looking for MP3 player for working out....
Apr 26, 2004 at 8:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

natgun

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i need an mp3 player for working out. id prefer a hard-drive based player, but ive heard that they are not good while running and the like. ive had my eye on the ipod mini, but im scared i might damage the drive...

my max budget is $300, what do you guys think? the more storage the better...
 
Apr 26, 2004 at 9:02 PM Post #2 of 17

Cor

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I think it's pretty difficult to damage a HD player's drive unless you drop it, and even then most of them seem pretty sturdy. However, while running you will need to either carry a HD player in your hand or buy a suitable strap/case for it.

HD players generally only access their drives periodically. When they do, they'll read a fair bit of data and cache it in RAM. That way, it saves energy and makes them less prone to shocks. Different players have different ammounts of cache but you can probably count on getting 15-30 minutes out of a player that is being jostled too vigorously to read anything off of it's drive if you're using mp3 files of typical compression. (i.e. Don't expect nearly that much time if you're playing wav's or flac files!) The worst case scenario is that you'll have to stop running every so often to let your player cache some more music. You can do better than this however.

In my experience, most cases that clip onto your belt tend to be a poor choice. (e.g. The stock iPod case) They flap around and pretty much guarantee that the player can't access it's HD while you're running. (Most people have to find something other than a belt to clip them to while working out anyways) Holding the player in your hand generally works, as does strapping it to your upper arm. The motion there is a gentler swaying motion that HD players seem to have no problems with. Either option makes it pretty easy to access the device's controls without stopping too. Personally, I prefer using a shoulder strap, but your mileage may vary.
 
Apr 26, 2004 at 10:30 PM Post #4 of 17

Damage

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Generally, I'd stay away from any sort of HD players because Hard discs are a bit of a fuzzy lot. I know they're engineered such that they are less prone to head crashes during movement, but given enough shock and forces that a player may encounter during an exercise regiment the chances are still there that the drive may and can experience a head crash. Once that happens, you're out $250-400 depending on what you've paid for.

So, the best choice would be to use a flash based player. If you're looking for a budget choice, you can grab a 128MB one these days for $100ish depending on the brand and features. For 256MB players, I'd say anywhere between $150-175, 200 max. $300 should net you a 512MB Flash player (I believe...), which is pretty close to what a CD full of MP3 can hold (give or take about 2-4 hours of playback, depending on your compression settings).

Now, if you must get yourself a HD player, a $300 can net you a 40GB Creative Zen NX jukebox, which is a fantastic deal (considering iHP-20 20GB and iPod goes for around $350-400ish, depending on the retailer). For the mini-HD players, you can have one for $200, which nets you on average a 1.5GB player.

Finally, if you're lucky enough to score a MuVo2 4 GB player ($200? $300?), it can be disassembled for its Hard Disc inside, which by itself fetches around $400. A nice thing about this particular player is that once you've freed the Hard Disc, it can be replaced with a mere Compact Flash cards, which are dirt cheap as far as flash memories are concerned (I've seen 128MBs for less than $30). Grabbing this player, however, involved a high degree of luck and karma it seems.

One more alternative (monkey wrench): If you don't mind MiniDiscs, the current generation of players can be had for $100-$150, the new HiMDs come $200-$400. HiMDs might be suitable for your needs-each HiMD discs holds 1GB of data. However, if your library is chock full of MP3s, you'll not only have those files transcoded to ATRAC3/plus but use SonicStage software to transfer music to the HiMD device. That is your call, but you like drag and drop, then I suspect HiMD won't be the device of your choice.

Shop for a Flash MP3 players, google around a bit, and you'll find something to your liking.
 
Apr 27, 2004 at 12:48 AM Post #5 of 17

ezra2323

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I recommend the iPod Mini or Rio Nitrus. I have been working out with my iPod Mini for 2 months now and it froze for the 1st time yesterday. Not bad for 50+ workouts - which include running. I merely had to let the battery die and then charged it up and it works fine. It is light, and holds 1000 songs. And it uses AAC which is awesome!

I owned a Nitrus as well and liked it except for the cheap joystick which plagues all Rio products.
 
Apr 28, 2004 at 2:10 PM Post #6 of 17

otprof

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I use my Karma working out with a Tunebelt armband. I have the neoprene one, and it fits the Karma like a dream. I tried a belt clip but would get random freezing and "bad track" warnings from the jostling motion. I have never had a playback glitch using my armband.

A Link

I agree that a flash based player is more fool-proof, but if you're careful there's nothing wrong with using a HD player while working out. I have an extended warranty with Best Buy, so I'm not too worried. Having all of my music at once is worth the risk.
 
Apr 28, 2004 at 7:25 PM Post #7 of 17

Damage

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Quote:

Originally Posted by otprof
I agree that a flash based player is more fool-proof, but if you're careful there's nothing wrong with using a HD player while working out. I have an extended warranty with Best Buy, so I'm not too worried. Having all of my music at once is worth the risk.


Seems like those extended warranties are a must with HD players, especially some of the newer ones, such as the Karma or the MiniPod. I would think that the miniHD player models might survive a tad bit longer vs. traditional HD players (probably due to CFII HDs), but part of me is still weary about HD in a moving environment.

As a side note, Hitachi (they supply pretty much 100% of the HDs used in these mini players) makes a specific model of HD for automobiles and other rough environments designed for high temperature and high G-shock environment (as would be inside a car's front chassis, for example). I'd eventually like to see a smaller HD designed to such specs used in a HD player. That, I'd pay money for.

Until then, I'll stick with CDs and HiMDs (less than a week to go!)
 
Apr 29, 2004 at 6:12 PM Post #9 of 17

Thaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ezra2323
I recommend the iPod Mini or Rio Nitrus. I have been working out with my iPod Mini for 2 months now and it froze for the 1st time yesterday. Not bad for 50+ workouts - which include running. I merely had to let the battery die and then charged it up and it works fine. It is light, and holds 1000 songs. And it uses AAC which is awesome!

I owned a Nitrus as well and liked it except for the cheap joystick which plagues all Rio products.



I agree with the Mini or Nitrus. They have a large enough capacity to hold your songs or selected playlists, and they are very small. I think the Karma would be a little to big to take to the weight room.

And Soup, welcome to Head-Fi...sorry about your wallet
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Apr 29, 2004 at 8:48 PM Post #13 of 17

superjohnny

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Quote:

Originally Posted by austonia
solution = rio nitrus 1.5gb $150


I was going to recommend an ipod mini because I see people using them while working out all the time, but this guy is a portable addict so I'd pay attention to his recommendation if I were you.
 
Apr 30, 2004 at 4:56 PM Post #14 of 17

jeffw_00

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Get an IRiver Ifp395 or ifp195 - whichever is cheaper (BB and CC always have one on sale). 256MB. < 2oz, and by far the BEST GUI of all the tiny players. I use mine to bike, can't say anything bad about it. They contunially upgrade their firmware as well. I put mine on a 'badge holder" (like a key ring with a cord that you pull our and it pulls back, but smaller), from staples. I put the badge-holder on my waistband and off I go. If I want to adjust I can pull it right in front of my face.
 
Apr 30, 2004 at 7:39 PM Post #15 of 17

austonia

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jeffw_00
Get an IRiver Ifp395 or ifp195 - whichever is cheaper (BB and CC always have one on sale). 256MB. < 2oz, and by far the BEST GUI of all the tiny players. I use mine to bike, can't say anything bad about it. They contunially upgrade their firmware as well. I put mine on a 'badge holder" (like a key ring with a cord that you pull our and it pulls back, but smaller), from staples. I put the badge-holder on my waistband and off I go. If I want to adjust I can pull it right in front of my face.


i had the 395T for working out, originally, but sold it because it's only USB1 and it would take 20 minutes to load it up before I left for the gym. too loooong. the Rio Nitrus costs about the same, or less, and its USB2. much faster, though transfers aren't nearly as fast as other USB2 players.
 

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