


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Old 02-08-2013, 22:23
Eater Sundae
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A bit of guidance please, for someone who knows nothing about MP3 players.

My daughter is wanting an MP3 player for her birthday.As she has expensive tastes she is eyeing an ipod, not the 10 no-name ones you can get.

Can someone advise if there are any particular advantages or disadvantages in going down the apple route?

Also, are you in any way tied to how you obtain music?

I have downloaded the odd bit of free audio stuff (books etc) onto my computer, and listened to it there. This has usually been in MP3 format. Is this still the normal format for music, or are other file formats better? Do some sources restrict the choice of format? Does it matter.

Are there any particular sites for downloading music which are straightforward to use? Are some particularly good value?

Sorry about all the basic questions, but it's all new to me. Or does anyone know a good on-line guide?

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-08-2013, 23:58
carguy143
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I buy my music from Google Play and it's stored in the cloud for access anywhere. I can also download a copy to my computer and then copy it to itunes or cd as it's DRM free which is more than what can be said for itunes.

Itunes will convert the file format for you when you try and copy to the ipod anyway.
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Old 03-08-2013, 00:55
Kargo
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Hello

I went down through the same decision myself a few years back. I bought myself a 4GB Bush MP3 player, I wasn't after anything fancy as long as it did the job and played music and could never understand why people were spending so much on iPods.

To begin with I liked it a lot but the frustration soon started when I started filling it up with lots of music and was trying to navigate to a certain song or album, the user interface on the small screen was laggy and generally not designed for convenience. The second gripe I had was that it would only play MP3 and WMA files. I didn't find it much of an issue to begin with but soon realised that it would not play back any purchases from iTunes which uses AAC. Saying that, if you are planning to rip music from CDs then this wouldn't be a problem as long as you rip to either MP3 or WMA (I would suggest MP3 as WMA is a dying format as far as I'm concerned).

After about a year the MP3 player stopped working and my fault entirely, I didn't have the music backed up so lost all the music stored on the device. I was so frustrated at this that I decided once and for all to hop on the Apple bandwagon and buy an iPod Nano, and I can safely say it was one of the best tech decisions I've ever made.

In my opinion, nothing beats the iPod in build quality, sound quality and user interaction. The menu system is so easy to follow and you can be going from album to album, artist to artist in seconds. The iPod supports not just its native AAC format (which all files in the iTunes store are) but MP3 and WAV too. It doesn't support WMA but as mentioned before, I haven't come across someone in a while who chooses to rip music to this format.

Its worth mentioning if you buy an iPod, you will have to use the iTunes software to sync your music to the device although you are not tied down to the music download stores you can use. Whilst the iTunes store is most popular with iPod users, you can buy your music through other stores such as Amazon, Google Play, 7Digital and providing they are of a format that the iPod recognizes which in most cases will be MP3, they will play just fine.

Personally, as the iPod is for your daughter I would suggest using either the iTunes Store or Google Play for music downloads. The reason being, you can use these music stores without having to use your credit/debit card to buy music for added peace of mind. Retail stores sell pre-paid gift cards that you can redeem by entering the code on the card. They are sold in various amounts - 10, 15, 20, 25... Occasionally you may find that some shops have special deals running (especially on iTunes cards) such as a 25 gift card for 20.

The real disadvantage with an iPod I guess is the price, but in the long run you will probably find it will last you a good while. An iPod Shuffle is the cheapest in the range at 39 for a 2GB model.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:00
Eater Sundae
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Thank you both for the very helpful and thorough responses. This has given me some guidance on the way forward.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:06
Inkblot
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I buy my music from Google Play and it's stored in the cloud for access anywhere. I can also download a copy to my computer and then copy it to itunes or cd as it's DRM free which is more than what can be said for itunes.
Wikipedia and many other sources say that iTunes does not use DRM on music downloads.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:00
John259
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Apologies if this is obvious - there are various iPod models (Classic, Nano, Shuffle and Touch) and then various memory sizes within each of those. Does she want/expect the device to only play music, or to additionally have a touchscreen for games and web surfing, and/or mobile phone call capability?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipod

IMHO it would be worth scanning the various online retailers to see what's available. For example, Tesco Direct > Technology and Gaming > iPod & MP3 Players
http://www.tesco.com/direct
BTW they also have a buyer's guide - link on the MP3 Players pages
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Old 03-08-2013, 15:14
Eater Sundae
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Apologies if this is obvious - there are various iPod models (Classic, Nano, Shuffle and Touch) and then various memory sizes within each of those. Does she want/expect the device to only play music, or to additionally have a touchscreen for games and web surfing, and/or mobile phone call capability?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipod

IMHO it would be worth scanning the various online retailers to see what's available. For example, Tesco Direct > Technology and Gaming > iPod & MP3 Players
http://www.tesco.com/direct
BTW they also have a buyer's guide - link on the MP3 Players pages
Thanks.

If we get her one, it will probably be the ipod touch, (or the equivalent from someone else), as she could then use it for video and to surf also via wifi.

My main confusion is regarding the downloading and use of media files.

Even though the iclouds will let me/her keep files there, I'll probably want to keep a library of music and video on my laptop at home, and play them there as well as copying them onto her player as necessary. This then raises 2 further questions:

1. I presume the size of the player's memory is less important if used in this way, or is there any other reason to go for a bigger memory. The 4th generation ipod is available in smaller memory version than the 5th generation. Is the 5th generation screen noticably better than the 4th generation. Are we likely to appreciate this improvement when watching videos or when browsing the net? I appreciate this is probably down to personal opinion, but I'd like to understand the difference. Ultimately I can/will look at both, but I'd like some guidance about what to look for before I do.

2. Can I do what I want regarding keeping a library on my home laptop, regardless of which MP3 player I use? If I go down the ipod route, and buy files direct from apple and/or dedicated to the ipod, can I still play these on a windows based laptop? Can I copy them onto other (non-apple) MP3 players and play them, or are the apple files not compatible?

Sorry for all the very basic and probably stupid questions, but I know nothing about the subject, so its all rather strange. This has to be a considered purchase, so I'm trying to get on top of the subject before I commit.

Again, thanks for any advice. that anyone can give.

Edit: Yes, probably play games as well as surfing. In terms of access to games, are both Ipod and android systems equally as good, or is one considered as better.

I had not been thinking in terms of a phone at this stage. I'm certainly not prepared to buy an iphone or Samsung/HTC equivalent. This is confusing, as there are android based smartphones, with big screens, which are cheaper than ipods. Would they be a reasonable alternative with the extra cachet of also being a phone (it would need to be payg).
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Old 03-08-2013, 15:17
grumpyoldbat
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I buy my music from Google Play and it's stored in the cloud for access anywhere. I can also download a copy to my computer and then copy it to itunes or cd as it's DRM free which is more than what can be said for itunes.

Itunes will convert the file format for you when you try and copy to the ipod anyway.
iTunes music files have been DRM free for about 5 years now! Please get your facts right before giving wrong info to people.
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Old 03-08-2013, 15:18
roland rat
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This is a bit cheeky

Pay 5 a month for spotify, listen to the music on your computer, and at the same time, use your computer to record tat album, hey presto with in 1 month, you could have 100 album saved in mp3 format
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Old 03-08-2013, 15:22
grumpyoldbat
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OP. If you buy an iPod touch it has the iTunes music store on the device (also the app store and store for buying TV shows and movies).

If you decide to go down that route, make sure you set up a separate account for your daughter which is not connected to any credit card, and then only add credit to the account using iTunes Gift Cards. That way you can control spending.

If you don't want to do that and want to buy your music elsewhere - e.g. Amazon MP3 downloads, you can simply download them to your computer, load them into iTunes (the Amazon Download Manager will do this for you automatically) and sync the music on to the iPod manually. Again, let her have her own Amazon account for music, with an Amazon Gift voucher to a value you deem reasonable. That way she's not running up a bill on your card.

Either gift card method also has the added value of teaching her to not spend all her money at once!
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:11
Shall
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My kids both use iPod Touches. All the media on them is either ripped from owned CD's or downloads purchased from Amazon. These can be added to the iPod via itunes or other media library programs. I use Media Monkey to sync to all the media sources in the house, Android tablets creative and sandisk MP3 players and the kids iPod touches with no issue
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Old 12-08-2013, 16:27
alanwarwic
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This is a bit criminal
...
Cheeky


I still prefer to buy the CD and rip.
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Old 29-08-2013, 23:36
Eater Sundae
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Just following up on my earlier posts. We finally settled on the ipod 5, 32 Gb, at 200 from Argos. I've generally been a bit lukewarm about the sex appeal of gadgets, but can now see what people find so appealing about certain sensual stuff. There's no doubt that the ipod touch 5 is in that category. I wouldn't be surprised if my wife and I followed suit.

In my case it would be as a very small tablet. As ithappens, I am very short sighted, and without myglasses I cansee the screen from just a few inches away. Its like looking at a large screen, the quality isso good.

So far we have downloaded music onto the main homecomputer from Google, and then copied it accross as necessary onto the new ipod, my wifes windows 8 nokia phone and a galaxy tab2 7" that we have.

We are very pleased with our purchase. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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