Sunday, February 24, 2008

Buying Guide – Portable Multimedia Players


This Article is written for Indian readers
PMP= Portable (Personal ?) Multimedia Players
Dear friends, if you are looking for portable MP3 players or PMPs (Portable Multimedia Players) this article may help you.

First you should know who are the market leaders? Globally there are lots of Multimedia Companies having a big series of PMPs. Most notables are:


Apple Inc. the proud makes of iPod
Creative Inc. the Sound systems are reinvented by them
Sony Corp. who can forget Walkman Revolution?
iRiver Internationally reputed brand
Cowon Inc. iAudio & other PMP Products
Samsung
SansDisk
Archos
Transcend
Philips GoGear

And there are lots of products from lots of manufacturers including the cheap Made-in-China electronic gadgets. Here I must mention Software giant Microsoft's latest PMP : Zune -4/8/30/80GB. As I know it's not available in India.

For international readers, please visit Wikipedia


A misconception:
Many people tell: “hey Woo you have an iPod!!” but actually it's often just a MP3 player.
I am telling you an example. Most people use Xerox machine. It's a fact that Xerox Inc.'s machines are nothing but photocopy machine. And in your local “Xerox Shop” you mostly find “ Xerox “ machines manufactured by Canon!
Same thing happened in case of iPod. It becomes a TAG for all!! Sony Walkman are of Jurassic era.


Features of PMPs

A PMP must have the following features:

• Support for mp3,ogg, mp4, avi, divx, wmv,wma files for audio and video
• support of image viewing, (jpg,bmp, gif)
• support of text viewing
• FM Radio
• Good Battery Life(minimum 10hrs for just audio playing)
• On-The-Fly Play list making
• drag-&-drop files (no driver required for data transfer)
• Easy navigation and no-stiffness of buttons

But I think you must mind these extra features when you are buying a PMP. These are:

• FM Radio live recording
• Line-In Recorder
• Voice Recorder
• Direct-to-TV connectivity
• Mini-USB connectivity

Those who are finding a basic MP3 Player with decent performance, please leave the video-photo-Text Viewer,

Now-a-days if you are looking for just MP3 player, its size must be small. As often it will be placed in your pocket like a match box.

We can divide the PMPs into 3 groups.

1. Basic MP3 Players
Up to 2/4 GB memory.
LCD screen is a bonus!
Price range up to 6,000 INR or $150

2. Mid Range PMPs
Playing Videos are included,
May have flash Drive or Mini HDD based
Price range not more than 10,000 INR or $250

3. Ultimate PMPs.

Huge Space to keep your all songs or videos in a small box!
You may need a Driver for data transfer
Memory more than 20 GB!
But Touch Screen Players with less than 20 GB memory are also included in this group.
Price may be more than 40,000 INR or $1000

Apple iPods
Since iPods from Apple Inc. made a revolution in Portable player market. I am started with Apple iPods
iPod Shuffle(1/2 GB/only Audio/No Screen) iPod Nano (4/8GB, Video Audio)
iPod Classic(80/160 GB) iPod Touch (Touch Screen, 8/16/32 GB)
iPhone

Among these five products from Apple, iPhone is an iPod with Camera and Functionalities of mobile Phone. But I think it's not good to tell somthing about iPhone. Airtel and Vodafone will offer iPhone ,but when and what will be its price that's a million dollar question! Visit the iPhone. Now iPhone 3G is available at just $199 in USA (add operator's charge!). Steve Jobs made his dream gadget cheaper!!


Where to buy iPod
Price you can check, visiting www.apple.com or www.apple.co.in (if you are in India)
You can also find out here the nearest Apple Resellers or Apple Shop.

If you are dying to have an iPod, I must recommend you to shop iPod from Net using your Credit Card. Because over internet the iPod prices are very low with respect to the prices in Apple Shops.

If you are in India, the best Website offering iPods at lowest price is www.indiaplaza.in. You can get more than 1000 Rs less.

So do you feel the difference?


Apple iPods are very cool-looking Gadgets... But are they really?
It's really a hot topic for the Gadget-gurus

iPod Shuffle or iPod Nano are just useless if you compare these ones with the players from Cowon, Creative or Sony.
But Apple offers tons of space for storing your all songs and movies at a very affordable price, if you want to buy iPod Classic 80/160 GB. This would be a very good decision.


But still iPod have Several NOs. Come let’s see………

• your iPod does not give the option to share music. (you can, with certain software like iDump or Music Rescue)It always needs iTunes to organize the music or videos or movies in iPod. On Windows iTunes is a resource-hungry program. So before you buy a trendy iPod you need a PC, no you a good-enough computer to work flawlessly smoothly with this iTunes and iPod.

• More pathetic, your iPhone also requires iTunes. Did you ever use your Sony Ericsson or Nokia Phone frequently with SE or Nokia PC Suite? Please think again.

• It’s really a sophisticated Gadget, always needs iTunes, even to delete a song from iPod. You can’t share songs.


Ok, you are an ace-PC user… you already know these and can cross these limits.

So why I am here to argue?


• Earphones bundles with iPod are not so good. You may need to buy iPod In-Ear Phones or the same from Creative, Sony, and Sennheiser to feel the sound.
• No Voice Recorder. Plug-In is available Price-2500 INR
• No FM Radio and recorder- When FM makes a new era of Radio, you must be away from the FM wave for quick update. Add-on is available at Rs. 3000 or above.
• No-Line in recorder
• USB charging with proprietary dock and adapter. You may look for AC-USB charger costs at 2500 INR.
• For TV-output no cable is given.
• List of supporting File types is short.

Positive points to iPod owners…….


iPod offers Good sound and Video quality (you need softwares specially made for iPod for converting) with decent battery life.

Some Useless features of iPod Touch:
it offers Wi-Fi connectivity for Web-Surfing using Safari Browser. But in India, there is a lack of Wi-Fi Hotspots and tariff is also very high. So it will not deliver productivity as you like to.

But I recommend you to buy iPod Video Classic 80/160 GB

Basic MP3 Players

Creative Stone, Gen -1/2/4 GB
Cowon – iAudio U2 1GB/512 MB *
Sony – low priced models
iRiver – low priced models
Apple- iPod Shuffle Cowon iAudio U2 1 GB

* I have Cowon iAudio U2 1 GB. And I am very much satisfied with you. Plenty of features in a very small box!

This picture was uploaded in 2015, 7 years after my first post! 

Mid Range Players

Apple iPod Nano is a good deal for its look, but not for features.
Cowon iAudio 6 (4GB Sub-micro HDD player) with lots of features at less than Rs. 6000

I am against the mid-range players (especially iPod Nano). Because you can get more than 30GB space just adding Rs. 1000-2500 to your budget. But I know iPod Nano is a great hit in USA, where people like its small size. And I find people generally don't see video on move! So 8 GB is more than enough!

But I am really impressed with Cowon iAudio 6 -memory 4GB, features and Price makes it a killer deal.


High-Range Players

Here Apple is clear winner. Credit goes to iPod Classic 80/160GB. Nobody offers such huge capacity at this price range Rs. 20000.
But Features are less, so you may look for
Creative Vision Zen 30 GB
Cowon A2, A3 or Q5W [A3 is now available with 80GB storage!]
Touch screen enabled Cowon D2 4GB.
Zune 30/80 GB

Why I am fascinating with my Cowon brand(South Korean based )? Not only because of Cowon's wonderful PMPs but also for its Softwares like jetAudio- a very good All-in-One media player. Ripper-Recorder-Encoder-Burner everything is there. using its LDB manager I am able to see the time-synchronized lyrics in my small iAudio U2 also. The only authorized reseller of Cowon in India: Lipap Systems (P) Ltd. Email ID :sales@lipap.com


UPDATE : iPodThere's a huge price reduction in Apple's prducts. Apple iPod Shuffle 1GB @ 2.3K and 2GB just@ 3.2K. Check here the official price for Apple Products in India. Please note that You need to add your local tax to the price mentioned here. Official nation-wide distributor of Apple is System Matrix

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Get a "Mobile with Camera and Music Player" or "a PMP + a Mobile" ?

But if you want to have only one device to make calls, SMS, MMS, snap Photos, listening radio or loaded mp3s,sharing data wirelessly(via BlueTooth™ or InfraRed™) I strongly recommend you to go for a Mobile Phone.

Nokia E51 offers best office features @ Rs.13 K
But you must decide what’s you want. Camera or Music ?
I recommend a Sony Walkman™ Phone for Music lovers.
For Pro-like photos go for 5MegaPixel Camera phones From Nokia or Sony Ericsson, though I like a Digital Camera for snapping photos. It's a fact Motorola does deliver neither good camera phone nor a great sound experience while moving. Their phones also hangs up frequently due to software malfunction. Samsung is good. Very Recently LG launches a new 5MP Viewty, a worth of try ! And you know there are lots of mobile pohones from Haier, Huewai, Kyocera, Benq-Siemens, Classic, Simoco, GeePee, Usha etc. Indian and Inter
If budget is low go for Sony Ericsson K530i 2MP Camera. Latest price around 8K. No joystick( atleast Sony Ericsson Phones are notorious for which). A good deal of course !!

I never like blogs like Buying guide to mobile phones. Because it requires daily update. Every day You may have better offers form mobile phone makers!!

Well that’s all ……..
Alvida… have some nice time
Rudradeep Biswas
Signing out …. 06:00PM, 007th October,2008