The recommended Sansa Clip+ really has my attention now. At $30, I could almost consider it disposable. I used to pay more than that for one import pressing CD! For that price, I would be willing to try the headphone jack as a lineout. One question: Why the Clip+ over the Clip Zip? Isn't the Clip Zip newer/better?
The Clip+ has a STABLE firmware of rockbox available. Rockbox is available for the Zip, but it is not at the standard of the clip+, or the ipod 5.5g if you had it installed. This is why it seems more popular in the audiophile community; stock they are identical sonically. So your decision is this:
- If you'd prefer to have a larger, full colour screen, then go with the Clip Zip. (The Clip+ has a screen similar to the ones on the fiio amplifiers)
- If you'd prefer to have better battery life and a more customisable MP3 player as a result of the rockbox, then go with the Clip+.
Bare in mind though, that the stock firmware on both these players can play losless files such as .flac and .wav. So it's up to you. I recently bought the Clip+, and the small screen did strain my eyes when fiddling with it for the first time, but when you're at the point where you just select a song and pop it in your pocket, it's not an issue at all. With rockbox running, I can get ~10 hours playback time of .flac music.
Honestly, for $30, you can't go wrong, these players are extensively praised here on head-fi.