So first of all, hi everyone! I've been lurking this forum for some time already. As my music hobby has been getting more and more out of hand, I've been thinking about buying a DAP that could store 'a bit more' music than my iPhone 4S. I've been reading some of the threads here and it seems thant you guys know something about these things, so maybe you could help me bit.
I'm a Mac guy, a happy iPhone and iPad user, so obviously my first thought was buying an iPod Classic. I currently have about 45 GB of music, most of it in Apple Lossless. Classic would perfectly fit all of that and still have plenty of room left for my upcoming music purchases. However, I started wondering if the Classic really is the best possible solution for me? Basically I'm not willing to pay more than the price of a Classic, but I wonder if there are some better alternatives in the same price range. Sandisk Sansa Clip+ with a 64GB MicroSD was the only option that I found, and I guess it would require RockBoxing. It looks really nice and small (my father used to have an old Sansa Clip, which I didn't look that good as a player, but damn how small it was!), but also a bit cheap. I guess that 8GB of internal memory and a 64GB microSD would be enough for me, and the smaller form factor is also a bonus. How about the user interface? I have actually never owned a clickwheel iPod, but I do like the iOS music player. I also know that the Sansa Clip+ screen doesn't have colours and doesn't show cover art, which is a bit sad as I do enjoy watching my cover art while browsing my music. How is the sound quality with these devices? Does it perfectly combine the internal storage and the microSD so that I can shuffle all the music that is in the device?
Here are some thoughts about my ideal player:
-I have other devices for other forms of entertainment, so I don't need additional features unrelated to music.
-I'm still going to go running listening to my iPhone, so it doesn't really matter if the player has a HDD; it's not going to be used during workouts.
-Most of the time I listen to complete albums, sometimes I use shuffle. No need for advanced playlist features or anything like that.
-Gapless album playback is a must.
-What I'm looking for is a single device to store all my music, so buying two cheaper players isn't an option.
-I like to organise my music automatically and use iTunes for syncing, 'drag and drop' support isn't really a plus
-It must have support for Last.fm
-Most of my music is either Apple Lossless or AAC. Obviously converting the files is always possible, but I'm not very keen to do it. I don't need FLAC support.
I know that these may make it look like I'm an Apple maniac who is wanting to hear people saying that the iPod Classic is the best choice. Obviously that's not the case, I'm open to alternatives and of course all my requirements aren't that strict. So, as you probably know more about these things than I do, please tell me what you think. Thanks!