Sadly, I need a new mp3 player. My iRiver H140 lasted me five years, because it did exactly what I needed. It played everything I asked it to play, it never deleted my files. It did what I told it to do, it sounded gorgeous and it lasted sixteen hours between charges. So, my criteria are:
1) Sound quality. This is the Twenty-First Century and there’s no excuse for shitty reproduction.
2) More than 40 Gb of space. I like my tunes. I like them all.
3) No hassle.
I should expand on the last one. No hassle, for me, means:
a) Treats my data as mine. These are my files and I’ll do with them what I like. (If I like them enough, I’ll even pay money for them.)
b) Works with multiple computers – there’s normally several laptops at home, plus tunes at work. Music comes from all of them.
c) I’ve never used tags, just directories. Tunes are files, they already have metadata – filenames and folders – so I have no need to set up another metadata system that needs to be kept in sync. How many people here have all their zillion audio files correctly tagged?
d) What the hell is a playlist anyway?
e) I don’t want to have to keep a copy of all my music on a computer. My mp3 player is my music store. Occasionally it gets backed up to the phuge external hard drive, but that’s backup, not sync.
So I look around the market place and WTF? It seems the only players with big hard drives are iPods and Zunes? Are my options limited to:
1) Get an iPod and completely change the way I listen to music. Oh, and convert all my ogg files into mp3s? And then hope it doesn’t delete all my music…
2) Get an iPod and try to battle iTunes into submission? And by that I mean drag it out into the street, shoot it in the guts, and stand around watching it die? And then try to find some way to use a new iPod without iTunes?
3) Get an out of date iPod and hack Rockbox onto it?
4) Get a Cowon S9 for the sound quality and accept a 16 Gb capacity?
5) Buy a Zune and a pair of thick leather gloves for every time I have to physically touch its fetid, satanic carcass?
6) Find a second-hand, five year old H140, put a 80 Gb drive in there, gaining myself both a music player that does just what I need and a sense that for the last five bloody years, technology has stagnated?
7) Buy myself a hard drive, lithium battery, decent decoder, DAC and an OLED display, build my own box, write my own firmware, and do it myself?