internal thought processes: mp3 players

The Rockbox thing on my old iPod is going okay, but I probably still be needing a new MP3 player soon, so I’ve been surveying the market, coming up with the following options. If I don’t mention something as a pro or con, consider it average.

Creative Zen V Plus
Pros: small, affordable
Cons: Poor video support, size tops out at 8GB

Creative Zen (the model that’s actually just called “Zen”)
Pros: small, large screen, available up to 16GB (and 32GB is on the way)
Cons: expensive-ish

Sandisk Sansa View
Pros: affordable, iPod-like wheel interface, available up to 16GB (and 32GB is on the way), good codec support
Cons: relatively bulky, dated UI, below-average sound quality

Cowon iAudio 7
Pros: great sound quality, cheap, relatively small, available up to 16GB, insane 50+ hour battery life, excellent codec support
Cons: poor UI, overly sensitive touch controls, poor video support, overly thick

iRiver X20
Pros: affordable, iPod-like wheel interface, good codec support
Cons: large-ish, prone to dust around the wheel, internal speaker activates automatically if headphones become unplugged, tops out at 8GB

iPods have been disqualified because of the fiddly Linux support with recent models. It all works fairly well now, with the Nano and Classic at least, but the fact is that the iPod database is proprietary, and the only reason we have iPod tools other than iTunes is because hackers reverse-engineered the format. Everything here supports MTP, and the non-Creative players can also work as USB mass storage devices as well.

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