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My CD player died while I was weeding through my collection to pick out the ones I want to rip. This has set off a domino cascade of decisions I need to make which I suspect a lot of the rest of you have already made or have thought about. So I'm here to ask for help and to try to learn from your thoughts and experiences.




I haven't bought much music in recent years. I subscribe to Rhapsody which I use to discover new music and to find old music, both of which I download to my PC and then to my mp3 player (Creative Zen Vision M) for portability. I listen primarily through the Zen Vision at work and at the gym and occasionally by running the Zen Vision into the RCA line inputs on my basic (but excellent) Harmon Kardon receiver. I would do that last option more often if the files from Rhapsody were of higher quality.


My Zen Vision is several years old now. When it dies I will have a lot of decisions to make because Rhapsody works with a very small selection of media players none of which appeal to me. For kicks (and to have on hand when the Zen Vision dies) I picked up a Rhapsody supported Sansa Clip+ based on reviews I have read but I don't like the closed in, muffled sound for serious listening.


I have a Motorola Razr Maxx Android phone that sucks for playing music and my Westone UM3x earphones are not compatible with it anyhow. I'm also not thrilled about using a phone for my music.


I feel like I am at a crossroads and I need to develop a new strategy for collecting and listening to music. I would like access to a wide library of music like I currently have with Rhapsody. I would like to be able to download the music to my PC and to stream from there to my HK receiver that is basic and has no wireless, HDMI, ethernet, or other similar capabilities. I would like to be able to copy the music to a dedicated music player for portability, preferably not to a phone, and it would be really nice if this device supports a good streaming\downloading service. Currently I'm looking at the Fiio X3 which, as far as I know, doesn't work with Rhapsody and I suspect the other streaming services either. I would like the music files to be high quality, at least 320kbps mp3 or equivalent, better quality even better.


Budget? Hard to say until I know what realistic options and choices I have. But I'm thinking in hundreds not thousands. :o


My question:


What would you do? How are you addressing some of these issues?