The Best Portable MP3 Player?

What is it with iPod?

Everywhere I look there are accessories for them, adverts for home hi-fis stating proudly ‘includes iPod dock’.  Where are the stereos that include ‘iRiver’ station or ‘Zen Dock’?

Are iPods really that good?  Or have we been all wowed by the advertising campaigns and the fact that Apple managed to make it a fashion accessory rather than just a portable music player?

Go back a little while and when we wanted music in our pocket it was all about the Walkman – now it’s more likely “what have you got on your iPod?” (whether it’s the actual branded player or some other Mp3 reader).

A while ago I bought a Creative Zen as it felt more sturdy than the iPod at the time and also had a larger memory – well that was back in 2001 (I think) and that was the last purpose-built Mp3 player I had (I went through 2 AC adapters and then got a PSP).

After checking out a few ‘Top 10 Mp3 players’ charts – they generally include 3 versions of the Apple brand and on average 2 of them feature in the top 5!

The rest of the charts include offerings from iRiver, Sansa and on occassion Creative, Sony, Samsung and Cowon.

Does the iPod win on memory, functionality, battery or is it purly down to being a desirable make?

Lets do a quick Zune 2 v iPod Classic:

The iPod Classic 80gb is .2 inches shorter and .1 inches thinner than the Zune 2. Winner: iPod Classic 80gb
WiFi: Zune 2.0 has WiFi the iPod doesn’t. In fact, the Zune 2.0 can now sync wireless! Winner: Zune 2.0
Battery life: 20 hours versus 30 hours… Winner: iPod with 30 hours.  This means that the Zune will charge fully faster though.

As you can see, there’s not that much in it – it is mainly down to preference.

I’m still undecided to which mp3 player I’d actually spend cash on. At the minute I use my PSP and my Nokia N95 to listen to tunes on the move – I also have about 60gig of music on my laptop (a selection from the 90gig I have on my PC + all my CD’s and vinyl – yeah, remember vinyl??).

I am tempted by the Touch – but when I break the reasoning down I discover that I want one just because it’s new and it has that funky interface……………..gah!!

I think the main thing is to decide what I need from a player.

Is it pure storage size, the size of the player, video play-back, great looks, performance, software, support, etc?

Is there anyone out there that was an iPodder but now switched? Or have people migrated over the the Apple gang because it is the place to be?

Let me know.