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Old 11-15-08, 10:16 AM   #1
kayak99
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Whats the latest and greatest video & music player?

I asked about a video player long ago but never bought one. Now the wifey wants to buy me a Christmas present so I'm looking for the latest and greatest pocket sized player. Mainly for video, downloading tv programs, loading & viewing movies with mp3 music being a secondary need. Large storage capacity would be a must.

Considered Ipod & Zune but their screens seem way too small escpecially for wide screened movies.

Ideas and suggestions from your expereinces? Is there a pocket sized unit that highlights wide screen?

Thanks
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Old 11-15-08, 11:10 AM   #2
The Cow
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iPod Touch (or phone)

Great device. Works great for WS video as you can rotate the device and view the video in that aspect. This reply is from my iPod Touch.

Last edited by The Cow; 11-15-08 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 11-15-08, 03:15 PM   #3
Jay G.
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The Ipod Touch maxes out at 32GB capacity though, which may or may not be considered "large storage capacity" by the OP.

The Archos 5 offers much larger capacity (60, 120, 250GB) by using a harddrive instead of flash memory. It also has a larger screen.
http://reviews.cnet.com/portable-vid...?tag=mncol;lst

Having played with an iPhone, it's integration of Apps, Internet, Video, and audio is very hard to beat. That Cnet review above would indicate that the Archos is only superior in terms of storage capacity, screen size, and possibly the handling of a variety of video formats (although you need to pay a-la cart for some extended video support on the Archos).

Cnet has a review section on Portable Video Players:
http://reviews.cnet.com/4566-6499_7-...tag=mncol;page
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Old 11-15-08, 06:39 PM   #4
kayak99
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Large storage capacity is very important to me. I want to load that sucker up with lots of classics and series as well as music "oldies" (showing my age here).

That Archos 5 looks cool, as does the Itouch. I love the storage on thew Archos though and the specs and reviews look good

Can an Itouch use external flash memory?

Last edited by kayak99; 11-15-08 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-15-08, 07:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
Can an Itouch use external flash memory?
Nope.
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Old 11-16-08, 04:55 PM   #6
sracer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
Large storage capacity is very important to me. I want to load that sucker up with lots of classics and series as well as music "oldies" (showing my age here).

That Archos 5 looks cool, as does the Itouch. I love the storage on thew Archos though and the specs and reviews look good

Can an Itouch use external flash memory?
How many hours of video do you "need" to have? 32GB or even 16GB goes a long way for portable video. The thing is that most people are ignorant about video encoding and encode their portable video files with a bitrate and resolution that would be used on a large TV.... not a 3" screen.

With proper encoding techniques, 500Kbps-600Kbps total bitrates will result in high quality video that weighs in at 250MB per hour for a 320x240 screen. I used my Zune 30GB on cross-country trips... I dedicated 15GB to audio, 15GB to video. That was about 60 hours of video.

I've been focusing more and more on my PSP for videos though. 32 hours of video on an 8GB is fine.
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Old 11-16-08, 07:08 PM   #7
kayak99
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Originally Posted by sracer View Post
How many hours of video do you "need" to have? 32GB or even 16GB goes a long way for portable video. The thing is that most people are ignorant about video encoding and encode their portable video files with a bitrate and resolution that would be used on a large TV.... not a 3" screen.

With proper encoding techniques, 500Kbps-600Kbps total bitrates will result in high quality video that weighs in at 250MB per hour for a 320x240 screen. I used my Zune 30GB on cross-country trips... I dedicated 15GB to audio, 15GB to video. That was about 60 hours of video.

I've been focusing more and more on my PSP for videos though. 32 hours of video on an 8GB is fine.
You're probably correct. I'll need to school up on video encoding. I'd love to have 50-75 of my favorite movies to choose from, many hours of music oldies then some of my favorite tv programs. The former classic movies and music would be the foundation with the tv programs loaded and deleted as necessary. Thanks
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Old 11-16-08, 07:33 PM   #8
Jay G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
I'd love to have 50-75 of my favorite movies to choose from, many hours of music oldies then some of my favorite tv programs.
At sracer's mentioned encode rate of 250MB per hour, 80 2-hour movies would take up about 40GB of space.

However, the Archos can handle 640x480 video, with a screen resolution of 800x600, so the bitrate for videos that capitalize on that extra resolution may be a bit higher.
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Old 11-16-08, 07:47 PM   #9
kayak99
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Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
At sracer's mentioned encode rate of 250MB per hour, 80 2-hour movies would take up about 40GB of space.

However, the Archos can handle 640x480 video, with a screen resolution of 800x600, so the bitrate for videos that capitalize on that extra resolution may be a bit higher.
Thanks. Is there someplace I could school up on encoding and the bitrates? Might help me decide which way to go. I like the Archos 5/250 and its internet capabilities and I'm looking for a good price on it. Appears everyone's wanting about $450 m/l for it.
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Old 11-16-08, 08:20 PM   #10
Jay G.
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Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
Thanks. Is there someplace I could school up on encoding and the bitrates? Might help me decide which way to go.
Bitrate depends on what resolution video you have, what codec you're using, and what quality level you want.

For example, iTunes Store uses the h.264 codec at 1500kbps bitrate to encode their 640x480 video offerings (not that you'll be able to use iTunes on the Archos).

Amazon streams 640x480 WMVs at 600kps to 1200kbps
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...38930&#browser
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Old 11-16-08, 09:20 PM   #11
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The Archos really isn't pocket sized is it? I don't have either device at the moment, but I'd also recommend the iPod Touch or the iPhone (I want the phone but I'm in the middle of an AT&T contract and can't update)... the Touch will give you more capacity than the Phone will, and I don't think anything else has yet matched it's software support for games and apps, and Internet capability.

**edit** Deleted section about a program for converting DVDs to a format viewable on the iPod, I didn't know if it was against the rules or not, so I'm playing it safe.
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Last edited by bdshort; 11-16-08 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 11-16-08, 09:32 PM   #12
Jay G.
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Originally Posted by bdshort View Post
The Archos really isn't pocket sized is it?
Depends on how big your pocket is.

The Archos 5 250GB is 5󫢨.75 in
The iPod Touch Gen2 is 4.32.40.33 in
The iPhone 3G is 4.52.40.48 in

So the Archos 5 is a bit bigger, but not drastically, and compensates by having a larger screen size (4.8" on the Archos compared to 3.5" on the Ipod Touch/iPhone).
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Old 11-17-08, 04:32 PM   #13
kayak99
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Now, if anyone knows of a good deal on an Archos 5 250...
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Old 11-17-08, 09:29 PM   #14
Jay G.
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Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
Now, if anyone knows of a good deal on an Archos 5 250...
Live.com is currently offering 25% cashback on ebay purchases:
Live.com 25% Cashback for EBay

I saw a new Archos 5 for $465 with free shipping on Ebay. With 25% cashback, that's about $350.
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Old 11-23-08, 03:37 PM   #15
kayak99
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The rules for this live.com thing state one must have d) have a Microsoft Cashback Program Account in good standing; How do I get one of those? I don't want to do a buy it now only to find out I have no discount. Thanks
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Old 11-23-08, 05:33 PM   #16
Jay G.
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Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
The rules for this live.com thing state one must have d) have a Microsoft Cashback Program Account in good standing; How do I get one of those? I don't want to do a buy it now only to find out I have no discount. Thanks
http://search.live.com/cashback/howToUse
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Old 11-23-08, 07:59 PM   #17
kayak99
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I read that. It seems to get a bit more complicated when ebay is involved (that's where I found some units). I'm concerned when I pull the buy it now trigger that cashback won't register.
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Old 11-23-08, 09:53 PM   #18
Jay G.
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I've never used it myself. You're should read the thread about it in the deals forum that I linked to above, and ask any additional questions you have there.
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Old 11-24-08, 06:50 AM   #19
kayak99
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I figured it out, thanks. Bought an Archos 5 250 gb, with some attachments, case, etc, on Ebay for $500. My cashback is $125. The way this is set up though you really aren't 100% positive your cashback goes through is at the very end of the transaction after you've committed to purchase. There should be a better sort of confirmation along the way.

Last edited by kayak99; 11-24-08 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:35 AM   #20
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Not to hijack this thread, but I'm in the market for a non-iPod mp3 player and am clueless as to what's out there.

Well, more specifically, my mom's in the market for a player. She mentioned wanting an iPod for Christmas, which she'd use pretty much just for podcasts and some music. She mentioned that she thought my aunt's purplish/pinkish Shuffle was "cute." I figured that'd be perfect: 1 GB is more than enough storage for her, it's small, iTunes is easy to learn, and it's inexpensive ($50). (Personally, the lack of a display is boneheaded and a dealbreaker for me, but she doesn't seem to mind.)

But this morning I realized that iTunes won't work on my mom's hand-me-down computer, which runs Windows 98.

I'm an iPod user and haven't really paid attention to the non-Apple mp3 player market since I ditched my Creative NOMAD Zen Xtra 3 years ago. I don't know what all is out there.

I'm just wondering what would be some good options for her, with specs and price in line with the Shuffle, but can run on Windows 98. Podcast integration with the player's software is key. Bonus points for players that come in pink.
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Old 11-25-08, 12:58 PM   #21
Jay G.
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Not to hijack this thread, but I'm in the market for a non-iPod mp3 player and am clueless as to what's out there.
Don't be afraid to create your own thread. We won't bite your head off.

Quote:
Well, more specifically, my mom's in the market for a player. She mentioned wanting an iPod for Christmas... But this morning I realized that iTunes won't work on my mom's hand-me-down computer, which runs Windows 98.
You don't have to use iTunes to use an iPod. Yamipod is a freeware ipod manager that works in Win98:
http://www.yamipod.com/main/modules/home/

It looks like Yamipod should have everything you need. However, there's other ipod managers available:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari..._iPod_managers

Note that nothing but iTunes will work with the iTunes Store, so she wouldn't be able to purchase music from iTunes to use on the iPod. She could, however, use AmazonMP3 and other MP3 sites to purchase and download music. Also, Yamipod doesn't support CD-ripping, so she'll need another program if she wants to rip CDs. CDex is good, simple, and works on Win98:
http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/?q=features

As an aside, you may want to look into upgrading the OS on that PC, especially if she uses it for going online. Win98 is years behind in security, and probably has numerous security holes in it that have never been patched. At the least, make sure the PC is running a firewall and anti-virus software.
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Old 11-25-08, 01:51 PM   #22
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Wouldn't a shuffle be useless for podcasts?
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Old 11-25-08, 06:26 PM   #23
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I think what makes the iPod models so good is the very tight integration between the player and the program to access to player from the computer. This is something that the Creative ZEN and ZEN X-Fi desperately need, and the current Zune software--while quite good now--is still not as good as what you get with the iPod/iTunes combination.
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Old 11-26-08, 09:58 AM   #24
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I think what makes the iPod models so good is the very tight integration between the player and the program to access to player from the computer. This is something that the Creative ZEN and ZEN X-Fi desperately need, and the current Zune software--while quite good now--is still not as good as what you get with the iPod/iTunes combination.
It may be subjective, but I disagree. iPod/iTunes is merely passable for music, but quite archaic for selectively syncing photos and videos. iTunes doesn't even automatically monitor folders where your music is stored. If you add an album (ripping a CD) you then have to tell iTunes about it. With the Zune, you simply tell it which folders you want to automatically monitor (like: My Music) and it will automatically catalog it. Also, if you have compilation albums, you must tell iTunes that it is a compilation album. Zune automatically does that (even if you rip the CD yourself).

If you need to make room on your device by deleting an entire album, in iTunes you have to select each track (or shift-mouse to highlight a block) and press delete. In the Zune software, simply highly the album cover and delete.

I have an 3G iPod Nano 4GB (awesome little player) and an 80GB Zune. The differences in software are night-and-day.... if I could manage my Nano with the Zune software, I would be a happy camper.
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Old 11-26-08, 12:00 PM   #25
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If you need to make room on your device by deleting an entire album, in iTunes you have to select each track (or shift-mouse to highlight a block) and press delete. In the Zune software, simply highly the album cover and delete.
You can 'right-click/delete' on an album title in iTunes to delete it.
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