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Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen NX Silver ( 30 GB ) Digital Media Player
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- 1337_ownageApr 16, 2008by
**Review to ALL types of MP3s**
Every month, manufacturers unleash even more MP3 players to an increasingly confused public. Not only do these devices have wildly divergent features, but ongoing format wars mean the MP3 player you choose dictates where you can buy your digital music. These devices are anything but one-size-fits-all.
First, there's the question of design. A player can have every feature in the world, but if the design doesn't match your lifestyle or if the interface is impenetrable, you still won't enjoy it. You'll want to look closely at performance; sound quality and battery life can make or break a player, especially if you travel a lot or have the so-called golden ears of an audiophile.
Before you start checking out specific models, you should have a basic understanding of the types of MP3 players available. Note: all types of players mentioned below can play other formats besides MP3, such as WMA, ATRAC3, OGG, or AAC, but we still refer to them as MP3 players.
Types of players: Hard-drive-based | Micro hard-drive-based | Flash-based | MP3 CD
Most likely, a high-capacity player can accommodate every song you've ever purchased or ripped from a CD. Hard drives run from 20GB on up, and large players such as the 80GB Apple iPod can hold around 23,000 songs, assuming an average file size of 3.5MB per tune.
Hard drive MP3 players such as the Microsoft Zune can hold a luxurious amount of music and video.
Pros: They store all your music on one device. They also tend to have more features and larger screens and are overall easier to use. High-capacity players give you the best bang for your buck in terms of price per gigabyte (for example, $300 30GB iPod vs. $250 8GB iPod Nano).
Cons: These players are usually built around a 1.8-inch hard drive; thus, they are larger and heavier than the others. Also, hard drives have moving parts, so these players aren't ideal for strenuous physical activity. Finally, most use rechargeable batteries (usually lasting 8 to 20 hours per charge) that you can't replace yourself, so after several years, you might have to pay for a new model or pay to get the battery replaced.
Micro hard-drive-based players
Straddling the line between full-size hard-drive-based MP3 players and compact, flash-based players, these models aim to give you the best of both worlds by using miniature hard drives (about 1 inch or less in diameter) with capacities of up to 12GB. So-called "micro drive" players are being largely phased out in favor of high-capacity flash devices, but you can still find compact hard-drive players such as the Creative Zen Micro Photo for sale online.
Micro hard-drive players such as the TrekStor Vibez are becoming rare, but they still offer an appealing compromise between hard drive and Flash-based MP3 players.
Pros: They're smaller and lighter than high-capacity players but still hold more tunes than flash-based models with the same price.
Cons: You get fewer megabytes per dollar than you do with a larger player, and these models have many of the same disadvantages of larger hard-drive-based units, including the moving parts that limit physical activity and nonremovable batteries that eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Luckily, many new micro drive-based players such as the Creative Zen Micro feature a user-replaceable battery.
This is a basic summary of MP3s, there's many types all of which have similar features.
Overall Rating: 10/10Read full review